The Best Forensic Science and Technology Colleges of 2017
|1||University of New Haven||West Haven, CT||
Experiential education awaits you at the University of New Haven. This private institution houses its main campus in West Haven, Connecticut, with 82 acres of quiet hillside greenery located just 90 minutes from New York City and two and a half hours from Boston. Several other satellite locations offer programs throughout Connecticut, New Mexico, San Francisco and even Tuscany, Italy. Join 6,800 students for a quality education with an emphasis on “real-world, hands-on career and research opportunities” — a perfect component for a forensic science and technology education.
The undergraduate forensic science program boasts the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science, a $14 million state-of-the-art center that incorporates working crime-scene labs and high-tech visual displays, as well as an extensive forensic archive. Here, as an undergraduate, you’ll venture down either a chemistry or biology focus, which will allow for specialization in the field. Or you can be an overachiever and opt for a double major in both chemistry and biology. As a graduate student, you can earn a master’s degree in either forensic science or forensic technology, where you’ll gain even more hands-on experience and theoretical and practical knowledge “necessary to apply analytical and scientific methods to criminal investigation.”
Regardless of your program, the University of New Haven’s forensics department will connect you with highly experienced and respected instructors who can help you leave in two to four years well-prepared to do some actual forensic work and stay at the forefront of the field.
|2||CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice||New York, NY||
John Jay College of Criminal Justice is one of a kind. You can join people from all over the country and world in New York City to gain an education where justice is the No. 1 priority, with programs that balance sciences, humanities, and arts with professional studies. The university’s website states:
“The College is unique in its mission, providing rigorous course work, research, internships, community service and other learning experiences to prepare students to make a difference for themselves and others and to transform ideas into social action and leadership...Now and always, we educate fierce advocates for justice.”
In the undergraduate program, in forensic science specifically, you’ll be prepared for forensic science laboratories, research positions, teaching positions or medical professions through biology, chemistry, physics, and law courses. You’ll have the opportunity to choose one of three tracks: criminalistics, molecular biology, or toxicology. No matter your track, you’ll come away with the ability to draw appropriate scientific data from evidence and experiments as well as practical skills and hands-on experience, and practice with oral and written forms of scientific communication.
|3||Drexel University||Philadelphia, PA||
Study at the 15th largest private institution in America among 26,000 others, and gain an education rooted in research. Drexel University has three Philadelphia campuses and other regional satellite locations, as well as international research partnerships with China and Israel. Drexel graduates boast a 96% success rate with landing jobs or with enrollment in graduate programs. And chances are, if you do well within your undergraduate degree, you’ll be successful in enrolling in Drexel University’s Forensic Science program. This two-year program will provide you with a solid foundation in forensic sciences, while pushing you to grow into a leadership role in new and emerging applications in the field. You’ll gain exposure to law, comparative science, professional courtroom testimony, research, quality control and quality assurance, ethics, and crime scene investigation techniques. All your professors will be working professionals employed in the fields they teach, and they’ll provide you with a hands-on, practical education you can easily apply to a career upon graduation.
|4||George Washington University||Washington, DC||
If you study at George Washington University, you’ll study in one of the greatest concentrations of federal crime labs and investigatory agencies in the world. Located in the Washington, D.C. metro area, George Washington University attracts roughly 26,000 students each year. GWU is for students who are tired of looking at slides or presentations of some of America’s greatest art and architecture — students who want to work with and among some of our nation’s strongest lawmakers. This city will be your classroom, one you can’t match anywhere else.
And in the U.S. national security hub, you’ll find a forensic science department that emphasizes objective science-based study and application, cutting edge research, and practitioner-based mentorship. With your choice among a variety of master’s or certificate programs, you’ll build technical and theoretical knowledge, skills, and abilities with classical and modern forensic techniques that will position you well to compete for a job upon graduation. The program site states:
“We will accomplish this through rigorous scientific scholarship, hands-on experiences, inspiring mentorship, and a stimulating academic environment conducive to and providing for opportunities to conduct research and scholarly inquiry and otherwise to contribute to the knowledge base of forensic science and improvement of the forensic community. We will take advantage of our location in the nation’s capital, our national security hub, and forensic laboratory- and investigation-rich environment.”
|5||Syracuse University||Syracuse, NY||
At the heart of New York state, discover a private campus covered in green that is “made for those who want a quintessential college experience.” Syracuse University offers many areas of study but remains proud to select only the brightest and best to learn in its buildings. The administration wants to teach people with big dreams, and when you attend their school, they want to see you achieve them.
