Why This Matters

  • CHOOSE FROM OVER 10 POSSIBLE CAREER PATHS

    The skills you learn in a master’s in crime scene investigation program are applicable to a number of jobs, including crime scene technician, crime scene photographer, financial crimes investigator, federal agent, and more.

  • 11+ FEDERAL AGENCIES EMPLOY INVESTIGATORS

    The U.S. Marshal Service, Department of Homeland Security, and Drug Enforcement Agency are just a few of the government agencies that employ graduates of crime scene investigation programs.

  • DEMAND FOR FORENSIC TECHNICIANS RISING 14%

    Employment in the crime scene investigation field is expected to grow at a faster-than-average pace through 2028. As a relatively small field, this growth will result in approximately 2400 new jobs.

Our Research

With this list we sought to identify the best master’s in crime scene investigation programs. The list includes Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), and Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) degrees.

Another criteria was that programs be available fully or primarily online. All of the programs on our list can be completed remotely, although some programs are offered on-campus as well.

All of the programs are offered by regionally accredited schools. This is a guarantee that the programs meet high standards of quality in postsecondary education, and that the degrees and credits earned at these institutions will be widely recognized and accepted.

Once we narrowed the list of programs, we evaluated each of them on the basis of cost, outcomes, reputation, flexibility, and faculty. We then calculated an Intelligent Score for each program on a scale of 0 to 100. Our top picks for the best online master’s in crime scene investigation are flexible, affordable, and highly regarded. (For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 81 hours to write this article
  • 159 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 443 education programs we compared

The Top 5 Online Master’s in Crime Scene Investigation Programs

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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.

What’s Next?

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.