Top Value: Most Affordable Associate’s Degrees in CSI and Forensic Science at Accredited Schools

Crime scene investigations is a highly technical field based in rigorous science, making a formal education critically important to the job. With technologies like ballistics trajectory lasers and alternative light photography now in common use, technical training and a college degree are necessary first steps.

Forensic science, with extensive laboratory testing and analysis work, has similarly advanced. New techniques allow the analysis of tiny traces of biological or physical evidence, allowing sophisticated matching with DNA or chemical patterns to tie individuals or weapons back to specific crime scenes. It all requires advanced training in chemistry and technology to be effective.

Fortunately, you can still get the knowledge you need in CSI and forensics with a relatively small investment of time and money—a two-year associate’s degree from a community college may be all you need. But with many two-year programs now ringing in at close to $20,000, pricing out your options is a wise idea.

The good news is that you don’t have to compromise on quality to get the education you need at a reasonable price. You can find an exceptional value at accredited schools that offer CSI and forensics programs taught by experienced instructors – and we’re here to make locating the best value in your area a little easier.

What is the Difference Between Forensic Science and Crime Scene Investigation?

You’ll find associate’s degrees in both crime scene investigation and forensic science offered at community colleges across the country. Depending on the individual program, you’re likely to find a lot of curriculum overlap between the two. In fact, in some law enforcement agencies, particularly smaller ones, you will find forensics positions that involve both field and lab work.

But it’s increasingly important to specialize in a field that is becoming more and more technical, which means that there are differences in preparing for evidence collection and investigations work that takes place at crime scenes, and the forensic investigations work that takes place in the lab.

Typically, programs that focus on forensic science will have more in-depth courses in basic sciences: chemistry, mathematics, biology, and physics. They will usually feature more lab time, allowing you to use and master important laboratory procedures designed to prevent sample contamination, while focusing on chain of evidence and analytical techniques.

Programs that are more focused on crime scene investigation will give you more hands-on exposure to the kinds of tools and techniques that are used out in the field—gathering trace evidence, considerations in scene processing, and working closely with investigators to ensure clean and well-managed scenes to preserve and gather necessary evidence.

It’s possible to pursue either specialization with any of the degrees we list, but you’ll find your path is smoother and faster if you focus your education on the type of forensics career you plan to engage in. That’s why we feature two separate lists of best value programs:

 

What Types of Associate’s Degrees Are Available in Forensics and Crime Scene Investigation?

All associate’s degrees offer a curriculum built around two years of full-time study, usually hovering around 60 credit hours. There are some important differences in degree types, however, that may influence your decision based on your career goals.

Since CSI and forensics are science-based subjects, you’ll find AA (Associate of Arts) options to be pretty rare in this field, with just a few ending up making this list. Science based AS (Associate of Science) and AAS (Associate of Applied Science) degrees are the standard in this field. The key difference between AS and AAS programs comes down to the ability to easily transfer credits to a bachelor’s degree program down the road:

  • Associate of Science – AS degrees focus heavily on the science and technical aspects of a vocation, but includes enough liberal arts courses to allow them to be used as a transfer degree for advanced standing in a bachelor’s program. If you plan to go on to earn a bachelor’s to further develop your technical skills and forensic expertise, it’s wise to go with an AS program.
  • Associate of Applied Science – AAS degrees offer less liberal arts education and are usually not transferable. They focus strongly on vocational preparation to allow you to take on significant job duties on day one after graduation. Most programs in these fields are AAS since a two-year program meets the criteria for most crime scene technician jobs. If your plans don’t involve moving on to more technical investigations and lab work, then an AAS program is right for you.

Potential employers will not distinguish between the two degrees, but if you plan to eventually return to school and earn a bachelor’s in forensics or a related field, then an AS is your better choice… If you’re interested in learning as much as you can about the vocation in two years and don’t have plans to complete a bachelor’s program, then an AAS is a focused degree that will put you right in the deep end.

Forensic science degrees are similar, although, because the science core is often more robust, you can find those that will offer transfer opportunities even with an AAS program.

Affordable Tuition + Accreditation and Other Critical Components = Exceptional Value

Our exhaustive process to identify every affordable CSI associate’s program in the nation started off by laboriously combing through the lists of schools to make sure that each of them hold the basic academic qualifications necessary to deliver a quality degree that employers, courts, and jurors will respect.

When You’re Looking for Value, Cost is the First Consideration

After ensuring that all the schools met the accreditation standard, our major criteria for inclusion on the list was cost. We looked at the total in-state cost of tuition for each program and then compared it to the average for all similar programs in the state. Any school that came in below or at that average was a shoe-in.

In the interest of giving you the entire picture and to allow you to make a well-informed decision, we made an effort to be inclusive and avoid disqualifying programs from the list arbitrarily. If there was just one program available in the state, we included it as long as the cost was reasonable in comparison to those offered in neighboring states. We also included programs that are a little higher than the state average as long as they still represent a great value by meeting our quality standards while being close to the pack in terms of price.

You don’t make a big decision like where to go to college just based on cost, though. Particularly in a highly technical field like crime scene investigation, you better be sure that you are picking a program that gets all the nuts and bolts right, delivering a science-based curriculum that truly prepares you for confronting the dark mysteries that haunt the crime scenes you’ll have to process on the job.

Some of the other information we’ve included that can help you make your decision include:

Programs at Accredited Schools Come with the Assurance of Quality

Every program that made the list has been accredited by one of the six regional accreditation bodies recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the Department of Education (DOE) for accrediting associate’s college programs.

Those agencies are:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Southern Association of College and Schools (SACSCOC)
  • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJ)

Each of them puts schools through an exhaustive vetting process that includes self-evaluations, on-site checks, and poring over records and policy documents. It’s a little bit like CSI: Academia.

Accreditation is a voluntary process, but a critical one—employers and other schools you might want to transfer your credits to will generally only accept degrees that have been awarded by accredited colleges.

Real Connections with Law Enforcement Agencies and Crime Labs/h2>
Programs that have strong ties to local or state law enforcement agencies and regional crime labs can offer you a lot more in the way of opportunities to make valuable contacts with active CSI staff and forensic scientists, while at the same time putting you in touch with potential employers. It also ensures that those programs are up-to-date on the latest trends and technology in the field.

We include information about whether or not programs offer internship placements or have advisory boards from local law enforcement and science professionals.

Experienced Instructors with Real CSI Backgrounds and Qualifications

It’s equally important to have instructors who have been through the chaos of an active or recently cleared crime scene and can help you get the right mindset and perspective for handling those situations.

Professional law enforcement officers should get equal billing to academics in a good CSI program, so we note where programs have made it a priority to stack their faculty bench with instructors and speakers with a good breadth of real experience.

Hands-On Learning Including Lab and Field Work

The science behind a lot of common forensic technologies and techniques is fascinating, and you definitely need to understand the science and theory behind how it works. But you also have to get out and get your hands dirty to see how it all comes together in the real world.

We highlight when programs have significant lab and field work components that allow you to actually practice techniques in the lab and at simulated crime scenes to make sure you get it right when you get called in to do the work in the real world.

