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crime scene being processed and analyzed by a forensic scientist to gather evidence from illuminated foot print

The field of forensic science, also known as criminalistics, is relatively new in the larger landscape of taught sciences.

Forensic scientists are typically tasked with evaluating evidence from crime scenes to discover objective findings that can be used in a court of law. There are notably a variety of specialties within forensic science, with each potentially being used in a different way to help build a sound case against a suspect.

The relationship between forensic science and criminal investigations is an important one. It could mean the prosecution of a criminal or absolve an innocent person from a wrongful conviction.

What is Forensic Science?

Forensic science applies natural and physical scientific methods during an investigation process for solving crimes. Equipment is used to analyze an array of evidence to tie a criminal to a crime and victim.

A forensic scientist will examine physical evidence gathered at the crime scene, such as DNA, blood, clothing fibers, tire tracks, firearm residue, drugs, and other chemicals. Then, tests are administered in a laboratory setting to analyze and interpret data so it can be presented in a court of law.

There are several different areas of study in forensic science, each focusing on specific analysis of evidence.

For example, forensic pathologists perform autopsies to determine manner of death. But forensic engineers examine materials to identity defects or sources of materials tied to the crime.

By using high-tech equipment, forensic scientists can help law enforcement track down even the most sharp-witted perpetrator.

Relationship Between Forensic Science & Criminal Investigations

Forensic science provides the criminal justice system with evidence that could be used to convict a suspect even when an eyewitness is not present.

Forensic scientists can be used in the initial investigation at the crime scene, gathering the evidence for further analysis in a laboratory. Then, specialized tests are performed on the evidence according to current testing standards to ensure the evidence can meet the requirements of the trial.

An assortment of forensic scientists and forensic tools may be used to establish facts admissible in a court of law.

The important relationship between forensics and the law ensures both convictions or exonerations occur without bias or injustice.

Also, forensic science is governed by legal procedures and scientific protocols with support from professional communities such as the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

Law enforcement officers may not have the background or complete understanding of the importance of a criminal investigation. That’s why the need for forensic scientists continues to increase and illustrates the need for interdisciplinary forensic studies programs across the country.

How to Get a Career in Forensic Psychology

Forensic science is an immerging field using cutting-edge technology and practices. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities in forensic science are expected to grow 14% from 2019 to 2029. The median pay for forensic science technicians was $60,590 in May 2020.

If you are interested in a career as a forensic scientist, you can get a bachelor’s degree in forensic science and start a career as:

  • DNA Examiner
  • Forensic Scientist
  • Serologist
  • Drug Chemist
  • Criminalist

Continuing your education with a graduate degree with specialized training, you can start a career as:

  • Forensic Anthropologist
  • Forensic Pathologist
  • Forensic Toxicologist

If you are interested in learning more about the forensic science program at Saint Rose, contact us or chat with a current student or admissions staff today.

Learn More About the Forensic Science program at Saint Rose

To take the first step towards a long, fulfilling career, request more information about the Forensic Science program at Saint Rose.

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