If you dream of becoming a forensic scientist or forensic technician, you can work to achieve those dreams in the forensic science department at Syracuse. The coursework proves rigorous and the research in-depth. At Syracuse, you’ll have the ability to tailor the program to your career goals, through a dozen different concentrations. In a forensic anthropology concentration, you can take courses such as “reading the body” or “anthropology of death.” In an impressions evidence concentration, you’ll learn about “latent prints” and “firearms and impressive evidence.”
Regardless of your concentration, you’ll gain hands-on experience at state-of-the-art laboratories, as well as experiential training opportunities through internships, externships, and field studies. Former students have even gone on to have internships and careers with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
|6||Hofstra University||Hempstead, NY||
If you’re into small classes, dedicated professors and lecturers, a beautiful campus, and quick access to all that New York City has to offer, then you should look no further than Hofstra University. This 240-acre campus on Long Island offers a calm academic life with an up close and personal 14:1 student to faculty ratio. And its close proximity to the Big Apple will still provide you with plenty of career and cultural opportunities. The forensic science undergraduate program will take you through four years of building a strong foundation in physical and natural sciences and the legal system. The program requires an internship in a science laboratory, government crime lab, or police department, so you’ll be sure to gain real-life experience that takes you a step ahead of others trying to get into the industry.
|7||Loyola University Chicago||Chicago, IL||
The city may be windy, but you won’t get any blowback for wanting to study at Loyola University. This private Jesuit, Catholic university educates a student body of 16,000 per semester. Their mission states:
“We are Chicago’s Jesuit, Catholic University — a diverse community seeking God in all things and working to expand knowledge in the service of humanity through learning, justice, and faith. We are guided by a simple promise: to prepare people to lead extraordinary lives.”
As a forensic science major at Loyola University, you’ll be setting yourself up for just that: an extraordinary life. The institute is known for strong health and science programs, so you’ll be well-prepared for a forensic science career with a strong foundation in chemistry, biology, anthropology, physics, mathematics, and criminal justice. And this program boasts an accreditation by the Forensic Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC), an accreditation that less than twenty bachelor’s programs in the U.S. can claim.
|8||Texas A & M University-College Station||College Station, TX||
Within driving distance to Houston, Austin, and Dallas, Texas A&M educates over 64,000 students a semester. “Aggieland,” as you’ll come to know it, offers a sprawling Texas campus with educators who work to send “Aggie leaders out into the world prepared to take on the challenges of tomorrow — with ideas, integrity, and an unmatched desire to serve the greater good.” Within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, you’ll find a forensic and investigative sciences program that prepares students for a real-life career in collecting, preserving, processing, and using evidentiary information to solve problems. This program won’t be a glamorized television show, but rather based in science, fact, and integrity. You’ll even take unique classes like “Science of Forensic Entomology,” “Forensic Soil Science,” or “Forensic Implications of Inheritance.”
|9||Virginia Commonwealth University||Richmond, VA||
Virginia Commonwealth University prides itself on being a premier urban, public research institute. The university buzzes to life in the center of Richmond, where you’ll be able to enjoy both the city and natural sites like the 65-acre James River Island known for mountain biking, running, sunbathing, and hiking. Virginia Commonwealth University’s forensics program takes a storytelling approach to forensic science. You’ll learn how to unravel stories with hard facts, thorough science, and objectivity. Because where stories can get blurry in criminal investigation, physical evidence prevails — and it’ll be your job to analyze and interpret it for its truth. After obtaining your undergraduate degree, you’ll be prepared for entry-level positions in forensic science. Or if higher education is up your alley, you can pursue advanced degrees in physical sciences, biological sciences, forensic science, law, allied health, and medicine. And you can go on to pursue your master’s degree at VCU, too, where you’ll be prepared for a career as a forensic scientist in government or private forensic laboratories.