Best Value CSI Associate’s Degree Programs of 2020

Arkansas

 

University of Arkansas Community College at Hope-Texarkana
Texarkana, Arkansas
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Crime Scene Investigation

Semester Credits: 60
Estimated Program Cost: $4,080
In-state tuition $5,966 LESS than the state average for CSI programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by HLC

  • Program is partnered with the University of Arkansas System Criminal Justice Institute
  • Participant in Arkansas Career Pathways Initiative to help overcome barriers to training and education
  • Classes are accredited by the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training, recognized state-wide

The UAHT CSI degree program delivers a focused Associate of Arts in Applied Science that combines basic law enforcement training with advanced courses delivered by the Criminal Justice Institute from the UA system. That means you’re getting instruction from some of the best law enforcement trainers in the state, but at a fraction of the cost of attending one of the big state schools. The curriculum options include a course on computer applications and cybercrime forensics.

 

National Park College
Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Crime Scene Investigation

Semester Credits: 62
Estimated Program Cost: $5,580
In-state tuition $4,466 LESS than the state average for CSI programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by HLC

  • Program is partnered with the University of Arkansas System Criminal Justice Institute
  • Students also required to complete basic law enforcement training at an ACLEST accredited academy

With courses on topics like bloodstain pattern documentation and crime scene reconstruction and interpretation taught by the highly qualified instructors of the UA Criminal Justice Institute, you are getting the same CSI investigation education you would at a four-year school in the system, but at a fraction of the cost. Combined with basic studies from NPC like criminal justice and government studies, you’ll get a firm base to begin your career in CSI.

 

University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton

Morrilton, Arkansas
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Crime Scene Investigation

Semester Credits: 61
Estimated Program Cost: $5,612
In-state tuition $4,434 LESS than the state average for CSI programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by HLC

  • School requires students to be currently employed in law enforcement to declare the CSI major
  • Program is offered in partnership with the University of Arkansas System Criminal Justice Institute

An Advanced Crime Scene special topics technical course is one of the things that lets you know this program stands out from the crowd in Arkansas CSI investigation. The fact that only current law enforcement employees are allowed to enroll also tells you that you’re getting a high-caliber, exclusive education into the serious business of CSI. Offered in partnership with the Criminal Justice Institute of the University of Arkansas system, this program delivers quality content from experienced instructors working with the latest topics and technologies.

 

Southeast Arkansas College

Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Crime Scene Investigation

Semester Credits: 63
Estimated Program Cost: $6,048
In-state tuition $3,998 LESS than the state average for CSI programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by HLC

  • Program is offered in partnership with the University of Arkansas System Criminal Justice Institute
  • Accepts current law enforcement officers or students currently enrolled at an ACLAST accredited academy

SEARK gives you more than just the technical aspects of CSI work. With general studies courses like general psychology and oral communications for public address, it also equips you to be a more well-rounded investigator with the kind of skills you need not only to make critical crime scene observations, but also to communicate your findings to other parts of the law enforcement team. Since instructors in CSI components of the program come from the highly respected UA Criminal Justice Institute, you will be learning the technical parts of the business from some of the best in the state.

California

 

Southwestern College

Chula Vista, California
Website

Associate in Science Crime Scene Investigator

Semester Credits: 60
Estimated Program Cost: $2,760
The only associate-level CSI program offered at an accredited school in the state of California.

Accredited by ACCJC

  • Focused program with high-tech equipment including digital forensic photography systems
  • Faculty includes professionals with both legal and business backgrounds for an organizational and management-oriented perspective

Southwestern has a fully fleshed-out administration of justice department that includes other law enforcement majors such as corrections and LEO. That means your studies here will be a well-rounded consideration of all aspects of crime scene investigation, from evidence-preservation to case-building, with perspective from every angle of the law enforcement process. You’ll get the full scope of education you need to become an entry-level field investigator in forensics. Since this is the only associate’s-level CSI program in the state, it’s a good thing it delivers everything you need to process crime scenes with confidence.

Florida

 

Florida SouthWestern State College

Fort Meyers, Florida
Website

Associate of Science in Crime Scene Technology

Semester Credits: 60
Estimated Program Cost: $4,860
In-state tuition $993 LESS than the state average for CSI programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by SACSCOC

  • AS graduates eligible to receive full credit when transferring to BAS in Public Safety Administration
  • Offers internship opportunities that will place you in active law enforcement, medical examiner, and other forensic investigation positions for first-hand experience before graduation
  • Studies occur both in the classroom and in the laboratory using the most modern techniques and equipment, such as digital imaging technology

The AS in Crime Scene Technology at FSW leans heavily on the Technology side of the table, with courses in Computerized Crime Scene Graphic Imaging and Advanced Crime Scene Technology to train you in the latest high-tech advances in forensic detection. But you’ll also get a solid general education in subjects like math, humanities, and social sciences, combined with other subject-specific courses like Courtroom Presentation of Scientific Evidence, that can prepare you for work beyond evidence-collection. An AS from FSW can also set you up to go a lot further in both your education and your career, since the school has transfer agreements with many other regional universities, as well as a BAS in Public Safety Administration on its own campus.

 

Miami Dade College

Miami, Florida
Website

Associate of Science in Crime Scene Technology

Semester Credits: 60
Estimated Program Cost: $4,980
In-state tuition $873 LESS than the state average for CSI programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by SACSCOC

  • Completing your AS at Miami Dade allows you to continue in the BAS in Public Safety Management program at the school
  • Online class options are available for many of the courses in the program
  • Seven different campus locations available for traditional on-site classes

With studies ranging from general criminal justice education to fingerprinting to courtroom presentation, you get a complete set of training every aspect of crime scene investigation and evidence presentation. You’ll learn how to fill a vital role in crime scene investigation teams and how to help build cases that will get convictions and put criminals behind bars with solid, scientific evidence. You can also apply the training in other roles, such as medical or insurance investigations, giving you a wide range of career options after graduation.

Georgia

 

Southern Regional Technical College

Thomasville, Georgia
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Crime Scene Investigation

Semester Credits: 69
Estimated Program Cost: $6,900
The only associate-level CSI program offered at an accredited school in the state of Georgia.

Accredited by SACSCOC

  • Entrance dates available at the beginning of every semester to align with your schedule
  • Specialization tracks available in Laboratory Forensics and Computer Forensics to put you at the cutting edge of in-demand topics in CSI today
  • Internship and externship opportunities available to give you real-world exposure to CSI tasks and responsibilities

You’ll get a blended education at SRTC that will boost your career opportunities far beyond simply gathering evidence at crime scenes. The school believes in developing academic, occupational, and professional knowledge to help you both land a job in CSI and to advance within the profession. A combination of criminal justice and forensic lab theory is presented through courses such as Principles of Law Enforcement and Ethical and Cultural Perspectives on Criminal Justice. A strong series of laboratory forensics courses rounds out your scientific knowledge with basics in anatomy and physiology as well as chemistry and advanced computer concepts.

Kansas

 

Northwest Kansas Technical College

Goodland, Kansas
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Crime Scene Investigation

Semester Credits: 68
Estimated Program Cost: $16,600
The only associate-level CSI program offered at an accredited school in the state of Kansas.

Accredited by HLC

  • Hands-on approach to CSI education means you will learn by doing in technical courses every day
  • An advisory committee with working professionals from the law enforcement community helps this program get the details right based on the current state-of-the-art in crime scene investigation

With an intensely technical approach to the practical elements of crime scene processing and evidence gathering, from laying out a matrix to digital documentation, the Northwest Kansas Technical College approach has you working hands-on from day one. You’ll learn how to properly collect, preserve, document, and transport evidence by working under the supervision of experienced, educated professionals. Along the way, you’ll pick up the fundamentals of law enforcement techniques and interrogation, along with courtroom presentation and other valuable communication skills.

