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10 Best Masters in Forensic Science Online

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10 Best Online Master’s in Forensic Science

The best Masters in Forensic Science online degrees prepare students for careers in forensic science labs or crime scene investigations. Maybe you are looking for a career change and want to pursue a degree path that you can accomplish while working full time? 

Maybe you are already working in the field and want to advance your options while using your day job as a practicum? If that is the case, studying online might be the perfect way to meet your career aspirations and not disrupt your life too much.

So, we found some of the best forensic science master’s degree programs online, and we made a list for you to study. You have already taken the first step on your journey by reading about these advanced online forensic science programs. So now, good luck with the rest of your adventure.


How We Ranked the Best Online Master’s in Forensic Science

The editors at Online Schools Guide found schools offering online master’s degrees in forensic science. Then, based on cost and reputation, we ranked the forensic science programs.


SchoolProgram
1. Florida International UniversityPSM in Forensic Science
2. University of New HavenMasters in Investigations
3. University of Central FloridaMS in Forensic Science
4. DeSales UniversityMACJ in Investigative Forensics
5. National UniversityMaster of Forensic Sciences
6. Saint Joseph’s UniversityMSCJ Intelligence and Crime Analysis
7. Oklahoma State UniversityMS in Forensic Science
8. Stevenson UniversityMS in Forensic Science
9. Saint Leo UniversityMSCJ in Forensic Science
10. Emporia State UniversityMS in Forensic Science

1. Florida International University

Degree: Professional Science Masters in Forensic Science

The International Forensic Research Institute at Florida International University and the School of Integrated Science and Humanity have collaborated on an innovative program. This forensic science online program trains leaders in forensics. FIU’s Professional Science Masters in Forensic Science program synthesizes coursework in the two disciplines of management & leadership and also forensic science.

All of the courses are online. However, there are also workshop-style lab requirements in their state-of-the-art research facilities. Students will also participate in a culminating internship that engages the skills they learned from the program. Furthermore, this 16-month program is cohort-based. Because all of the classes (not including workshops and capstone) are online, students can work full time while completing their coursework. Excellent candidates for the program include professionals already working in the industry, including people working in state, federal or private crime labs, and also law enforcement agencies.

Program Duration: 16-24 months 

Location: Miami, FL

Accreditation: Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation (FEPAC)


2. University of New Haven

Degree: Masters in Investigations

The University of New Haven offers a fully online Master’s in Investigations program that brings together a variety of related disciplines. Core subjects in this course of study include digital forensics, criminal investigations, and also financial crimes. In addition, students will have the opportunity to specialize in an area that piques their specific career interests. Areas of choice include healthcare fraud, money laundering, and also transnational crimes.

Students can complete the entire program in one year. The curriculum consists of ten classes, all available in an online format. Furthermore, the program faculty are some of the best in the field. Additionally, there are tuition discounts. For example, the school offers 50% off for law enforcement.

Program Duration: 12 Months

Location: West Haven, CT

Accreditation: NECHE


3. University of Central Florida

Degree: MS in Forensic Science

The University of Central Florida offers a Master of Science in Forensic Science program. The only caveat to this immersive online experience is that this degree path requires several prerequisites for the program. Additionally, there are elective opportunities students must complete in person. Finally, there are two options for the program. The thesis option requires a research component. Students can complete it in either a crime laboratory where they already work or under the direction of a faculty member.

The second path is the non-thesis option for the student already a professional in a forensic laboratory. Additionally, the school offers a Forensic Professional Concentration, which requires a capstone project that a faculty member oversees. The program has different tuition rates for in-state versus out-of-state students, even though it is online.

Program Duration: 30-32 Credit Hours / 24 months

Location: Orlando, FL

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS COC)


4. DeSales University

Degree: Master of Arts in Criminal Justice in Investigative Forensics

DeSales University offers an in-depth online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, Investigative Forensics program. This concentration engages with the legality of criminal investigations and focuses specifically on violent crime. Moreover, the entire course of study includes ten required classes that students must complete to graduate.

Subject matter of the coursework centers on the ways professionals in the forensics field both collect and analyze information. Some of the distinct topics include forensic pathology, advanced crime scene investigation, advanced criminology, and also forensic science. Additionally, students can choose to complete the program on a full or part-time basis. For those already working in criminal justice, DeSales University will give you 20% off of tuition for the program.

