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.