Oklahoma

 

Oklahoma State University – Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Police Science – Crime Scene Investigation Concentration

Semester Credits: 74
Estimated Program Cost: $11,193
The only associate-level CSI program offered at an accredited school in the state of Oklahoma.

Accredited by HLC

  • As a concentration option in a police science program, this degree gives you an unparalleled exposure to the LEO perspective on crime scenes and evidence gathering
  • A comprehensive approach to education prepares you through basic chemistry and biology courses to build an understanding of drug detection
  • Graduates have found employment in local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies as well as private sector services

As the importance of science-based investigative techniques has grown in the law enforcement field, OSU has kept pace with this first-rate AAS that focuses on the technical aspects of crime scene processing and investigation. As a concentration in the school’s Police Science associate’s program, this degree also allows you to explore concepts beyond the limits of a typical CSI program. You will have access to courses like Police Records and Reports and Principles of Investigation and Interview, as well as the typical coursework in Forensic Science and Technical Investigations.

South Carolina

 

Horry-Georgetown Technical College

Conway, South Carolina
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology – Crime Scene Investigation Path

Semester Credits: 66
Estimated Program Cost: $11,286
The only associate-level CSI program offered at an accredited school in the state of South Carolina.

Accredited by SACSCOC

  • Structured program blends Math, English, and other core college courses with criminalistics and criminology subjects to form a complete, well-rounded education
  • Alumni have gone on to the Myrtle Beach Police Department and the Horry County Police Department
  • Offers a 135-hour internship for real on-the-job experience with local agencies
  • Capstone course ending the program ties together your work in a portfolio that will help you in your job search

An in-depth study of legal issues and the fundamental principles and practices of criminal investigation and crime scene processing is delivered through a combination of in-class presentations and hands-on field training here at the Horry-Georgetown TC AAS in Criminal Justice Technology – CSI. Students include current active law enforcement professionals along with fresh trainees, lending perspective and experience to every class. The unique capstone course at the end of the program not only helps your job search by leaving you with a portfolio of your accomplishments, it also helps consolidate what you have learned to make you a better, more well-rounded investigator.

Tennessee

 

Nashville State Community College

Nashville, Tennessee
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Law Enforcement – Crime Scene Investigation Concentration

Semester Credits: 61
Estimated Program Cost: $10,248
The only associate-level CSI program offered at an accredited school in the state of Tennessee.

Accredited by SACSCOC

  • Course on surface skeletons and buried bodies offers unique and in-depth education on an under-examined subject area
  • Program receives support and input from the Middle Tennessee Law Enforcement and Corrections Community to tie classes to real-world demands

The mission of the NSCC law enforcement program is to provide the best technical career education possible. They deliver just that with courses in Latent Fingerprint Development, Bloodstain Evidence, and a detailed look at surfacing and documenting buried bodies and examining other skeletal remains. With a commitment to delivering the kind of education that law enforcement agencies and students demand, NSCC offers all the support you need for immediate employment after graduation.

Texas

 

Lamar Institute of Technology

Beaumont, Texas
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Crime Scene Technician

Semester Credits: 60
Estimated Program Cost: $5,700
The only associate-level CSI program offered at an accredited school in the state of Texas.

Accredited by SACSCOC

  • Offers complete training in the processing, documentation, and preservation of evidence
  • Experienced and dedicated instructors with decades of real-world experience provide perspective and guidance on the reality of this important role

The LIT program in crime scene investigations goes broad right from the outset, offering courses on social problems and criminology to help you get your footing in criminal justice practices before you dive into the technical issues of crime scene investigation. But you get the full set of hands-on skills as well, with 28 dedicated lab hours in subjects like Chemistry, Vice and Narcotics Investigation, and Criminalistics. A 20 hour practicum offers real-world, on-the-job experience with a local law enforcement agency.

Best Value Associate’s Degree Programs in Forensic Science

Alabama

 

Wallace State Community College
Hanceville, Alabama
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice – Forensic Investigation Pathway

Semester Credits: 63

Estimated Program Cost: $8,253

In-state tuition $197 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by SACSCOC

  • Special emphasis placed on laboratory practices used in the development of investigative evidence
  • As part of a broader criminal justice program, the forensic pathway also exposes you to more general law enforcement topics and prepares you to work as part of a larger investigative team

The Wallace State program features an in-depth study of lab techniques and investigative elements covering topics like Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs in combination with on-scene skills like Forensic Photography and Crime Scene Investigation. That makes you a double threat to criminals, backed up by education in criminal law and procedures, ethics, and general psychology to gain insights into motives and other prosecutorial considerations. You’ll touch on the most modern aspects of forensic investigation including the use of DNA analysis, firearm examination, and computer forensics. And you’ll gain the confidence and expertise to present evidence at trial.

 

George C. Wallace Community College
Dothan, Alabama
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice – Forensic Investigation Concentration

Semester Credits: 66

Estimated Program Cost: $8,646

In-state tuition $196 more than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by SACSCOC

  • Training includes laboratory analysis of in-demand subjects such as fingerprint and DNA evidence
  • Broad education in subjects outside the lab as well, including homicide and criminal investigation principles

Although the GCWCC program comes out a little higher than the average cost of forensic science programs in Alabama, you’re actually getting an additional three credits for that cost, which could be well worth it for the extra education. That represents an entire additional class in your associate’s program that you can fill with an elective. Added to the core courses covering topics like Constitutional Law, Criminal Evidence, and Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, that can make you a pretty formidable forensic investigator as soon as you graduate. With an emphasis on criminalistics and laboratory practices, this degree offers a state-of-the-art education that enables both current law enforcement personnel and newcomers to drop right into forensics units.

Arizona

 

Glendale Community College
Glendale, Arizona
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Forensic Science (Lab Science Emphasis)

Semester Credits: 60

Estimated Program Cost: $5,100

In-state tuition IS EQUAL TO the state average for accredited forensic programs.

Accredited by HLC

  • Study in a diverse, inclusive public safety program with a proven track record of career preparation
  • Offers an interdisciplinary education that builds teamwork along with scientific investigation skills
  • Program offers students the opportunity to complete two additional certificates of completion in Crime Scene Investigation and Fingerprint Identification and Photography

GCC doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to delivering a first-rate, scientific education in forensics. You’ll get specialized courses in photography, the collection and preservation of evidence, and proven investigative strategies. At the same time, you’ll have a more general education in criminal justice and the ethical and administrative considerations involved in forensics work. A seminar in courtroom testimony will prepare you to attest to your findings in formal settings to help secure convictions. The Lab Science emphasis also builds your core knowledge of chemistry and physics so you learn the basics behind the fascinating technologies used in forensic science today.

 

Mesa Community College
Mesa, Arizona
Website

Associate in Applied Science in Forensic Science (Lab Science Emphasis)

Semester Credits: 60

Estimated Program Cost: $5,100

In-state tuition IS EQUAL TO the state average for accredited forensic programs.

Accredited by HLC

  • Available in full or part-time formats to fit your busy schedule
  • Courses in public speaking and courtroom testimony help prepare you for one of the most challenging aspects of the job
  • Offers the opportunity to complete certificates in Crime Scene Investigation and Fingerprint Identification and Photography

The MCC program delivers specialized knowledge in the collection and preservation of evidence, investigative strategies, and forensic photography, all of which can equip you for success in a wide range of disciplines and careers involving forensic science. With additional options to drill down in crime scene investigations or fingerprint identification, you can get expert-level knowledge in this affordable program.

