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Forensics Colleges & Programs in Maine

The craggy coastline of Maine is 3,500 miles long and home to the highest point on the east coast, Cadillac Mountain, located in the state’s crown jewel, Acadia National Park. Blessed with abundant natural beauty and more moose than any other state in the lower 48, Mainers also have a rich tradition of beekeeping, and of course, lobster.

Portland is the largest city with a population of 68,000—almost double that of its second-largest city, Lewiston. Although Maine has one of the smallest populations and lowest rates of violent crime in the country, drug addiction and related crimes are growing in the pine tree state.

Applying science to the law is the basis of the field of forensics. Forensic science professionals use various methods to analyze physical evidence related to crime investigations. Such evidence may include biological fluids, hair, fibers, paint, glass, and gunshot residue. Other responsibilities that may lie within the role of a forensic scientist are serving as an expert witness in court proceedings; researching new techniques, technology, and equipment; and writing reports on forensic investigations. Forensic scientists may work in federal, state, and local government agencies in police departments, crime laboratories, courts, and morgues.

The Maine State Police Crime Laboratory opened in 1926 and is divided into four departments: forensic biology, forensic chemistry, latent prints, and firearms/toolmarks. Some of the forensic services provided are DNA analysis, trace evidence identification/comparison, gunshot residue and distance determination, body fluid identification, and others.

The regional forensics laboratory, opened in 2009, provides forensic services in partnership with communities in Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough, Cumberland County, South Portland, Westbrook, and Falmouth cost-effectively and efficiently by sharing technology, equipment, and costs.

Read on to learn more about becoming a forensic scientist in Maine, including curriculum, featured programs and schools, and accreditation.

Forensic Science Program Curricula

Before entering a forensics degree program, applicants should seek the support of an advisor to discuss the curriculum. Students should be aware of prerequisite courses before applying for the major to be sure that the program is a good fit academically and to confirm the sequence of classes necessary for admission and completion. Students may be expected to complete math, science, and computer science prerequisites, as well as to have obtained basic laboratory and computer skills before admission to the major.

A bachelor of science (BS) in forensic science typically entails about 120 to 130 credits of coursework. Students first complete liberal arts and general education courses required of all undergraduate students. Upon completion of those core classes, forensics programs may include the following:


  • Algebra
  • Probability and statistics
  • Precalculus with trigonometry
  • Calculus with applications


  • General
  • Microbiology
  • Genomic biology


  • Organic chemistry
  • Analytical chemistry
  • Biochemistry

Criminal Justice & CSI

  • Intro to justice & public safety
  • Intro to criminal justice
  • Criminal law
  • Criminalistics
  • Criminal procedure
  • Computer forensics
  • Crime scene management
  • Investigations
  • Evidence
  • Criminal investigation and report writing
  • Criminal justice internship
  • Forensic science
  • Trace analysis
  • Death investigations
  • Fingerprint examination
  • Crime scene photography
  • Firearms examination


  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Civil liberties
  • Ethics

How to Become a Forensic Scientist in Maine

Maine State Police Crime Laboratory personnel hold bachelor’s degrees in forensic science, clinical laboratory science, chemistry, and biology and master’s degrees in a variety of related disciplines.

As in other fields, work and internship experiences make for strong candidates for employment in forensics. The Maine State Police Crime Laboratory offers internships to candidates with the skills and aptitudes needed to complete projects with clearly articulated goals. Internship applicants must be in their junior or senior year of an undergraduate science degree program.

Employment opportunities outside of the state of Maine can be found on the employment pages of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences or the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD).

Featured Forensic Science Programs in Maine

Husson University

Husson University in Bangor offers a bachelor’s of science (BS) degree in forensics. The program is designed to provide science and criminal justice majors with the qualifications needed for entry-level forensic positions in crime labs, police departments, and areas of the medical field.

