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What's the Curriculum of an Online Crime Scene Investigation Degree?

Crime scene investigators are employed by police to analyze physical evidence found at crime scenes. Courses in an online crime scene investigation degree program vary by school, and some schools only offer degrees in related fields. Keep reading to learn more about the courses offered in a crime scene investigation program and related areas of study.

Courses in a Crime Scene Investigation Online Degree Program

Online crime scene investigation (CSI) curricula vary by institution and degree type. In general, undergraduate degree programs include a mix of CSI courses and general education classes, such as English, algebra, and physical science. CSI courses familiarize students with basics of evidence collection, preservation and analysis. Specific skills learned might include fingerprint recovery and bloodstain analysis.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Online AvailabilityAssociate's, bachelor's and master's degrees (for CSI, criminal justice or forensic science)
Certificates Online undergraduate and graduate certificates (for CSI, criminal justice or forensic science)
Common CoursesCriminalistics, Crime Scene Photography, Computer Forensics
Possible Careers Crime Scene Technician, Forensic Analyst, Criminalist
Median Salary (2018)$58,230 (Forensic Science Technicians)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)17% growth (Forensic Science Technicians)

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

Related Degree Programs

Not all institutions offer majors in CSI. However, some offer online degrees that emphasize CSI as part of another discipline such as forensic science and criminal justice.

Forensic Science

Forensic science, which is defined as the use of science for a legal purpose, encompasses much of the technical knowledge of CSI. An online forensic science degree program typically includes courses in toxicology, forensic anthropology and DNA analysis.

Criminal Justice

A degree in criminal justice prepares graduates for careers in law enforcement. Individuals interested in CSI should look for criminal justice programs that specialize in forensics or criminology. Criminal justice students take classes in subjects such as criminal procedure and victimology.