Associate Degree in Forensic Science
An associate's degree in forensic science can prepare you for entry-level work in the field. Learn about your degree options, as well as the types of courses you would take in a forensic science program. Find out about the job duties and job outlook for forensic science technicians.
What Types of Associate's Degree Programs in Forensic Science Are Available?
Programs in this field of study, such as an Associate of Science (A.S.) in Forensic Science or an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Biotechnology with a forensic science technician concentration, can be found on traditional college campuses or in distance-learning formats. Acquiring a forensic science education can help you develop skills in leadership, communication and forensic photography. You may also develop an understanding of the structure and processes of the American criminal justice system at the local, state and federal levels.
|Learning Environment||On campus or distance learning|
|Common Course Topics||Biotechnology, organic chemistry, criminal procedures, criminology, forensic science techniques|
|Median Salary (2018)||$58,230* (for forensic science technicians)|
|Job Outlook (2016-26)||17%* (for all forensic science technicians)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Will I Learn?
Associate's degree programs in forensic science typically require you to take elective and core courses in industry-specific techniques and practices, as well as general education courses. In a forensic science program, you will learn how to collect fingerprints, gather samples, run laboratory tests and interpret data. Some programs may also require you to complete an internship.
The following are common topics covered in forensic science associate's degree programs:
- Organic chemistry
- Forensic science techniques
- Criminal investigation
- Justice systems theory
- Critical thinking for science
- Criminal procedures
- Police administration
What Can I Do With My Degree?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that many employers require a bachelor's degree for prospective forensic science technicians. Therefore, an associate's degree in forensic science could be helpful in preparing you for further education at the bachelor's level. Degrees you could pursue include a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Forensic Science or a B.S. in Forensic Chemistry.
As a forensic science technician, you would assist in criminal investigations by collecting and analyzing physical evidence, such as bodily fluids, fingerprints and weapons residue. Additional responsiblities may include writing reports and testifying in court. The BLS predicts that forensic science technicians will see a 17% growth in employment between 2016 and 2026.