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Forensic Science Online Programs – The Top 20 of 2022

forensic science online programs

Forensic science is constantly evolving. Those who wish to pursue forensic science careers must be adaptable. To stay ahead of the curve, earn a degree from an accredited forensic science online program!

Many universities and colleges offer online forensic science degree programs. However, not all of these programs are created equal. The programs outlined in this article have accreditation from the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC). This accrediting body is the gold standard in accreditation for forensic science programs. In addition to being accredited by FEPAC, the programs you’ll learn about also offer comprehensive curricula, experienced faculty, and flexible learning options, making them ideal for working adults.

Read on to find forensic science online degrees that can change your career!

What is Forensic Science?

Forensic scientists apply scientific methods to investigate criminal activity. They use their knowledge of biology, chemistry, physics, and other sciences to analyze physical evidence from crime scenes and help solve crimes. Plus, they can specialize in particular evidence, such as DNA, fingerprints, or firearms.

Most forensic science technicians work in either a laboratory or on-site crime scenes. They may collect and analyze evidence, conduct interviews, and write reports.

Who is the Ideal Candidate for a Forensic Science Online Program?

The ideal candidate for a forensic science degree online is interested in the scientific and criminal justice fields. They have a background in science or a related field, like mathematics or medicine. Additionally, working professionals who want to advance careers in forensic science will find online degree programs beneficial.

Some online forensic science programs may require students to have completed prerequisite coursework, so it’s essential to check the requirements of each program before you apply.

What to Look for in A Forensic Science Online Program

When considering an online degree in forensic science, there are a few key factors that prospective students should keep in mind. Here are a few things to look for when choosing a program:

Accreditation

An important factor to consider is whether or not a school is accredited. There are several accrediting bodies for colleges and universities. The two most important for prospective students to look for are accreditation by:

  • The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) and
  • The Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC).

The US Department of Education recognizes both of these accrediting bodies. They ensure that programs meet high standards for quality.

Program Structure

Most online forensic science programs are designed for nontraditional students. They offer a flexible, asynchronous format allowing students to work on their schedules.

Still, some programs may require students to participate in synchronous components, such as live lectures or labs, which can be challenging to work into a busy schedule. Before enrolling in any program, check the requirements to make sure that program meets your needs.

Curriculum

When looking at different programs, pay close attention to the curriculum to ensure that it aligns with your interests and goals. Most forensic science programs include coursework in:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Math, and
  • Criminal justice courses.

Some programs also offer specialized tracks in digital forensics or forensic psychology. Ensure that the program you choose offers the courses you are interested in and helps you meet your goals.

Faculty

Another essential factor to consider is the faculty teaching in the program. Check to see if the faculty members have experience working in forensic science. You can find this information on the program website or by contacting the admissions office.

Cost

The cost is always an essential factor when choosing a college or university. However, it is crucial to keep tuition costs in mind when considering an online program, as tuition rates can vary widely from one school to the next. Be sure to check the tuition rates for all of the programs you are considering before making a final decision.

Top 3 Associate Forensic Science Online Programs

1. St. Petersburg College

Program: Crime Scene Technology
Degree: Associate of Science

St. Petersburg College online Associate of Science in Crime Scene Technology will give you a solid understanding of crime scene techniques. This course will study the phases of evidence gathering under the legal system. You will participate in lab and field research utilizing staged crime scenes and mock courtroom trials.

Suppose you complete this AS in Crime Scene Technology coursework. In that case, you may use it to complete your online public safety administration bachelor’s degree.

This degree may lead to employment in office jobs for:

  • Fire inspectors
  • Crime scene investigators
  • Crime labs
  • State attorneys
  • Public defenders
  • Medical examiners
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2. Franklin University

Program: Forensic Accounting
Degree: Associate of Science

Franklin University provides an online AS in Forensic Accounting. This degree program aims to teach you how to aid businesses in comprehending the broad consequences of fraud and the small details. You’ll study how to approach business management, learn how to research and analyze fraudulent behavior and propose preventive and control initiatives.

You can make a career out of it in one of the following areas:

  • Accounting Technician
  • Accounting Assistant
  • Bookkeeper
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3. St. Petersburg College

Program: Digital Forensics & Computer Investigations
Degree: Associate of Science

An Associate of Science in Digital Forensics and Computer Investigations from St. Petersburg College will teach you the techniques to obtain, keep, and use digital evidence in criminal investigations. You’ll study how to follow electronic leads for cases beyond computer-related offenses. It also will prepare you to assist law enforcement in investigating and capturing cybercriminals, such as:

  • Hackers and stalkers
  • Identity thieves
  • Fraudsters
  • Software pirates and copyright infringers

The credit earned in this AS degree can be applied to a bachelor’s in Public Safety Administration by continuing your education online.

