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20 Best Online Schools for Bachelor’s in Forensic Science for 2019

 bachelor forensic science

Students of online Bachelor’s in Forensic Science are exposed to one of the fundamental processes for solving crimes: uncovering and examining the evidence. Forensic Science as a discipline requires students to pay close attention to the details of a crime scene, and focus sharply on the physical, biological, and life sciences to figure out how it occurred. Forensic Science students are trained in laboratory work and investigative settings.

Vital to solving crimes, the work of forensic scientists assist investigators and are admitted in court proceedings along with a variety of other pieces of evidence. That said, some forensic work may also apply to civil actions where elements that point to the physical sciences are involved. 

Methodology Used To Determine Our Selections for the Best Online Schools for Bachelor’s in Forensic Science:

The 20 Best Online Schools for Bachelor’s in Forensic Science for 2019 were selected based on the excellent web-based degree programs they offer. For students who find it fascinating to piece together physical evidence, finding the best training ground with outstanding and rigorous coursework is a must. These 20 online programs from accredited institutions all over the United States disclose their program concentrations and rigorous curricula for training future forensic scientists.

Besides highlighting the quality of the online Bachelor’s degrees in Forensic Science offered by each college or university, this list also uncovers the course or program duration, tuition rates, fast-track degree options, credit transfer programs if any, and prospective job opportunities based on the students’ specialization. All the online schools that made it to this profiled list have received accreditation.

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Columbia College

columbia college

Based in Columbia, Missouri, the Columbia College offers an online Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science that is considered one of the most well-recognized programs in the Midwest. This online forensic program brings together different areas of study such as criminal justice and law, biology, chemistry, and physics to prepare students for a promising career in an exciting, and fast-growing field. Core courses include Criminalistics Laboratory, Introduction to Forensic Science, Forensic Biology, Forensic Pathology, Professional Issues in Forensic Science, and Physical and Chemical Methods in Forensic Science. Undergraduate students of Forensic Science at Columbia College have the opportunity to work on real unsolved murder cases with the local police departments. Students need to have 120 credit hours to earn this degree.


University of Maryland-University College

university of maryland university college

Located in Adelphi, Maryland, the University of Maryland-University College has an online Bachelor of Science in Investigative Forensics that teaches students how to apply scientific methodologies to the fields of forensic study, and use best practices to solve crime scene investigations. Students learn a variety of coursework that enables them to become successful crime scene investigators in federal, state, or local law enforcement agencies. This 120-credit hour online program includes core coursework such as Criminalistics I and II, Introduction to Investigative Forensics, Crime Scene Investigation, Criminal Procedure and Evidence, and Fingerprint Analysis. Online learning tools for practical and hands-on experience are provided to allow students to investigate a crime scene virtually.


National University

national university

Delivered online, the Bachelor of Criminal Justice with Forensic Investigation program of National University provides students the necessary skills and capabilities they need to become active crime scene investigators with the use of science and technology. This online forensic program equips the students with critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills that will help them prepare for a rewarding career as forensic investigators in federal, local, and state law enforcement agencies. The program requires 120 credit hours for students to earn this degree. Also, students develop the ability to identify procedures for data collection, and data analysis to establish the organization of writing reports of investigation or findings.


Liberty University

liberty university

Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia offers an online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice – Crime Scene Investigation that allows students to learn both the analytical and scientific aspects of the forensic study. This online forensic degree focuses on crime scene investigation and requires a total of 120 credit hours for students to earn this degree. With the university’s Champion for Christ mission, Liberty provides the needed tools, and competencies to lead in the Criminal Justice area of study with integrity and strength. Full-time students can finish this degree in four years. Core courses include Criminal Justice Ethics, Introduction to Criminal Justice, Crime Scene Photography, Computer & Cyber Forensics, and Introduction to Forensics. Graduates of this degree are prepared to become successful crime scene technicians, forensic project coordinator, and crime scene investigator in the local, federal, or state law enforcement agencies.


