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Forensics Colleges in Georgia

Georgia (GA), also known as the Empire State of the South, offers abundant opportunities to people interested in forensic science. According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI), there were 666 murders across the state in 2016, although these aren’t the only cases which require the careful evidence collection, documentation, and analysis of a skilled forensic scientist. A majority of the crimes committed in Georgia in 2016 were non-violent and related to the theft of personal property. There were 214,539 cases of larceny reported, 62.64 percent of all crimes in the state. In these cases, forensic scientists assist in the collection of biological, chemical, or physical evidence in order to discover the identity of the perpetrator.

For people interested in crime-solving, there are a wealth of forensic science schools in Georgia to provide proper training. Coincidentally, the state motto embodies the core of a successful forensic investigation: “Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation.” Read on to discover how to become a forensic scientist in Georgia, as well as the occupational demand, featured forensic science colleges, program accreditation, and professional certification.

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In Georgia, there are several paths to becoming a forensic scientist or forensic science technician. Some candidates receive hands-on crime training at a police academy and pursue associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degrees in forensics later on. As access to quality forensic science programs increases it is becoming increasingly common to pursue one’s education and credentials prior to joining any number of investigative occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a majority of forensic science technicians have at least a bachelor’s degree to qualify for entry-level positions (BLS 2017).

Here is one direct path to becoming a forensic scientist in Georgia:

  • Step 1: Graduate from high school (4 years). Due to the science-heavy nature of the profession, aspiring forensic scientists are advised to apply themselves in classes such as biology, chemistry, and physics. If available, training in statistics can also prove useful for future data-gathering responsibilities. Finally, some high school students may volunteer with their local police force, fire department, or various types of laboratories to receive valuable experience and enhance their college admission credentials.
  • Step 2: Pursue a bachelor’s degree in forensics or a related branch of science such as biology, chemistry, or physics (4 years). Some colleges offer full forensics programs while others offer forensics as a minor for students in other science departments. For schools with full forensics programs, students must complete courses such as criminalistics, criminal justice, and forensic bio-traces. Some programs have additional specialized courses or seminars in more specific areas such as handwriting or blood-spatter analysis.
  • Step 3: Apply for certification from a national organization (optional, timeline varies). Depending on one’s college degree and training, it may be advisable to seek certification. This process can indicate a certain baseline of skills to prospective employers or college admissions committees (for those interested in graduate studies). As of April 2018, there were ten certification organizations accredited by the Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board (FSAB) which have unique admissions processes, but typically involve an application and some sort of examination to demonstrate one’s forensic specialty competencies. A list of some of the common, FSAB-accredited certification agencies is at the bottom of this article.
  • Step 4: Pursue a master’s degree in forensic science or a related discipline (optional, 2 years). For those seeking more advanced training in forensic analysis, particularly for those interested in more leadership opportunities, responsibilities, and possibly higher pay, it may be necessary to enroll in graduate studies in forensic science. These degrees offer not only opportunities to conduct original research and add to the academic canon of the discipline, but they also provide more in-depth training in the rapidly evolving worlds of microbiology, chemical analysis, and microscopy, to name a few of the fields.

Featured CSI & Forensic Science Programs

Arizona State University - Biochemistry (BS)
Arizona State University - Biological Sciences (BS)
Arizona State University - Forensic Science (PSM)
Purdue University Global - BSCJ in Crime Scene Investigation
Stevenson University - Master of Forensic Science (Biology & Chemistry Tracks)
Stevenson University - Master's in Forensic Investigation
Stevenson University - Master's in Crime Scene Investigation


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2016), there are currently 450 forensic science technicians employed in Georgia. This is one of many occupations that people trained in forensic science pursue. Alternatively, graduates for forensic science colleges in Georgia go on to become crime scene investigators (CSIs), detectives, laboratory managers, handwriting analysts, forensic pathologists, and other related professions.

The BLS (2016) provides a breakdown of the annual salary ranges for the 450 forensic science technicians in Georgia, who commanded an average annual salary of $49,260 and the following percentiles:

  • 10th percentile: $28,500
  • 25th percentile: $35,140
  • 50th percentile (median): $47,060
  • 75th percentile: $59,900
  • 90th percentile: $73,150

In hourly figures, these equated an average of $23.68 per hour and these percentiles:

  • 10th percentile: $13.70/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $16.89/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $22.62/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $28.80/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $35.17/hr.


It’s no surprise that the regions with the highest employment tend to be located around major urban centers. In fact, 370 of the 450 forensic science technicians in GA worked in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell area and earned an average annual salary of $49,910, slightly higher than the state average (BLS 2016). Here were the annual salary percentiles for that region of Georgia:

  • 10th percentile: $28,230
  • 25th percentile: $34,610
  • 50th percentile (median): $46,510
  • 75th percentile: $59,330
  • 90th percentile: $73,300


Additionally, there is a number of employment opportunities for those trained in forensic science in Georgia. In fact, the (BLS 2017) projected a 17 percent explosion in job openings nationwide for forensic science technicians between 2016 and 2026, much more robust than the average growth expected across all occupations during that time period (7 percent).

Some of the common employing organizations across the state include:

Finally, there are many resources to provide support and further training to forensic scientists in Georgia. The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) offers a comprehensive list of societies, professional organizations, conferences, publications, employment opportunities and more, all related to the varied fields of forensics.


