Bachelors in Forensic Science

Forensic psychology is an exciting field that incorporates scientific research into the workings of the human brain with knowledge of the law. Individuals who obtain bachelor’s degrees in this major may work in law enforcement, academic settings, mental health institutions, correctional facilities, and may be called to testify in court cases. Individuals who have four-year bachelor’s degrees may work under the supervision of a psychologist with a doctorate degree.

B.S. in Forensic Science – Objectives

The discipline applies scientific means to analyze physical evidence gathered at the scene of a crime. Forensic science is an interdisciplinary academic field wherein courses from natural sciences like biology, chemistry and physics are taught to students along with courses from criminal justice and law.

A bachelor of science in forensic science prepares students for entry-level positions within the vast field of criminal justice and science. It also helps them advance in their chosen careers.

General Admission Requirements

  • Cumulative GPA in grades 9 through 12
  • Level of difficulty of courses selected throughout high school
  • Counselor recommendation and secondary school report
  • Personal statement
  • SAT Reasoning Test or ACT
  • TOEFL score for non-native English-speaking applicants

Degree Requirements

Like other degrees, a bachelor in Forensic science is a 4-year full-time degree. Some universities may offer the degree in general or in specific tracks like biochemistry or analysis.

Students in the biochemistry track for the first two years will take general courses in English, math, and history with introductory courses in chemistry, biology, physics and forensic science. Some of the core courses required in the freshman and sophomore years may be titled as:

  • Chemistry Fundamentals I-II
  • Organic Chemistry I-II
  • Physics for Engineers and Scientists I-II
  • Calculus with Analytical Geometry I-II

In the junior and senior years, forensic science students may be required to take courses in:

  • Immunology
  • Immunology Lab
  • Forensic Microscopy
  • Genetics
  • Genetics Lab
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry Lab
  • Forensic Science in the Courtroom
  • Biochemistry I-II
  • Forensic Biochemistry I-II
  • Molecular Biology I-II
  • Forensic Biochemistry Lab

Students in the analysis tracks may take core courses in freshman and sophomore years similar to the biochemistry track.

As junior and seniors, students may take courses titled as:

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry Lab
  • Trace Evidence
  • Applied Physical Chemistry
  • Forensic Evidence of Controlled Substances
  • Fundamentals of Technical Presentations

Why pursue bachelors in forensic science?

A bachelor in forensic science may prepare you to qualify for the following careers:

  • Forensic science technicians
  • Police officers especially crime scene investigators
  • Crime scene investigators (non-police officers)

Forensic science technicians, for example, are both academically qualified and with on-the-job training to collect and analyze physical evidence(s) taken from a crime scene. Forensic science technicians may specialize in laboratory analysis or crime scene investigation.

Those who prefer outdoor work in all types of weather may prefer to specialize as crime scene investigators. They may have to travel quite frequently. Crime scene investigators have a specific jurisdiction which may include cities, counties and states. They also work long hours, including weekends.

Those who prefer an in-door work environment may prefer to specialize as laboratory analysts or criminalistics. As compared to crime scene investigators, lab analysts work regular and predictable work schedule. They, however, may have to be on call. Their scope of work includes identifying evidence and then linking it to the crime including the victim and suspect.

Criminalistics sift through evidence and separate important pieces from less or no value. They use chemicals and other instruments to draw information from evidence for an investigation leading to a trial. Findings are then conveyed to other departments like the district attorney’s office, police department, etc. Findings are conveyed in the form of written reports. They may also testify in a trial. In addition to their scientific skills, their communication skills also matter a lot since their findings are often presented before juries, attorneys and judges, often made up of men and women of non-technical academic backgrounds.

Other career options for forensic scientists with B.S. in forensic science

Questioned documents – The document examiners scientifically examine a document which is evidence in a crime. They examine the ink on the document, paper, printer from which it was printed, photocopy machine and/or the fax machine which was used to fax the document. They also testify during trials as experts to answer the following questions:

  • Description of the paper
  • Was the pen or pencil used to write the document?
  • Was anything erased or added to the original text?
  • Has this document been altered?
  • Is this a true signature on the check?
  • Who wrote this document?

Licenses, Certifications and Apprenticeships

Licenses and certifications are usually not a requirement to enter this field. However in the case of document examiners, a 2-year apprenticeship offered by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, may be mandatory.

What can I do with this degree?

You can work for crime laboratories, medical examiner or coroners’ offices, morgues and police departments and offices.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), forensic science technicians earned a yearly median salary of $52,840 in 2012.

Important Qualities for Forensic Scientists

Before enrolling in any of the institutes offering forensic science degrees, students need to have the following qualities.