|10||University of Central Florida||Orlando, FL||
The University of Central Florida, located just 13 miles from downtown Orlando, offers more than 200 graduate programs with more than 60,000 students taking advantage. The website states, “The University of Central Florida is a public multi-campus, metropolitan research university that stands for opportunity.” And they back it up by providing high-quality, broad-based education and experience-based learning rooted in research, leadership development, and growth. Grow among others with the Master of Science in Forensic Science program. This program is geared for practicing professionals and full-time students who have undergraduate degrees in forensic science, chemistry, biochemistry, physics, or biology. You’ll be able to choose from one of three concentrations: forensic analysis, forensic biochemistry, or forensic professional. If you study full-time, you’ll finish in just two years. But if your life is busy, and you study part-time, it could take closer to four years. Depending on your program, you’ll be required to write a thesis and finish an original laboratory-based research project before graduation.
List of Forensic Science and Technology Schools in the U.S.
|School Logo||School Name||Average tuition||Student Teacher Ratio||Enrolled Students|
|University of New Haven West Haven, CT||
|18 : 1||6,786|
|CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice New York, NY||
|23 : 1||14,732|
|Drexel University Philadelphia, PA||
|14 : 1||25,595|
|George Washington University Washington, DC||
|17 : 1||26,212|
|Syracuse University Syracuse, NY||
|18 : 1||21,789|
|Hofstra University Hempstead, NY||
|16 : 1||10,814|
|Loyola University Chicago Chicago, IL||
|15 : 1||16,437|
|Texas A & M University-College Station College Station, TX||
|21 : 1||63,813|
|Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA||
|14 : 1||30,918|
|University of Central Florida Orlando, FL||
|41 : 1||62,953|
|Boston University Boston, MA||
|11 : 1||32,158|
|Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus University Park, PA||
|16 : 1||47,307|
|University of California-Davis Davis, CA||
|15 : 1||35,186|
|Farmingdale State College Farmingdale, NY||
|24 : 1||8,648|
|The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX||
|18 : 1||50,950|
|George Mason University Fairfax, VA||
|21 : 1||33,929|
|SUNY at Binghamton Vestal, NY||
|23 : 1||16,913|
|Duquesne University Pittsburgh, PA||
|15 : 1||9,404|
|Saint Louis University Saint Louis, MO||
|11 : 1||17,047|
|Towson University Towson, MD||
|20 : 1||22,284|
|Pace University-New York New York, NY||
|18 : 1||12,843|
|Michigan State University East Lansing, MI||
|18 : 1||50,538|
|West Virginia University Morgantown, WV||
|14 : 1||28,776|
|University of Scranton Scranton, PA||
|16 : 1||5,422|
|University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE||
|20 : 1||25,260|
Find Local Colleges Offering Forensic Science and Technology Degrees
Getting a Forensic Science and Technology Degree Online
Schools offering online Forensic Science and Technology degrees
- 15 Certificates
- 9 Associate's
- 2 Bachelor's
- 6 Master's
What can you do with a Forensic Science and Technology Degree?
Average annual salary for Forensic Science and Technology careers
- $48,725 2005
- $56,540 2010
- $62,190 2015
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|Degree Level||Program Length||Colleges||Graduates|
|Associate's||2-year Length||94 Colleges||486 Graduates|
|Bachelor's||4-year Length||116 Colleges||1,405 Graduates|
|Certificates||< 1 year Length||117 Colleges||670 Graduates|
|Master's||1+ years Length||44 Colleges||588 Graduates|
Forensic Science and Technology Degree Overview
Average cost of college for a Forensic Science and Technology degree
Average Tuition and Fees for a 2 year Degree
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Average Tuition and Fees for a 4 year Degree
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Questions About Forensic Science and Technology
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