How to Select a Forensic Analysis School
Because so many people these days are interested in careers as forensic analysts, it comes as no surprise that hundreds of schools – both online and on campus – offer up degree programs in forensics. The tips below will help you choose a school that is the right fit for your learning style and your career goals.
Is the School Accredited?
If you will be attending college for the purpose of attending a bachelor’s or master’s degree, then it is very important for you to ensure that the school has been accredited by the Forensic Science Education Program Accreditation Commission, or FEPAC. This group essentially establishes the educational requirements for the field and ensures that those who attend the programs have everything they need to be successful in their careers as forensic analysts. Not only will you receive the best education, but you’ll also be more appealing to potential employers once you’ve graduated.
Does It Offer the Right Degree for You?
Another thing that you’ll need to consider when it comes to selecting a forensic analysis school is the degree you will need for the career path you’ve chosen. A forensic analyst can choose from any number of specialties, and for this reason, it is important to make sure that the degree you want is focused on the right specialty – or that it offers up electives in your specialty, at the very least. You may choose to focus on computers, biotechnology, or even criminal justice as a minor while you major in biology or some other form of natural science.
What Are the Internship Opportunities?
Almost all bachelor’s and master’s degrees in forensic science fields will require some sort of internship, and the more prestigious and in-depth that internship is, the more you will learn. Before you decide to attend any forensic analyst college, you will first want to make sure that you can meet the requirements of the internship schedule and that you’ll be able to travel when necessary. Your internship could last anywhere from six to twelve weeks, and it is typically a Monday-through-Friday schedule although you may be called to crime scenes during off hours in some learning establishments.
Online or On-Campus?
Finally, before you commit to anything for sure, you’ll want to consider whether or not you want to attend classes on campus or participate in an online hybrid degree program. Online classes are a great way to add some flexibility to your schedule, particularly if you are already working as an assistant in the forensics field. However, much of the learning is of a hands-on nature, so you’ll be required to travel to campuses or learning laboratories in order to satisfy this part of your education. There are many different online programs from which you can choose, so be sure to select one that fits your budget and your scheduling needs.
Regardless of the college for forensic analysis you choose, there are scholarships and grants available to you that can help you offset some of the costs associated with attending a four-year college. These are awarded based on financial need and academic merit, and you can apply for (and win) than one.