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Top 7 Bachelor in Forensic Science Online Programs

1. Champlain College

Program: Computer Forensics & Digital Investigations
Degree: Bachelor of Science

The online Bachelor of Science in Computer Forensics & Digital Investigations is one of the country’s top computer forensics and digital investigations programs. Students complete several tasks using the most up-to-date software and applications in this state-of-the-art virtual laboratory, demonstrating their understanding through active participation. In addition to these courses, students learn crucial ideas in criminal law, computer systems, forensic accounting and investigation, cybercrime, and digital forensics analysis.

You’ll enter any workplace as a well-rounded professional with soft skills such as critical thinking, innovation, communication, problem-solving, and more integrated into every course.

Individuals interested in working in law enforcement at the local, state, or federal levels, the military, or using information security parameters would benefit significantly from earning this degree.

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2. Liberty University

Program: Criminal Justice/Crime Scene Investigation
Degree: Bachelor of Science

A Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Crime Scene Investigation from Liberty University will prepare you for success in a challenging and exciting career. This online BS in Criminal Justice degree program offers comprehensive training in forensics, investigation, and scientific analysis of crime scenes. You’ll learn to document, collect, and preserve evidence while also understanding the legal aspects of crime scene investigation.

This degree will give you the skills and knowledge to pursue a career in law enforcement, private investigations, or forensics. Moreover, students can use it to advance their current jobs or complete their education for a master’s degree.

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3. Purdue University Global

Program: Criminal Justice/Crime Scene Investigation
Degree: Bachelor of Science

Another top online BS in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Crime Scene Investigation comes from Purdue University Global. This program is for working adults who want to pursue or advance their careers in law enforcement or private security. The curriculum focuses on providing students with the knowledge and skills necessary to work in crime scene investigation and related fields.

Courses cover criminal law, evidence collection and preservation, crime scene reconstruction, and forensic science. With this degree, you’ll be prepared to work in various settings, including law enforcement agencies, private companies, and government organizations.

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4. University of Arkansas Grantham

Program: Criminal Justice/Computer Forensic Investigations
Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Students who complete the Computer Forensic Investigation concentration at the University of Arkansas Grantham will be well-equipped to work in cybersecurity with skills and knowledge that are immediately applicable.

The online forensics degree will include topics such as:

  • Ethical hacking
  • Criminal intelligence analysis
  • Computer crime investigation
  • Computer forensics tools and techniques

This degree is perfect for those who want to pursue a career in computer forensics, information security, or law enforcement. Graduates of this online bachelor’s in forensics science may pursue a career in law enforcement, including security and asset protection, loss prevention, and other police-related occupations.

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5. Strayer University

Program: Criminal Justice/Computer Forensics
Degree: Bachelor of Science

As one of the leading online universities, Strayer University is an excellent choice for students pursuing a degree in forensic science. The school offers an online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Computer Forensics. This program prepares students for computer forensics and digital investigations careers.

The curriculum for this program includes courses in computer science, digital forensics, and criminal justice. Students will also have the opportunity to take electives in digital evidence, network security, and cybercrime.

This program will prepare graduates for careers as computer forensics analysts, digital investigators, and cybercrime specialists. They will have the skills and knowledge to work in various settings, including law enforcement, private companies, and government agencies.

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6. Champlain College

Program: Economic Crime Investigation
Degree: Bachelor of Science

The online BS in Economic Crime Investigation program is for individuals who wish to work as certified financial examiners, fraud examiners, or other jobs in fraud investigation. The program includes courses in financial accounting, managerial accounting, forensic accounting, auditing, forensics analysis, white-collar crime, and criminal law. You’ll be ready to take a fraud examination required for sought-after national certification in your industry.

Graduates will enter the workplace as well-rounded professionals with soft skills like critical thinking, creativity, communication, problem-solving, and more built into every course. Graduates of this program are also prepared to take the Certified Fraud Examiner exam and defend against fraud, financial transactions fraud, fraud investigation, and legal aspects of fraud. They may develop a company-wide fraud prevention plan.

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7. Tiffin University

Program: Criminal Justice/Criminalistics
Degree: Bachelor

With Tiffin University’s online Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree in Criminalistics, students can pursue a career as a crime scene investigator, latent print examiner, or forensic scientist. This BCJ in Criminalistics degree program is for students who wish to pursue a law enforcement career in forensic evidence. The program emphasizes the scientific analysis and study of evidence of crimes at the non-laboratory level.