 

Phoenix College
Phoenix, Arizona
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Forensic Science – Lab Science Emphasis

Semester Credits: 60

Estimated Program Cost: $5,100

In-state tuition IS EQUAL TO the state average for accredited forensic programs.

Accredited by HLC

  • Program offers options to complete technical certificates in Crime Scene Investigation and Fingerprint ID and Photography
  • Fully prepares students for entry-level positions after graduation
  • Special emphasis made on courtroom procedures, behaviors, and the major rules of evidence at trial

With an available emphasis track in lab science, this degree program offers some of the best preparation available in Arizona for anyone interested in becoming a forensic technician. Extra courses in hard math and science, along with dedicated classes in forensic anthropology and computer science give you an edge when it comes to qualifying for a position in today’s high-tech lab environment.

 

Scottsdale Community College
Scottsdale, Arizona
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Forensic Science – Lab Science Emphasis

Semester Credits: 60

Estimated Program Cost: $5,100

In-state tuition IS EQUAL TO the state average for accredited forensic programs.

Accredited by HLC

  • Strong core classes in chemistry and math back up the science behind modern forensic lab work
  • Two technical certificate options, in Crime Scene Investigation and in Fingerprint Identification and Photography, are made available as part of the program

Learn how to synthesize and evaluate multiple sources of information with logical and scientifically-based assessments to identify key evidence and build a case for trial in this fast, affordable AAS in Forensic Science. With a lab science emphasis that doubles down on math and science elements, you have the opportunity to develop a general level of knowledge that will support you for years to come in the field as more and more advanced forensic technology emerges. Courses in public speaking and courtroom presentation will ensure that you are equipped to not only develop evidence, but also to present it clearly in the place that matters most: in front of a judge and jury.

 

South Mountain Community College
Phoenix, Arizona
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Forensic Science – Lab Science Emphasis

Semester Credits: 60

Estimated Program Cost: $5,100

In-state tuition IS EQUAL TO the state average for accredited forensic programs.

Accredited by HLC

  • Technical certificates in Crime Scene Investigation and in Fingerprint Identification and Photography are available as part of the program
  • Lab science emphasis comes with highly technical courses in math and basic science to prepare you for advanced topics in evidentiary analysis like DNA and ballistics comparisons

The SMCC Forensic Science program offers a specialization in forensic investigation into criminal actions, delivering both the basic science you need to be able to identify evidence and tie it to specific persons or actions, and offering the knowledge you need to preserve and present it as part of an overarching case. That investigative specialization means diving into criminalistics practices in the areas of physical and biological evidence, as well as studying topics such as courtroom testimony and the basics of criminal investigation.

California

 

Grossmont College
El Cajon, California
Website

Associate of Science in Administration of Justice – Forensic Technology Emphasis

Semester Credits: 60

Estimated Program Cost: $2,760

In-state tuition $276 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by ACCJC

  • Grad Coach program gives you access to direct support services to help you navigate class choices or general career decisions during the program
  • Program instructors are all either current or former LEOs, attorneys, dispatchers, or forensic experts with years of real-world experience behind them
  • Up to 150 hours of work experience available through internships gives you on-the-job training alongside active experts in the forensic field

Bloodstain pattern analysis, fingerprint examination and latent print comparison, and forensic technology courses build your knowledge base in the classroom so you are fully prepared to enter the lab as a forensic technician… or to continue your education to become a full-fledged forensic scientist. The principles of chemistry, evidence, and procedure that you will learn at Grossmont gives you the strong background you need to succeed in any job related to forensic investigations. With a unique hands-on approach to topics like investigative photography and identification technology, you get practice as well as theory… a combination that makes Grossmont graduates a favorite with police departments and crime labs across the state.

 

Fresno City College
Fresno, California
Website

Associate of Science in Criminology – Forensic Evidence Option

Semester Credits: 72

Estimated Program Cost: $3,312

In-state tuition $276 more than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by ACCJC

  • Degree is transferable to California State University system to fulfill the first two years of a bachelor’s program
  • Covers both evidence collection and search skills with advanced crime scene reconstruction techniques

The FCC AS in Criminology with Forensic Evidence option can either start you off as an entry-level technician in any forensics lab in the state, or offer you a low-cost avenue to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the subject and go on to even higher career goals. With a broader knowledge base than many forensic science associate’s programs, you will start off with low-level biology, anthropology, and chemistry courses to give you a deep understanding of the more advanced topics introduced later in the program. Those include studies of the criminal personality, with abnormal and general psychology courses, along with criminology and the legal aspects of evidence collection and presentation. It’s a comprehensive, multi-prong approach to forensic studies that is well-worth the price tag!

Connecticut

 

Naugatuck Valley Community College
Waterbury, Connecticut
Website

Associate of Criminal Justice – Public Safety, Forensics Option

Semester Credits: 61

Estimated Program Cost: $7,968

The only associate-level forensic science program offered at an accredited school in the state of Connecticut.

Accredited by NECHE

  • Program offers both a broad liberal arts education that can be transferred to a 4-year program and dedicated professional training for entry-level forensics work
  • Competency-based approach offers multiple paths to achieve your goals

Waterbury’s Naugatuck Valley Community College is committed to developing capable, professional public servants for the criminal justice system. The NVCC associate offers a unique educational approach that focuses on meeting the program’s competency requirements, and offers multiple class options that allow you to tailor your education to your personal goals. No matter how you put the courses together, however, you will get essential elements of forensics down cold, learning how to mark and record evidence, conduct basic laboratory analysis, and preserve the chain of evidence all the way to the courtroom.

Florida

 

Seminole State College of Florida
Sanford, Florida
Website

Associate of Arts General, Forensic Science Pathway

Semester Credits: 60

Estimated Program Cost: $4,787

In-state tuition $1,284 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by SACSCOC

  • A strong basis in core science courses improves your lab work skills on the job
  • Small class sizes increase your contact with instructors for individualized learning opportunities
  • AA program offers a guaranteed transfer to any Florida state university

Associate of Arts degrees are unusual in forensic sciences, so you should seize the opportunity to get into this affordable option, which comes with the guarantee of being able to transfer to a four-year bachelor’s program at any school in the Florida state university system. With broader liberal arts courses than most forensics degrees, you’ll also have better communications and presentation skills than most graduates—key elements of courtroom testimony that helps put criminals behind bars. But with hard science elements like organic chemistry and analytic geometry, you’ll also get the core forensics education you need to succeed in the lab.

Georgia

 

Southern Crescent Technical College
Griffin, Georgia
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Forensic Science Technology

Semester Credits: 68

Estimated Program Cost: $6,800

The only associate’s-level forensic science degree at an accredited school in the state of Georgia.

Accredited by SACSCOC

  • Strong science footing in microbiology, inorganic chemistry, and mathematics helps prepare you for detailed and accurate lab work
  • Choose from among 11 different specialty-specific electives, giving you a broad range of options for customization

The Southern Crescent Tech AAS in Forensic Science Technology offers an affordable option that can open the door to various career paths in the forensic science field, diving into the details of forensics with courses on topics covering everything from microbiology to firearms and toolmark identification. The knowledge and skills you will gain at SCTC can lead you into a career in areas like forensic computer science, evidence technology, or almost any other niche in the field of forensics. With dedicated classes on reporting and documentation of evidence and case preparation and courtroom testimony, you’ll get not only the scientific education you need to build a criminal case, but also the legal preparation to make it stick.

