How to Become a Forensic Scientist in Mississippi

The Mississippi Department of Public Safety’s Crime Laboratory, which was established in 1956, consists of a main laboratory in Jackson, along with three regional laboratories in Meridian, Batesville, and Gulf Coast.

The Mississippi Crime Laboratory (MCL) provides forensic services to the state’s law enforcement agencies, from Gulfport and Biloxi to Hattiesburg and West Gulfport.

Forensic Science Degree Granting Schools in Mississippi

Mississippi is home to many colleges and universities that offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees in forensic science and similar disciplines that allow students to acquire the ability to communicate scientific principles and analytical results through a strong theoretical understanding of basic scientific principles.

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Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science with an emphasis in Biological Sciences

A Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science with an emphasis in Biological Sciences provides students with the skills needed to pursue forensic scientist jobs in such areas as DNA analysis and identification.

Common core coursework may include:

  • Introduction to forensic science
  • Forensic biology
  • Forensic analysis
  • Fingerprint analysis and techniques
  • Survey of forensic toxicology
  • Forensic laboratory policies and procedures
  • Drug identification
  • Crime scene documentation

Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science with an emphasis in Chemistry and Biochemistry

A Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science with an emphasis in Chemistry and Biochemistry is designed to prepare students for forensic science careers in such areas as: serology, toxicology, and drug identification.

Common core coursework may include:

  • Introduction to Forensic Science
  • Forensic Biology
  • Forensic Analysis
  • Fingerprint Analysis and Techniques
  • Survey of Forensic Toxicology
  • Crime Scene Documentation
  • Arson and Explosives
  • Special Projects in Forensic Science

Forensic Science Job Qualifications in Mississippi

There are two major job classifications through the MCL: forensic scientists and forensic biologists, with careers ranging from trainees to Level 5, depending upon education, experience and professional certification.

Forensic scientists in Mississippi may work through either the Impression Evidence Division or the Analytical Division.

A forensic science trainee in the Impression Evidence Division must possess a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university, while a forensic science trainee in the Analytical Division must possess a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university, with at least 24 semester hours of chemistry and analytical chemistry.

A forensic biologist trainee in the MCL’s Bioscience Section must possess a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university in chemistry, biology, forensic science, or a directly related field.

About the Mississippi Crime Laboratory

The Mississippi Crime Laboratory (MCL) is organized into the following divisions:

  • Impression Evidence
    • Latent prints
    • Firearms/Toolmarks
    • Questioned documents
    • Technical assistance
  • Analytical
    • Chemical analyses of substances
    • Toxicology
    • Controlled substances
    • Trace evidence
    • Implied consent
  • Bioscience
    • Serology
    • DNA testing
    • Offender DNA Database (CODIS)

The MCL administrative team consist of the MCL director, two deputy directors, two division coordinators (impression evidence and analytical), a bioscience technical leader, regional lab managers, a quality assurance/quality control manager, a forensic projects manager, and a training manager.

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