Thanks to the success of shows like CSI, forensics-based college degrees and course programs are becoming ever more attractive. It’s slightly more important that even employers are interested in graduates that have these qualifications — so whether you want to swab blood for the Miami Dade Police or investigate stabbings with the NYPD, your best options are listed here. For more options, see more brilliant institutions here.

 

1. University Of California (Davis).


As the only provider of the degree in Forensic Science within the University of California system, this college offers an MS in forensic science with a specialization in criminalistics or DNA analysis. What’s more? It also provides (in our opinion) a highly-necessary foundation in the preparation of evidence and courtroom testimony.

And finally — and some would argue, rather critically — it achieves a high employment rating — some 85 percent of graduates from UCAL have gone on to be employed within the forensic field.

 

2. Boston Sate University (Boston, MA).


This University offers (1) one of the US’s few forensic courses taught at a major medical center and (2) masters-level research with an exceptional variety of forensics-related courses: bloodstain pattern analysis, forensic pathology and toxicology.

 

3. Syracuse University, New York.


Syracuse provides several degrees including Forensics (MS) and Forensic Science and Law (MS/JD). It has a rather comprehensive internship program, including placements or arrangements with the CIA, FBI and New York State Police. Worth noting: it was also listed as a 2011 “Best Northeastern College” by the Princeton Review.

 

4. George Washington University, Washington D.C.


George Washington (or “GW”) has a long-established forensics faculty — it was established in 1968. The Department at George Washington University proffers three principle degree concentrations: forensic chemistry, forensic molecular biology and forensic toxicology, as well as an MSc in Crime Scene Investigation for the able and willing.

 

5. Ohio University (Athens, OH).


Allegedly one of the longest-running forensics programs in the country, you should expect value-for-money at Ohio University. This college offers a rather wide array of employment opportunities and placements throughout the course. As the University itself is quick to point out, of those graduating with a science degree, an impressive 96 percent go on to employment.

 

And a last word of advice.

Each college has specific entrance requirements depending on which degree program you are interested in, what your goals and interests are, and what financial needs you have. Each school has an admissions information page that will answer most questions you will have, and after you have gone through them, go ahead and contact the guidance counselor or admissions specialist by using the contact information. They will be able to guide you specifically to a program that fits your skills, background and ambitions, and provide information on courses, living accommodations, special programs, fees, scholarships and perhaps even work-study programs.

These five schools are our top picks, but there are dozens of other colleges and universities in the US and the UK which offer programs in at least one of the forensic specialty areas. One of your top skills as a forensic specialist will be doing research. Flex those skills by searching out schools and programs that will suit your needs. And once you have your degree and are situated in your career, keep in touch with us, share interesting cases you will be involved with, and help us guide others like yourselves to a successful career in forensics.

 

Your Turn: Think we’ve missed your alma mater? Keen to point it out, are we? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear from you.

About The Author

Forensic Outreach has long been a dynamic and active part of classrooms throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. It was conceived as part of UCL’s Widening Participation programme in 2002 to introduce forensic science as an integrative and cross-disciplinary approach to science education.

34 Responses

    • Douglas Filter

      Hello Kiera, thanks for your comment. Your answer depends on which school you are applying to, and where you are in your educational journey at the moment. As you can see from the variety of forensic career options we are listing (forensic toxicology, forensic anthropology, etc.), different fields require different areas of preparation. Look at the various choices and see what attracts you the most, based on your interests and skills. Then, do searches on the schools that offer those courses in your country, and contact them. Counselors at the various schools are well prepared to take you through all of the criteria based on your aspirations and your circumstances.

      Reply
  1. Akash Navnath Gaikwad

    I like a Forensic Sience an careear in forensic.

    Reply
  2. Merewai Motea

    How much will it cost to study forensic analytic science in USCAL or Syracuse University, for how many years and what r the requirements to study there for a Fijian student like me?

    Reply
    • Douglas Filter

      Hello Merewai, thank you for your interest. We think that you will enjoy a career in Forensics, and it can be a very rewarding practice. As for the schools, your special circumstances and background will have an impact on what the costs, requirements and decisions you will have to make.

      While we could give you a brief overview, it would still be an extensive list and maybe not hit the points that are most interesting for you. Go to the website for the schools you are interested in – they are quite easy to find – and they have extensive information for new students, including guidelines about fees. Better yet, use one of the links on the school admissions pages to contact a guidance counselor. They will be very happy to work with you, perhaps even offering you options that are not published, and that we would not be privy to.