Courses include topics such as:

  • Human Anatomy & Physiology
  • Technology & Crime
  • Investigative Interviewing
  • Forensic Investigation of Sex Crimes
  • Evidence Processing & Preservation

Students in this program will have the opportunity to complete an internship in a forensic lab or police department. This experience will give them the hands-on training they need to succeed in their career.

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Top 10 Master’s in Forensic Science Online Programs

1. Grand Canyon University

Program: Forensic Science
Degree: Master of Science

Grand Canyon University developed this curriculum to meet the demands of specialists in the field and those just getting started in their forensics professions. Here, courses include more advanced technical skill development, hands-on lab experiences, and career-related coursework, as well as studies on topics such as:

  • Chemistry and toxicology
  • Applied statistics
  • Forensic disciplines

After completing this program, graduates will be able to pursue careers as crime scene investigators, latent print examiners, or forensic scientists.

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2. Champlain College

Program: Digital Forensic Science
Degree: Master of Science

Students in the MS in Digital Forensic Science program use digital evidence to investigate various crimes while developing tried and accurate methods for gathering evidence that courts use. Students will discover a deeper understanding of web and mobile technologies through hands-on learning. They’ll study case studies to build their solutions to real-world digital crimes, which will help them become more nimble in this rapidly changing field.

Coursework offers a framework of digital forensic fundamentals through courses like:

  • The Practice of Digital Investigations
  • Scripting for Digital Forensics
  • Operating System Analysis
  • Incident Response and Network Forensics
  • Mobile Device Analysis

Students can make professional connections with students all across the country. And they can apply what they’ve learned in nearly any sector, working in both the private and public sectors. This program equips graduates to advance in their current law enforcement role or an information security team or company.

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3. Saint Leo University

Program: Criminal Justice/Forensic Science
Degree: Master of Science

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Forensic Science from Saint Leo University will enhance your ability to apply scientific methods to solve crimes. This online MS in CJ / Forensic Science degree program focuses on understanding the use and limitations of various scientific techniques in criminal investigations.

In addition to the specialization courses, you’ll also complete a capstone project that allows you to synthesize and apply the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired throughout the program.

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4. Utica University

Program: Cybersecurity/Computer Forensics
Degree: Master of Science

The Master of Science in Cybersecurity is a graduate degree program that teaches students how to prevent, react to, and recover from cyberattacks. The curriculum focuses on a thorough grasp of network forensics tools and procedures and their principles. Students gain a deep level of understanding and hands-on expertise in cyber intelligence, essential infrastructures, and investigative mechanics across the field of cybercrime, including:

  • Attacks and defense
  • Crisis management
  • Risk assessment and compliance
  • Digital forensics
  • Ethics and policy

Essential skills for students in this program include the ability to:

  • Analyze data and draw conclusions
  • Think critically and solve problems
  • Communicate effectively

This degree prepares students for careers as computer forensics investigators, ethical hackers, and security analysts.

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5. Carlow University

Program: Fraud & Forensics
Degree: Master of Business Administration

Fraud is a significant concern in today’s digital and global economy. The online MBA in Fraud and Forensics from Carlow University will place you at the top of your field. This online Forensics program explains how to examine financial papers, investigate fraud, and establish security measures to prevent fraud. The coursework also covers business writing, IT management, and the legal ramifications of fraud.

Graduates will be well-equipped to take the national Certified Fraud Examiners exam. The following are some of the positions that graduates of this online Business Administration degree can fill:

  • Forensic accountant
  • Financial investigator
  • Financial services professional
  • Prevention analyst
  • Forensic audit expert
  • Fraud examiner
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6. Carlow University

Program: Fraud & Forensics
Degree: Master of Science

Carlow University’s MS in Fraud and Forensics online degree is for professionals who want to make a difference in the field. The 12-14 month IACBE-accredited online program meets the needs of professionals seeking advanced analytical, organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills.

After completing the program, students will be able to assess risk. They will also be able to conduct internal and external fraud investigations and write internal and external policies and procedures. Students will know how to examine financial statements and utilize technological tools for data analysis of financial statements and evidence.

The program prepares students to sit for the CFE exam and meet the 150-hour mark to take the CPA test. Graduates can work as fraud investigators, auditors, and cyber security analysts. Graduates can also connect with an alumni network featuring more than 200 successful professionals for assistance and advice.

