With advances in molecular biology, microscopy and microanalytic techniques comes an increased demand for well-trained professionals in the forensic sciences. Forensic scientists play an important role in criminal investigations by examining evidence and reaching conclusions based on specialized tests. In the U.S., many of the leading colleges offer quality forensic science programs.
Pennsylvania State University
Pennsylvania State University's Eberly College of Science provides forensic science courses to undergraduates, grad students and professionals practicing in related fields. The Eberly College of Science features advanced criminalistics labs and other facilities where students are engaged in forensic research. Undergraduate forensic science students at Penn State build a strong foundation in the physical and biological sciences and are introduced to a wide range of topics relevant to the forensic sciences. Students in the master's program receive specialized training in areas including forensic biology, forensic chemistry and criminalistics. The faculty in the forensic science department also partner with guest speakers from government agencies and the criminal justice community to provide courses and professional development workshops to forensic scientists, police officers, crime scene investigators and other professionals in the field.
The Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute at Syracuse University offers a Master of Science degree in biomedical forensic sciences to students in pre-med courses of study. This program is designed for students interested in toxicology, pathology, DNA analysis and other areas related to forensic biology. Students can also participate in a combined forensic science and law degree program intended for students pursuing a career in the legal profession. Syracuse University also hosts the Dialogues in Forensic Science, a series of retreat-style workshops that bring together some of the most prominent forensic science researchers and practitioners in the country.
University of California, Davis
The University of California at Davis has a graduate program that awards students a Master of Science degree in forensic science. This program is a research-oriented program designed to prepare future forensic scientists for advanced studies in various areas related to the field. Over a two-to-three-year course of study, students participate in a combination of classes and applied research. Forensic science students take classes and conduct research on the UC - Davis campus, at the Forensic Science Program facility in the city of Davis and at the CCI training building near the medical center on campus.
Boston University has the only forensic sciences Master of Science degree program that's offered through a school of medicine. The biomedical forensic sciences program at Boston University prepares students to perform a wide range of functions related to crime scene investigation and evidence analysis. This program places a strong emphasis on giving students a strong biomedical background that will allow them to have a high level of expertise when combined with basic knowledge of forensic science. Forensic sciences students have access to a number of resources and facilities housed in Boston's Medical Center, including the Mallory Institute of Pathology and the Clinical Research Center.