Find Your Perfect School
The numbers and ratings of television shows, documentaries, and movies about crime scene investigation have recently increased. Unsurprisingly, the number of people who want to become crime scene investigation professionals has also increased, more so those who were born problem-solvers.
If you have a keen eye for things, like to solve problems, and want to be in an exhilarating field, then an online bachelor’s degree in crime scene investigation is for you. This study format is also perfect for those already working as law enforcement officers.
Quick audio summary:
The work of crime scene investigators is crucial to the legal system. By choosing this profession, you can aid in investigating crimes, analyzing the evidence, and prosecuting offenders. Obtaining an online bachelor’s degree in crime scene investigation is exciting and beneficial in light of recent technological advancements. You get to work with the newest law enforcement and crime prevention professionals.
Crime scene investigation may be the stuff of TV shows and movies, but in the real world, it is a serious and all-important job that requires extensive education and training! On our list are excellent online undergraduate programs featuring Crime Scene Investigation that promote academic competence in every student, owing to these features:
- Offered as a 100% distance learning or hybrid program to accommodate working adults who seek to obtain a Crime Scene Investigation bachelor’s degree while keeping their career commitments,
- Feature rigorous, research-intensive coursework that enhances students’ knowledge of the discipline and supplements their professional and interpersonal skills, equipping them for career preparedness in the field of Crime Scene Investigation,
- Utilize top-rated Learning Management Systems for easy access to virtual coursework and tools while providing 24/7 technical assistance,
- Guide students in navigating career options through career assistance programs and help centers,
- Facilitated by seasoned faculty and teaching staff who possess professional Crime Scene Investigation experience and expertise to impart to students and future professionals,
- Offer federal financial aid opportunities and discount deals for qualified online undergraduate students,
- Meet Accreditation requirements and keep up with the latest educational standards
Learn more about our ranking process by visiting our Methodology page.
9 Best Online Bachelor of Crime Scene Investigation Degrees
Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College is known to offer the best crime scene investigation program in the southeast region of the United States. The college’s online Bachelor of Applied Science in Public Safety Management provides a concentration in Crime Scene Investigation to help become crime scene investigators. Aside from online courses, this CSI degree program requires students to do a few hours of fieldwork to test their skills further.
This online crime scene investigation degree is considered one of the most selective online programs. Aside from a high school diploma, SAT, and ACT, prospective students should possess an associate degree in a related field. This is a 60-credit hours degree with two years of completion time for full-time students. Core courses include:
- Crime Scene Safety
- Advanced Crime Scene Investigation
- Advanced Crime Scene Technology
- Criminal Evidence
- Modern Fingerprint Technology
Salem University is one of the top performers when it comes to online learning. One of its degrees is the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Crime Scene Investigation, which prepares students for a career in law enforcement.
This online crime scene investigation program helps students gain the skills they need to become the best in the field, such as handling security, collecting evidence, and evidence analysis. This program will require you to do coursework involving collecting records and documenting evidence at a crime scene, which will allow you to be efficient in the criminal investigation process. Core courses include:
- Criminal Law
- Criminal Evidence and Constitutional Procedure
- Criminal Investigation and Forensics
- Criminal Justice Research and Statistics
- Ethics in Criminal Justice
The school lets its students decide on their course materials to allow them to study and move at their own pace. This flexible solution will enable students to maintain their personal and professional obligations while pursuing. Students can also apply for federal financial aid.
Florida State University Panama City
FSU at Panama City offers an asynchronous crime scene investigation curriculum, allowing students 24/7 access to coursework. Graduates are expected to work in federal law enforcement agencies, security, intelligence, and forensic science after graduation. While courses are entirely online, this degree will involve fieldwork analyzing physical evidence.
Coursework for this degree program includes lessons on the impact of the media on the actions of criminals, the criminal justice system, and the general public. The effect of news coverage on public perception of crime and government policies is another topic students cover. In addition, it is possible to understand the fundamentals of the criminal justice system and other criminological ideas.
Liberty University offers a quick-paced learning environment for students in the online crime scene investigation concentration. This degree program will allow you to focus on your career goals while working on your current career. You’ll be prepared to meet new trends and demands of a forensic and crime scene investigator through understanding the criminal justice system of the United States and core courses, such as:
- Introduction to Forensics
- Crime Scene Management
- Criminal Investigations I
- Crime Scene Photography
The CSI concentration within the Criminal Justice degree emphasizes the abilities needed to assess a crime scene, uphold legal protocol, and preserve or record evidence that is crucial to a case. All coursework can be completed through eight-week accelerated sessions, which gives you 3.5 years or less completion time.