      Good luck with your career, and keep in touch with us about your experiences and ultimately, the interesting cases in which you will be involved.

      Reply
    • Douglas Filter

      Thanks for reading our articles, and thanks for your inquiry. Your question is pretty broad, and therefore will be difficult to answer succinctly. Each of the schools we mentioned in this article, and dozens of others which offer forensic programs have different criteria and fees. You can easily find the school web sites using Google or your favorite browser search engine.

      Start with the top five we show you here. Each has an admissions page for potential students which will give you all of the most current criteria and usually fee structure. These pages may also give you advice on financial aid or scholarships. While we could give you general information for a few of the schools, we would have to look them up ourselves, and without knowing what your specific interest is, or your background, we could spend a lot of time giving you info that would not be appropriate.

      Once you find a school by doing your research (a very valuable forensic skill in its own right) you will automatically filter what you discover by focusing on what you want. Once you have narrowed your choices down, contact the school counselor listed on the admissions page. That person is the right one to give you everything you need to know to make good choices. Good luck, and we hope to see you in practice one day.

      Reply
  3. Kedar Upadhyaya

    Please give the details on the admission criteria at Washington and Ohio for masters in forensic science. Also, if possible, give the details on tuition fees and others for an international student for the above colleges.

    Reply
    • Douglas Filter

      Hello Kedar,

      Thanks for your inquiry. As I have mentioned to others, above, with your specific question, the best way for you to discover admission criteria is to visit the web pages of the colleges that interest you. There are very detailed facts that should be considered against your needs, qualifications and financial situation. While we could give you a list of facts that may or may not be pertinent, unless we know your specific wants, that answer would exceed the length of the article we wrote as a short guide to some schools we respect.

      Use your research skills (you will need them in your forensics career) and look up the admissions pages, better yet, contact the admissions counselor to discuss how you would fit and how the college could serve you. All of that info is readily available on the school’s web site.

      Good luck, and we hope that you fulfill the promise that these educational institutions can provide for you!

      Reply
  4. Paige Kramar

    I am interested in forensic science with the ambition of eventually joining the FBI and working for their Behavioral Analyst Unit. Which area of forensics study would be best suited for this and would it be helpful for me to attend a university in Washington, D.C.? If so, what schools would you recommend?

    Reply
    • The Forensic Outreach Team

      Dear Paige,

      The programs you will want to investigate will relate to forensic psychology. There are quite a few good schools with programs in that field, and I suggest you search for that topic and see which ones best fit your needs. Once you have finished your bachelor’s degree, you may want to contact the FBI or another agency for an internship, and you will certainly want to apply for advanced studies, a doctorate or masters to set you ahead of your competition.

      There are programs in DC ranging from one at Argosy University to a master’s degree program at George Washington University at the Center for Professional Psychology there. You would need an undergraduate program in psychology initially.

      You have noble goals. It will take a lot of hard work, but your career will be quite rewarding. Good luck.

      Reply
  5. Abigail

    Hi, can you please make a list of the top 10-15 colleges for forensic chemistry please?
    Thanks

    Reply
  6. Amar Kumar

    Hello,

    I am an international graduate student currently enrolled in Maters in Biotechnology and chemical sciences but trensfreeing to Forensic science just for the sake of my intrest in Forensics, i want to inquire regarding the jobs for the international students after having a master degree in forensic sciences becaoz most of the job sector is composed under govt. bodies , so whats the prospective of getting a job?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Douglas Filter

      Hello Amar,

      Your question is a good one, and depends on a lot of personal things that only you can know. Employers will want to see about your expertise and skills, your school performance, whether or not you have taken on an internship and many other factors in determining whether or not to hire you. However, it seems that you want to know if someone with a visa (like an H1 visa for working in the US) can be hired by a government agency. Different agencies have different regulations and restrictions. Some employers, if your performance is superb, may help you with the work visa application. However, each job will have different requirements. It will be best to go to the source. Find an agency that is listing a job that you are interested in. Contact them, explain your circumstances and ask them what the requirements are for a person with your qualifications and immigration status. Your college job counselors will also be able to help. With an expertise in science and a Masters in forensic science, you should have good prospects of landing the job you want.

