Online Master’s In Forensic Science

A master's degree in forensic science can lead to new career opportunities. Here, we list the top programs available.

Updated September 20, 2022

Reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Online Master’s In Forensic Science

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Pursue Graduate Education with a Master's in Forensic Science

Forensic scientists investigate and analyze evidence to aid criminal investigations and other legal proceedings. Encompassing traditional scientific disciplines including biology, physics, and chemistry, forensic science also incorporates crime scene investigation tools and techniques.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that forensic science technicians earn an annual median salary of $60,590. The BLS projects jobs for these professionals to grow 14% from 2019-2029.

This guide ranks the best online master's in forensic science programs. It also covers other important information for prospective students, such as common courses and scholarship opportunities for forensic science students.


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Frequently Asked Questions: Master's in Forensic Science


Do forensic scientists get paid well?

Forensic science technicians earn an annual median salary of $60,590. However, a master's degree may qualify forensic scientists for advanced positions with higher salaries.

What qualifications do I need to do forensic science?

Most forensic science technician jobs require at least a bachelor's degree. Higher-level positions with specialized duties may require a master's degree.

Is forensic science a good career?

According to the BLS, forensic scientists earn above-average salaries. The BLS also projects jobs for these professionals to grow faster than average between 2019-2029, making forensic science a practical career choice.

How do I get a job in forensics?

Forensics jobs typically require at least a bachelor's degree, but a master's degree may qualify graduates for leadership roles in the field.

Why Get a Degree in Forensic Science?

A master's in forensic science builds advanced knowledge and skills in the scientific analysis of forensic evidence. While most entry-level forensic science positions only require a bachelor's degree, earning a forensic science master's degree prepares candidates for leadership roles in the field.

Many online forensic science master's programs cater to professionals already employed in the field, enabling students to earn their degree while maintaining full-time employment. Programs may encourage students to apply their learning to their current job. Additionally, colleges often provide tuition discounts to online learners.

How Much Does a Forensic Science Degree Cost?

Tuition for master's in forensic science programs varies by factors such as school, delivery format, and enrollment status. Private schools typically charge higher tuition rates than public schools. In-state students at public schools usually pay the lowest tuition rates.

Online students often save money on their degree compared to on-campus students. For instance, distance learners may save on some of the expenses that on-campus students incur, such as transportation costs. Additionally, many schools offer tuition discounts to online students.

Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.

How Much Do Forensic Science Majors Make?

Forensic science professionals earn competitive salaries. The BLS reports that forensic science technicians earn an annual median salary of $60,590, with the top 10% of earners making an annual median salary of over $100,000.

However, salaries vary by factors like location, experience, and industry. Scientists employed by the federal executive branch typically make the highest wages, earning an annual median salary of $120,790. Forensic scientists employed by local governments earn an annual median salary of $65,840.

Earning a master's in forensic science can help candidates advance to leadership roles with higher pay. Obtaining professional certifications can also help forensic scientists move into higher-paying positions.

Courses in Forensic Science

A master's in forensic science builds advanced knowledge in forensic techniques and scientific analysis, training students to interpret evidence from crime scenes and other forensic circumstances. The degree encomapsses major scientific fields including biology, chemistry, and physics. Students also explore specialized forensic investigation techniques and the application of forensic evidence to legal proceedings.

Many forensic science programs require students to complete a research-based thesis or capstone project. This culminating requirement typically entails significant research on a contemporary forensic science issue or problem.

Courses vary by program, but the following list outlines several courses commonly found in master's in forensic science programs.

Certifications and Licensure for Forensic Science

Forensic scientists and other forensic specialists can use professional certifications to demonstrate key knowledge and competencies. Earning certification may help forensic scientists transition to a new career path or advance in their current job. This list highlights three common forensic science certifications offered through the American Board of Criminalistics.

This credential serves forensic examiners who work with hair and/or textile analysis. Certification candidates need at least two years of relevant professional experience and professional authorization to perform forensic analysis of hairs and fibers. Candidates must also pass a three-hour, 200-question exam. Serving forensic biologists, this certification demonstrates skills in the analysis of biological evidence such as DNA. Candidates need at least two years of experience related to forensic biology casework. This certification serves skilled criminalists authorized to perform forensics casework in multiple specialty areas. Candidates must hold at least two years of experience and pass a comprehensive 200-question exam.

