Hello! I need your guys' help! I can't figure out which major to go for. I want to become a crime scene investigator, but I don't know what to major in. Should I major in chemistry? Or forensic science? Or something else? I've tried looking at UC's here in California, but I haven't found any that offer a forensic science major. Only other specific topics, such as chemistry, biology, etc.
I also need help in choosing a college! I will be applying for colleges soon, and I have no idea where to go. I need to stay in California. I would prefer to go to a UC, but a CSU would work too. Do you know which colleges offer the best programs? I'm just so confused about this college thing and I don't have anyone to talk to about this, so hopefully I can get some help on here! Thank you in advance.
A degree in a hard science will work if you want to work in the lab. If you want to be in the field, you need to find a degree that will teach you the field work. My degree was basic CJ stuff, then the second 2 years was actual hands on crime scene processing, fingerprinting, interviewing, excavating graves. You need to figure out what you want to do, then find a degree that fits it.
I am from California and faced the same issues!! I am now working on the east coast and discovered the schools out here are lousy with forensics programs! If you would like to work in a lab running DNA, testing drugs, or comparing fingerprints, etc...then you need a bachelors in a natural science. If you would like to work in the field as a CSI, then you should try to find a forensics program. If you are truly passionate about this career I suggest going out of state to a school that has a forensics program.
If you must stay in California, you can do what I did...pick a science major you like then search through the UC system's extension programs. UC Riverside offers a great crime scene investigation certification program that is taught by people who currently work in the field and you get great hands-on experience.
This may be too late, but I figured I'd give my input anyway should someone else with the same question come along. I went to school at San Jose State University. They have a forensic science undergraduate program. You can choose your concentration to be biology or chemistry. Most people opt for the concentration in biology because then they can minor in chemistry with just a few additional courses. I see that as killing two birds with one stone; you would technically have a background in both forensic science and natural science (the course load is pretty much 80% natural science, though).
If at any point you decide you want to get a master's degree, the University of California, Davis has an excellent forensic science graduate program. I provided the links from each school below for your reference.