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Students considering studying forensic science or crime scene investigation in Tennessee will find several educational options available in state to help to prepare them for a career in the field. The number of professionals working in forensics in the state is rising, and most jobs in the field are being created in cities with larger populations, such as Nashville and Knoxville. A good starting point for students who want to know more about employment opportunities and fellowships in the field is the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), which provides information on employment opportunities, fellowships, and more. Those interested in joining a forensics community in Tennessee might also look to the Middle Tennessee Forensic Science Society to connect with others in the field.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that in 2012, 190 professionals were working in the field of forensic science in the state. This is up from the numbers in previous years, and could be a reflection of the growing need for the job today. Those who are working in the field are generally working in facilities such as crime labs, and others are working active crime scenes with law enforcement. The majority of jobs in the field tend to center on the higher population centers. One such example of where forensic specialists are working in the state is the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab in Nashville. However, graduates of forensics colleges in Tennessee could look for job opportunities in the state or elsewhere. In fact, job growth for forensic science technicians is expected to grow nationwide by 19 percent from 2010 to 2020, according to the BLS.
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Students who are searching for forensic science colleges in Tennessee will find that they have two options for accredited schools that offer campuses and programs in forensics. These forensic science schools in Tennessee have a number of different options for those who are looking at different areas of forensic science.
King College in Bristol offers a bachelor’s degree in forensic science. Students take courses in biology and chemistry, as well as psychology and statistics. Their education can then be used to help them to pursue post-baccalaureate training to become a forensics examiner, medical examiner, or psychological profiler.
East Tennessee State University in Johnson City is another one of the forensics science schools in Tennessee offering a number of degrees in the field of criminology and forensics, at the undergraduate (Bachelor’s) and graduate (Master’s) levels. The school also offers courses in forensic pathology and forensic toxicology.
Students will find a number of options when it comes to online degrees in Tennessee, too. King College offers a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice, for example, although it does not provide offerings specifically in forensic science online. Online universities based outside of the state often accept students from throughout the country, and offer an even larger selection of relevant programs across forensic disciplines.
Anyone seeking a degree from one of the forensic science schools in Tennessee or any other state should make sure the school is accredited before enrolling. This accreditation shows that the school meets the rigor and quality expected for educational delivery in the subject or program. King University has accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, for example. Schools can have regional or institutional accreditation, or both.
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