Excelsior College 

excelsior college

Albany, New York is home to Excelsior College that has an online Bachelor in Forensic Science degree that will prepare them in a variety of career paths in Investigative Forensics, Drug Crimes, Community Policing, Forensic Pathology, and Public and Legislative Policy. This online degree is developed to meet the needs of working adults with law enforcement experience, or military experience. Students must have 120 credit hours to earn this degree. Core requirements of this online forensic degree include Criminology, Introduction to Criminal Justice, Research Methods in Criminal Justice, and Introduction to Law Enforcement. The Criminal Justice Capstone is required for every student to showcase their applied learnings or knowledge across several forensic study or fields.


Pennsylvania State University

pennsylvania state university

Pennsylvania State University has an online Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science that is accredited by the American Academy of Forensic Science in the United States. Students learn comprehensive skills, knowledge, and capabilities that make them competent candidates in forensic-related jobs in federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The faculty at Penn State’s Eberly College of Science are a team of experts in their respective fields with relevant real-world experience. Core courses of this online forensic program include Criminalistics, Crime Scene Investigation Laboratory, Essential Practices of Forensic Sciences, and Scientific Approach to Crime Scene Investigation among others.


Virginia Commonwealth University

virginia commonwealth university

Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, the Virginia Commonwealth University offers a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science that is an online degree accredited by the Forensic Science Educational Programs Accreditation Commission. This online forensic program offers three concentrations namely Physical Evidence, Forensic Chemistry, and Forensic Biology. VCU’s Bachelor of Science in Forensic program provides a solid science background and strengthening of earned knowledge through hands-on experience with state-of-the-art facilities for a successful forensic science career. Students must have 123-126 credit hours to obtain this degree. Forensic Science Core includes Survey to Forensic Science, Scientific Crime Scene Investigation, Professional Practices in Forensic Science, and Forensic Evidence, Law & Criminal Procedure among others


Marshall University

marshall university

Located in Huntington, West Virginia, Marshall University has an online Bachelor of Science in Digital Forensics and Information Assurance that provides a strong foundation of knowledge that consists of scientific studies to solve investigative and cybersecurity issues. Students develop and learn a set of skills necessary to address a variety of security, investigative, and legal problems using science and technology. This online forensic program emphasizes communication skills, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking skills that are delivered in a hands-on environment using the same techniques, procedures, and tools they will utilize upon entering the workforce. Marshall University’s laboratory facilities are either in-house or through the National CyberWatch. Core Course requirements include Introduction to Forensic Science, Applied Digital Evidence, Computer Crime, Mobile Device Forensics, and Forensic Image and Video Analysis among others. Students need 120 credit hours to earn this degree.


Pace University

pace university

The online Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science of Pace University teaches students, and working professionals across different fields of study such as forensic biology, criminalistics, and forensic chemistry. Students have the opportunity to participate in internships with crime operative teams in New York in top crime laboratories that will help them become competitive candidates to different prospective employers. Also, Pace University has state-of-the-art facilities that are fully equipped for biology and forensic chemistry. The university has a DNA sequencing lab and specialized labs for forensic microscopy, virtual crime scene reconstruction, questioned documents, and crime scene reconstruction. Students need 128-credit hours to be able to earn this degree. Core forensic courses include Molecular Biology, Forensic Biology, Basic Criminalistics, and Introduction to Criminal Investigation.


Seton Hill University

seton hill university

Established in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Seton Hill University offers a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science taught online. This web-based program integrates criminal justice, biology, physics, and chemistry as part of the extensive curriculum. The university provides several forensic science facilities such as Crime Scene House, JoAnne Woodyard Boyle Health Sciences Center, and Laboratories for experimentations, and research. All students of the Bachelor of Science in Forensic science must take the Liberal Arts Curriculum, capstone project, and required courses of the program. Students need 120 credit hours to earn this degree. Core forensic courses include Fundamentals of Criminalistics, Criminalistics Laboratory, Forensic Science in the Courtroom, and Intern Bloodstain Pattern Analysis among others.