Illinois

 

Harper College
Palatine, Illinois
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Forensic Science

Semester Credits: 60

Estimated Program Cost: $8,010

In-state tuition $1,074 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by HLC

  • A required course in fire behavior and combustion science offers unique preparation in arson investigations unavailable at most associate’s programs
  • Graduates employed at local, regional, and national crime labs as well as in private industry at insurance companies

Harper College has a strong and proven track record in preparing students to identify, collect, and package physical evidence, along with processing, analyzing, and documenting that evidence properly to ensure it stands up in court. You’ll learn about chain of evidence considerations and the larger subjects of criminal and court procedures to understand how your work fits into the larger theory of the case. With classes that dive into fire/arson investigation and hazardous materials, this program is one of the few in the state that offers preparation for careers in forensic arson investigations, as well as standard criminal investigations.

 

Kishwaukee College
Malta, Illinois
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice – Forensic Technology

Semester Credits: 60

Estimated Program Cost: $8,640

In-state tuition $444 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by HLC

  • High-tech forensic studies such as DNA, ballistics, toxicology, and tool impressions are covered at this leading forensics program
  • Courses in human biology and physical anthropology prepare you for homicide and assault cases

With the AAS program at Kishwaukee covering everything from narcotics and drug enforcement to psychology, you don’t have to worry about stumbling into any part of forensics that you haven’t been prepared for after graduation. The program starts off with an overview of criminalistics and criminal justice before diving into the hard sciences of biology and chemistry to give you the solid grounding you need to perform effective, accurate laboratory analysis.

 

South Suburban College of Cook County
South Holland, Illinois
Website

Associate of Science in Forensic Science (transfer program)

Semester Credits: 60

Estimated Program Cost: $9,424

In-state tuition $340 more than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by HLC

  • Program designed to meet Illinois Board of Higher Education requirements for transfer to a four-year degree program
  • Excellent chemistry education that explores explosives residue, drug, paper, hair, fiber, and ink analysis to crack any kind of case wide open

The major goal of the AS in Forensic Science at SSC is to facilitate your seamless transfer into a four-year degree in applied forensic science. That means offering a low-cost, high-quality education that will put you on the right footing to delve into detailed scientific techniques such as DNA identification, fingerprint analysis, and cyber forensics. You’ll learn how to assess biological evidence, perform preliminary and confirmatory testing, and perform common lab techniques used in forensic science. It’s all taught with a view toward continuing your career at a higher level, including a dedicated class offering an overview of how to be successful when you’re attending a four-year college.

Kansas

 

Neosho County Community College
Chanute, Kansas
Website

Associate of Science in Forensic Science

Semester Credits: 66

Estimated Program Cost: $4,950

In-state tuition $117 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by HLC

  • Designed to serve as a transfer degree to allow continuation of your studies in a four-year forensic science program, but with a much lower cost
  • Strong emphasis on basic math and science skills to hone your understanding of laboratory work
  • Statistics course helps prepare students to address some of the modern techniques of data analysis used in the forensic sciences

At Neosho, you’ll learn the basic scientific principles that forensic scientists apply to the examination and interpretation of evidence. With electives in criminology, criminal investigation, and physics, you can spread your knowledge base wide between the essential physical sciences and the legal and psychological underpinnings of criminal detection and prosecution. Primarily designed to be transferred to a bachelor’s program at a four-year school, the Neosho AS in Forensic Science concentrates on hitting the basics hard to give you a solid foundation for more advanced studies later on.

 

Kansas City Kansas Community College
Kansas City, Kansas
Website

Associate in General Studies in Forensic Chemistry

Semester Credits: 62

Estimated Program Cost: $5,084

In-state tuition $17 more than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by HLC

  • No admission requirements make this program accessible to all students interested in forensics
  • Heavy science focus on core principles of chemistry gives you a solid grounding for advanced forensics lab work

For only 17 bucks more than the state average tuition cost, it’s worth checking out the highly focused program in forensic chemistry offered at Kansas City Kansas CC. While the program offers only basic introductions to criminology and the investigative aspects of forensics, it goes far beyond the competition in preparing you for extensive analytical lab work, providing all the essential background in chemical processes and forensic analysis you will need to pursue a career in forensic science.

Louisiana

 

Louisiana Delta Community College
Monroe, Louisiana
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Forensic Science and Technology

Semester Credits: 61

Estimated Program Cost: $6,428

The only associate-level forensic science program offered at an accredited school in the state of Louisiana.

Accredited by SACSCOC

  • Offers high-quality instruction in both the classroom and laboratory for a balanced preparation in forensics
  • Graduates gain the ability to reconstruct crime scenes and analyze evidence to support court cases
  • Mock trial participation ensures that students are prepared for the high-pressure environment of testifying in a courtroom

Although the focus at the low-cost Louisiana Delta Community College AAS program is on the science and technology of forensic investigations, it never loses track of the fact that the objective of forensics is to support court cases. That’s why the program includes a strong element of public speaking and testimony along with instruction in maintaining a chain of evidence. The degree also offers the opportunity to transfer some or all credits to Northwestern State University as part of a transfer agreement that can allow you to continue your studies at the bachelor’s level.

Maine

 

Central Maine Community College
Auburn, Maine
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Forensic Science

Semester Credits: 61

Estimated Program Cost: $5,640

The only associate-level forensic science program offered at an accredited school in the state of Maine.

Accredited by NECHE

  • Emphasis on science, investigative techniques, and evidence management offers a big-picture perspective on forensics
  • Learn strong documentation skills in physical evidence, crime scene recording, and scientific analysis

From blood and fiber to shoe-print analysis, this affordable program teaches you every aspect of modern forensic detection in modern, well-equipped lab and classroom spaces. With the use of prepared crime scenes and mannequin actors, CMCC attempts to deliver a realistic, well-rounded introduction to evidence collection, analysis, and documentation. Backed by strong fundamentals in chemistry and biology, you will learn how to identify deceased individuals as well as investigate the mechanisms of death, critical aspects of undertaking any homicide investigation. As the only AAS in Forensic Science in Maine, this degree doesn’t have to go above and beyond the basics, but it does anyway!

Maryland

 

Prince George’s Community College
Largo, Maryland
Website

Associate of Science in Forensic Science

Semester Credits: 60

Estimated Program Cost: $6,420

In-state tuition $690 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by MSCHE

  • Strong transfer eligibility to bachelor’s programs at other Maryland state schools
  • Hands-on science curriculum allows you the opportunity to collect, process, and analyze physical evidence, from the crime scene to the lab
  • Courses in fire and arson investigation as well as homicide offer expertise in highly specialized forensics subjects

The PGCC program in Forensic Science will teach you how to apply the scientific method and basic principles of biology and chemistry to the analysis of evidence and the building of strong legal cases. You’ll learn how to document and collect evidence as well as analyze it in the lab, giving you a solid understanding of chain of evidence and processing considerations. You’ll also receive a strong grounding in the American criminal justice system, in order to help you understand the role and requirements of evidence presented at trial. With additional courses in communication skills and criminal law, you’ll build confidence and skill in presenting evidence in a court setting as well as case-building.

 

Anne Arundel Community College
Arnold, Maryland
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Forensic Police Science

Semester Credits: 60

Estimated Program Cost: $6,960

In-state tuition $150 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by MSCHE

  • Transfer program aimed at students planning to pursue a bachelor degree in forensics science
  • Fast Track Option offers current associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree holders the ability to satisfy certain general education requirements for the degree without taking additional courses

With courses in criminal evidence and procedure as well as the history of homicide put together with introductions to logic and psychology, the Anne Arundel program will give you an edge in analyzing forensic evidence with a view toward building a solid case for the prosecution in court. Biology and chemistry courses undergird strong laboratory skill training, allowing you to combine theoretical and practical aspects of the forensic sciences to produce real results. Communications classes equip you with the skills you need to both organize and communicate your findings with law enforcement professionals, as well as the ability to articulate them accurately and persuasively in a court of law.

