Today's Date: July 2, 2015

Forensics Colleges in California

The state of California currently has more than 1,700 people working in the field of forensic science, and more are graduating from schools across the state and finding employment every year. It is possible to find forensic science schools in California throughout the state. Collectively, forensics colleges in California offer everything from certificates all the way through to bachelor’s degrees and beyond. The employment outlook is good for California, and it does not seem as though it is going to be slowing down.
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Occupational Demand in California Today

California is a large and populous state, and it features a large number of opportunities for those who are going into the forensic sciences. Currently, there are 1,730 people working as forensic science technicians in the state, according to 2012 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Career growth nationwide for forensic science technicians is predicted to be 19 percent from 2010 to 2020, according to the BLS. And, specifically, in California, the rate of job growth should be nearly as close. CareerOneStop, sponsored through the U.S. Department of Labor, shows that job opportunities for forensic science technicians in California will be 18 percent from 2010 to 2020.

The career looks quite promising in the state, and candidates who have a degree in the field can find work in a number of different locations, from labs to working with the police. Graduates of forensic science schools in California may want to look for employment in the larger metropolitan areas around the state including Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco.

The state has a number of different organizations and associations that will be able to help people to learn more about the field, including the California Association of Criminalists (CAC), which features events, training courses, study groups, salary surveys, and job listings. This association may be helpful to current or graduate students of forensic science schools in California who want to know even more about the career field.

Well Known Schools in California with Forensics Programs

Forensic science schools in California help to prepare students interested in the field for a career. Programs are available at a variety of degree levels, but students wanting to pursue entry-level employment may want to complete an associate or bachelor’s degree from one of the forensics colleges in California. The following are some notable California colleges with forensics programs.

Grossmont College in El Cajon, Calif., offers an associate of science degree in criminal justice focusing either on forensic technology or fingerprint comparisons. The school also provides a number of other career training options for those hoping to enter the criminal justice field.

The California State University at Los Angeles offers a number of criminal justice programs through its school of criminal justice and criminalistics housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Building. These programs can prepare students with training in crime labs that can be helpful to obtaining a job in the forensic sciences.

For students interested in more advanced education, the University of California, Davis, provides a Master’s of Science degree in Forensic Science. This program promotes both a strong understanding of science and its applications to the legal and criminal justice systems.

Hybrid & Online Options

Those who want to take classes in forensics to earn a degree or a certificate will find that some of the schools also offer online learning options. San Diego Miramar College is a prime example. It offers associate and certificate programs available in criminal justice, and a number of the courses can be taken online to accommodate busy student schedules. Another of the crime scene investigator schools in California that provides distance learning through some of its courses is Westwood College in Anaheim. It offers an online bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice, with a major in investigations.


Students who want to pursue a career in the field of forensic science should ensure that the program is accredited. This guarantees that the program meets a certain standard of rigor and provides a quality education to students attending the school. The University of California at Davis, for example, has a number of accreditations, including accreditation from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS).

School Name City Website Degrees Awarded Certificates Awarded Total Forensics Grads
Alliant International University San Diego 153 0 153
ICDC College Huntington Park 17 82 99
Grossmont College El Cajon 33 40 73
National University La Jolla 51 1 52
Santa Barbara Business College-Bakersfield Bakersfield 43 0 43
Riverside City College Riverside 0 38 38
East Los Angeles College Monterey Park 0 32 32
University of California-Davis Davis 19 0 19
Santa Barbara Business College-Santa Maria Santa Maria 19 0 19
California Baptist University Riverside 17 0 17
San Diego Miramar College San Diego 4 11 15
Long Beach City College Long Beach 0 14 14
California State University-Los Angeles Los Angeles 14 0 14
Allied American University Laguna Hills 0 13 13
Santa Barbara Business College-Ventura Ventura 11 0 11
City College of San Francisco San Francisco 0 10 10
Holy Names University Oakland 9 0 9
Fresno City College Fresno 5 4 9
Southwestern College Chula Vista 3 6 9
Diablo Valley College Pleasant Hill 0 8 8
Norco College Norco 0 6 6
Palomar College San Marcos 5 0 5
Solano Community College Fairfield 2 1 3
Golden West College Huntington Beach 3 0 3
Contra Costa College San Pablo 0 3 3

School data provided by IPEDS (2013), and includes all certificates and degrees awarded for the following programs: Arson Investigation, Computer Forensics, Forensic Accounting, Forensic Chemistry, Forensic Psychology, Forensic Science and Technology, and Law Enforcement Investigation

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