Forensic Toxicology Colleges

As a forensic toxicologist, you study toxic substances, such as poison or drugs, that were involved in a crime. Read about your options for studying forensic toxicology at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and explore some of the courses you'd take. Review the certification options for forensic toxicologists. Schools offering Biology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Is There Such A Thing as a Forensic Toxicology School?

According to the Society of Forensic Toxicologists, forensic toxicology is divided into four primary disciplines. These are postmortem toxicology, human performance toxicology, doping control and forensic workplace drug testing (http://soft-tox.org). Because of the diverse nature of the field, forensic toxicology instruction is addressed in different ways by different universities, depending on how they view the field or if they emphasize a certain discipline. As such, you can find programs leading to a degree in forensic toxicology at various educational departments of graduate schools within a university. Included among these departments are medicine, natural sciences, criminal justice, arts and sciences, health science, pharmacology, physiological sciences or even veterinary medicine.

Can I Earn an Undergraduate Degree in the Field?

There are some schools that offer programs leading to a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science or Bachelor of Science in Forensic and Toxicological Chemistry, in which you may be required to serve an internship. However, if you earn an undergraduate degree majoring in biology, chemistry, pharmacology, clinical chemistry or a related area, you may qualify for admission to a graduate program in forensic toxicology.

Choosing a school accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accrediting Commission (FEPAC) of the American Academy of Forensic Science AAFS can be beneficial.

What Graduate Degrees or Certificates Are Available to Me?

A Master of Science in Forensic Science is the most common degree offered by universities. Within that program, you may be able to concentrate in a specialty such as forensic toxicology or criminalistics. The AAFS lists a number of FEPAC-accredited schools. The AAFS also presents a more extensive list of undergraduate and graduate programs, not all of which are accredited; this list can help you locate applicable programs, but you should research the schools to ensure that you find one that meets your criteria.

A graduate certificate in forensic toxicology is offered by some schools to individuals who are already working in crime labs, medical examiner's offices, environmental protection agencies, police departments, law firms, government offices or counseling services. You might qualify for a certificate program if you hold at least an undergraduate degree in an appropriate major.

Some schools offer online programs leading to graduate certificates as well as master's degrees in forensic toxicology. Schools generally deliver these programs by way of a combination of online and DVD instruction.

Does Earning a Degree Mean I'm Certified?

The short answer to this question is 'no.' However, you don't need certification to practice as a forensic toxicologist. While it's voluntary, it's probably a good idea for you to apply for certification when you're able to meet the eligibility requirements. Certification attests to your education and experience and may increase your chances of employment. Administered by the American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT), you'll need at least an appropriate bachelor's degree from an ABFT-approved school and three years experience in the field, in order to qualify to sit for the certification exam.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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