The program includes the study of chemistry, biology, forensic science, and evidentiary and procedural law. Specific competencies targeted in the program include crime scene processing, systematic and holistic approaches to evidence examination, testing of forensic samples, and judicial and courtroom procedures, among others.

Students in this 128 to 129-credit degree program will take courses such as introduction to justice & public safety; criminalistics; criminal procedure; criminology; investigations; introduction to crime analysis; introduction to crime mapping; criminal law; and biochemistry, among others.

  • Location: Bangor, ME
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Four years

Central Maine Community College

Central Maine Community College in Auburn offers an associate of applied science (AAS) degree in cybersecurity and digital forensics. It focuses on testing, analyzing, and securing information as it is stored, communicated, and manipulated across networks. Students in this program will be prepared to address the ever-increasing needs of businesses in the technology security area. They can choose to transfer to a baccalaureate degree program or go directly into the workforce.

Graduates will be ready to take up roles such as network security officers, network administrators, network security analysts, forensic analysts, and computer managers.

Prepare students for various industry-standard certifications, this 60 to 61-credit program includes courses such as advanced networking concepts; computer forensics; penetration testing; introduction to network security; virtualization; introduction to Python; and introduction to Linux, among others.

  • Location: Auburn, ME
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years

University of Maine at Augusta

Students with an associate or bachelor’s degree and an interest in forensics might want to check out the University of Maine at Augusta. Their 18-credit forensic science certificate program has an investigative focus and their 20-credit forensic science certificate program has a scientific focus, both housed in the College of Professional Studies. Courses include foundations of criminal justice; introduction to forensic science; principles of investigation; criminal law; and law of criminal evidence.

UMA also offers related programs such as an online certificates in cyber forensics, digital forensics, and crime analysis & GIS. Undergraduate degrees in justice studies and cybersecurity are also available. The latter is housed within a department recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense.

  • Location: Augusta, ME
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Expected Time to Completion: One to four years

Saint Joseph’s College

Saint Joseph’s College in Standish has a bachelor of arts in criminal justice that focuses on justice and the theory and practice of crime within the U.S. criminal justice system. The program includes field trips, volunteer opportunities, and a year-long internship. Notably, the program also has an optional concentration in forensic psychology designed for students interested in the interaction of psychology and the law.

Courses in this program include introduction to criminal justice; scientific methods in criminal justice and social work; quantitative analysis in criminal justice and social work; criminology; crime and justice in the media; and forensic psychology.

Courses in the forensic psychology concentration include Introduction to Criminal Justice, Forensic Psychology, Psychopathology, and Introduction to Psychology.

SJCME also offers on-campus degrees in chemistry and biology & medical biology which lay the groundwork for careers in forensics as well as advanced study in forensics.

  • Location: Standish, ME
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Four years

Online Forensic Science Programs in Maine

Related online programs in criminal justice are also available at a couple of colleges in Maine.

Central Maine Community College

Central Maine Community College offers an online associate in applied science degree program in criminal justice preparing students for entry-level employment in the criminal justice field or for transfer to baccalaureate degree programs. Graduates of this program may pursue positions such as forensic science technicians, correctional officers, criminal investigators, detectives, transportation security officers, and more.

Made up of 62 to 63 credits, the program includes courses such as introduction to criminal justice; criminal law and report writing; criminal investigation and report writing; criminology; and civil liberties, among others.

  • Location: Auburn, ME
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years

Husson University

Husson University offers an online bachelor of science program in criminal justice. Through this career-focused program, students will learn practical techniques, strategies, and skills that can be applied directly to careers in crime prevention, law enforcement, investigations, corrections, private security, administration, and more.

Students in this 122-credit program will take courses such as criminalistics; criminal procedure; criminology; constitutional law; juvenile justice; ethics in criminal justice; interviewing and interrogation; investigations; and management & criminal justice, among others.

