Texas is recognized for its natural resources and large population. There are a number of leading centers of higher education in the state as well. Those who are interested in higher education will find a number of options from which to choose, and where they may pursue their educational and professional goals. There are a number of schools in the state that offer degree as well as certificate programs in almost all areas of study. Forensic science programs are also offered in a number of schools in Texas. Enrolling in forensic science degree programs in Texas may be suitable for students interested in pursuing careers as forensic science technicians.
Forensic Science Colleges in Texas
Forensic scientists are law enforcement professionals who are responsible for collecting, identifying, as well as analyzing physical evidence that is found in criminal investigations. In addition, they may perform tests on substances like bodily fluids or liquids, weapons, and testify as expert witnesses about evidence presented in a criminal case. Students who have strong analytical and problem-solving skills may consider becoming a forensic science technician. A number of forensic science degrees in Texas are available that allow students to gain knowledge in the field and acquire skills that employers seek in forensic science workers. Ranging from associate’s degrees to PhDs, students may choose from a number of degree options, and they may decide if they would like to attend part time, full time, or enroll in online programs to suit their individual lifestyle. In addition to degree programs, certificate courses are also offered at some of the forensic science Texas schools.
An associate’s degree typically takes two years to complete; while a bachelor’s degree may take four years and a master’s degree program could take two more years to complete, but this may depend on the enrollment status of the students. Students in undergraduate degree programs study topics in biology, chemistry, and mathematics. Graduate degree programs expose students to courses in fire and arson investigation, chemistry, alcohol impairment, and DNA analysis among other areas of study.
Students who are interested in research or teaching positions may pursue doctoral degrees. Forensic science PhD candidates perform research in a number of specialized areas such as clinical genetics, computational genetics, and microbial genetics. Completing these programs allows students to develop communication, problem solving, as well as critical-thinking abilities.
Online Forensic Science Programs in Texas
In addition to campus based programs, some online programs are available in Texas. These distance learning opportunities may be suitable for those who seek to switch careers without making major changes to their existing work routines, or students who reside in remote locations and want to pursue an education in forensic science. Students use online learning techniques and technologies to participate in their online degree programs, and earn vital credentials that may help them in their careers.
What Courses will I Study?
Students in forensic science programs will get an opportunity to learn about crime scene investigation, court procedures, and criminology that will help them learn how to apply science to answer legal questions by analyzing evidence. Some program may require students to complete hands-on lab trainings and internships in addition to classroom lectures. Program curriculums may include topics such as:
Technical Writing for Forensic Science
Anatomy and Physiology
Students who complete these programs may also learn how to analyze forensic photography, identify biological evidence, and process fingerprints. They may also take part in mock crime scene situations to prepare for real-life investigations.
Students interested in forensic science degree programs must meet the following requirements:
Hold a high school diploma or GED
Provide standardized test scores
Appear for interviews
Submit letters of recommendation
In addition, having a background in chemistry, biology, math, and English could be useful.
What are the Opportunities for Graduates?
According to O*Net online, opportunities for forensic science technicians in Texas are likely to grow in the coming years (2012 -2022). These workers may hold the following titles:
Latent Print Analyst
Possible workplace settings include:
Medical examiner offices
How much do Texas forensic science technicians earn?
O*Net OnLine has reported that the median annual pay for forensic science technicians in Texas was $43,400 (2013). Income is subject to a number of factors including job title, area, and experience. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has written that workers with both a bachelor’s degree in a natural science and a master’s degree in forensic science may have better prospects. In addition, digital computer forensics and DNA specialties are likely to see the most growth and emerge as most prominent areas in forensic science, the BLS stated.