Canton State University of New York
The Canton State University of New York offers one of the most unique online crime scene investigation degrees. The online Bachelor of Technology in Criminal Investigation allows students to have proficient skills in the field, such as crime scene photography, fingerprint analysis, impression evidence, and interview and interrogations skills. This degree will focus more on hands-on learning than the theoretical side of a crime scene investigation degree. Courses include:
- Intro to Information Technology
- Introduction to Criminal Justice
- Intro to Forensic Criminology or Abnormal Psychology
- Criminal Investigations
- Crime Scene Investigation
Students enrolled in the online criminal investigation program will still need to participate in total immersion face-to-face classes to gain hands-on field experience. Students can also participate in a 600-hour internship, including visiting actual crime scenes.
Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University’s bachelor’s degree in criminal justice offers a concentration in criminalistics, one of the most competitive crime scene investigation degrees available online. This degree program’s primary goal is to help you prepare for careers not only as a crime scene investigator but also as a crime laboratory analyst and forensic toxicologist. So, instead of focusing only on the field and collecting evidence, you’ll also learn how to process the evidence you’ve gathered.
- Scientific Writing
- Courtroom Testimony
- Evidence Collection and Preservation
Students who want to do a field placement in a local crime lab or law enforcement agency can use elective courses to get that experience.
Students with busy schedules are most likely to benefit from Purdue’s crime scene investigation curriculum, which offers several starting dates. This online crime scene investigation program allows students to develop solid foundational knowledge about the criminal justice system with applied research methods for evidence analysis. This degree program will also help you adapt to handle challenges at crime scenes.
- Supervisory Practices in Criminal Justice
- Forensic Fingerprint Analysis
- Forensic Chemistry and Trace Evidence Analysis
- Crime Scene Investigation II
Before receiving a bachelor’s degree, students are expected to do an internship and gain knowledge from other crime scene investigation experts. Due to the program’s online accessibility, it does provide an accelerated structure that enables students to complete their degrees quickly.
Utica University is the first university to provide a specialist degree in crime scene investigation emphasizing financial and economic crimes. The Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation curriculum emphasizes specialized economic crime scene investigation training. This degree program helps students recognize possible crimes and identify the specific sort of financial crime that happened. Students can also verify whether businesses abide by rules and regulations relevant to their field.
This online degree program is the best in its field that can guarantee student success in identifying corruption, fraud, and associated crimes that may take place in major and minor contexts. Additionally, it allows students to work with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to help solve financial and economic crime investigations.
University of Maryland-University College
The University of Maryland offers an online BS in Investigative Forensics perfect for students who want to pursue civil or criminal justice professions. This online degree program will prepare students for the field through an extensive understanding of bloodstain pattern analysis, latent print certifications, and crime scene investigations. It is a 120-credit program.
Core courses include:
- Fingerprint Analysis
- Criminal Procedure
- Medical Investigations
- Guns and Tool Mark Analysis
Due to the asynchronous sessions and the usage of online textbooks and timetables, students are free to finish their degrees at their leisure.
Bachelor’s Degree in Crime Scene Investigation Common Courses
You might enroll in various courses as you work toward your online bachelor’s degree in crime scene investigation. The area keeps evolving as new crime scene technology and techniques are developed. These are the common courses for all crime scene investigation bachelor’s degrees.
Intro to Criminal Investigation
This course gives students a solid and essential foundation on which to build their understanding of criminal investigations. Students will have extensive knowledge of the types of evidence, their pros and cons, and the potential hazards of conducting a criminal investigation.
Introduction to Digital Analysis
Students study digital forensics, which entails finding information about computer crimes. This entails gaining technical know-how and ensuring that investigations occur within the confines of applicable state and federal regulations.
This introductory course gives a general understanding of forensic science, including how investigators apply the scientific method. It debunks many misconceptions about crime scene investigators that are shown on TV and in the media.
This course delves deeply into medical tools and procedures for thorough crime scene investigations. The distinctions between the legal and medical components of investigations are also taught to students.
This degree will require students to participate in lab coursework for physical examination. Students carefully examine prints, weapons, and trace evidence.
The principles and procedures for gathering and evaluating evidence and what is and is not admissible in court are taught to students. Further concerns are the criminal arrest procedure and what constitutes a lawful search and seizure.
