Major?

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Major?

Lynette
Why exactly is getting a bachelors degree in forensic science not recommended?  I am 26 and working on my second bachelors and a new career (my first was in music, very unrelated).  I am looking at two different schools to transfer to, both are CA state universities, and one of them offers a degree in forensic science with a focus on chemistry or biology.  I am anxious to start learning about forensics but I have read that it is better to wait for your masters to specialize in forensics.  Why is that?  and how would it hurt me if I did get a bachelors in forensics?  Thanks for your input.  This forum is a great idea!
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Re: Major?

J(Criminalist)
I think one of the schools you are referring to is San Jose State, I have visited there and it is an amazing school. I'm already accepted as a freshman, but i have heard the same about the major but I have also heard the opposite. I'm curious why it is bad or good? And San Jose State is amazing!
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Re: Major?

Steve Staggs
Administrator
In reply to this post by Lynette

Lynette, the advice you are getting may have to do with the job you ultimately want to have. If you want to work in one of the California Department of Justice crime laboratories then they prefer candidates that have a BS in a natural science, usually biology, with chemistry classes, and a one semester class in quantitative analysis. They usually are not too impressed with degrees in forensic science.

But there are other places that accept degrees in forensics, such as:
Criminalist for the New York City Police Department
Criminalist for the County of Anoka, Minnesota.

You do not really need a master’s degree to qualify for any of these entry-level jobs.

The most important thing to do is to identify which places you want to work and what jobs you would consider (whether crime lab or field work), and then go for the education and experience that best qualifies you for those positions.

Webmaster
Crime Scene Investigator Network
http://www.crime-scene-investigator.net
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Re: Major?

Jester
I'll disagree with the Forensic Degree part, it matters on the school you get it from.  If you go and look at George Washington Univ. forensic program and who teaches it. And you pass while on the deans list, im sure and employer will be very happy with that.  If you look at Univ. of Nebraska Lincoln and look at that program and see the course and who is the head of the dept, then it may hinder you.  
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Re: Major?

Steve Staggs
Administrator
This post was updated on .

What matters is what the employer wants. The employer decides the requirements and who to hire.

I think you misunderstood my post. The person who asked the question (she had been told a BS in forensics was not recommended) was from California and so my answer was based on the crime lab in California.

I speak from personal experience. In the example I gave the Director of the California Department of Justice Crime Laboratory was trying to get my daughter to apply for a criminalist position in his laboratory. She has a BS in Biology. My daughter wanted to finish her master's degree in Forensic Science before applying for the job. He told her that candidates for criminalist positions in the California Department of Justice Crime Laboratory were required to have a BS in a natural science, usually biology, with chemistry classes, and a one semester class in quantitative analysis. He said they are not too impressed with degrees in forensic science and that a Master's degree was unnecessary.

Yes, there are many places in the United States that accept degrees in forensics. They can be found by looking at the employment webpage on this site.

Webmaster
Crime Scene Investigator Network
http://www.crime-scene-investigator.net
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Re: Major?

Jester
sorry i guess i misread your post.  And agree it is up to the employer needs and wants. But you can say that if two equal qualified person shows up at the same interview, have equals across he board, that they wouldnt look at the college a person has gone to, to help make a decision.  Why would folks travel to other states to attend a better know education, or mathematical school than stay at the local institution?  That is why my wife choose her college for the well known teaching program than just any old college. Because the Univ. of Dayton looks better on a resume than Univ. of Toledo, it just because that in the education world Dayton has a better program and employers know that.  It is become the same with forensic field.  It is such a new program that the standards havent been met with what the forensic world deems a good education or not.

Any university can slap together a forensic program, doesn't mean that its a good one. Like I said before the Forensic program at Univ. of Nebraska isn't well thought of yet.  While G.W. is.
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Re: Major?

Steve Staggs
Administrator

You are right about that. One should research the colleges and universities for their programs and reputations before making a selection.

Anyone looking for a listing of colleges and universities offering CSI and Forensic degrees can check the College and Training page on this website.

Webmaster
Crime Scene Investigator Network
http://www.crime-scene-investigator.net
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Re: Major?

J(Criminalist)
I have found a program that lets people in the forensic education field work with the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia for certain periods of time for the purposes of education. Would this help in combination of a Bachelors degree in forensic science? I'm already accepted to San Jose State for the Forensic Science Program with emphasis in Biology. Would this help?
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Re: Major?

Kristina27
In reply to this post by Lynette
Hello All,
 I graduated from St Petersburg College with an AS in Crime Scene Technology last year, I am planning on going to University of Central Florida in January for Bachelor's in Forensic Science Biochemistry track with minor in chemistry. I do not know anyone in the field and have not interned, however this program offers internship towards the end. Is this what they are looking for??

Thank you,
Kristina
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Re: Major?

J(Criminalist)
In reply to this post by Steve Staggs
A professor at San Jose State told me many Forensics programs are not preferred because of the lack of science, but their program is so rigorous that you could easily double major in chemistry or biology. If you look at the course work he seems right, any thoughts?
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Re: Major?

Steve Staggs
Administrator

Yes, that seems to be the problem. Some Forensic Science programs lack hard sciences and since crime laboratories need candidates with hard science some of the laboratories just don’t accept Forensic Science degrees.

It gets back to the point of finding where you want to work and doing what you need to become a viable candidate. If the crime lab you want to work for does not accept Forensic Science degrees then you get a degree that they will accept, or you apply to one of the other laboratories that does accept Forensic Science degrees.

Webmaster
Crime Scene Investigator Network
http://www.crime-scene-investigator.net