A master’s degree in forensic science is well-suited for professionals employed in crime laboratories and medical examiner’s offices looking for further education, or professionals in related areas aspiring toward a career in crime scene investigation or evidence analysis. Forensic scientists analyze physical evidence to determine significance in a criminal investigation. Forensic scientists may specialize in ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, or biochemistry. They must be detail-oriented, analytical, and capable of communicating their findings through written reports, to law enforcement workers, and sometimes in expert testimony in court.
Students can expect coursework in biology, chemistry, and mathematics. Course work may include forensic toxicology, criminalistics, instrumental analysis, and molecular biology. Further coursework may depend on specialization, but some coursework includes crime scene investigation, DNA analysis, law and ethics, and trace evidence analysis. The following are some specific courses that a forensic science graduate student may expect to take.
Degree holders can work as forensic medical examiners, crime laboratory analysts, forensic scientists and analysts. In addition, many go on to work as crime scene investigators and work with law enforcement.
Yes. The key is to find an accredited program that suits your specific scheduling needs.
Most online degrees are accepted by employers and universities. Many highly respected programs now offer online degrees.
A master’s in forensic science takes around 2 years to complete. However, some students complete their degrees faster by taking more credit hours.
A career in forensic science isn’t the most financially lucrative path, but it is undeniably valuable. In addition, it allows forensic scientists to help solve crimes.
Students in this master degree program can expect careers as scientists, administrators, and other professional employment in crime laboratories, medical examiner’s offices, and public safety areas. Forensic scientists are mainly employed by county and state governments and federal agencies. Forensic science technicians undergo extensive training on the job before working cases independently.
For more more resources and career information related to this degree, please read our career guide here.