What Schools Have Forensic Science Degrees in Pennsylvania?

Learn about forensic science degrees in Pennsylvania. Get information about degrees available and admission and program requirements to make an informed decision about your education. Schools offering Forensic Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Universities and 4-year colleges have forensic science degree programs in Pennsylvania. These programs are offered at the bachelor's and master's degree levels. Bachelor's programs take four years to complete and may include hands-on coursework or an internship. Master's degree programs take two years to complete and may include research papers. Below are some of the schools that offer forensic science degree programs in Pennsylvania. Continue reading to learn more and see if any of these programs will fit your educational goals.


Bachelor's Degree Forensic Science Programs in Pennsylvania

Mercyhurst College

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Applied Forensic Sciences
  • Field of Study Options: Forensic biology, forensic anthropology or forensic chemistry and toxicology
  • Program Length: Four years
  • Tuition: About $8,600 for 8-12 credit hours full-time, about 900 per additional credit (2011-2012 Erie Campus)
  • Prerequisites: College preparatory courses (16 units) - four English, two foreign language, two science (one lab), three math and five social sciences
  • Requirements: Application, high school transcript, ACT or SAT scores, letter of recommendation, personal statement and an interview
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit with an approximately 4,400 total student population (about 4,000 undergraduates)
  • Address: Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute, Mercyhurst College, 501 East 38th Street, Erie, PA 16546-0001
  • Phone: 814-824-2105

In this applied degree program, you learn to recognize physical evidence at a crime scene and to document each piece of evidence. You may take courses in math, geology, physics, chemistry, biology and anthropology. You may also get hands-on experience through fieldwork and labs, such as criminalistics, environmental evidence and GIS (geographic information systems). Other courses that you may take include fire science, investigation of a death scene, forensic photography, microbial genetics and spectral interpretation.

Pennsylvania State University

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Field of Study Options: Biology or chemistry
  • Program Length: Four years
  • Tuition: Freshmen and sophomore about $15,100 per academic year, junior and senior about $16,300 per academic year (effective fall 2011) for University Park campus (fees are set in July)
  • Prerequisites: Required high school courses in English, social studies, foreign language, science and math, achieve C or better in chemistry 110, chemistry 111, chemistry 112, forensic science 210 and math 140 and a cumulative GPA of 2.0
  • Requirements: Application, SAT or ACT scores, GPA, class rank, activities list and personal statement
  • School Type: 4-year, public with a student population of approximately 45,200 (with about 38,600 undergraduates)
  • Address: Forensic Science, Eberly College of Science, 107 Whitmore Lab, University Park, PA 16802
  • Phone: 814-867-2465

The forensic bachelor's program is interdisciplinary, and the program itself has the American Academy of Forensic Science accreditation (one of only 38 programs). You would study forensic statistics, criminalistics, courtroom proceedings, forensic chemistry and CSI (criminal scene investigation) principles.

York College of Pennsylvania

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry
  • Program Length: Four years
  • Tuition: $14,900 per academic year or about $7,500 per semester (fall 2012 and spring 2013)
  • Prerequisites: High school courses in English, social studies, algebra, geometry, laboratory science and foreign languages
  • Requirements: SAT and ACT scores
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit with approximately 5,600 total student population (about 5,300 undergraduate students)
  • Address: 441 Country Club Rd, York, PA 17403-3651
  • Phone: 717-846-7788

You would take courses in criminalistics, processing crime scenes, forensic lab, general physics, calculus, inorganic chemistry and a forensic internship. You would learn to analyze and examine evidence using your analytical skills, as well as advanced instrumentation. Upon completion of the program, you may find a position as a crime-lab chemist for the police or a federal agency. Alternatively, you may enroll in graduate school or work for a research facility.


Master's Degree Programs in Pennsylvania

Drexel University

  • Program Name: Master of Science in Forensic Science
  • Field of Study Options: Molecular biology, clinical forensic medicine or criminalistics
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Tuition: about $21,600 for 2011-2012 academic year
  • Prerequisites: Strong science background, courses in physics, organic chemistry, chemistry and biology and undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0
  • Requirements: Application, transcripts, GRE and/or MCAT scores and three reference letters
  • School Type: 4-year private, not-for-profit (about 23,600 total student population (about 14,000 undergraduates))
  • Address: Drexel University College of Medicine, Office of Professional Studies in the Health Sciences, 245 North 15th Street, Mail Stop 344, Philadelphia, PA 19102-1192
  • Phone: 215-762-4674

In this program, you'd learn about forensic sciences' legal, biological and physical applications inside the system of criminal justice. You may take courses in analysis of latent prints, tool marks or blood patterns, microbiology, DNA analysis, autopsy, traumatology and chemical terrorism, depending on which concentration you choose. The program also includes internships, allowing you to meet other professionals working in forensics.

Pennsylvania State University

  • Program Name: Masters of Professional Studies in Forensic Science
  • Field of Study Options: Chemistry or biology
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Tuition: About $17,200 per academic year (effective fall 2011) University Park campus (tuition fees determined in July)
  • Requirements: Application, fee, college transcripts, letter of intent, two reference letters, curriculum vitae, one page essay on the meaning of 'ethics', GRE (at least 306) and interview
  • School Type: 4-year, public with an approximate student population of 45,200 (with about 38,600 undergraduates)
  • Address: Forensic Science, Eberly College of Science, 107 Whitmore Lab, University Park, PA 16802
  • Phone: 814-867-2465

Penn State's master's in forensic science program is one of five professional master's in forensic science in the U.S. You can engage in independent research through this program. You would be required to write a publishable paper on the results and present the paper orally. Core courses include courtroom proceedings, criminalistics principles, drug chemistry, toxicology, forensic science ethics and a research project. You may also take chromatography, electrochemistry and molecular biology, depending on your chosen track.


Career Info for Forensic Science Professionals in Pennsylvania

As a forensic science professional, you may work as a crime scene photographer, examiner of tool marks and firearms, forensic anthropologist, forensic artist, forensic biologist or forensic chemist, among other professions (which may require additional specialized education). You may work for a variety of employers, including government agencies, law firms, consulting firms and police departments. You may be self-employed and work as a consultant or an expert witness.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not keep regional statistics for the state of Pennsylvania for forensic science technicians; however, the BLS reported that forensic science technicians nation-wide made a median salary of about $52,000 as of May 2011. The BLS also anticipated a 19% increase in jobs for forensic science technicians over the decade 2010-2020.

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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