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Top Forensic Science Colleges in the United States

Higher Education Articles February 14, 2013

Criminal investigators rely on the analysis of evidence from the assistance of forensic scientists who use lab tests and specialized equipment to provide such evidence. Many leading colleges in the United States offer forensic science programs approved by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC). In this article, we will take a look at some of the top forensic science colleges in the country.

Pennsylvania State University – University Park, Pennsylvania

In 2011, U.S. News & World Report rated Pennsylvania State University as the country’s 47th best college. In 2011, Princeton Review featured Penn State on its list of best northeastern colleges. The Eberly College of Science offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Forensic Science with chemistry or biology as the concentration area of study. A Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.) in Forensic Science is also offered at Penn State University. Students can become members of the Penn State Forensic Science Club among other on-campus organizations.

Syracuse University – Syracuse, New York

In 2011, Princeton Review rated Syracuse University among the best northeastern colleges. Degrees in many science fields including forensic science are offered at the college, which also offers a combined M.S./Juris Doctor (J.D.) in Forensic Science and Law and a Master of Science (M.S.) in Forensic Science; in addition to several other master degrees. While undergraduate level programs are not offered in a forensic science major by Syracuse, the field can still be explored by students as an Integrated Learning Major or as a minor field of study. To explore the field as an Integrated Learning Major, students would need twenty-five to twenty-six credits, plus a major in a related focus area such as sociology or chemistry. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, New York Police, CIA and FBI are organizations that offer internships that students can participate in.

University of California (Davis) – Davis, California

In 2011, U.S. News & World Report rated the University of California – Davis (UC Davis) among the top public universities in the United States. Princeton Review also listed the University of California – Davis among those offering the best value in public colleges as well as one of the best western colleges. Doctors, scientists, psychologists and engineers comprise the faculties at UC Davis, which also features faculties employed with the California Criminalistics Institute. A M.S. in Forensic Science with a focus on DNA Analysis or criminalistics is also offered. Coursework includes classroom lectures in methods of forensic science research, courtroom testimony, arson inspection, DNA typing and identification, and forensic science instruments and methods.

List of Ten Leading Forensic Science Schools in the United States

College/University Distinction Location of School
Boston University Only master forensics program provided via a school of medicine’s anatomy department Boston, Massachusetts
Drexel University Graduate program for working professionals without a science background and provide forensics graduate program to science majors students Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
George Washington University Graduate degree program in crime scene investigation and high technology crime investigation Washington, District of Columbia
Michigan State University Offers three concentration areas in forensic chemistry, forensic biology, and forensic anthropology East Lansing, Michigan
Ohio University – Main Campus The nation’s oldest forensic chemistry program Athens, Ohio
Pennsylvania State University – Main Campus Provides short course series and forensic science workshop University Park, Pennsylvania
State University of New York at Albany The Northeast Regional Forensic Institute DNA Academy is located at this school Albany, New York
Syracuse University Features Dialogues in Forensic Science program Syracuse, New York
University of California – Davis In 2011, Forensic science students won a national grant award Davis, California
Virginia Commonwealth University Lab courses taught in the state of Virginia’s Department of Forensic Science Lab Richmond, Virginia

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