Massachusetts

 

Holyoke Community College
Holyoke, Massachusetts
Website

Associate of Science in Arts and Science, Forensic Science Option

Offers three different tracks:

  • Forensic Biology
  • Forensic Chemistry
  • Forensic Taphonomy

Semester Credits: 60

Estimated Program Cost: $12,360

In-state tuition $738 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by NECHE

  • Primarily designed as a transfer degree to provide low-cost preparation for continuing studies in a bachelor’s-level program
  • Strong laboratory technique and core scientific principles are the focus of this program
  • Electives in genetics and biotechnology offer a pathway into some of the most cutting-edge developments in modern forensics.

A program that costs $700 less than the state average while offering more than you expect? – here it is… Holyoke CC offers an associate’s degree that delivers not only a strong basis in biology, chemistry, and lab techniques, but also offers three different tracks to allow you some degree of specialization. On top of that, the program is also fully transferable! The forensic taphonomy track alone would be worth noting, with classes in forensic anthropology and insect studies, but with equally exciting options in forensic chemistry and biology, you’re going to have a hard time picking just one track at Holyoke!

 

Northern Essex Community College
Lawrence, Massachusetts
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Laboratory Science – Forensic Science Concentration

Semester Credits: 60

Estimated Program Cost: $12,720

In-state tuition $378 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by NECHE

  • State-of-the-art labs are available for hands-on training
  • Participate in research projects as you earn your degree
  • Real-world experience comes through included internship experiences at area laboratories
  • Credits are widely transferable, allowing you to earn a bachelor’s degree at a lower cost

Essential laboratory skills are placed first and foremost at this affordable program, with courses in lab methods and calculations setting the stage for extensive hands-on experience in modern, well-equipped lab environments on campus. The training doesn’t end there, either—through collaborative research projects and internship placements, you’ll continue your experience working on real-world initiatives that put you in the thick of advanced forensic science subjects. Whether you plan to transfer to a four-year degree or seek direct employment after graduation, the Northern Essex program sets you up for success in the field.

Mississippi

 

Holmes Community College
Goodman, Mississippi
Website

Associate of Arts in Forensics Science

Semester Credits: 67

Estimated Program Cost: $5,200

In-state tuition $733 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by SACSCOC

  • A strong science focus distinguishes this degree program from many competitors

Holmes places their Forensic Science AA under their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) program, which tells you exactly where the emphasis is in this science-heavy degree. By incorporating everything from trigonometry to organic chemistry, HCC builds the foundation for your forensic lab skills in a way that few other colleges can match. With courses in criminal justice, sociology, and government sprinkled on top, it’s a strong transfer degree that can take you to a variety of four-year colleges to continue your forensic science education in the state.

Missouri

 

Three Rivers College
Poplar Bluff, Missouri
Website

Associate of Arts in Forensic Science

Semester Credits: 64

Estimated Program Cost: $6,144

In-state tuition $566 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by HLC

  • School offers easy transfer options to a variety of regional universities

This compact, affordable associate of arts degree is designed primarily as a transfer degree for students planning to continue their forensics education at the bachelor’s level. General preparation includes chemistry, psychology, and communication courses along with evidence preservation and criminal investigation classes.

New Jersey

 

Camden County College
Camden, New Jersey
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology – Forensic Science Option

Semester Credits: 60

Estimated Program Cost: $6,420

In-state tuition $2,498 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by MSCHE

  • Strong biological emphasis delivers expertise in toxicology analysis and investigation of human remains
  • Transfer option to the New Jersey Institute of Technology allows you to extend your expertise at the bachelor-degree level

Not only does the Camden County College forensic science program offer a low-cost entry point to the exciting world of working in a crime lab, but it also does so from a unique and valuable angle that is in-demand by law enforcement agencies at all levels. By earning an AAS in Biotechnology, you will get in-depth exposure to chemistry, biology, and other hard science skills that are more common in healthcare or industrial labs than forensics. But by tying those skills to advanced forensics studies such as toxicology and osteology, you’ll graduate with an unparalleled expertise in analyzing human remains to help determine identity, cause of death, and other crucial evidence needed to build legal cases.

New York

 

State University of New York – Genesee Community College
Batavia, New York
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice – Forensics

Semester Credits: 62

Estimated Program Cost: $8,700

In-state tuition $789 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by MSCHE

  • Hybrid program allows 50 percent or more of your classwork to be completed entirely online for ultimate flexibility
  • As part of the SUNY system, a degree from GCC allows you to seamlessly transfer credits to a bachelor’s programs at more than 64 colleges or universities in New York

A strong foundation in biology, chemistry, and physics is the key to success at this inexpensive community college program located within easy reach of the Buffalo metro area. Building on that science education, however, you’ll receive instruction in the criminal justice system and criminological theory work to help you apply your skills to critical aspects of criminal investigations. You’ll learn detailed aspects of fingerprinting, toxicology, serology, and impression evidence that will turn you into a competent and analytical forensic investigator.

 

State University of New York – Ulster
Stone Ridge, New York
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice – Forensic Investigation Concentration

Semester Credits: 62

Estimated Program Cost: $9,360

In-state tuition $129 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by MSCHE

  • Current graduates have found entry-level positions with the Secret Service, Border Patrol, NYPD, and the New York State Police among other agencies
  • Studies take place in part in a well-equipped chemistry laboratory where a lecture/demonstration format gives you examples to follow before you get started processing experiments yourself

As a program focused on core criminal justice positions in law enforcement, corrections, and private sector security, you’ll start off with a ground-level perspective on investigations that will inform your explorations of forensic science. The structures and operational considerations of law enforcement, together with legal and ethical implications of police work, serve as the background for the optional forensic science concentration. That means you get strong sociological and legal education that helps you put forensics into perspective as a law enforcement officer, before you dive into forensic photography and videography studies along with hands-on work in a well-equipped chemistry lab where you’ll get experience processing physical evidence.

North Carolina

 

Fayetteville Technical Community College
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology – Forensic Science Concentration

Semester Credits: 65

Estimated Program Cost: $4,788

In-state tuition $193 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by SACSCOC

  • Innovative approach to forensics studies puts technology front and center to develop your skills with modern tools and techniques
  • Special focus on the use of computers and computer-assisted programs in crime scene analysis and reconstruction

FTCC takes an innovative approach to forensics education by starting at the root of modern technological innovations. The AS in Criminal Justice Technology starts off with the impacts and advances in law enforcement techniques from high technology, with the forensic science concentration diving into how technology and social sciences are applied to the analysis and evaluation of latent physical evidence, human testimony, and criminal suspects. You’ll cover all the common topics in forensics, from fingerprint to tire track identification, but you’ll do it with a view toward taking advantage of the most modern advances in analytical technology… a real advantage when it comes time to apply with agencies looking for qualified forensic scientists who are skilled in the latest tools.

 

Johnston Community College
Smithfield, North Carolina
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology – Forensic Science Concentration

Semester Credits: 67

Estimated Program Cost: $4,788

In-state tuition $193 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by SACSCOC

  • Curriculum designed to provide knowledge of latent evidence systems and operations
  • Juvenile justice course offers a perspective into aspects of forensics that most programs don’t cover

Both theory and hands-on experience are offered in this inexpensive program focused on latent evidence collection and analysis. Footprints, fingerprints, and tire track casting and analysis are covered in-depth, along with trace evidence and complex topics such as friction ridge analysis. You’ll also get a dose of critical thinking and communication skills to ensure that you have the ability to coherently present your findings in court.