Scholarships for Forensic Science

Candidates pursuing a forensic science master's degree can take advantage of financial aid opportunities to help offset the cost of the degree, including student loans, grants, and scholarships. Unlike loans, scholarships do not require repayment, making them ideal forms of financial aid. The following list outlines three scholarship opportunities for master's in forensic science students.

Scholarships for Forensic Science
Scholarship Amount Who Can Apply

Johnson-Whyte Memorial Foundation Fund

Varies The International Association for Identification offers this scholarship to students pursuing programs related to forensic identification. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA.

George H. Robinson Memorial Scholarship

$1,000 Students enrolled in criminal justice or forensic science programs qualify for this opportunity. Applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA.

Women in Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE) Scholarships

Varies WIFLE offers scholarships to female students pursuing criminal justice-related programs, including forensic science programs. Applicants must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit a short essay.

Online Master's In Forensic Science Programs 2022

#1

University of Central Florida

School Information
Location Orlando, Florida
Admission Rate 44%
Graduation Rate 72%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

University of Central Florida delivers undergraduate and graduate programs from its Orlando campus. Learners attending the school can study on campus or online . The institution's online master's in forensic science provides a flexible option for students interested in the field.

To succeed in the rigorous master's program, enrollees can receive academic advising from forensic science faculty members. Learners with personal or professional obligations often benefit from the online program's flexibility. Full-time enrollees can typically earn their master's in 1-2 years.

Students with financial need can apply for federal grants and loans. To help cover the cost of their education, 35% of enrollees take out student loans. Additionally, 92% of learners receive financial aid.

University of Central Florida Facts:

Total Programs: 195

Number of Online Programs: 47

Online Master's Programs: 75

Number of Online Students: 41,097

Average Per-Credit Tuition: Not Known

Religious Affiliation: Non-Affiliated

Applies Transfer Credits: No

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#2

Saint Leo University

School Information
Location Saint Leo, Florida
Admission Rate 72%
Graduation Rate 49%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 72% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Learners can enroll at Saint Leo University to pursue respected master's degrees in many fields, including forensic science. The private institution enrolls 7,873 students in online programs. Working professionals who enroll in online programs can complete academic requirements around their schedule.

Student's pursuing the school's master's in criminal justice - forensic science develop transferable skills and gain field-specific knowledge. Faculty mentors help degree candidates select courses that support their career aspirations. Learners complete a flexible curriculum and develop industry-specific skills. Master's graduates often qualify for promotions or raises. Students can use the institution's career services to plan their professional future.

The school provides support services, including career advising and financial aid counseling, to support learners' overall success. Students pursuing online graduate programs benefit from the school's affordable tuition rates. Scholarships and fellowships can also help learners reduce out-of-pocket expenses. The school's average cost per credit is unknown.

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#3

Stevenson University

School Information
Location Stevenson, Maryland
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 60%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Learners attending Stevenson University can choose from top-ranked online master's programs in many fields, including forensic science. Based in Stevenson, Maryland, the private institution enrolls 1,982 online students. Learners with personal or professional obligations often benefit from online programs' flexible scheduling options.

The master's in forensic science curriculum emphasizes career skills and field-specific knowledge. Graduate students consult with faculty mentors to select courses based on their professional goals. Master's degree-seekers develop industry-specific knowledge during flexible coursework. Learners currently employed in the forensic science field often qualify for career advancement after graduation. Current and former students work closely with career services to transition from the program into the workforce.

In addition to online support services and career advising, the school offers financial aid counseling. Learners may also qualify for scholarships and fellowships. The school's cost per credit is unknown.

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#4

National University

School Information
Location La Jolla, California
Admission Rate 89%
Graduation Rate 29%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Based in La Jolla, California, National University educates undergraduate and graduate degree-seekers on campus and online. Busy learners can pursue the private institution's online master's programs. Students interested in forensic science can enroll in the master of forensic sciences program.

Enrollees take core forensic science classes to gain foundational knowledge in the field. The program also features advanced forensic science courses and electives, which allow degree-seekers to customize the program. To prepare to enter the workforce after graduation, master's students can take advantage of faculty mentorship and experiential learning opportunities.

Mastaer's graduates can pursue leadership roles in their field. Graduate students and alumni can receive professional assistance and resources from the institution's career counselors.

The college's cost per credit is unknown. Degree-seekers with financial need can submit the FAFSA to qualify for federal grants and loans. Learners may qualify for scholarships, fellowships, and employer-sponsored tuition plans. Of the school's graduate students, 33% obtain financial aid to pay for their degree.

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