Youngstown State University

youngstown state university

Youngstown State University has an online Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science that provides students the opportunity to integrate their academics with the daily processes of forensic science-related facilities through their mandatory internship program during the senior years. This online forensic program of Youngstown State University offers three specializations namely Chemistry, Biology, and Anthropology Track. With the only Ohio university that provides a crime scene lab for their students, fingerprinting, and blood pattern analysis is one of the typical activities in the labs of YSU. Students must have 120 credit hours to earn this degree, and 45 on-site internships are mandatory for the completion of this online forensic program.


University of Tampa

university of tampa

The University of Tampa in Tampa, Florida offers a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science online that receives accreditation from the Forensic Science Educational Programs Accreditation Commission. Students receive extensive training in the fields of forensic biology, crime scene investigation, forensic toxicology, and firearms examinations. Graduates of this online forensic program are prepared for a successful career in local, federal, and state law enforcement, as well as crime laboratories. Core courses under this online program include Crime Scene Investigation, Law Enforcement, Molecular Biology, General Genetics Laboratory, and Criminal Investigation. Internship opportunities at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Tampa Crime Laboratory, and Pinellas County Crime Laboratory and Field Forensics Inc., are being offered by the university. Students need to have 94 credit hours to earn this degree successfully.

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Middle Tennessee State University

middle tennessee state university

Murfreesboro, Tennessee houses the Middle Tennessee State University that offers a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science online. Students under this online forensic degree of MTSU are prepared for advanced study in forensic science, or employment opportunities in law enforcement agencies, public crime laboratories, and specialized private sectors. Also, they establish possible career opportunities as competent professionals in medical examiner offices, law enforcement agencies, military, hospital firms, and forensic laboratories. This online forensic degree is offered in three concentrations, namely Biology, Chemistry, and Criminal Justice. Required courses include Crime Scene Investigation, Criminal Investigations, Judicial Process, and Criminal Evidence and Procedures.


Miami University

miami university

Miami University in Oxford, Ohio has a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science and Investigation online degree that combines criminal justice and the sciences with a strong emphasis on chemistry. The rigorous program of Miami University provides a strong foundation of knowledge that prepares graduates with a promising career in major crime labs, law enforcement agencies, and private firms. This online forensic program has two (2) majors namely Forensic Investigation, and Forensic Science. Students learn problem-solving skills, advanced analytical skills, and effective communication skills as well as the application of learning in the field in an increasingly changing global world. Students need to have 124 credit hours to earn this degree. Core forensic courses include Forensic and Crime Scene Evidence, Law and Individual Rights, Introduction to Forensic Chemistry, Criminal Field Justice Experience, and Forensic Trace Analysis among others.


St. Mary’s University

st marys university

Established in San Antonio, Texas, St. Mary’s University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science that provides students with rigorous preparations that have an integration of professional ethics, natural and physical sciences, and criminology. Additionally, students participate in internship opportunities and extensive scientific forensic research that will prepare them to be world-class forensic science professionals upon graduation. Internship opportunities include working with notable firms and organizations including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Office of the Attorney General of Texas, U.S. Department of Justice, and the Texas Department of Human Services among others. This online forensic degree is offered in three significant concentrations, namely Criminology, Chemistry, and Biology.


George Mason University

george mason university

The online Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science program of George Mason University prepares students to become investigation specialists, forensic anthropologist, private lab examiners, and forensic photographers in local, federal, and state law enforcement agencies. This program provides an innovative curriculum that has a hands-on training environment in crime lab methodologies, crime scene investigations, and techniques. Core Requirements include Quantitative Reasoning, Social and Behavioral Science, and Natural Science. Also, Mason’s online forensic degree requires a writing-intensive requirement upon graduation.


Fairmont State University

fairmont state university

Headquartered in Fairmont, West Virginia, Fairmont State University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science that integrates courses in chemistry, biology, math, physics, and forensic sciences. Students are equipped with quantitative reasoning, problem-solving skills, investigation, legal analysis and application, and scientific laboratory procedures. Graduates of this program generally land in career opportunities as forensic chemists, medical examiners, toxicologists, and forensic pathologies. Forensic Science courses include Introduction to Forensic Science, Forensic Biology, Intermediate Instrumental Analysis, Biochemistry, Genetics, and Forensic Microscopy and Spectroscopy.

