Best Online Bachelor’s in Forensic Science for 2020

Rankings

Are you considering a bachelors in Forensic Science? Well, you have come to the right place. Maybe you are pulled in by your favorite shows like Bones, Law and Order, and CSI. Or maybe you want to be on the right side of justice with the skills to assess, collect, and document evidence at crime scenes. Or you are responding to the projection by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that the field of forensics will grow between 2018-2028 by 14%. This is partially as a result of new advances in DNA, science, and forensic evidence technology. With a bachelor’s degree in this field you can immediately begin working with criminal investigators by assisting them with a myriad of responsibilities at the crime scene itself. Becoming a forensic science technician, a forensic autopsy assistant, or even the assistant to a medical examiner can be accomplished by obtaining a forensic science bachelor degree online. Technicians are at the front of the house when it comes to working on active crimes scenes, and also in the lab meticulously evaluating evidence. Many of the subjects that are required for the foundation of this degree include but are not limited to: chemistry, genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology and biology. 

As you can see, there are many career possibilities for graduates of programs like these out of the gate, however, if you want to continue with your education and move on to a master’s degree program in a similar field there are many advanced career paths waiting for you. You can enter the field as a crime scene investigator, forensic computer examiner, a forensic chemist or biologist, a criminalist, and a digital forensic analyst, among many other possibilities. You would be given an opportunity to specialize within many arenas including toxicology, trace evidence, DNA, fingerprints, controlled substances, or even firearms. 

The median income for novice forensic science technicians is just about $58,000 and the seasoned worker in the field can make more then $98,000 annually. This is all with a degree likened to what you will receive by graduating from one of the programs we have chosen for you below. Maybe you will be the next real life CSI star with your new found forensic skills and shiny degree in hand, much of which you can achieve from a cyber classroom based out of the comfort of your home

 1. SUNY Canton

Bachelor of Technology in Criminal Investigation
SUNY Canton offers a degree that is a little different from the rest, because it is not a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts, but a Bachelor of Technology in Criminal Investigation. This program offers many online classes, however, the same courses can be taken in person. Ultimately, the program is achieved 75% online. The one thing to note about this course of study is that the upper division requirements MUST be taken “immersion” style in a face-to-face classroom. The purpose of this is to ensure every graduate has had the hands-on training necessary to work on a crime scene. Every student will have the chance to perform a 600 hour investigative internship for extra practice. Many students choose this program specifically for the internship opportunity. Students can choose to work with the Bureau of Firearms, Alcohol or Tobacco, Medical Examiner’s Offices, or even with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Participants in the program will learn interrogation skills, latent print development, managing homicide investigations, crime scene investigation among many other pertinent skills. The program has a 100% employment rate!
Expert Instruction in:

  • Questioned Documents
  • Clandestine Graves
  • Forensic Taxonomy
  • Firearm and Toolmark Examination

2. Purdue University Global

BS in Criminal Justice – Crime Scene Investigation or Forensic Psychology
Purdue Global is a known name as one of the top providers of public safety programming in the country. Their Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice-Crime Scene Investigation or Forensic Psychology is excellent evidence of their academic leadership in the field. Not only will students in this program learn the ins and out of applied forensic research and techniques, but they will also gleen an effective foundation in the nations criminal justice development and philosophy and criminal law. Students will pick one of these concentrations: juvenile justice, law enforcement, crime scene investigation, homeland security, and forensic psychology. Students will have the option of participating in a related internship program to gain real world experience in the field. There is also an opportunity to take the program at an accelerated bachelor’s to master’s program for students who know that they want to go all the way. The classes are entirely online, though a in person capstone is required and there is an optional internship. 
Expert Instruction in:

  • Analyzing crime scene evidence
  • Response methods to weapons of mass destruction
  • Psychology in the context of criminal justice

3. Utica College

BS in Criminal Intelligence Analysis/ BS in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation Both the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Intelligence Analysis and the Bachelor of Science in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation online at Utica College are responding to the drastic innovations applied to the fields of forensics and law enforcement in the last few years. 


The Online BS in Criminal Intelligence Analysis is one of the first of its kind in the country. Many people with a goal of lessening crime in the US pick this degree program. Some of the tools you will be given from this degree opportunity include learning how to predict criminal activity and stopping it in its tracks. Students will also gain a foundation in ethics, critical thinking, analytic methodologies, computer literacy, and complex communication patterns. 