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Math and science skills
  • Detail oriented
  • Critical-thinking skills
  • Composure
  • Communication skills

How long does it take to get a Bachelor’s in Forensic Science?

A bachelor’s degree in Forensic science would typically take 4 years to complete, with full time study. If you go for part-time study options with weekend or evening classes, you might be able to complete the degree in less than or more than the standard 4 years. Online programs may also allow you to set your own pace.

What are the requirements to get a Bachelor’s in Forensic Science?

To get a bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science, students will have to complete coursework in anatomy, molecular biology, chemistry, lab sciences and biochemistry. Students will be required to develop an understanding of various areas of criminal justice and criminal law, along with skills such as public speaking. To get admission into a bachelor’s in forensic science program, students will need to have at least a high school diploma, along with a certain number of prerequisite science courses, depending on the college.

How much can I make with a Bachelor’s in Forensic Science?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, forensic science technicians made a median pay of $58,230 per year in 2018. The typical entry level education for this occupation was a bachelor’s degree. The number of jobs available for forensic science technicians was 15,400 in 2016, with the number expected to grow by 17% by the year 2026.

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:How long is the Bachelors in Forensics program?

A:The Bachelors in a Forensics program takes around 4 years to complete. There are around 120 credits in this program and can be studied online as well. However, if you have a certificate or an associate's degree in similar qualification you might get exemptions from courses of the Bachelors in Forensics program. Exemptions would definitely mean lesser time taken to complete the bachelors degree.

Q:Is the job outlook for forensic psychologists positive or not?

A:The job outlook for forensic psychologists is quite positive and it is projected that the career prospects for these skilled professionals are likely to rise by 20% through 2014. The competition in this field has increased a lot over the past few years and students with advanced level degrees such as the master's or doctoral level degrees in forensic psychology are getting the most rewarding career opportunities in this field.

Q:What kind of security and forensic bachelor's degree jobs are out there?

A:If you have received a bachelor's degree in security and forensic science, you will be primed for a career in the criminal justice sector. This means you can apply for jobs within law enforcement agencies like the police as well as government agencies such as the CIA, FBI and Department of Defense.

Q:While going through forensic bachelor careers, I came across the program Business Computer Information System - Computer Forensics. What does it teach?

A:While looking for Forensic Bachelor careers, people often chose Business Computer Information System - Computer Forensics program. This program includes a detailed study of research and criminal investigation through various data that can be accessed through the computers. These are collected for evidences and other stuff that is required in the investigation of the crime.

Q:What are the contents of the course on Criminal Behavior in the Bachelor in Forensic Science in Kansas City MO?

A:The Bachelor in Forensic Science in Kansas City MO have a dedicated course on Criminal Behavior. This course is worth 4 credits. This course trains the students how to study the functionality of a criminal mind. This course is designed to also provide the students with understanding of the crime causation and the drug trafficking.

Q:What can i do with a bachelor degree in forensic science degree?

A:With a bachelor degree in forensic science, you can look forward to a forensic scientist career. These professionals work at crime scenes and help analyze data and evidence. Forensic scientists are required to work with other law enforcement specialist such as police officers and detectives. The income level for this job will depend upon factors such as experience and skills.

Q:Can you tell me about online bachelor's degree in forensic science?

A:Bachelor's degree in forensic science is a comprehensive study of four years in criminal evidence analysis. With online programs, the degree can be completed in a shorter duration of time as these courses are self paced. The material is shared with the student via web. It is a more convenient and cost efficient mode of learning.

Q:Can you give me some information about bachelors in forensic science jobs?

A:Forensic scientists play a key role in resolving crimes and assisting law enforcement agencies. These professionals help collect data from crime scenes and analyze findings. A bachelor degree is a minimum requirement for joining this profession. This degree program is offered by many campus based forensic schools and online schools.

Q:Can you tell me about the specializations offered in bachelor's forensic science?

A:Bachelor's degree in forensic science helps students to make a career in crime scene investigations. The program allows students to select from a number of specializations, depending on their interest. Major specializations in the degree include forensic pathology, forensic dentistry, forensic engineering, and forensic psychology. Students should look for accredited programs that offer specialization in forensic science.

Q:What is a bachelors in forensic science and what does it basically lead to?

A:A bachelor degree in forensic science is a undergraduate program and it helps ne qualify for an entry-level job in the field. You can work as a forensic science assistant or technician in crime units. You will be required to collect evidence from crime scenes, perform scientific analysis, and present reasonable findings.

Q:What skills will I learn in forensic science bachelors degree programs?

A:A bachelor degree in forensic science will help you acquire strong communication skills, analysis skills, composure skills, problem-solving skills, math and science skills, and more. This program is designed to prepare students for jobs roles as forensic science technicians and investigators. Take a look at our page for more detail.

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