How to Become a Forensic Scientist in Colorado

The Colorado Forensic Services Section of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation is responsible for collecting, identifying, classifying and analyzing physical evidence related to criminal investigations. Forensic scientists working for this state agency are also responsible for testifying as expert witnesses in criminal court cases and providing expertise in areas such as handwriting, fingerprinting, and biochemistry.

The Colorado Forensic Services Section serves the State of Colorado, from Denver and Colorado Springs to Aurora, Boulder, Lakewood, and beyond. The forensic scientists of the Forensic Services Section may work through one of the state’s four crime laboratories:

  • Denver Forensic Laboratory
  • Durango Forensic Laboratory
  • Grand Junction Forensic Laboratory
  • Pueblo Forensic Laboratory
  • Greely Forensic Laboratory

Colorado’s Forensic Science Schools

Students in Colorado may choose to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, with a concentration in Criminalistics.

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A bachelor’s degree in chemistry provides the framework for any career in forensic science, while a concentration in criminalistics provides the knowledge critical for working in a forensic laboratory. Common coursework in this type of degree program may include:

  • General Chemistry I, II
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry I, II
  • Instrumental Analysis
  • Biochemistry
  • Criminalistics I, II, III
  • General Biology
  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Introduction to Ethics
  • College and General Physics
  • Forensic Anthropology

How to Become a Forensic Scientist in Colorado

Candidates for forensic scientist jobs in Colorado can learn more about the requirements of the Colorado Forensic Services Section through recent job postings.

Forensic scientists are responsible for the scientific analyses of physical evidence, which include laboratory techniques, methods, practices, and equipment. These professionals must conduct supervised chemical and biochemical analyses of evidence and interpret the results for felony investigators. They may also be called upon to assist in the preparation of court testimony and visit crimes scenes as to assist with the identification, collection, and preservation of physical evidence.

Entry-level forensic scientists perform entry-level professional forensic work while receiving on-the-job training. The minimum requirement for these entry-level forensic science careers is a bachelor’s degree in one of the following science fields:

  • Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Physics

Colorado Forensic Services and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation

The following services are providing by the forensic laboratories of the Colorado Forensic Services section:

  • Firearms/Toolmark
  • Forensic Biology and DNA
  • Forensic Chemistry Lab
  • Forensic Imaging
  • Latent Print
  • Quality Assurance
  • Trace Evidence

The Colorado Forensic Services section of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) supports and assists local, county, and state criminal justice agencies through its forensic laboratory services.

In addition to the forensic laboratory services, the CBI provides the following areas of assistance: the Administration of Justice Computer Center, the Crime Information Center Field Operations, and the Administration of Justice Computer Center.

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