Program Duration: 30 Credits/ 10 Classes

Location: Center Valley, PA

Accreditation: MSCHE


5. National University

Degree: Master of Forensic Sciences

National University offers a Master of Forensic Sciences Program that is entirely online. This program is beneficial for professionals already working in the criminal justice field and want to gain more well-rounded skills or for students who wish to work in forensics specifically. Participants in the National University forensic science program will learn in-depth about human anatomy and also investigate death and its nuances. Additionally, they learn to understand trauma and disease and how to investigate an unknown dead person.

Additional skills that the curriculum covers include crime scene photography, courtroom presentation of evidence, and also ethical issues related to forensics. Students have the opportunity to specialize in the investigation if they choose. To qualify for this program, students must have an undergraduate degree in laboratory science. Classes are four weeks long and students can complete them either online or in-person at their San Diego campus. Additionally, National University is proudly veteran founded.

Program Duration: 54 Quarter Units / 24 months

Location: campuses in California and Nevada

Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission


6. Saint Joseph’s University

Degree: MSCJ concentration in Intelligence and Crime Analysis

Saint Joseph’s University offers a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice with an Intelligence and Crime Analysis concentration. This course of study is congruent with their 20-year record of excellence in teaching intelligence-led policing. Developed for law enforcement team members, the program prepares students to understand current crime analysis methodologies. Additionally, the schedule is flexible, so those already working on this career path can continue in their full-time jobs while enhancing the skills that will bring them into leadership roles.

The curriculum teaches students to analyze criminal trends, data, and also patterns effectively. They also learn to use that information to stop crime from occurring in the first place. In addition, students will get to engage with technologies that support the field of criminal justice. Specialized courses are available in homeland security, financial crimes, and also terrorism. The entire program is 30 credit hours. It includes four core courses, two electives, and also four specialized courses. This program qualifies for federal financial aid when applicable.

Program Duration: 30 Credits

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education


7. Oklahoma State University

Degree: MS in Forensic Sciences

Oklahoma State University has an in-depth Center for Health Sciences with an excellent Master of Science in Forensic Sciences. The majority of the coursework is elective-based. So, each student works closely with a faculty member to create a program in line with their academic and career goals. Additionally, students can complete the program online or in-person, depending on their needs.

The entire course of study consists of 39 credits. Coursework foundations engage with forensic science and forensic pathology, including forensic victimology and also forensic toxicology. In addition, some of the classes cover the theory of practice of forensic handwriting, document analysis, ethics of forensic leadership, the chemistry of explosives, and so much more. Students must maintain a 3.0 to remain in good standing in the program.

Program Duration: 39 Credit Hours (self-paced, but you must complete in 7 years) / most 24 to 84 months

Location: Tulsa, OK

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)


8. Stevenson University

Degree: Master of Forensic Science

Stevenson University offers an Online Master of Forensic Science Program geared expressly toward adult professional learners. The faculty has a plethora of experiences that relate to the disciplines at hand. One of the reasons people pick this program, in particular, is the resulting personal attention that each participant receives. In addition, it offers an intimate community feel that is supportive and easy to work within. Students choose between chemistry or a biology focus as they relate to both DNA analysis and chemical analysis of evidence.

Some course requirements include Physical Evidence at Crime Scenes, Serology and Immunology, and also Crime Scene Investigation. Additionally, the remaining classes cover the underpinnings of the court of law. There will also be many opportunities for students to study in laboratories and on crime scenes to gain hands-on experience. Possible career options for graduates include Forensic Chemist, Crime Scene Investigator, and also Forensic Toxicologist. The courses are in accelerated 8-week sessions in the Spring, Summer, and also Fall. Therefore, students can take one class per session and graduate in two years.

Program Duration: 24 months or Two years Average

Location: Owings Mills, MD

Accreditation: Middle States Association of Colleges and Universities


9. Saint Leo University

Degree: MSCJ in Forensic Science

Saint Leo University offers a Criminal Justice Forensic Science Master’s Degree Program offered entirely online. This option is through the distinguished College of Education and Social Services. Some of the coursework includes recognition, protection documentation, the gathering of physical evidence, courtroom acceptance of new forensic technologies, crime scene investigation management, the history of criminology and forensic science, laboratory analysis of physical evidence, death investigation, and also ethical and legal issues.

Degree completion requires students to take five courses in criminal justice, four courses in forensic science, and also two additional electives. In addition, the nationally-recognized program director has 30 years of investigative experience.