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7. University of the Cumberlands

Program: Digital Forensics
Degree: Master of Science

Individuals with bachelor’s degrees who work in the field and wish to enhance their professional qualifications and careers may apply for the online Master of Science in Digital Forensics program.

The curriculum covers theories, methods, and tactics in the field, preparing students to restore and investigate data lost due to computer crime, fraud, or abuse. Students of this program learn how to take an active role in recovering stolen information, develop the skills required for cyber forensics, and examine leadership possibilities. The coursework emphasizes practical applications, and students work with numerous digital forensics tools.

The program prepares graduates to work as digital forensics investigators, computer forensic analysts, and digital evidence examiners.

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8. Sam Houston State University

Program: Digital Forensics
Degree: Master of Science

Digital forensics is a rapidly growing and essential field responsible for investigating digital devices for crime or security purposes. Sam Houston State University offers an online Master of Science in Digital Forensics that takes as little as two years to complete.

This degree program focuses on the technical aspects of digital forensics. And it provides students with the skills to become expert digital forensic analysts. The curriculum covers computer forensics, network forensics, and digital evidence. Students in the program can gain hands-on experience through internships and practicums. Graduation prepares students for careers as digital forensics examiners, investigators, and analysts.

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9. University of Central Florida

Program: Digital Forensics
Degree: Master of Science

The online Master of Science in Digital Forensics degree program teaches students to become leaders. Who understand contemporary technology security and safety by dealing with digital threats, crimes, and security.

The curriculum covers all bases, from computer science to electrical and computer engineering to chemistry to criminal justice and legal studies. This program is ideal for working professionals who want to stay ahead of the curve in the field. You’ll learn communication, problem-solving, computer technology, and more skills and an expert witness and forensic examiner communication methods. Some of the careers graduates from this program can pursue include:

  • Digital forensics analyst
  • Digital evidence examiner
  • Cybercrime investigator
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10. Florida Atlantic University

Program: Executive Accounting/Forensic Accounting
Degree: Master of Accounting

Last but not least is Florida Atlantic University’s online Executive Master of Accounting degree with a concentration in Forensic Accounting. This program is for working professionals who want to pursue or advance their accounting and forensic accounting careers. Students may benefit from instructors who have been in expert witness testimony and diligent investigation work. Students will have a firm understanding of the following, among other things:

Fraud investigation and prevention

  • Dispute resolution
  • Litigation support
  • Valuation

These lessons will prepare students for careers as CPAs, controllers, audit managers, and forensic accountants.

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Are Forensic Scientists Paid Well?

Yes. Forensic Science Technicians, for example, made a median salary of $61,930 in May 2021, as recorded by the BLS. Moreover, the job outlook for this field is expected to grow by 16% from 2020 to 2030. Pursuing a career in forensic science can be a great way to earn a good income while also helping to keep your community safe.

Careers in Forensic Science

In this field, you’ll have the chance to use your scientific expertise to investigate crimes and help to bring criminals to justice. With a degree in forensic science, you could work in a crime lab as a forensic scientist or crime scene investigator or become a police officer specializing in forensics.

Here are ten careers, their annual salaries, and projected job growth that you could pursue with a degree in forensic science:

Forensic Science Technicians
Salary: $61,930 per year
Projected growth: 16%

Crime Scene Investigators

Salary: $83,640 per year
Projected growth: 16%

Computer Forensics Examiner

Salary: $72,929 per year
Projected growth: 16%

Criminalist
Salary: $71,980 per year
Projected growth: 14%

Forensic Accountants

Salary: $77,250 per year
Projected growth: 7%

Private Detectives and Investigators

Salary: $59,380 per year
Projected growth: 13%

Chemists and Materials Scientists
Salary: $79,760 per year
Projected growth: 6%

Forensic Autopsy Technician
Salary: $61,930 per year
Projected growth: 16%

Forensic Engineer
Salary: $85,525 per year
Projected growth: 16%

Forensic Medical Examiner
Salary: $208,000 per year
Projected growth: 3%

Find a Forensic Science Online Program Today!

With so many online forensic science degree programs to choose from, it’s essential to do your research to find the right fit. Fortunately, we’ve done the legwork for you and compiled the top 20 forensic science online programs from associate to master’s degrees.

Whether you’re interested in digital forensics, accounting, or another field within forensic science, you’re sure to find a program on this list that’s a good fit for you.

If you’re interested in forensic science, an online degree program is an excellent way to start. Check out the online forensic science degree programs on our list and take the next step towards a fulfilling career today.

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