Forensic science, also known as forensics, involves the application of various sciences to assist the legal system. Forensic scientists have played a significant role in solving many civil and criminal cases all over the world, by conducting research and by analyzing physical evidence gathered from the crime scenes.
This field offers many career opportunities. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that the demand for forensic scientists will increase by 20 percent during the next decade. Students can specialize in DNA analysis, etc. Many universities in the Unites States of America offer programs in forensic science. Here is a compilation of the best of them.
1) University of Central Florida: This is the second largest university in the United States of America. It is serving more than 56000 students in is 12 colleges all over the state. The National Center for Forensic Science (NCFS), a program of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), is housed in this university. This offers a great opportunity for students to interact with experts in the field. The NCFS is dedicated to serve forensic science, investigative and criminal justice communities. It has been helping them enhance their capabilities to serve the field better. Tuition costs are quite reasonable. A faculty to student ratio of around 1:25 enables easy interaction between students and those who teach.
2) University of Mississippi: This university has been serving students efficiently from the middle of the nineteenth century. The American Academy of Forensic Scientists had ranked this university’s forensic chemistry program as one among the top five. Faculty to student ratio of 1:21 enables the faculty members to provide individual attention. Students learn chemistry, biology and criminal investigation procedures. The program also includes a summer internship in a crime laboratory.
3) Methodist University: This university was founded by the United Methodist Church in North Carolina. Its BS degree in Chemistry, with a focus on forensic science, helps students learn various scientific methods and procedures like DNA analysis, chromatography and infrared resonance imaging.
4) Loyola University: This university in New Orleans has a very good faculty to student ratio of 1:11. Its forensic science programs focus on imparting analytical techniques used both in the field and in the laboratories. Some of the instructors are working professionals from the Orleans and Jefferson Parish Crime Laboratories. The program includes an internship.
5) Oregon State University: This research university is located in Corvallis in the state of Oregon. Its BS program in Chemistry helps students learn analytical and experimental chemistry, biochemistry, toxicology, cell and molecular biology. The program provides ample scope for students to involve themselves in research activities. The program includes an internship.
Being part of these reputed universities will definitely help students in gaining expertise in the field of forensic science.