2022 Best Online Forensic Science Degrees
Forensic science bachelor's degrees take students into the world of evidence-based investigations. They involve a deep look at the criminal justice system, the individuals involved, and the crimes committed, both digitally and physically. Online degrees in forensic science can focus on specializations, such as forensic accounting, forensic psychology, or they can look more broadly at criminal justice, with an emphasis on forensic science. Online degrees in this field allow students to study remotely, tailor their education to their working schedule, and eventually enter a career in forensic science.
2022 Best Online Forensic Science Degrees
|Rank||School||Salary Score||Median Starting Salary|
|# 1||Columbia Southern University||$52,800|
|# 2||American Public University System||89||$49,354|
|# 3||University of Maryland Global Campus||88||$46,672|
|# 4||Oakland City University||87||$45,808|
|# 5||Columbia College - SC||87||$44,941|
|# 6||Liberty University||84||$40,903|
|# 7||University of Arkansas Grantham||81||$37,972|
|# 8||DeVry University||80||$37,292|
|# 9||Stevenson University||79||$36,968|
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2022 Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's Degrees
#1 Columbia Southern University
Columbia Southern University is a medium-sized, private institution with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration - Forensics. This is a flexible, online program built to prepare students with an understanding of criminal psychology and reconstructing crime scenes through investigative procedures. It requires 120 credit hours; however, with 90-transferable credits allowed, students may complete the program in as little as four to 10 weeks on a full-time schedule. Classes will include Criminology, Police and Community Relations, and Judicial Process — all through the online learning management system, Blackboard.
CSU offers online students academic support, career services, and access to a digital library. Graduates of this program may go on to explore careers as criminal investigators or forensic psychologists.
#2 American Public University System
The American Public University System offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice - Digital Forensics that involves the recovery, investigation, examination, and analysis of material found in digital devices, often in relation to mobile devices and computer crime. Through this 120 credit program, students take fully online classes — such as Criminalistics, Criminology, and Constitutional Law — which all culminate into an eight-week capstone project. Most students commit to a full-time schedule in order to graduate in four years.
APU is a large, private university that uses Brightspace to deliver and manage online coursework. Further online resources for students include personalized career guidance and academic advising. Career advancement beyond graduation may include forensic analysts or computer forensics investigators.
#3 University of Maryland Global Campus
Earning a Bachelor of Science in Investigative Forensics from the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) means studying cybersecurity procedures and digital forensics side-by-side. Students can take this particular program online through Learning Experience Online or in a hybrid format, each method requires 120 credit hours. The entire program may take four years to complete on a full-time schedule. Courses include Digital Forensics in the Criminal Justice System, Ethical Hacking, and Network Forensics.
UMGC is a large, public university with resources allocated for online students, such as academic support and lifetime career services. Career outcomes for students may involve joining the private or public sector as computer forensics investigators or cybersecurity analysts.
#4 Oakland City University
Oakland City University (OCU) is a small, private institution with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice - Investigative Forensics. The majority of this four-year, 120-credit-hour program exposes students to the concepts of investigation in the criminal justice system. However, the minor in investigative forensics helps focus the scope of learning to look at criminal investigation, investigative photography, and advanced crime scene investigation. OCU graduates in criminal justice can look into careers as public policy specialists, private investigators, or crime and intelligence analysts.
Students may treat this as a full-time program with some completing the requirements in 24 months. Moodle is the primary system for distance learning students, who also have access to a wide range of resources, such as academic support, career advising, and counseling.
#5 Columbia College - SC
The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice - Forensic track from Columbia College - SC is an overarching program focused on law enforcement relating to terrorism, homeland security, and emergency management. The concentration looks closer at forensics with courses in FBI Fingerprinting, Forensic Toxicology, and Crime Scene Investigations. Graduates may work as customs agents, U.S. Secret Service agents, or forensic investigators.
Columbia College is a small, public school offering online tutoring services and online coursework through Canvas. Up to 38 credit hours are required for this bachelor's program, but this includes all transferable credits. Full-time students with an existing foundational education in criminal justice can complete the program in one to two years.
#6 Liberty University
Liberty University (LU) has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice - Crime Scene Investigation requiring 120 credits — 75% of which are transferable. The core education surrounds criminal justice, but those enrolled in this program are considered forensic science degree students. Students learn how to analyze forensic laws and conduct criminal investigations in order to seek an advanced career as a forensic scientist. Additionally, LU is a large, private institution featuring an online writing center for remote students.
This is a four-year degree, which most students complete on a full-time schedule. Courses are conducted fully online through Canvas. Some of the core courses include Crime Scene Photography, Introduction to Forensics, and Crime Scene Management.
#7 University of Arkansas Grantham
The University of Arkansas Grantham offers a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice - Computer Forensic Investigation, which blends criminal justice theory with practical law enforcement tactics. The Computer Forensic Investigation concentration allows students to apply those skills to digital crimes through computer analysis. Coursework includes Criminology, Juvenile Justice, and Criminal Justice Ethics. This is a 120-credit-hour and fully online program delivered through the learning management system, Blackboard. Students often take at least 38 months to complete it on a full-time schedule.
UA Grantham is a part of the University of Arkansas, which is a large public institution. They offer career services and include a laptop for each incoming student. Career outcomes typically involve becoming law enforcement officers working on computer forensic investigations.
#8 DeVry University
DeVry University is a small, private college offering a robust Bachelor of Science in Justice Administration - Digital Forensics. This concentration involves the recovery, investigation, examination and analysis of material found in digital devices, often in relation to mobile devices and computer crime. Through 122 credits, coursework will include Criminology, Cybercrime, and Digital Forensics, alongside a senior project.
DeVry's bachelor's program can be completed online through Canvas or in a hybrid learning environment that involves some in-person learning. Students can receive academic support online and on campus. Graduates may pursue careers as discovery managers, private investigators, or police officers.
#9 Stevenson University
Stevenson University's fully online Bachelor to Forensic Science Master's Degree Program combines a master's and bachelor's program for students with 60 existing credits that have already been completed. Both the biochemistry and biology bachelor's degrees can be used to advance into their corresponding forensic science master's degree. The biology program will include courses such as Ecology and Evolution and Genetics, while the biochemistry program will include Cell Biology and Genetics and Calculus. Once students reach the master's level, coursework will shift to include Trace Evidence, Toxicology, and DNA Analysis.
Students may complete either program in as little as four years on a full-time schedule, depending on their transferable undergraduate credits. Career tracks upon graduation can include working as forensic chemists, crime scene investigators, or forensic DNA analysts, to name a few options. Stevenson University is a medium-sized, nonprofit institution that has academic support for online students and a digital library.