 

Wake Technical Community College
Raleigh, North Carolina
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Forensic Science

Semester Credits: 66

Estimated Program Cost: $4,864

In-state tuition $117 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by SACSCOC

  • Classes conducted on the Wake Tech Public Safety Campus, a 65,000 square foot facility featuring a mock courtroom, computer lab, and forensics lab stocked with the latest technologies
  • Recognized CALEA Training Academy
  • Hybrid format features classes both on campus and online for additional learning flexibility

Learn how forensic science intersects with every level of law enforcement in this affordable program that goes into both local and federal considerations on a high-tech, fully-equipped campus that has been approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. Courses on court procedure and ethics ensure that you will have the administrative skills to see a case through to conviction, while footwear and tire imprint and forensic chemistry and biology classes give you the scientific skills you need to get it right in the lab.

 

Blue Ridge Community College
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology – Forensic Science Concentration

Semester Credits: 65

Estimated Program Cost: $4,864

In-state tuition $117 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by SACSCOC

  • Degree offers a transfer pathway to the Mars Hill University Bachelor of Science degree if you plan to continue your education at the baccalaureate level
  • Online option available

Study physical, biomedical, and social sciences in the context of evidence evaluation as a student of the affordable forensic science and technology program at Blue Ridge CC, available either online or on campus in Hendersonville. Your training will extend beyond the lab, however, delving into courtroom procedure and chain of evidence considerations, as well as more innovative aspects of forensic investigation: the psychology of evaluating human testimony and criminal suspects. It’s an innovative, full-spectrum approach that can either prepare you for immediate entry to the job market or for a transfer to a four-year degree program for even more intensive career-building.

 

Central Carolina Community College
Lee, North Carolina
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology – Forensic Science Concentration

Semester Credits: 65

Estimated Program Cost: $4,864

In-state tuition $117 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by SACSCOC

  • Extensive education on the design and function of the overall criminal justice system prepares you to contribute to investigative teamwork
  • Qualifies you to be employed in a variety of criminal justice organizations at the federal, state, and local level

With DNA comparison analysis, fingerprint lifting and comparisons, and foot and tire-print casting and analysis, your detection skills will be finely honed by the Central Carolina forensic science concentration. As only one element of a larger, highly respected degree program in criminal justice technology, you’ll also have plenty of exposure to other aspects of criminology along with the ethical and process considerations of building and presenting criminal cases at trial.

 

Gaston College
Dallas, North Carolina
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology with Forensic Science Certificate

Semester Credits: 64

Estimated Program Cost: $4,864

In-state tuition $117 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by SACSCOC

  • Program is available on campus, online, or as a hybrid of both approaches for maximum flexibility in your scheduling
  • Covers both laboratory analysis and crime scene processing
  • Exposure to investigative principles and other elements of criminology helps you understand how cases are built and prosecuted
  • Accelerated class options can shorten the degree to as little as 18 months

The Gaston College program relies on instructors who bring real-world law enforcement experience to the classroom, delivering an education that combines the latest in latent evidence analysis theory with hands-on experience in collection and documentation. Whether through fingerprint lift techniques or investigative photography, you’ll learn how to use high tech tools to document and catalog evidence before taking it back to the lab to uncover identities and other vital information through top scientific methods.

 

Surry Community College
Dobson, North Carolina
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology – Forensic Science Concentration

Semester Credits: 68

Estimated Program Cost: $4,864

In-state tuition $117 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by SACSCOC

  • Course on College Student Success prepares you for collegiate-level coursework and professional practices to last your entire career
  • Research and Report elective course provides skills you can use to build your evidentiary documentation and report-writing skills

The Surry College Forensic Science Concentration starts off with a solid grounding in criminalistics, constitutional law, and courtroom procedure to build your knowledge in the basics of criminal investigations and the justice process. After that, you’ll dive into more advanced subjects like advanced ridge analysis, searching for and documenting trace evidence, and crime scene photography, all of which will hone both your theoretical and practical skills when it comes to collecting and analyzing evidence. A course in civil liability rounds off your education with a glimpse into non-criminal matters, a bonus component in an already highly respected degree program.

 

Wayne Community College
Goldsboro, North Carolina
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology/Forensic Science

Semester Credits: 64

Estimated Program Cost: $117

In-state tuition $4,864 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by SACSCOC

  • Takes a high-tech approach to crime scene analysis and investigation, incorporating computer assisted design programs in scene reconstruction
  • Courses in general psychology and criminology ground the scientific investigation practices in a firm understanding of criminal behaviors

In the Wayne Community College AAS program in Criminal Justice Technology/Forensic Science, traditional approaches to understanding the justice system and criminal psychology help pave the way for you to apply the most modern techniques and technologies to forensic investigations. You will receive a baseline education that dives into criminal law, juvenile justice, and ethics before getting into the gritty details of fingerprint and tire print analysis and matching, hung on a framework of investigative principles and criminalistics that will help you become a valued member of the law enforcement team.

 

Southeastern Community College
Whiteville, North Carolina
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology – Forensic Science Concentration

Semester Credits: 65

Estimated Program Cost: $4,940

In-state tuition $41 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by SACSCOC

  • Hybrid program allows you to take many of the classes online, at a time and place of your choosing
  • Course on crisis intervention offers an insightful perspective into the human factors in forensic analysis

This advanced program not only provides a systematic, comprehensive exploration of the high-tech tools available in forensic analysis today, but also devotes time to exploring the psychological issues involved in evaluating crime scenes and forensic evidence. Establishing motives, understanding trauma and psychological pressure, and fitting it together with a theory of the case can help you take your career in forensic analysis to the next level. With courses led by expert instructors in trace evidence collection and analysis and advanced friction ridge analysis, you’ll develop the scientific skills you need to shine in the lab as well as the courtroom.

Ohio

 

University of Cincinnati Clermont College
Batavia, Ohio
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology – Forensics

Semester Credits: 62

Estimated Program Cost: $9,796

The only associate’s-level forensic science program offered at an accredited school in the state of Ohio.

Accredited by HLC

  • Enjoy a low faculty-to-student ratio that ensures you receive plenty of one-on-one attention in your courses
  • Forensics program meets the hiring and promotion standards of law enforcement agencies in the eastern Cincinnati area, making it easy to get a job after graduation
  • Technical advisory committee consists of leaders in the local law enforcement community to ensure that curriculums match current demands in the field
  • Access to the school’s Academic Success Center will prepare you for any sort of academic or career preparation challenge you face during your time here

With the lowest tuition rate of any of school in the UC-system, you’re assured of getting an affordable education here. And with direct input from active local law enforcement professionals, you know that it’s going to be the kind of education you need to land a forensic science job after graduation so you can start making contributions of your own. That means getting a strong general preparation in laboratory practices and general science subjects like organic chemistry, biochemistry, and anatomy to start, followed by courses in criminal law, criminalistics, and even specialized studies in fraud examination. A forensic field placement course puts you out into real-world laboratory and crime scene environments, experiencing the reality of forensic investigation under the close supervision of active professionals in the field.

