Which Colleges Offer a Crime Scene Investigation Degree and Training?
Do you have a desire to help solve crimes? Would you like to learn the skills needed to investigate and sort through clues and other information relevant to police inquiry? Forensic science and crime scene investigation are two fields that may interest you. You'll need to complete a bachelor's degree program and potentially graduate-level programs to become adept at the skills required. Schools offering Forensic Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Should I Look for in a School to Train to Become a Crime Scene Investigator?
The broader field of education generally implied by the term 'crime scene investigation' is the area of forensic science, in which scientific study is used to determine the details of criminal, or other legally relevant, activity. When selecting a school, you have some flexibility based on whether you want to focus on specific aspects of forensic investigation or the broader criminal justice procedures involved. Forensic chemistry and forensic biology are two areas of emphasis in many programs, so you might want to search for a school that has one or the other, depending upon your desired path. Whatever your decision, you should make sure the school provides knowledgeable faculty and hands-on opportunities.
What Are Three of the Top Schools for Crime Scene Investigation?
Loyola University New Orleans
With one of the oldest criminal justice departments in the south and a competitive chemistry department, Loyola University New Orleans offers multiple avenues for becoming involved with forensic science and crime scene investigation. You can learn about the criminal justice system through undergraduate programs or a specialized graduate program in forensic science administration that aims to oversee and equip investigators to more efficiently gather and analyze data. You can also earn a bachelor's degree specializing in forensic chemistry, which involves a six-week internship at a local crime laboratory. The official program titles are:
- Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry
- Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in forensic science
- Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration: Forensic Science Administration
Pennsylvania State University in University Park, PA
One of just 15 schools accredited by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), Pennsylvania State University offers thorough programs in forensic science at the undergraduate and graduate levels. You'll delve into subject matter such as hair and fiber analysis, DNA testing and the collection of skeletal remains. As an undergraduate, you can also choose a biology or chemistry track. Program graduates can seek out employment with the federal government in areas such as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, or with private organizations like insurance companies and forensic laboratories that assist regional law enforcement. Program titles include:
- Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
- Master of Professional Studies in Forensic Science
Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI
MSU's School of Criminal Justice has offered a forensic science major since 1946. Another AAFS-accredited program, it is the oldest forensic science program in the nation.
MSU's Master of Science in Forensic Science degree program has two tracks that can prepare you to become a crime scene investigator or forensic scientist. In the forensic chemistry track, students engage in active research concerning methods of trace evidence detection. The forensic biology track is concerned with the analysis of biological components, such as DNA. While human biological substances are the main focus, specimens from other animals are also studied in order to determine facts surrounding endangered or at-risk species. The program also allows you to undertake an internship at a local or state crime lab.
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: