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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Forensic Science

Majors Overview March 11, 2015

Get information about a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in Forensic Science and its education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Forensic Science

Students enrolled in Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree programs in Forensic Science gain a fundamental knowledge about criminology, including victimology, policing, the penal system, and corrections, among other subject areas. They are taught about ways of assessing and testing biological and physical evidence.

Students complete courses in mathematics and chemistry in order to acquire a strong scientific base necessary for understanding concepts in gathering and analysis of evidence. The program also includes a substantial amount of laboratory experiences that involve the use of crime scene evidence as a basis for the performance of tests and development of theories.

Education Requirements

The program ensures the academic preparation of enrolled students for the rigorous study of numerous areas of science. High school students seeking admission to the program would benefit from completing courses in calculus, biology, anatomy, and chemistry. Two-year forensic associate’s degree programs are available at some schools and allow students to transfer to a four-year degree program upon completion.

Coursework

The coursework of Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree programs in Forensic Science covers a broad range of subjects. Students learn about the responses of the human body to trauma and the environmental degradation of evidence. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Human anatomy
•Anthropology
•Pathology
•Organic chemistry
•Physics

Career Choices

Those who complete a bachelor’s degree program in forensic science may look into entry-level careers with crime labs and law enforcement agencies. Graduate study may also be used to augment the degree; aspiring medical examiners may choose to combine a medical degree with a degree in forensic science. Students may opt for career options such as:

•FBI agent
•Crime scene investigator
•Police officer
•Forensic pathologist

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth rate of 19% has been predicted for forensic science technicians, including crime scene investigators, over the 2010 – 2020 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The need for timely forensic information within the law enforcement field drives this growth. In May 2012, detectives and criminal investigators brought home $45,740 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Those who complete a bachelor’s program may pursue continuing education by earning master’s degrees or post-graduate certificates in forensic science. Employers for management-level positions in crime labs often seek candidates with a graduate degree in forensic science.

Continuing education courses for professional development and forensic science certifications are available through the American Board of Criminalistics and the American College of Forensic Examiners International.

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