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West Virginia State University

west virginia state university

West Virginia State University has an online Bachelor of Science in Forensic and Investigative Science that is offered in three significant emphases namely Forensic Biology, Forensic Chemistry, and Forensic Examiner. Students develop a set of relevant skills in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics. They are equipped with the skills to present proper interpretation of evidence in a court of law. Core required courses include Forensic Photography, Forensic Biology, Biological Evidence for Forensic Examiners, Blood Stain Pattern Analysis, Court Testimony, and Introduction to Microscopy among others. Graduates from this major have established successful careers at the Texas Department of Public Safety, Mylan, KPMG US, and Federal Bureau of Investigation among others.


University of New Haven

university of new haven

The University of New Haven in Connecticut offers an online Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science that teaches students a variety of methodologies and concepts that are utilized in uncovering evidence that can impact criminal or civil cases. They have the skills and capabilities to interpret pieces of evidence in one of the most respected forensic science programs across the country. Also, they have the opportunity to work in the Henry C. Lee Institute for Forensic Science that features high-tech visual displays, working crime-scene labs, and a basis for the law enforcement agencies around the world.


Trine University

trine university

Angola, Indiana is home to Trine University that has a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science online that prepares students for a professional pathway directly related to the interpretation and analysis of evidence left at the crime scenes. Graduates of this program have established in the forensic-related fields as well as local, federal, or state law enforcement agencies as DNA Specialists, Latent Print Examiners, Drug Chemists, and Arson Investigators. This online forensic program is offered in two major specializations Chemistry or Biology. Students must have 120 credit hours to earn this degree. Forensic science core courses include Criminal Procedures and Evidence, Principles of Forensic Science I and II, Forensic Comparative Science, and University Experience.

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What does an online Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Science Program look like?

An online Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science consists of two (2) years of general education coursework, and core forensic science classes in crime scene investigation, analysis, and evidence. Most programs allow students to choose a specialization in Criminal Justice, Biology and Forensic Science, Chemistry and Forensic Science, or Anthropology depending on the students’ choices. Once forensic science classes and concentration coursework have been completed, students can gain hands-on learning experience through internship opportunities or field practicum.

Students of this online forensic program can pursue their studies with crime scene investigation and forensic science as well as work full-time. It allows students to complete their assignments at their convenience or pace. Typically, they can take at least two (2) courses during the semester, and dedicate thirty (30) hours per week on their assignments. 

Does a Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Science lead to a lucrative and fulfilling career?

A Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science allows graduates to work in a range of roles and industries. Forensic science features diverse areas of study, including chemistry, biology, accounting, engineering, physics, and computer science. It is any science that can contribute to the wellness of the legal system.

Some forensic degree focuses on crime scene investigation, searching for clues that will help other investigators regarding the overall crime itself. These include careers in Fingerprinting, Ballistics and Firearms, Bloodstain Analysis Patterns, Arson and Explosives, Accident Reconstruction, and Trace Evidence. On the other aspects of forensic science, some careers can be found in crime laboratories and investigative settings such as Medicolegal, Forensic Entomology, DNA, Drugs and Identification, Forensic Anthropology, and Serology and Toxicology of Body Fluids among others.

Additionally, some forensic science-related careers focus on the behavioral sciences, including career pathways in Eyewitness ID, Psychology & Psychiatry, Polygraphs, and Hypnosis.

All these aspects of the forensic science fields contribute to the resolution of crimes, and criminal justice cases throughout the country.

How much money do forensic scientists make?

Forensic scientists work in laboratories where they gather and analyze findings and pieces of information collected by crime scene investigators. The average annual salary of forensic scientists ranges from $51,280 – $56,750. Acquiring additional certifications is an excellent way to boost earnings and enhance job opportunities.

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