What You Should Know About This Degree
Crime scene investigation is one specific area of the broader fields of law enforcement and criminal justice. The skills learned in a crime scene investigation master’s program can enhance students’ existing investigative skills with coursework in forensic pathology, finger-printing, photography, ethics, and more.
There are a number of related degrees that students can pursue, including master’s in criminal justice, master’s in forensic psychology, and master’s in criminology. Consider what your career goals are, and what type of degree program will best help you obtain the job or advancement you want.
Some programs offer students the opportunity to pursue a dual degree, such as a Master of Business (MBA), alongside their master’s in crime scene investigation. These types of programs are particularly well-suited for individuals who wish to move into management roles, or operate their own businesses.
If you are planning on becoming a private investigator, please note that most states require private investigators and detectives have a state-issued license. The licensure regulations vary based on state, and may or may not include education in crime scene investigation. If you are interested in pursuing a private investigator license, you should confirm the requirements with your state prior to enrolling in a master’s program.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Master’s in Crime Scene Investigation programs:
- Does the program offer tuition discounts for law enforcement professionals? Many programs offer tuition discounts for individuals who are currently working in criminal justice and public safety, including sworn police officers, firefighters, and other law enforcement professionals. Find out if the program you are considering offers reduced tuition to these types of students, and if you meet the eligibility criteria for these discounts.
- Does the program offer the specialization I want? A number of specializations exist within the field of crime scene investigation, including digital forensics, investigative forensics, financial crimes, and more. If you are considering a specialization, make sure the program you are researching allows you the opportunity to pursue that area of focus.
Other steps you can take at this stage include researching application deadlines and procedures; gathering application materials, and exploring options for funding your graduate degree. Financial resources include student loans, scholarships, assistantships, and tuition benefits from your employer.