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How to Become a Forensic Scientist in Georgia

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According to the Bureau of Statistics (BLS), the metropolitan area of Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta ranks eighth in the nation for its employment of forensic scientists. Statewide, Georgia ranked among the nation’s top 10 states for its employment level of forensic scientists.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Division of Forensic Sciences, is responsible for providing forensic sciences “through accurate and thorough analyses utilizing state-of-the-art technology.”

The Division of Forensic Sciences is organized into 10 distinct departments, which include:

  • Chemistry
  • Firearms
  • Forensic Biology
  • Implied Consent
  • Latent Prints
  • Medical Examiners
  • Operations Support
  • Questioned Documents/Impressions
  • Toxicology
  • Trace Evidence

The Division performs its forensic services through its laboratory headquarters in Decatur and through six strategically located branches:

  • Central Lab: Dry Branch
  • Coastal Lab: Savannah
  • Eastern Lab: Augusta
  • Northeastern Lab: Cleveland
  • Southwestern Lab: Moultrie
  • Western Lab: Midland

Georgia’s Forensic Science Colleges

Georgia is home to a number of colleges and universities that offer study in forensic science. One of the more common programs is a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science, which provides a solid foundation for students seeking careers in:

  • Forensic Chemistry
  • Forensic Microscopy
  • Forensic Toxicology
  • Forensic Photography
  • Forensic DNA
  • Forensic Fingerprinting

Most Bachelor of Science degrees in Forensic Science require students to possess a minimum GPA in all courses taken in their last degree program in high school or college, as well as a minimum SAT score in math.

Core coursework in a Bachelor of Science degree in Forensic Science often includes the following:

  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Principles of Human Genetics
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Forensic Instrumentation
  • Biochemistry
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Introduction to Criminalistics
  • Toxicology
  • Diagnostic Techniques in Molecular Pathology
  • Forensic Molecular Techniques

About Georgia’s Division of Forensic Sciences

Forensic scientists working in Georgia through the Division of Forensic Sciences (often referred to as crime lab scientists) are responsible for performing laboratory examinations, on physical evidence submitted by state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies.

Individuals who want to learn how to become a forensic scientist and pursue a career in this field in Georgia must possess, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university that includes at least two college science courses. Additional educational requirements may exist for forensic scientists, depending on the position.

Georgia’s Division of Forensic Sciences, which was established in 1952, is the second oldest state crime laboratory in the nation. The Division of Forensic Sciences provides scientific support to the state’s criminal justice system through the collection, analysis, and interpretation of physical evidence for police officers and other law enforcement officials, investigators, and district attorneys throughout the State of Georgia.

Forensic scientists in Georgia use some of the most current scientific technologies and instrumentation to analyze and interpret physical evidence. These professionals are also responsible for providing expert courtroom testimony.

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