Forensic Science is the application of scientific techniques and methods to legal issues. It involves gathering, analyzing and preserving physical evidence found at crime scenes.
Is the Certificate Right For You?
The certificate can be pursued by those who are new to the field of forensic sciences as well as those who are already working in the field but want to upgrade or enhance their skills and knowledge. This certificate will be appropriate for you if you are already majoring in chemistry, biology or another natural science. Typically, institutes will allow you to take it after you’ve completed your bachelor degree.
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How will you Choose an Institute?
There are many institutes which would enable you to complete the certificate as a distant-learning course. You can work while studying and enjoy the freedom to choose your own study schedule. When choosing an institute, you should preferably go for one which is accredited by American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS)
What are the Admission Requirements?
Admission requirements for forensic science certificate can vary but typically institutes require a minimum level of GPA (between 2.0 to 3.0), academic transcripts and two to three Letters of Recommendations. Some institutes, in addition might want you to prove that you’ve completed your bachelor degree from an accredited institution.
What will you really study?
The types, names and range of courses offered vary depending on the institute you are enrolled in. Most programs however would require you to take a certain number of compulsory courses along with the flexibility to choose electives depending on your own area of interest. In order to give you a more clear idea regarding the curriculum, we’ve listed down some courses along with their basic description:
Examples of Required Courses:
Principles of Genetics: This course majorly deals with principles of transmission genetics, population genetics and molecular genetics.
Introduction to Cell Functions: This involves study of the important bimolecular processes and biochemical reactions occurring during growth, development, maintenance and reproduction in human cells. It is based on coursework as well as laboratory experimentation.
Crime and Justice in America: This course will introduce you to decision making in criminal justice, criminal law, court prisons, law enforcement etc.
Examples of Electives:
Forensic Biology: You will learn to evaluate biological evidence and become better familiar with the role that science plays in the legal system.
Forensic Anthropology: This course would teach you the skills required for forensic death investigations. You will learn to observe, analyze evidence and present results in a suitable way.
Forensic Chemical Microscopy: You will learn about forensic microscopy, forensic chemistry, and forensic toxicology.
What is the Employment Outlook?
According to O*NET Online, in 2012:
Forensic science technicians earned an hourly wage of $25.41 and an annual wage of $52,840.
Employment is expected to go up from 10% to 19% during 2010 to 2020, with 7,900 new job openings.
90% of forensic science technicians were employed in the government sector whereas the remaining 10% worked in industries like health care and social assistance.
Questions / Answers
Q:How long is a Certificate in Forensics?
A:A certificate in forensics is a short course. It aims at equipping students with career oriented skills and knowledge. The duration of the program will depend upon the institute you choose to enroll in. Some colleges are offering 6 month certificate programs, while other institutes are offering 12 month certificate programs.
Q:Why are Forensics Certificate Programs gaining so much popularity nowadays?
A:Forensics certification programs are gaining a lot of popularity due to the increased need for updating career skills and upgrading knowledge. These programs will help boost an individual's skill set and increase the chances of better job opportunities. The duration is shorter as compared to degree programs. Many professionals are moving ahead in their career by earning certifications.
Q:A Forensic Certification program will cover what different subjects?
A:A certificate program in the field of forensic science will cover subject areas such as the following: criminal justice, organic chemistry, tracing evidence and documentation, data analysis, and more. The curriculum will vary slightly from school to school. This program basically aims at allowing students to acquire career oriented knowledge and skills regarding forensics.
Q:How much does a forensic Science degree cost?
A:The cost of a degree in forensic science will vary from school to school. You can check online and visit the web pages of prospective schools to learn about their fee and costs. If you are looking for an affordable degree, you can opt for an online program. Some schools also offer financial aid to students who have difficulty in covering educational expenses.
Q:What is a Forensic Sciences Graduate Certificate Program?
A:A graduate certificate program is forensic science is a non-degree program. It is designed to provide students with career oriented knowledge about the field, and equip them with skills needed to become a forensic science technician. The program will cover a range of topics such as investigation techniques, crime scene evidence, and scientific analysis methods.
Q:How is a certificate program in forensic Science covered?
A:A certificate program in forensic science is designed to prep students with technical skills and theoretical knowledge about the field. Students will cover areas such as crime scene analysis, evidence collection, crime scene photography, and more. Apart from the theoretical learning, students must also participate in practical learning sessions to develop skills.