Career Opportunities for Bachelor’s Degree in Crime Scene Investigation Graduates
Crime Scene Investigators
These specialists gather and examine evidence uncovered at a crime scene, assisting law enforcement officials and prosecutors in identifying suspects and developing cases. They investigate numerous sorts of evidence, question witnesses, and ascertain how offenders carry out their crimes. Most crime scene investigators are employed by the federal government, state, or local law enforcement organizations.
Annual Median Salary: $51,350
Forensic Scientists or Forensic Science Technicians
A forensic scientist or forensic science technician gathers, handles, and examines evidence discovered at or close to crime scenes to provide an unbiased analysis. They typically analyze materials collected in a lab after visiting crime scenes. Forensic scientists also keep up with the most recent techniques and technologies to deliver the most accurate analysis possible.
Annual Median Salary: $83,238
Police detectives respond to criminal offenses by analyzing physical evidence, speaking with witnesses, and carefully going over written documents, data, and video surveillance. They spend much time on the ground gathering data, identifying potential suspects, and frequently testifying in court about their findings.
Annual Median Salary: $72,393
Police officers patrol neighborhoods and seek suspected criminal behavior as part of their duty to enforce federal, state, and municipal laws. They frequently answer emergency calls and might have to use physical force to take down suspects. Additionally, police inspect crime sites, gather evidence, collaborate with prosecutors, and even provide testimony in court.
Annual Median Salary: $62,153
Private investigators employ the same methods and instruments to look into different matters for their clients, despite not working for law enforcement agencies. This entails gathering and examining data and drawing reliable conclusions from their results. Additionally, they might carry out surveillance, look over financial documents, check backgrounds, and analyze complex data.
Annual Median Salary: $50,423
Crime Scene Investigator Skills
The best crime scene investigators have a knack for solving issues; they pull together evidence and testimonies. Forensic science jobs work to create narratives based on their analyses of the available data and hypotheses about possible past events. This aids in formulating the crime’s motive and its most likely course of action when dealing with other cops and the district attorney.
Being a crime scene investigator requires having good stress management skills because working in law enforcement is demanding and seeing crime scenes is certainly upsetting. By managing your stress, you can concentrate more effectively on your work and retain a professional demeanor in stressful circumstances.
Because crimes can happen at any moment and under any circumstance, flexibility, adaptability, and patience are crucial components of stress management that are advantageous to a crime scene investigator. Recording all the essential evidence can occasionally take a while. One must maintain composure under pressure and concentrate on the task at hand to handle these difficult work conditions in stressful situations.
To become an efficient crime scene investigator, you must have optimum analytical skills. This skill will define your ability to survey a crime scene, formulate theories on how the different pieces of evidence work together, and follow up on crucial details. You need a solid scientific acumen and working knowledge of the various evidence-gathering chemicals and devices for this profession.
A crime scene investigator needs to have excellent communication abilities. You frequently supervise a group of lab technicians and other law enforcement officials while conducting an investigation. To prevent tampering with the evidence, the crime scene investigator typically aids in cordoning off the crime scene.
Additionally, crime scene investigators occasionally testify in court as expert witnesses to describe the crime scene. Writing proficiency is also essential. Investigators make formal case reports that prosecutors use in court cases.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Bachelor’s in Crime Scene Investigation?
The conventional procedures and science of crime scene investigation are introduced to students who pursue a bachelor’s degree in this area of criminal justice or law enforcement.
How long does it take to earn a Bachelor’s in Crime Scene Investigation degree?
Most bachelor’s degree programs in crime scene investigation last four years, but some universities provide faster completion durations and flexible scheduling through online courses.
Does a Bachelor’s Degree in Crime Scene Investigation need previous work experience?
Prior experience in law enforcement or criminal investigation is advised. Some universities count previous work experience as earned credit, which could hasten degree completion.
Are online Crime Scene Investigation programs worth it?
For many individuals, earning an online CSI degree program is worthwhile. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job rates for forensic science technicians to rise by 13%.
What’s the difference between a Detective and a Crime Scene Investigator?
Being a police officer is a prerequisite for becoming a detective. However, becoming a crime scene investigator does not need one to become a police officer first. Detectives gather information from the crime scene. Crime scene investigators process this evidence, examining it to draw a scientific conclusion about that particular piece of evidence.
Key Points to Ponder
- Future crime experts are introduced to cutting-edge methods and tools through an online bachelor in crime scene investigation program. This degree will help them analyze even the smallest pieces of evidence and track down the most elusive criminals to solve crimes.
- Graduates of an online bachelor’s program in crime scene investigation have various job opportunities, from crime scene investigators to front-line private investigators.