      Reply
  7. Albert Lara

    Hello, I’ve been interested in the Criminal Justice/ Forensic Science field for a while now, and I’m curious as to what are the different types of FS fields (anthropology, pathology.) Could you please tell me which types of FS fields are there, and possibly a brief description. I’d really appreciate it.

    Reply
    • Douglas Filter

      Hello Albert, We have already done that for you – and all of our readers! Look under our menu tab entitled “Forensic Science Colleges”. We have articles on how to become a Forensic Toxicologist, a Forensic Anthropologist, Ecologist, Pathologist and much more. Take a look and see what is appealing to you. There is also great information in our articles about internships, colleges (like the one you just read) and a lot more. Good luck in your new career.

      Reply
  8. shashikumar

    i am intrsed in forenssic science please call me what is the percentage required

    Reply
    • Douglas Filter

      Hello Shashikumar,

      Since we only report on the colleges and programs, and have no control over admissions or acceptance, we suggest that you contact the colleges you are interested in directly. Find out which ones appeal to you, then Google the admissions page. If your questions aren’t answered by the extensive information they post, contact them directly. Remember, doing quality and concentrated research to get the right answers is one of the best skills a forensic scientist will apply. use those skills and capture your career.

      Best luck

      Reply
  9. Camilla Ace Villamin

    Which school specializes more in training students who want to be a Crime laboratory analyst? Thanks

    Reply
    • Douglas Filter

      Hi Camilla,

      Crime labs contain many different scientists who have different specialties, depending on many factors – larger cities will have more work, unfortunately, than small towns and therefore will have more staff to cover certain specialties. Different countries will have certain procedures that can only be done by people with certain credentials. In a small town and a less funded lab, a generalist would have to know how to do primary analysis depending on what is traditionally needed and what lab equipment is available. Without a DNA sequencer, a Horizontal and vertical electrophoresis system, and a spectrophotometer (all very expensive devices) to do DNA searches, the lab will be sending DNA samples out to an independent lab.

      So, working backwards from the workplace, the schools we have found and written about in this and other articles have training programs for forensic specialties, all of which will give you skills to work in some area of analysis. Look at our articles about becoming a forensic specialist in pathology, anthropology, ecology, toxicology (we have more specialties coming up) and see what makes sense, which field is most attractive to you.

      This brings us to the schools. All of the schools we have reviewed specialize in training students to become successful in a forensic career. The difference is in geographic location and what programs are more emphasized. Only you know what your desires are and what interests move you, so go to Google and find each school to discover their program emphasis and specialty areas that match what you want. Then, send in your applications to all schools that fit your criteria.

      Good luck in your career.

      Reply
  10. Sudheer Balla

    First of all thank u for helping all the aspiring students regarding forensic courses. I’m Sudheer Balla from India. I graduated BDS in 2009, and after that I did my masters in Forensic Odontology (MFOdont) in september 2013 from University of Dundee, Scotland, UK. Currently I’m pursuing PG Diploma in Criminal Justice and Forensic Science from University of Hyderabad, India.

    I’m writing this comment with great interest of mine in forensics in order to extend my expertise more into forensics by pursuing career either in forensic biology or forensic anthropology. I would like to know about the course eligibility requirements and let me know in general whether I’m eligible to apply for these courses or not.

    I would also like to know whether any of the universities offering PhD courses in forensic sciences

    Regards
    Sudheer Balla

    Reply
    • Douglas Filter

      Congratulations on your achievements so far, Sudheer. Looks like you have come a long way and have a bright future ahead of you. As far as eligibility, course requirements and your personal eligibility, we don’t have that information for any of the schools we have mentioned as we are not an admissions office. Contact the ones we have highlighted (or search for more on your favorite search engine), go to their website and you will certainly find the answers to your questions. If not, the admissions staff can be contacted through the sites and I am sure they will be very helpful. With so many schools offering Forensic programs, and the programs evolving every day, we simply cannot keep track of all of them. Plus, we are busy working on other articles and subjects you will find quite interesting as you pursue your career. Keep coming back, and good luck with your career.

      Reply
  11. Thara

    Hi There!

    In India, the total years of education is 15 years (except for professional engg / med courses) before Masters against the 16 years commonly seen in US. So by the time you are done with a Bachelor of forensic science program, student would have completed 15 years of education. So could you please let me know if there are universities that accept 15 years of education for Masters in Forensic science?

