How to Become a Forensic Scientist in Indiana

The Indiana State Police’s Laboratory Division, which was established in 1936, is responsible for investigating criminal cases based on the professional collection and analysis of physical evidence.

The Laboratory Division, which benefits all criminal justice agencies within the State of Indiana, is also responsible for assisting a number of governmental agencies at the local, state and federal levels.

The Laboratory Division operates four forensic laboratories within the State of Indiana:

  • Indianapolis
  • Lowell
  • Fort Wayne
  • Evansville

Currently, about 80 percent of this state agency’s work is comprised of analytical services for county and municipal police agencies. The Laboratory Division provides these services through 5, distinct sections:

  • Biology Section
  • Management and Administrative Section
  • Comparative Science Section
  • Chemistry Section
  • Crime Scene and Field Support Section

And through 9 forensic disciplines:

  • Biology
  • Crime scene investigations
  • Documents
  • Latent Prints
  • Microanalysis (Trace)
  • Drugs
  • Polygraph
  • Photography
  • Firearms

How to Become a Forensic Scientist in Indiana

Only those individuals who complete a course of study leading to a bachelor’s degree or higher can qualify for forensic scientist jobs in Indiana. As such, this state has a number of degree-granting institutions that offer forensic science degrees.

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For example, students who want to become forensic scientists in Indiana may pursue a Bachelor of Science in Forensic and Investigative Sciences and choose a concentration in either biology or chemistry.

A Bachelor of Science in Forensic and Investigative Sciences provides students with a solid foundation in both the law and forensic sciences, with study in ethics, forensic chemistry and forensic biology comprising a significant portion of the program.

Common coursework in this type of program may include the following:

  • Investigating Forensic Science
  • Concepts of Forensic Science
  • Professional Issues in Forensic Science
  • Forensic Microscopy
  • Forensic Chemistry
  • Forensic Biology
  • Forensic Science and the Law

How to Qualify for Forensic Science Jobs in Indiana

The educational requirements for becoming a forensic scientist in Indiana are varied according to the forensic science specialty:

DNA Analysis

  • Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Chemistry or Forensic Science
  • At least two college courses in:
    • Genetics
    • Biochemistry
    • Molecular Biology
    • A college course in Statistics

Drug Analysis and Microanalysis

  • Bachelor’s degree in a natural science or forensic science
  • At least one semester of physics
  • At least one year of study in chemistry, organic chemistry, and analytical chemistry/instrumental methods

Firearms, Latent Prints, and Questioned Documents

  • Bachelor’s degree with science courses

Training to Become a Forensic Scientist in Indiana

All individuals selected to become a forensic scientist in Indiana must first complete an extensive laboratory training program, which consists of hands-on laboratory work and classroom lectures.

All trainees must pass all written tests, practical examinations, and a courtroom exercise to pass the training program. Although the training period’s duration depends on the laboratory disciplines that are studied, the average training period is 2 years.

Forensic scientist trainees, during the laboratory training program, may also have the opportunity to receive training through a number of agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation. and attend conferences through such organizations as the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

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