Overview

Career Information

What Can You Do with a B.S. in Forensic Studies and Justice?

The objective of the undergraduate program in Forensic Studies and Justice is to develop a sound educational basis either for law school, graduate work, or professional training in one or more of the technical areas comprising the modern criminal justice system, such as Homeland Security, Customs, or Border Security. By tailoring electives, students can create areas of professional emphasis like white collar crime, human trafficking, victim advocates, environmental crimes, and others.

What Can You Do with a B.A. in Criminology?

Career Paths to Consider:

Social Services - Domestic/Sexual Violence or Human Trafficking Centers, Victim Advocate

Corrections - Probation Officer, Detention Deputy, Re-Entry Programs

Law & Courts - Court Clerk, Diversion Programs, Lawyer, Paralegal, Pre-Trial Services

Private Sector - Private or Fraud Investigation, Loss Prevention, Risk Management

Juvenile Justice - Group Homes, Residential Officer, Case Management

Cybercrime - Intelligence Analyst, Cyber Threat/Fraud Analyst

Law Enforcement - Federal & State Agencies, Police Officer, Crime Scene Investigator

Questions to Ask Yourself:

  • At what stage of the criminal justice system do you want to be involved with?
  • If you want to help people, how directly or indirectly do you want to work with them?
  • What type of job components/functions are you interested in?

What is the Difference between Crime Scene Investigation and Forensic Science?

The main job of a Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) is to document, identify and collect physical evidence at a crime scene. CSI’s are often police officers, although with some agencies there are civilian CSI positions.  The BA in Criminology is a degree option for this career path.

A forensic scientist is first a scientist, who is an expert in their science.  When a scientist’s knowledge and expertise is used to help lawyers, juries, and judges understand the results of scientific tests, the scientist becomes a forensic scientist. Careers in forensic science require knowledge from specific disciplines and often require advanced degrees/professional training well beyond the undergraduate level. Students interested in being a forensic scientist should major in the subject area they want to become an expert in. Criminology can be a good option for a minor or possibly a double major.

Common Types of Forensic Scientists
  • Psychiatric & Behavioral Science - Forensic psychologists generally major in psychology/behavioral science during their four years of college, complete an additional one to two years of training for a master’s degree, and spend an additional four to six years in graduate school to obtain a PhD in psychology. 
  • Criminalistics (analyze evidence in a lab) - The minimum educational requirement for a criminalist is a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biology, physics, molecular biology, forensic science, or a related physical science.
  • Anthropology - Forensic anthropologists usually earn a PhD in anthropology with an emphasis on the study of human osteology and anatomy.
  • Digital & Multimedia Sciences - a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, preferably in computer science, information technology, or engineering
  • Pathology/Biology - All forensic pathologists are medical doctors with an MD or DO degree.

Forensics Information provided by American Academy of Forensic Sciences: www.aafs.org

Career Guides

Corrections and Juvenile Justice

Forensics

Homeland Security

Law Enforcement (Part 1)

Law Enforcement (Part 2)

Legal

Private Sector