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Colleges Offering Forensic Science Degrees in Florida

by Beth Wenbourne Katz, studioD

Television shows like "CSI: Miami" and "Dexter" popularized the field of forensic science, prompting students interested in the field to study in Florida. Although it may be less glamorous than it seems on television, a career in forensic science is an excellent choice for people who want to use their scientific skills to help solve crimes. Fortunately, students will find many colleges offering forensic science degrees in Florida.

Associate Degree and Certificate Programs in Forensic Science

For future forensic scientists just beginning their careers, earning an associate degree or certificate in crime scene technology is a logical first step. In Florida, local and community colleges offer these programs, including Miami Dade College, St. Petersburg College, Edison College, Palm Beach State College, Gulf Coast Community College and Hillsborough Community College. While earning an associate degree or certificate, students learn basic elements of forensic science and prepare for entry-level jobs within law enforcement and governmental agencies. Students will likely study topics such as fingerprinting, collecting and analyzing evidence, photographing crime scenes, detecting arson and testifying in a courtroom.

Bachelor's Degree in Forensic Science

Florida students wishing to pursue a bachelor's degree in forensic science can choose between programs at Florida Gulf Coast University, Palm Beach Atlantic University and University of Tampa. At FGCU, students earning a B.S. cover each element of forensic science, from crime scene analysis to laboratory studies and expert testimony. PBAU's program also covers each of these elements and boasts a small student-to-faculty ratio of just 13:1. At Tampa, students earning the B.S. in forensic science work within the department of physics and chemistry, and the core of the program is founded in these scientific principles.

Master's Degree in Forensic Science

Florida students who already have a bachelor's degree in forensic science may want to pursue a master's degree. Students can earn an M.S. at Webber University, University of Florida, Saint Leo University or Florida Gulf Coast University. Webber's forensic science graduate department works collaboratively with the University of Florida and offers classes online. SLU's forensic science department offers an M.S. in criminal justice with a forensic science specialization. FGCU students can also earn an M.S. in forensic studies at FGCU and can specialize in behavioral analysis.

Doctoral Degree in Forensic Science

Florida students wishing to pursue the terminal degree in forensic sciences can earn a Ph.D. within the chemistry and biochemistry department at Florida International University. At FIU, graduate students earn a doctoral degree in chemistry and biochemistry and choose to pursue a forensic science track. According to the department's website, research within the department focuses primarily on the "environmental and biomedical aspects of chemistry."

About the Author

Based in Sacramento, Calif., Beth Wenbourne Katz has been writing about education topics since 2006. Katz has taught in the California public schools, working primarily with students with learning, behavioral and emotional challenges. She holds a Master of Arts in special education from San Diego State University.

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