    Thanks in advance,
    Thara

    Reply
    • Douglas Filter

      Hello Thara, Admissions officers at individual schools will look at your course work and make a determination about how your credits will exchange and what will match their credits and which courses may not. It is up to the individual school, so contact the ones you like and introduce yourself. Good luck!

      Reply
  12. jayraj

    I think my question is odd…
    Sry…
    But… I’m in india..
    I’m a bachelor student of forensic…
    Ryt now I’m in second year…of forensic…
    I want to do M.sc.forensic in usa
    So can you tell me some name of college????
    And after complete m.sc. in usa can i do jobe in usa???
    Plese…answer me….
    I hope you can understand…

    Reply
    • Douglas Filter

      Hello Jayraj,

      Congratulations on your field of study. Yes, there are programs that offer Masters in Forensic studies here in the US. Read through my answers to questions like yours in the inquiries above. You can do a Google or Bing search for “Masters Forensics Programs US” and will get back a wide range of programs. Boston University, Michigan State are only two of the 137 Universities which offer masters programs in Forensic Science. While doing your basic research, look at the transfer requirements, costs for international students, financial assistance and placement services to help you get that job when you finish school. Good luck!

      Reply
  13. Lt Col Md Abdus Samad Al-Azad

    Respected Sir,
    With due respect & humble submission I would to info u that I am Lt Col Md Abdus Samad Al-Azad of Bangladesh Army. I completed my MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery) course from Sir Salimullah Medical College (in ranking 2nd best Medical College) in Bangladesh in 1996. Then I joined in Bangladesh Army in 1st January 1998. After that I obtained two degrees in Forensic science one is Diploma in Forensic Medicine (DFM) & another is Member of college of physicians & surgeons (MCPS). I stood first in both the courses. Another two degrees I have taken at my own interest one is FCGP & another is CCD.
    I am interested in molecular biology/Fingerprinting of forensic science with the ambition of eventually joining the FBI . Which area of forensic study would be best suited for this, Sir? I am Bangladeshi by born & want to study by scholarship, Would you please help me in this field sir?
    Profound regards
    Lt Col (Dr) Md Abdus Samad Al-Azad
    alazad955@yahoo.com
    +8801741026837

    Reply
  14. DJAN KINGSFORD

    I am graduate from Ghana who pursue BSc in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in University of Cape Coast, Ghana who really wants to be a forensic scientist to help my country Ghana and the nation as a whole. I would be glad if you help me further my education to highest level.I have been at home since completing school and not doing anything at home. There is hardship and Ghana and I would be glad if helped. Thank you and hoping to hear from you at your earliest convenience?

    Reply
  15. T. Marie

    Im in my junion year of High School and im interested in Forensic Pathologys. Can you advise what are the best undergraduate schools in the North East USA. What are the best courses I should begin to take in college.

    Thank you

    Reply
  16. vineesha

    there is a good future for forensic in u.s.a tell me sir .give me best suggestion to change my life

    Reply
    • Douglas Filter

      Hi Vineesha,
      While this article is a great place to start, we have many other articles on this site that will also guide you.

      Good luck with your career!

      Reply
  17. Natalie

    I feel like I’m over stressing myself with trying to figure out this whole college app stuff. I’m a junior in high school and have aspired to have a career in forensics for the longest of times but now I’m conflicted. I have researched and requested information from numerous schools that offer forensics programs but they all seem to be different. Some say forensic chemistry others fall under the category of forensics/CSI. Is there a big difference? What would be the correct major for an aspiring forensic technician?

    Reply
    • The Forensic Outreach Team

      Hi Natalie,

      Thanks for writing!

      First of all, don’t stress – you’ve come to precisely the right place. There are general forensic science degrees, and more specific degrees in forensic chemistry. The general degrees will give you a wider introduction all kinds of forensic science topics and issues – crime scene investigation, trace evidence (e.g. fingerprinting) and other specialties.

      The forensic chemistry degree will usually give you training through the lens of chemistry – with specific relation to chemistry – so you will have access to modules that are specific to chemistry as a core subject (e.g. toxicology or drug testing, arson investigation, etc).

      A more targeted degree is generally preferable. If you want to give us more information about the profession you want to pursue and the programmes you’re looking at, we’d be happy to help.

      Reply

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