Why This Matters


    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, forensic science technicians earn a median annual wage of $60,590, which is higher than the national average of $41,950 for all occupations.


    As advancements in technology increase the reliability of forensic information used as evidence in trials, governments expect to hire additional forensic science technicians. Over the next 10 years, the employment of forensic science technicians is projected to grow by 14%.


    When looking at workers across all occupations, those with a bachelor’s degree earn about 67% more per week than those with a high school diploma, highlighting a significant boost in earning potential.

Our Research

This list focuses on undergraduate programs related to forensic science and crime scene investigation that award a bachelor’s degree. Forensic science and crime scene investigation programs typically award a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. Most criminal justice programs offer a specialization in forensic science or crime scene investigation. We reviewed programs that are offered online and in hybrid formats.

To ensure the quality of the programs, all schools on our list are regionally, nationally, or internationally accredited institutions. Generally, credits and degrees from regionally accredited schools are more transferable to other institutions. Several programs on our list are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditor that assesses colleges based on factors like academic mission, ethics, teaching and learning, and resources.

  • 78 hours to write this article
  • 78 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 148 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Online Bachelor’s in Forensic Science and Crime Scene Investigation Programs

Best Online Bachelor's in Forensic Science and Crime Scene Investigation Programs Badge
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What You Should Know About This Degree

Colleges and universities that offer a program in criminal justice often provide forensic science or crime scene investigation as a specialization within criminal justice. In some cases, the degrees offered will be separate, although there may be considerable overlap between the two. By choosing to specialize in forensic science, students can focus on the application of science to understand a crime scene and prepare for a career examining crime scenes.

Whichever educational path you choose, it’s important to look for a program that is accredited by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation or the U.S. Department of Education, which gives an institution and its graduates credibility with other institutions and employers.

Certifications and licenses are not typically required to enter the field of forensic science or crime scene investigation. A number of licenses and certifications are available to help credential many types of technicians, but credentials can vary widely from one jurisdiction to another.

The job outlook for those who earn a bachelor’s degree in forensic science or crime scene investigation is positive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of forensic science technicians is projected to grow 14% over the next decade.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching online bachelor’s in forensic science and crime science investigation programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Admission into bachelor’s degree programs requires a high school diploma or equivalency. Schools may also expect prospective students to meet a minimum GPA requirement to be considered for enrollment. Check the program’s admissions requirements before applying to confirm that you meet their qualifications.
  • Are courses offered synchronously or asynchronously? For online programs, synchronous courses meet at designated times, but students attend remotely. Asynchronous courses do not meet at specific times, allowing students to access lessons according to their own schedules. Many programs offer both types of courses.

As you research programs, you should make note of application deadlines and keep track of the application materials you must submit for each program. You can usually find this information on the school’s website or by contacting their admissions department.

Financing your education is also an important consideration. Make sure to submit financial aid applications on time and explore other sources of funding such as scholarships, grants, and tuition benefits from your employer.