The Online BS in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation is responding to the amount of credit card fraud and identity theft that is impacting so many different people. Students will gain forensic accounting skills along with the psychology of risk management and criminology. Graduates will walk away from the program with expertise in money laundering, identity theft, healthcare fraud, among many similar infractions.  Expert Instruction in:

  • Crime Analysis
  • Danta Analysation
  • Fraud Prevention
  • Critical thinking within a criminal context

4. Salem University

BA in Criminal Justice – Crime Scene Investigation
Salem University offers an entirely online or a blended residential/ online hybrid Bachelor’s of Arts in Criminal Justice-Crime Scene Investigation program. This course of study dives into the concentration of crime scene investigation, teaching students the in-demand skills of crime scene analysis, how to gather evidence, performing written and spoken testimonies in court, and performing tests. The classes for this program are offered in 4 week increments. The online courses are flexible, and allow for students to continue working a full-time job while participating in the program. Students will work with expert faculty and take classes such as: Ethics in Criminal Justice, Constitutional Law, Terrorism, Crisis Intervention, and Domestic Violence. Students can choose to specialize in Crime Scene Investigation and take additional classes such as: Crime Scene Photography, Ballistics and Firearm Identification, as well as Blood Patterns and Crime Scenes. 
Expert Instruction in:

  • Ballistics
  • Digital Evidence
  • Impression Evidence

5. Brandman University

BA in Criminal Justice – Forensics
Brandman University offers a Bachelor’s Degree program in Criminal Justice that can be achieved either entirely online or in a hybrid format. There are many elements to this path of study including policing, forensics, and also victim advocacy. Because the faculty in this program are experts in the field, they will bring to the curriculum real life experiences that students can learn from. There will be many opportunities for participants to gain skills in collaborative approaches to complex problem solving, legal and ethical strategizing, and forensics. Many students pick this course of study if they are interested in a career in the court system or within law enforcement. New sessions begin every semester. 
Expert Instruction in:

  • Gangs and Gang Behavior
  • Courts
  • Forensics
  • Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice

6. Hampton University

BS in Chemistry – Forensic Chemistry
Through their School of Science, Hampton University offers a Bachelor of Science Program in Chemistry with a Concentration in Forensic Chemistry. Basically, Forensic Science consists of applied sciences with a variety of nuances. This field of study requires the understanding of complex scientific theory and knowledge and the ability to apply that foundation to analysis, interpretation, reporting, and examination. Students will gain all of these skills including the ability to build testimonies that support physical evidence. The skills learned in this program are mandatory elements necessary in the criminal justice system for it to function properly. Forensic Scientists are needed in crime labs that work alongside law enforcement in criminal investigations. Students in this program will complete coursework in natural sciences, chemistry essential knowledge, and a foundation in forensic science. 
Expert Instruction in:

  • Chemistry
  • Laboratory Skills
  • Investigation Practices
  • Forensics

7. Florida State University

BS in Public Safety and Security – Crime Scene Investigation
Florida State University offers a Bachelor of Science program in Public Safety and Security with a focus on Crime Scene Investigation. Much of the coursework of this program can be completed online. There is, however, a requirement of hands-on lab work that can be taken over an accelerated one week (40 hour) program that is offered in the summer. The labs will offer some of the most important hands-on experience that will prepare students for this career path. This includes: death investigations, recovery of buried bodies and facial reconstruction, fingerprint processing, and blood spatter analysis. Students can specialize their education further and gain additional certificates in fields such as underwater crime scene investigation. Graduates can opt to continue on and achieve a graduate certificate or even a master’s degree in law enforcement intelligence. 
Expert Instruction in:

  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Buried Body Recovery
  • Forensic Lab Work 

8. CSU Global

BS in Criminal Justice – Criminal Forensics
CSU Global (Colorado State) offers an in depth Bachelor of Science Program in Criminal Justice with a degree specialization in Criminal Forensics. This degree path will give students all of the necessary skills to understand the ins and outs of law enforcement and the legal system, while allowing students to gain expert skills in crime scene investigation. Some of the classes for this specialization include: Criminal Investigation, Crime Scene Investigation, Introduction to Forensic Psychology, Investigative Forensic Photography, and Investigative Forensic Interviewing. This is an online accelerated degree program that can be achieved entirely online. Each class starts monthly. There are no set times for classes, meaning you can work at your own pace when you are available. 
Expert Instruction in:

  • Handling of Evidence
  • Treatment of Witnesses and Suspects
  • Analyzing Crime Scenes

9. University of North Carolina at Pembroke

BIS in Criminal Justice Studies – Forensics
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke has an interesting opportunity to achieve a degree focus in Criminal Justice Studies-Forensics as part of their Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies Program. This program looks at topics that include applied organization management, sociology, substance abuse, and forensics. A variety of students are drawn to this course of study. Some are interested in engaging with law enforcement from a number of angles, which may include working in the court system or on actual crime scenes. There is something for every science minded student in this field. You may choose to utilize the skills from this degree program in the public or private sectors. 
Expert Instruction in:

  • Organization Management
  • Substance Abuse
  • American Legal System
  • Forensics

10. Oakland City University

BS in Criminal Justice – Investigative Forensics
Oakland City University has a variety of avenues that a student interested in pursuing a career in forensics may take. They have an entirely online Generalist Bachelor’s Degree Program in Criminal Justice. In this offering students can study completely at their own pace while learning all of the necessary skills to engage and a variety of law force related career paths. This can include taking the next step, which will require some time on campus, and studying Investigative Forensics. There are some necessary hands-on opportunities in this program that include handling and analyzing evidence, learning advanced crime scene skills, learning about various types of evidence, and also writing effective supporting documents. 
Expert Instruction in:

  • Understanding the Court System
  • Law Enforcement Strategies
  • Collection and analyzation of Crime Scene Evidence
  • Critical thinking and writing Skills as they relate to the law