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Online Colleges for Crime Scene & Forensics

Several hit television shows have given viewers a peek into the field of crime scene and forensics, and as a result, interest in this field is surging. With all this renewed attention, competition for the top jobs in this sector can be tough. By completing a crime scenes and forensics degree program, you can show potential employers that you have what it takes to get the job done both in and outside of the lab. However, finding the time to get to campus-based classes can be a difficult proposition. Don't let this dissuade you, though: online crime scene and forensics degree programs exist that can take the pressure of time and transportation off your shoulders, and we're here to help you find just the right program to suit your needs.

Featured Online Colleges for Crime Scene and Forensics

Students wanting to find that perfect school for online education in crime scene and forensics can look to this list for help. We put this list together using the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)'s data and our unique methodology. At the bottom of this page, below our list of five featured online colleges for crime scene and forensics, those who are curious can find details about the methodology used for the selection of this list.

1

Blue Ridge Community College

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$2,304
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
9
Accredited
School Type
2-year

With the slogan "Your Success is Our Mission," this school was chartered in 1969, and offers both online options and on-campus programs. In fact, more than 100 areas of study are available between the school's online and campus-based learning. Blue Ridge Community College made this list of featured online colleges for crime scenes and forensics due to having an open-admissions policy and awarding the highest percentage of forensics degrees in 2015 out of all five colleges on this list.

Students enrolled in distance learning at Blue Ridge Community College can work toward an Associate of Applied Science in criminal justice latent evidence degree, for which all courses are offered fully online. Students at this two-year school get involved in online learning through the school's participation in the Southern Regional Education Board's Electronic Campus. They also are eligible to transfer their credits to any of the 18 public colleges and universities in North Carolina.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Location:

180 West Campus Drive
Flat Rock, North Carolina 28731-4728
Go to School Website 
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2

Fox Valley Technical College

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$3,852
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
10
Accredited
School Type
2-year

Learning how to collect, document and preserve evidence needs to be a goal of anyone who wants to pursue a career in crime scene and forensics. Fox Valley Technical College offers an Associate of Applied Science in forensic science degree program that can be taken online or on-campus. Students with relevant high school credit or other college credit may be able to transfer those credits to Fox Valley, giving them a head start on the AAS program. On the other side of the spectrum, graduates of the program may be able to transfer to a four-year school after finishing their two-year degree.

Fox Valley Technical College offers other online related degrees in the field, including a certificate in cyber-crime investigation; an Associate of Applied Science in criminal justice; and a certificate in crime prevention. It's well worth pointing out that this school had the second highest graduation rate of all five of the featured online colleges for crime scene and forensics included on this list, pointing to the quality and clarity of their education.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Location:

1825 North Bluemound Drive
Appleton, Wisconsin 54912-2277
Go to School Website 
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3

Prince George's Community College

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$4,632
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
18
Accredited
School Type
2-year

Pursue the truth of crime scenes after you pursue an Associate of Science in forensic science degree online at Prince George's Community College. This is just one of the half-dozen associate degrees available online through the school, including another related degree: an Associate of Applied Science in criminal justice. This degree emphasizes science coursework, including:

  • General Chemistry
  • Forensic Science
  • Microbiology

Students learn how criminal investigation, the law and physical science tie into the evidentiary process. Critical thinking and verbal and written communication are focal points of multiple courses, and photography in the forensic sciences is a required class. Prince George's Community College's associate degree in forensic science articulates with other local programs, a process that helps students to transfer credit for the courses they have taken at Prince George's to other local colleges. This can be very helpful for anybody who wishes to move up to earning a bachelor's degree after earning the AAS at Prince George's. This versatility is paired with an open admissions policy, heralding acceptance for all students who have earned a high school diploma or GED certificate.

Accreditation:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Location:

301 Largo Road
Largo, Maryland 20774-2199
Go to School Website 
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4

American Public University Systems

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$6,480
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
140
Accredited
School Type
4-year

The curriculum used in American Public University's undergraduate certificate in forensics is offered entirely online. Students even have the option to transfer in as many as nine credits toward the certificate program. Courses for the online degree are available in either eight- or 16-week sessions, and enrollment is available on an ongoing basis. The seven-course certificate is designed for students to increase their understanding of:

  • Criminal behavior
  • Criminal liability and criminal law
  • Evidence collection
  • Pathology of death investigation, including the manner and cause of death
  • Profiling, using legal, psychological and social research

The program can be completed in as little as a year with full-time enrollment. Students also can choose to pursue the school's online Bachelor of Science in criminal justice degree as an alternative. We would be remiss not to mention that the American Public University has the honor of demonstrating the highest graduation rate of all the schools on this list.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission

Location:

111 West Congress Street
Charles Town, West Virginia 25414
Go to School Website 
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5

University of Maryland-University College

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$6,696
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
106
Accredited
School Type
4-year

New career seekers, single parents, veterans and other adults may want to consider the Bachelor of Science in investigative forensics degree program that is offered entirely online through the University of Maryland-University College. Of note, the Military Times ranked the school as the Top Public University for Veterans in 2017. Transfer credits can be used for the program, and graduates of Maryland community colleges may find savings if they are eligible for the Completion Scholarship. Students in this online degree program can learn about the following:

  • Criminal procedures and evidence
  • Fingerprint analysis
  • Firearms and toolmark analysis
  • Principles of digital analysis

Like the other online colleges for crime scene and forensics featured on this list, the University of Maryland-University College follows an open admissions policy. Also, the university offers the choice for some classes in the program to be completed in hybrid format. In case the bachelor's degree is not what you are looking for, a minor in investigative forensics also is available, rounding out your options.

Accreditation:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Location:

3501 University Boulevard East
Adelphi, Maryland 20783-8010
Go to School Website 
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Sources and Methodologies

Sources:

  1. Distance Learning, Blue Ridge Community College, Accessed April 2017, http://www.blueridge.edu/academics/distance-learning
  2. eLearning Services, Prince George's Community College, Accessed April 2017, http://www.pgcconline.com/aboutOnlineLearning/degreeCertificatePrograms.html
  3. Forensics Undergraduate Certificate, American Public University, Accessed April 2017, http://www.apu.apus.edu/academic/schools/security-and-global-studies/certificate-ug/forensics.html
  4. Investigative Forensics Bachelor's Degree, University of Maryland, University College, Accessed April 2017, http://www.umuc.edu/academic-programs/bachelors-degrees/investigative-forensics-major.cfm
  5. Law Enforcement, Fox Valley Technical College, Accessed April 2017, https://www.fvtc.edu/programs/public-safety/law-enforcement - 105044
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Sources and Methodologies