Program Duration: 18 Credits / 24 months or fewer

Location: Saint Leo, FL

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges


10. Emporia State University

Degree: MS in Forensic Science

Emporia State University offers a Master of Science in Forensic Science with a Concentration in Biology through their College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Biological Services Department. The Prerequisite for this program is an undergraduate degree in either Forensic Science or Natural Sciences, and preferably some relevant life experience. One of the benefits of this particular program is how customizable it is. Students can easily tailor the coursework to meet both academic and career goals with the appropriate mentorship to be successful.

Students in the program gain hands-on experience using analytical techniques in forensic chemistry, forensic biology, toxicology, and also trace evidence. They will also learn how to conduct research in their chosen related path with the mentorship of practitioners in the field and faculty members. Another critical component of the coursework is learning effective communication styles related to sensitive forensic and legal findings. Students in this program have presented their research in various settings and have shown successful outcomes following graduation.

Program Duration: Varies

Location: Emporia, KS

Accreditation:


Is it Worth Getting a Master’s in Forensic Science?

Why get a master’s degree in forensic science? A bachelor’s degree in the field is an excellent choice if you want to work as an assistant or a forensic technician. However, if want a leadership role that facilitates teams, a master’s degree in forensic science online might be the best fit for you.


What is the Forensic Science Coursework

Is forensic science hard to study? Generally, a program like those on our list begins with a series of core courses. Topics include serology, toxicology, data interpretation, and also applied statistics. In addition, candidates for these forensic science programs gain extensive laboratory experience providing hands-on leadership skill-building.

However, even though all courses are online, there are additional practicum or internship requirements. The fieldwork component will train students to gather and also make sense of physical evidence. Additionally, they learn the ins and outs of smoothly facilitating a team on a crime scene.

Classes

Some of the classes for graduate degree students are below.

  • Forensic Science Methods
  • Digital Forensic Analysis / Digital Forensics
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Genetic Data Analysis
  • Document Analysis
  • Criminal Investigative Analysis
  • Trace Evidence
  • Forensic Biochemistry
  • Scientific Data Interpretation
  • Economic Crime
  • Forensic Anthropology

Is Forensic Science In Demand?

The field of forensics is on the rise. There are so many new developments in DNA analysis technology and forensic analysis. The science behind the law that experts in forensic science are more necessary than ever.

The projection from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is that from 2020 to 2030, positions in forensic science will grow by 16%. So, jobs are abundant for individuals with a master’s in forensic science.


Is Forensic Science a High-Paying Job?

Do forensic scientists get paid well? Another interesting statistic is that professionals in this field make more than $20,000 beyond the average worker in the United States. For example, the current BLS annual wage is $61,930 for forensic science technicians with a bachelor’s degree.

Many people already working in forensics want to take their degrees to the next level. These professionals want to advance their skills, and income possibilities, and also have a more significant impact on the field. So, with an online forensic science degree, the salary will be more.


Forensic Science Career Paths

Crime Scene Investigator (CSI)

Crime scene investigators are generalist forensic science technicians. They are also called Criminalists and Forensic Science Technicians. CSIs collect, analyze, and document evidence from crime scenes. The task requires precision and detail. Then, they ensure the evidence is transported to the lab safely and in the proper chain of custody. These professionals also help medical examiners with autopsy toxicology reports and help record evidence. 

Some CSIs are specialized police officers but others are civilians. The requirements are different in police departments. Additionally, some CSIs are specialized and only work with specific types of evidence.

Average Annual Salary$61,930

Police Officer and Detective

Police officers enforce the law. They respond to emergencies when needed. Additionally, they patrol their jurisdictions and look for suspicious or criminal behavior. They also collect evidence, write reports for their investigations, and prepare and present their findings in court. Police and detectives may specialize by type of crime or by region.

Some police officers start their careers on uniform patrol. Then, they pass exams to gain increasing responsibilities such as crime scene investigation. A bachelor’s degree isn’t required to work at a local police department. But, a degree can boost an officer’s promotion package if they apply to be a detective.

Median Annual Salary$66,020

Digital Forensic Analyst or Forensic Computer Analyst

Digital or forensic computer analysts deal with computer-based evidence in the investigation of crimes. These professionals examine user activity, look for patterns, and restore damaged documents. Analysts must follow proper data collection protocol and may need more training to qualify for employment.

Some police officers start their careers on uniform patrol. Then, they pass exams to gain increasing responsibilities such as crime scene investigation. A bachelor’s degree isn’t required to work at a local police department. But, a degree can boost an officer’s promotion package if they apply to be a detective.

Median Annual Salary


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