Online Autopsy Colleges

Read about the professionals who perform autopsies, including pathologists and autopsy technicians. Since this is a heavily lab-based field, online training programs for pathologists are not available. Learn what alternate fields of study you could pursue online, such as biology and criminal justice, to help you prepare for a career as an autopsy technician. Schools offering Clinical Laboratory Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Students who are interested in becoming autopsy technicians or embarking on a related career path have a few educational options, though online learning may require education in a separate, related field. You can investigate your options and a few different online programs offered by colleges to see which is right for you.

Who Performs Autopsies?

Autopsies, also known as post-mortem examinations, are performed by pathologists. According to the National Association of Medical Examiners, pathologists are medical doctors who examine bodies to determine causes of death or diagnose diseases ( You will need to complete a premedical bachelor's degree program, medical school and a pathology residency before becoming a pathologist.

According to the American Association of Pathologists' Assistants (AAPA), pathologists' assistants help pathologists perform autopsies by preparing tissues for testing or photographing specimens ( They may also dissect organs or run toxicology tests. Pathologists' assistants typically hold a health science master's degree. Although, a Bachelor of Science may suffice in some instances.

Autopsy technicians also play a role in post-mortem examinations. They may wash and position bodies, prepare laboratory equipment, clean autopsy facilities and maintain bodies' medical paperwork. Though educational requirements vary by employer, in order to become an autopsy technician you may need a bachelor's degree in a field like biology, nursing or criminal justice with a concentration in forensic science. For some positions, an associate's degree may suffice when coupled with on-the-job experience.

Can I Prepare for These Jobs at an Online College?

Because of the necessity of in-person instruction through practicums, lab courses and internships, there are no online autopsy training programs available for pathologists or pathologists' assistants. But if you're looking to become an autopsy technician, online undergraduate degrees in biology and criminal justice may be available, although rare.

In anticipation of employment as an autopsy technician, it's advisable to contact your intended school and employer. This way you can confirm that the curriculum you select is sufficient to qualify you for employment.

What Will an Online Biology Program Look Like?

You'll be able to complete the majority of your chemistry, physics and biology courses online. However, some courses and lab requirements will still need to be completed on campus.

Individual biology courses are also available online. Credit hours can be applied towards on-campus bachelor's degree biology programs. Coursework typically covers introductory topics in molecular structure and genetics. Some include virtual labs that allow you to complete all course requirements from home. Others may require you to take exams on campus.

Which Colleges Offer Online Bachelor's Degrees in Biology?

A number of colleges offer bachelor's degrees in biology entirely online. Here are some of them:

  • University of Florida hosts an Online Bachelor of Arts in Biology
  • The American Military University has a Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences program available online
  • Excelsior College provides an online Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences program with a concentration in Biology

How About an Online Criminal Justice Program?

Appropriate criminal justice programs are those that allow you to specialize in forensics. Courses in an online bachelor's degree program might include biology, chemistry, crime scene investigation, forensic psychology and DNA analysis. You'll also need to take research methods, ethics and social theory courses. Some programs are available entirely online.

Which Colleges Offer Online Bachelor's Degrees in Criminal Justice?

Multiple schools have degree programs leading to a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. The following are a few of them:

  • Drexel University offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Justice Studies online
  • Southern New Hampshire University has an Online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree program
  • Penn State hosts a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program online through their World Campus

While degree programs for autopsy technicians are not available through online learning, a number of alternatives exist, including online bachelor's programs in criminal justice and biology. Pursuing these fields can prepare you directly for a career in the autopsy field, or can prepare you for further study of autopsies.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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