Online Forensic Entomology Schools

Learn about bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in forensic entomology, which focuses on studying evidence provided by insects and arthropods to help solve crimes. Find out how online programs work. Review some of the classes you could take, and read about what you'd learn in a forensic entomology program. Schools offering Biology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

A hybrid bachelor's degree in entomology or forensic science, or an online master's degree in forensic entomology, teaches students about insect biology, habitat and life-cycles, and how to apply that knowledge to crime scene investigation and law processes. Students who wish to further hone their skills can enter a PhD program in entomology. Fully online formats are rare due to the hands-on research requirements of these programs.

What Kind of Degree Can I Get in Forensic Entomology?

In order to prepare for a career as a forensic entomologist, you'll usually earn a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in either entomology or forensic science. Highly recommended are undergraduate courses in biology, chemistry, medical entomology, taxonomy and medical entomology, some of which may be available online.

In order to qualify as a forensic entomologist, you'll need at least a master's degree, typically in entomology although zoology, ecology or biology may be acceptable. There are a number of schools that offer online stand-alone courses in forensic entomology. There are also a few schools that allow you to complete a forensic entomology master's program entirely online. Doctoral forensic entomology programs are currently not offered online.

Schools Offering Undergraduate Degrees in Forensic Entomology

Many schools offer coursework and bachelor's programs in forensic science and entomology. Bachelor's programs are generally designed to be taken on-campus, though online courses may supplement programs.

  • Texas A&M University offers a bachelor's of science degree in entomology or forensic and investigative sciences
  • North Carolina State University offers a bachelor's degree in entomology with options for online coursework
  • University of New Haven offer a bachelor's degree in forensic science and online science courses

Schools Offering Master's Degrees in Forensic Entomology

Master's programs offer additional specialization into the field of forensic entomology. These program often incorporate laboratory work.

  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers a fully online master's of science program in entomology with some forensic entomology coursework
  • Boston University School of Medicine offers a forensic entomology specialization within the forensic anthropology master's program
  • University of Florida offers an online master's degree in entomology with opportunity for electives in forensic entomology

Schools Offering Doctoral Programs in Entomology

PhD programs in entomology are most the most common doctoral degrees applicable to forensic entomology. These programs incorporate more intensive research into insect biology and require on-campus attendance and hands-on lab work.

  • Michigan State University offers PhD programs in entomology
  • University of Kentucky offers a PhD in entomology
  • University of Idaho offers a PhD in entomology

What Will I Learn?

As an online student in a forensic entomology program, you'll learn how to examine insect evidence at a crime scene. You will be able to apply your knowledge of insect biology and ecology to make determinations about the cause, manner and time of death of a decedent. The results of your work may be used by law enforcement in criminal case proceedings.

What Type of Courses Will I Take?

An introductory course in forensic entomology will expose you to insect morphology and classification. You'll learn about the life cycles of insects with a particular focus on postmortem intervals. You'll also learn about the relationship between the law and forensic entomology. A section of the course emphasizing case histories will expose you to special circumstances that can and often do occur in the course of investigating a crime scene.

Courses in identification and natural history of insects will teach you about the succession of insects on carrion and how to interpret it. In insect ecology courses, you'll learn about the relationship between biotic and abiotic factors and how they can mutate and alter the nature of a system. A forensic science course dealing with criminal investigation will teach you about biotaphonomy, the study of external factors, including insect life, on the decomposition or destruction of remains. A DNA custody course will provide an overview of DNA, what it is and why it's important, the identification of and handling of forensic DNA samples.

Students should complete at least a master's degree, with coursework in both entomology and forensic science, to prepare for a career as a forensic entomologist. PhD programs in entomology can offer students the expertise needed to excel in this career path, but are not currently offered fully online.

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:

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