Georgia is host to many quality forensic science programs, including one bachelor’s program in forensic science accredited by the prestigious Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC):

Albany State University’s FEPAC-accredited forensic science bachelor of science (BS) degree program is offered through the College of Sciences and Technology. Through its rigorous coursework and supervised externship opportunities, Albany State aims to prepare aspiring professionals in forensic chemistry, microscopy, toxicology, photography, fingerprinting, and DNA. Furthermore, this competitive program has received grants from the U.S. Departments of Education and Defense and has the distinction of being the only established forensics program among HBCU (i.e., Historically Black Colleges and Universities) institutions nationwide. For the 2016-17 school year, tuition costs $161.93 per credit hour. Additional fees may apply.

There are several other notable forensic science colleges in Georgia such as:

  • Savannah State University offers a bachelor of science (BS) in forensic science program through its College of Sciences and Technology. Students choose between two specialty tracks: chemistry or biology. This “highly marketable interdisciplinary degree” requires core coursework in personal identification with DNA, drug abuse and analysis, and a forensic science seminar. Additionally, there are several electives offered to accommodate more specialized interests such as computer forensics, lab biotechnology, and forensic photography. This program costs $2,478 per semester (2017-18) for in-state residents, and $9,016 for those from out-of-state.
  • Ogeechee Technical College in Statesboro provides a crime scene investigation (CSI) certificate through its criminal justice program. Students complete fundamental courses such as methods of criminal investigation and crime scene processing. This hands-on program may be ideal for those looking to work in police departments. Tuition varies by number of units and can be found on OTC’s tuition table.
  • Georgia Southern University, also located in Statesboro, hosts a specialty track in the growing field of forensic accounting, open to students in their esteemed master’s of accounting program. This program comprises courses such as expert witnessing, law and ethics for accountants, and fraudulent financial reporting. Georgia Southern’s program is designed to prepare students for careers at law firms, public accounting firms, and professional litigation support consulting companies. Please note that GSU also has introductory courses in forensics for high school students such as Forensics: From Candy DNA to Solving Crimes. Graduate tuition at GSU varies by many factors and can be found through the Office of Student Accounts.
  • Southern Crescent Technical College of Griffin, GA offers a 68-credit forensic science degree with coursework in criminal justice, anatomy and physiology, crime scene investigation, victimology, death investigation, crime scene processing, and latent print examination, among other classes. SCTC also provides a 12-credit forensic science fundamentals certificate or a 53-credit diploma program, as well as closely related criminal justice degree program. Please use the SCTC Net Price Calculator to estimate tuition.
  • American Intercontinental University in Atlanta hosts a 36-month bachelor of science (BS) degree in criminal justice with a forensic science specialty. Notably, this program is also offered online with training in areas such as forensic biology, psychopathology and criminality, and arson investigation. The Atlanta-based program costs $4,750 per quarter.

These are only a few of the forensics programs available. Here are some other renowned forensic science colleges in GA, including some with distance-based programs:


With rapidly expanding access to technology, schools have been developing distance education options for students who are unable to attend more traditional, campus-based programs. has gathered a compendium of online forensic science programs of varying levels and organized them by specialty to meet the needs of students regardless of their location.

As mentioned above, American Intercontinental University not only offers its bachelor of science (BS) in criminal justice program through its Atlanta campus, but also provides the coursework online, with an optional specialization in forensic science, to make attending school more convenient for working professionals, parents, and people with other types of obligations.

Also, Argosy University provides an online master of science (MS) in forensic psychology with three unique concentrations: assessment and treatment, homeland security, or law enforcement. Courses common to all the specialized tracks include maladaptive behavior and psychopathology, psychology of criminal behavior, research and evaluation, and psychology of the victim. This online program costs $750 per credit hour.

These are only a few of the online forensics programs available from GA-based campuses. Again, Georgia residents may qualify for programs located in other states and are encouraged to check out the main page for online forensic science degree programs.


The primary accrediting body for forensics programs across the country is the Forensic Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC). There is currently one FEPAC-accredited bachelor’s program in Georgia at Albany State. While graduating from a FEPAC accredited program is not generally a prerequisite to employment or certifications in Georgia, it can be a useful marker of programmatic integrity, indicating to potential employers or graduate program admissions committees a student’s level of achievement. In addition to FEPAC, which is a program-accrediting organization, there are several institutional and regional accreditation bodies.

In Georgia, the primary regional accreditation body is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). SACS weighs criteria such as the quality of faculty, physical facilities, school finances, and student outcomes, among other measures.

Finally, there is a number of specialized professional certifications which aspiring forensic scientists may choose to pursue depending on their discipline. While admissions procedures vary, the process typically involves an application, verifying one’s educational and/or professional experience, and passing a competence-based examination. The Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board (FSAB) has accredited 10 organizations across the country to award professional certification. These FSAB-accredited organizations include:

School Name City Forensic
Total Forensics
Grads (2016-2017)
Southern Crescent Technical College Griffin x 23
Savannah State University Savannah x 7
Georgia Southern University - Armstrong Campus Savannah x 3
Atlanta Metropolitan State College Atlanta x 2

School "total forensics grads" data provided by IPEDS (2018) for the 2016-2017 school year, and includes all certificates and degrees awarded for the following programs: Criminalistics and Criminal Science, Forensic Chemistry, Forensic Science and Technology, Forensic Psychology, Cyber/Computer Forensics, and Financial Forensics and Fraud Investigation.