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Forensic Science and Technology

Program Description

Just the Facts

Forensic Science and Technology. A program that focuses on the application of the physical, biomedical, and social sciences to the analysis and evaluation of physical evidence, human testimony and criminal suspects. Includes instruction in forensic medicine, forensic dentistry, anthropology, psychology, entomology, pathology, forensic laboratory technology and autopsy procedures, DNA and blood pattern analysis, crime scene analysis, crime scene photography, fingerprint technology, document analysis, witness and suspect examination procedures, applicable law and regulations, and professional standards and ethics.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Master's degree
  • Doctoral degree

High School Courses

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this career cluster:

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this pathway:

Related Careers

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Related Programs

Often similar programs have different names. Be sure to explore all your options.

Additional Information

Think being a forensic scientist is just like what your favorite characters on CSI do? You need to do more investigating.

"Forensic science is an absolutely critical aspect of law and the justice system; however, it is not glamorous. If the student is interested in the drama and excitement of CSI perhaps they should consider acting," says Barry Saville. He is a professor of forensic science at a university.

Forensic science is a four-year bachelor's degree. Students learn scientific analyses, theories, laboratory skills, applications and field techniques. They apply these skills to evidence.

"Lab scientists don't often go to crime scenes, and law enforcement personnel don't come into the lab and perform analysis. A student who wants to be a forensic scientist needs to like science, particularly chemistry, and be able to perform analytical tasks competently," says Diane E. Vance. She is the director of the forensic science program at Eastern Kentucky University.

The first two years of most programs are for core science classes. These can include general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, math through calculus, and biology. Students also take law courses and learn the methods of forensic analysis. Some programs focus on human behavior in addition to scientific analysis. This means you'll take social science courses such as sociology, psychology and anthropology.

Many programs have general admission requirements. However, there is an increase in the number of students interested in the program. This demand has made for increased competition at some schools because of the limitations of laboratory space for advanced courses. Master of science programs are much more competitive to enter.

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) accredits programs through the Forensic Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC). The commission sets standards for the curriculum. When choosing a school, you should check if it's accredited.

If your goal is to become a crime scene investigator or a forensic analyst associated with the police forces, you must also be a police officer. Further training is required to become a police officer.

You need a master's degree for a career in forensic science research.

High school is a good time to make sure you are good at and enjoy math, biology, chemistry, physics and the lab work that comes with studying those subjects.

Join or start a forensic science club at your school. Involvement in honor societies, sports or service groups can help you with admission to programs. Try to get any kind of job that involves laboratory work.

"Having an outside job will also help them learn and practice teamwork, communication skills, integrity, reliability, organization, meeting deadlines and multitasking, which are great skills in college and beyond," says Eggleston.

Textbooks are the main expense for students. Some schools may have additional lab fees, and you might buy some lab equipment. Most students buy a computer.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to Forensic Science Degrees, see: Science Technicians

Careers in Forensic Sciences
Gives a good background on the career

Crime and Clues -- The Art and Science of Criminal Investigation
Devoted to crime scene investigation, physical evidence and demonstrative evidence

FBI Youth Educational Page
Information for teens about safety awareness, and fun games


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    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900


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