Which Schools Have Forensic Science Degrees in California?
Learn about forensic science degree programs in California. See degree and specialization options, program requirements and courses, and get career and salary info for the region. Schools offering Forensic Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Salary and Job Outlook for Forensic Science Technicians in California
Forensic science technicians investigate crime scenes and examine physical evidence. The educational requirements for the job vary depending on your employer, though if you want to work in a laboratory environment (performing forensic analyses), you'll need to have at least a bachelor's degree.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), California employed 1,670 forensic science technicians as of 2011. Their average annual salary was almost $70,000, which is considerably higher than the national average of around $56,000. The BLS predicted a nationwide employment increase of 19% for forensic science technicians between 2010 and 2020.
Forensic Science Bachelor's Degree Programs in California
California State University - East Bay
- Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Biological Science - forensic science option
- Program Length: 4 years, full-time
- Tuition: $6,333 for full-time enrollment for CA residents; $15,261 for non-residents (costs for 2011-2012 academic year)
- Requirements: High school diploma or GED; at least a C in 4 years of English; 3 years of math; 2 years of social science or history, foreign language and lab science; 1 year of art classes; and 1 year of further coursework in any of those subject areas
- School Type: 4-year, public; approximately 10,000 undergraduate and 2,600 graduate students
- Address: 25800 Carlos Bee Boulevard, Hayward, CA 94542
- Phone: 510-885-3471
The California State University forensic science option at East Bay is a biological science program that includes study in mathematics, forensic instrumentation and criminal investigation, among other subjects. With the completion of 38 specific units, this program will also allow you to obtain a minor in chemistry. The East Bay campus is located in Hayward, which is along the east side of the San Francisco Bay about halfway between San Jose and San Francisco.
San Jose State University
- Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
- Specialization Areas: Biology, chemistry
- Program Length: 4 years, full-time
- Tuition: $2,985 for full-time enrollment for CA residents; $3,713.50 plus $372 per unit for non-residents, full-time (costs for fall 2012 semester)
- Prerequisites: Complete two of the following courses in the first 60 units of attendance to apply for forensic science major: English composition, elementary statistics, survey of forensic science and any general education class plus introductory biology or introductory chemistry
- School Type: 4-year, public; around 23,000 undergraduate and 6,100 graduate students
- Address: Justice Studies Department, One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192
- Phone: 408-924-2940
The city of San Jose has a population of almost one million and is located about 50 miles southeast of San Francisco. San Jose State's forensic science program combines the disciplines of biology, chemistry and justice studies and emphasizes the correlation among different areas of law enforcement and justice administration. The opportunity to undergo internships is included as part of the elective portion of the program. You will need to apply to declare forensic science as your major after you have been admitted to the university and completed the prerequisite units; this application process will be competitive.
Forensic Science Master's Degree Programs in California
National University - Costa Mesa
- Program Name: Master of Forensic Sciences
- Specialization Areas: Criminalistics, investigation
- Program Length: 2-3 years, full-time
- Tuition: $360 per unit
- Prerequisites: Undergraduate degree; for criminalistics specialization, degree must be in a laboratory science
- School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; approximately 6,600 undergraduate and 9,600 graduate students
- Address: 3390 Harbor Boulevard, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
- Phone: 714-429-5100
National University's Costa Mesa campus is located about 40 miles south of Los Angeles along the California coastline. In this master's program, you'll be required to specialize in one of two areas offered: the criminalistics focus includes courses on subjects such as trace evidence, forensic toxicology and DNA, while the investigation emphasis covers topics such as fingerprint analysis, criminal procedure and digital evidence. For both specializations, you will complete a research project under the supervision and direction of both full-time and additional chosen faculty.
University of California - Davis
- Program Name: Master of Science in Forensic Science
- Program Length: 2 years, full-time (3 years, part-time)
- Tuition: $555 per unit
- Prerequisites: Engineering, science or related undergraduate degree with a minimum 3.0 grade point average
- School Type: 4-year, public; about 25,000 undergraduate and 6,700 graduate students
- Address: 1333 Research Park Dr., Davis, CA 95618
- Phone: 530-747-3922
The forensic science program at the University of California - Davis offers instruction on topics such as DNA analysis, investigation of arson, materials identification and forensic statistics. The program is offered on both a full-time and part-time basis and is designed to allow you to continue working full-time if you have a job while you undergo the program. You can expect to pursue considerable topic-relevant research in this program, and you'll have the option of either developing a thesis or completing an increased amount of coursework combined with a smaller-scale research project and corresponding oral 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: