Due to the nature of the profession, not all universities offer a degree in forensic science. In fact, there are only a limited few who does. Besides, those who want to become forensic scientists are a niche market. How many people would want (or have what it takes) to retrieve evidence, study a crime victim, do autopsy, and be part of the crime scene? Forensic science is highly specialized so there are only a handful of forensic science universities.
Among the forensic science colleges and universities, the question is how will you know which one is the best for you? The first question that you have to answer is what education level you wish to pursue. Let’s say for instance that you have no post secondary education, that means it is best for you to enroll in an undergraduate program. On the other hand, if you already have a bachelor’s degree in natural science, then you may want to go for a master’s program. Should you wish to pursue higher studies, take note that your bachelor’s degree must be in any of these courses: physics, calculus, biology, chemistry and organic chemistry.
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It is typical for a forensic science university to include the following programs: toxicology, scientific evidence, drug chemistry and forensic biochemistry courses. Since forensic science involves a lot of subdivisions, undergraduates are required to take classes in textiles, criminology, and psychology and soil science. For the master’s students, there is a need to finish a year of thesis or a research project.
The following is a list of forensic science colleges based on their student population from the biggest to the smallest. The University of Central Florida, a public school that offers a 4 year course, has a population of 50,121. They are followed by the Michigan State University with a population of 46,510. They are considered a public school with a 4 year course of forensic science. The main campus of the Pennsylvania State University has 44,406 students enrolled. They offer a four year program as well. Florida International University is also an option with 38,759 students. University of Maryland comes next with 34,172. Virginia Commonwealth University has 32,044 students. A private, nonprofit university that offers a 4 year course is Boston University with a student population of 31,766. This is followed by the University of California which is public and the Indiana University which is public as well. University of Nevada in Las Vegas also offers forensic science along with Utah Valley University and the Northeastern University.
Naturally, forensic college universities have different specializations and slightly different programs. It is really up to the aspiring student to determine which university would work best for him or her. One thing is certain though, the 4 years that you will spend as a student of that university is 4 years of hard working and new learning so come prepared should you wish to start a career in this field.