What Is a Forensic Criminology Degree?

Degree programs focused specifically in forensic criminology are rare, but many schools award certificates to students who take courses in the subject. Broader degree programs in criminal justice or criminology with forensic concentrations offer forensic criminology courses. Read on to learn more about degree and certificate programs that offer training in forensic criminology. Schools offering Criminology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Forensic Criminology Degrees

While forensic criminology degree programs aren't commonly available, you can find courses or concentrations in this field through criminal justice, forensic science or criminology degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels levels. In these programs, you can gain a well-rounded understanding of the justice system, as well as various types of crime and criminal methods, preparing you for a job as a detective or crime scene investigator, among other options .

Important Facts About This Field

Prerequisites High school diploma or GED for entrance to associate's and bachelor's programs; bachelor's degree in related field for entrance to graduate program; some graduate programs require proficiency in a foreign language
Online Availability Associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees are fully available online
Internships Some programs require internships with a criminal justice agency for course credit
Certificate Levels Post-baccalaureate and graduate
Median Salary (2018)$50,090 (Private Detectives and Investigators)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)11% growth (Private Detectives and Investigators)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Undergraduate and Graduate Level Degrees

When pursuing a 4-year or graduate degree, you'll also have the opportunity to choose a forensic criminology topic for in-depth research for a thesis or dissertation.

Common Courses

Criminology

You'll learn the basics about crime - what crime consists of and how to control it. Topics include the philosophy and psychology of crime, types of crimes, rehabilitation and legal implications of crime.

Methods in Criminal Justice

This course will focus on the various methods and techniques that criminology professionals employ when researching the social reasons of crime, with an emphasis on criminology and criminal justice.

Computer Forensics

This course teaches you how to secure computers and data and investigate technologies used in criminal activity. You'll learn how computers and technology can be used in crime and how to find electronic evidence.

Forensic Criminology Certificates

Colleges and universities often allow students to earn forensic criminology certificates upon completion of a series of courses. The certificates are usually offered through a school's criminal justice program and are recommended for students who either already have or are working towards degrees in a related field.

Most certificate programs require students to take between four and six classes, usually totaling between 12 and 18 semester hours, based on a three-hour-per-course average. Since most forensic criminology certificate programs are designed for students who have already completed some college coursework, they normally don't require students to take classes outside of the field.

Courses

While each criminal justice or forensic criminology certificate program has its own curriculum, there are several classes that most programs offer. Some common courses include:

Forensic Psychology

Students who take forensic psychology classes as part of a criminology program learn the processes used to perform psychological interviews of criminal suspects and witnesses. The class teaches the history of forensic psychology and covers ethical concerns facing psychologists who work within the legal system.

Introduction to Criminal Justice

All criminal justice programs require that students understand the basic principles of criminology. Criminology courses teach students about the causes and effects of crimes, from the perspectives of both individuals and society as a whole. Students learn about current theories of crime prevention and law enforcement.

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:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Saint Leo University

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  • Liberty University

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • Regent University

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  • Colorado Christian University

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  • New England College

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  • Colorado State University Global

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  • Penn Foster High School

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