Which Well-Known Colleges Offer Forensic Pathology Programs?

To acquire the prerequisite skills needed to work in forensic pathology, you can pursue a general pathology residency or a forensic pathology fellowship through a recognized college as part of your medical school training. Read on to learn the characteristics of well-regarded programs. Learn about three top schools and their distinctions. Schools offering Anatomy & Physiology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Constitutes a Top Forensic Pathology College?

When you're considering forensic pathology programs, you should look for programs that offer a well-rounded education through rotations in both anatomic and clinical pathology. The best programs provide you with a variety of subspecialty elective rotations in pathology, during which you can begin to specialize in forensic pathology. The facilities where you work should be equipped with the latest medical technology and should support renowned academic physicians. You'll also want to look for access to facilities that enable you to research specialized topics and further develop your specialty skills.

You can look for schools that offer post-residency fellowships in forensic pathology. Top schools allow you to perform autopsies on a regular basis and participate in forensic pathology seminars. Consider schools that feature board-qualified forensic pathologists on their faculty.

What Are Three Top Forensic Pathology Programs?

Emory University in Atlanta, GA

For 2019, Emory University was ranked 24th in the nation in medical research by U.S. News & World Report, and Emory University's Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine is a rigorous and innovative training center for aspiring pathologists. The department offers rotations in two general areas: anatomic pathology and clinical pathology. General rotations in anatomic pathology include a forensic pathology rotation, in addition to rotations in autopsy, cytopathology and surgical pathology.

In the forensic pathology rotation, students perform autopsies at the county medical examiner's office. Residents can also investigate crime scenes and observe courtroom testimony. The department provides residents the opportunity to research specialized topics in investigative pathology, including molecular diagnostics, informatics, immunology, epithelial biology and vaccines. Emory provides a special residency track for those interested in careers in academic investigative pathology.

  • Forensic Pathology Fellowship

Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC

Ranked as tied for 50th in the nation for medical research for 2019 by U.S. News & World Report, Wake Forest University's School of Medicine provides combined training in clinical and anatomic pathology. The program is designed to take four years and includes core rotations in autopsy and forensic pathology, surgical pathology, neuropathology and molecular pathology, among other areas. Students can perform hospital and medical examiner autopsies while working with professional forensic pathologists.

Wake Forest also offers a forensic pathology fellowship. Fellows examine bodies at crime scenes and perform up to 300 autopsies throughout the year-long training. Training is also provided in toxicology and criminalistic areas through the state's investigation bureau and medical examiner's office.

  • Forensic Pathology Fellowship

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) was ranked the 23rd best medical school for research in 2019, per U.S. News & World Report. The UNC School of Medicine's Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine supports a 4-year residency program that combines anatomic pathology and clinical pathology with research opportunities and post-residency fellowships, including a forensic pathology fellowship.

Residents are encouraged to get involved in research in order to broaden their knowledge and sharpen their specialized skills; the department engages in research fields such as cardiovascular biology, hemostasis and thrombosis, cell research, immunology, infectious diseases, molecular genetics pathology and neuropathology. In the fellowship program, students perform 250 autopsies and can engage in consultations in forensic odontology, forensic radiology and neuropathology.

  • Forensic Pathology Fellowship

10 Additional Schools with Forensic Pathology Programs

College/University Institution Type LocationEstimated Graduate In-State Tuition*
University of California - San Francisco 4-year, Public San Francisco, CA$13,000
Stanford University 4-year, Private Palo Alto, CA$51,000
Drexel University 4-year, Private Philadelphia, PA$35,000
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine 4-year, Private Philadelphia, PA$29,000
Brown University 4-year, Private Providence, RI$55,000
Medical University of South Carolina 4-year, Public Charleston, SC$17,000
Medical College of Wisconsin 4-year, Private Milwaukee, WI$30,000
Virginia Commonwealth University 4-year, Public Richmond, VA$14,000
University of Colorado - Denver 4-year, Public Denver, CO$8,000
Saint Louis University 4-year, Private Saint Louis, MO$21,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

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