Pennsylvania

 

Luzerne County Community College
Nanticoke, Pennsylvania
Website

Associate of Science in Forensic Science

Semester Credits: 68

Estimated Program Cost: $8,040

In-state tuition $303 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by MSCHE

  • Designed primarily as a transfer degree, with full preparation for moving on to a four-year school for advanced forensics training
  • Learn the appropriate uses of laboratory instrumentation in hands-on courses

The LCCC AS in Forensic Science is built as a transfer-ready degree for students looking to complete the first two years of their bachelor’s courses through an affordable and respected community college program. You’ll get all the foundational groundwork here in laboratory procedures, science basics, critical thinking skills, and research techniques to make you a successful student of forensics at the bachelor’s-level.

Tennessee

 

Southwest Tennessee Community College
Memphis, Tennessee
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology – Forensic Science Technician Concentration

Semester Credits: 60

Estimated Program Cost: $10,080

The only associate-level forensic science program offered at an accredited school in the state of Tennessee.

Accredited by SACSCOC

  • Forensic science internship offers you the chance to get real-world experience in active laboratories investigating evidence from actual crimes

This degree approaches forensic science from the scientific angle, offering a concentration based on a biotechnology lab degree that delivers a top-notch education in basic scientific elements like biology, statistics, and chemistry along with extensive and first-rate lab experience. Psychology and criminal investigation courses show you how your science education can be applied in law enforcement work, with advanced forensic science techniques being introduced toward the end of the program to help you tie your scientific and criminalistic knowledge together.

Texas

 

Coastal Bend College
Beeville, Texas
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Forensic Science

Semester Credits: 62

Estimated Program Cost: $4,340

In-state tuition $620 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by SACSCOC

  • Offers an industry-driven foundation in forensic theory and practice
  • Graduates are fully prepared for entry level positions in state, local, or federal law enforcement, or as entry or intermediate-level private laboratory assistants

Classroom instruction is blended with critical thinking exercises, practical skills training, and demonstrations to offer you both theory and technique in an instructional curriculum that meets or exceeds basic standards for forensic technicians. Using a building block strategy that develops core knowledge before training you in advanced lab skills, this degree is a comprehensive pathway to a career as a crime scene or laboratory technician in forensics.

Virginia

 

Lord Fairfax Community College
Middletown, Virginia
Website

Associate of Science in Forensic Science

Semester Credits: 60

Estimated Program Cost: $9,240

In-state tuition $400 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by SACSCOC

  • Graduates can find immediate employment as a forensic science technician or use it to transfer credits to a bachelor’s degree in forensics
  • Extensive support for transfer students through the Virginia Education Wizard and other advisory programs to ensure a smooth transfer of credits

The LFCC AS in Forensic Science offers an affordable avenue into the field of forensic science, or a less expensive way to begin your path to a bachelor’s degree in the field. A dedicated transfer planning tool helps ensure you meet all the necessary prerequisites to transfer your credits to a four-year Virginia state school. But with courses in laboratory science, forensic science, and other STEM subjects, you’ll also get the full preparation you need to move directly into a forensic laboratory assistant role if you choose.

 

Tidewater Community College
Norfolk, Virginia
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice – Specialization in Forensic Science

Semester Credits: 61

Estimated Program Cost: $9,516

In-state tuition $124 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by SACSCOC

  • Available on campuses in Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach
  • Milestone course in supervised study of criminal justice helps tie together all the various aspects of case-building and lab work you need to become an effective forensic investigator

The Tidewater Community College AAS forensics specialization program is rooted in a criminal justice degree that gives you the benefit of a strong grounding in legal and investigative procedure in modern law enforcement. The principles of criminal investigation, the ethics of the criminal justice system, and the organization and administration of law enforcement are all among your introductory courses in this well-respected Virginia program. Building on that are courses in evidence and forensic science, with criminology and pathology featured as a particular focus.

Washington

 

Columbia Basin College
Pasco, Washington
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Forensic Science

Semester Credits: 106 (quarter credits)

Estimated Program Cost: $11,541

In-state tuition $911 LESS than the state average for forensics programs at accredited schools.

Accredited by NWCCU

  • Heavy focus on lab activities, with separate courses and hands-on sections for chemistry, quantitative analysis, and instrumental analysis in the curriculum
  • Optional communication courses in behavior, interpersonal communication, and multicultural communication equip you for both forensic interviewing and courtroom presentation skills

Combining the field of science with that of criminal justice, the AAS in Forensic Science at Columbia Basin College delivers courses in investigation, evidence, and legal procedures with a heavy helping of chemistry, calculus, and analytic geometry to prepare you for entry-level positions in forensic labs specializing in either criminal or civil evidence analysis. You will also be well-prepared to continue your education in chemistry or biochemistry at a four-year school if your career plan involves going on to earn a bachelor’s degree. Either way, a strong emphasis in practical lab skills will serve you well throughout your career.

West Virginia

 

New River Community and Technical College
Beaver, West Virginia
Website

Associate of Science in Criminal Justice – Forensic Investigations Concentration

Semester Credits: 60

Estimated Program Cost: $8,744

The only associate-level forensic science program offered at an accredited school in the state of West Virginia.

Accredited by HLC

  • Offers fundamental instruction in chemistry and forensic investigation

As the only associate’s level forensic investigation degree in West Virginia, this program has a big load to carry. Fortunately, by covering everything from algebra to general psychology to criminal justice, it gets the job done. Courses in the American correctional system and public speaking help prepare you for offering testimony in court and understanding the larger arc of the justice system.

Wisconsin

 

Fox Valley Technical College
Appleton, Wisconsin
Website

Associate of Applied Science in Forensic Science

Semester Credits: 60

Estimated Program Cost: $9,279

The only associate-level forensic science program offered at an accredited school in the state of Wisconsin.

Accredited by HLC

  • Gain direct experience working with biological evidence such as DNA
  • School makes it easy to transfer credits to other two-year or four-year colleges to continue your education
  • Hybrid options available allowing you to take some classes on campus and others online, as available
  • Concentrations available in either physical evidence or digital evidence
  • Internship offers real-world experience in preparation for entry-level positions in forensics work

The affordable and comprehensive degree at Fox Valley Technical College takes you from the basics of learning how to manage and preserve evidence to analyzing physical and biological evidence of all sorts. This includes advanced subjects like DNA forensics, as well as tried-and-true subjects such as fingerprinting, tire and footwear impressions, tool marks, and more. You’ll learn how to find the tiniest amounts of trace evidence and develop it into solid support for criminal cases. The digital evidence concentration delivers the same sort of intensive training, only in the virtual world of hacking and computer compromises. Either way, you’re getting some of the best preparation available for either an entry-level position in a forensics lab, or a streamlined transfer to a bachelor’s program at a four-year college.

Wyoming

 

Casper College
Casper, Wyoming
Website

Associate of Science in Forensic Science

Semester Credits: 60

Estimated Program Cost: $8,100

The only associate-level forensic science program offered at an accredited school in the state of Wyoming.

Accredited by HLC

  • Designed to be transferred easily to a bachelor’s program in forensic science, this degree offers an affordable way to earn a more advanced degree
  • Some courses may be available online, allowing you more flexibility in how and when you attend class
  • Learn how to construct courtroom displays to present evidence clearly and convincingly to judges and juries

The Casper College AS delivers an eclectic curriculum, with the general education classes that are required by most four-year degrees alongside the essential biology and chemistry courses you need to prepare yourself for advanced forensic laboratory work. Additional courses covering criminal investigations, human anatomy, and the laws of evidence offer you the special preparation you need to evaluate physical evidence of all types and assimilate it into cases that will stand up in court.