  • Location: Bangor, ME
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Four years

Out-of-State Programs for Students from Maine

Buffalo State SUNY

Buffalo State SUNY has offered a BS in forensic chemistry since 1971. The program gives students a strong foundation in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics. In addition to academic training, the program aims to prepare students with the critical thinking skills, ethics, and adaptability needed to meet the demands of forensic analysis, research, and legal aspects of the field. Hands-on learning experiences are highly encouraged for forensic chemistry students and are available through internships, volunteer opportunities, and research programs. All students receive training in a local forensic lab along with the FOR412 course.

This 120 to 126-credit program includes courses such as fundamentals of chemistry; analytical chemistry; scientific criminal evidence analysis; chemistry and criminalistics; professional practices in forensic science; forensic anthropology; forensic geoscience; and forensic psychology, among others.

  • Location: Buffalo, NY
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Four years

University of New Haven

BS and MS degrees in forensic science are available at the University of New Haven in connection with the Henry C. Lee Institute for Forensic Science, named for the world-famous investigator and UNH faculty member of nearly 40 years. Other forensics faculty members include experts with field experience with the FBI, CIA, and United Nations.

In addition to courses in advanced criminalistics and physical and DNA analysis, master’s-level students choose among courses in advanced crime scene investigation; wildlife forensics; drug chemistry and identification; forensic microscopy; forensic toxicology; forensic genetic genealogy; forensic investigation of animal cruelty; fingerprint analysis; and bloodstain pattern analysis, among others.

Additional learning opportunities are open to forensic science students in organizations such as the Center for Wildlife Forensic Research, the Cyber Crime Center, the Office of International Criminal Justice and Security, and the Center for Forensic Investigations of Trafficking in Persons.

  • Location: West Haven, CT
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two to four years

Boston University School of Medicine

The MS in biomedical forensic sciences at Boston University School of Medicine is one of only a few such programs in the nation housed within a medical center. Located in Boston’s biggest biomedical research park, the program focuses on DNA analysis, human biological evidence, death investigation, bloodstain pattern analysis, pathology, and toxicology.

Students participate in laboratory courses and independent research projects that equip them with the instrumentation and analytical experience required of professionals in the field. Data from the past two years (2020-2022) indicated that 93 percent of graduates had become employed in forensic labs, law enforcement, or biomedical or forensic-related scientific fields, or were pursuing further graduate work.

This 38-credit program includes courses such as criminal law and ethics; crime scene investigation; forensic biology; forensic chemistry; trace evidence analysis; forensic toxicology; directed research and professionalism in biomedical forensic sciences; and research in forensic sciences.

  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE); Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years

Program Accreditation and Forensics Certifications

The Maine State Police Crime Lab is an accredited crime laboratory that abides by international standards. The Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) is the main accrediting body in forensics education. Though only about 50 universities in the United States have FEPAC accreditation, many programs still offer a high quality of educational preparation in the field. Applicants should check to see what other recognized accreditations their programs of choice have earned before applying for admission.

Certification in an area of forensic specialization can be highly beneficial. Certification gives credence to a candidate’s knowledge base, area of professional expertise, dedication to the field, and excellence in practice.

The National Commission on Forensic Science recommends that all forensic science practitioners become certified in their area of expertise within one year of eligibility. The Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board (FSAB) has approved 10 organizations to grant professional certification or licensure across the U.S. The prerequisites to join each of these certifying boards differ but generally involve some measure of educational attainment, work experience, and an exam. Some of these include:

  • American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI)
  • American Board of Forensic Document Examiners (ABFDE)
  • American Board of Forensic Anthropology (ABFA)
  • American Board of Criminalistics (ABC)

Those who wish to learn more about the certification requirements in each state can check out any state guides on how to become a forensics professional, which include information on local accredited degree programs and certifications.

Students considering colleges with forensic science programs, or related programs such as computer forensics and forensic psychology, can review the actively updated listing of subjects and specific degree programs here.

School Name City Forensic
Total Forensics
Grads (2016-2017)
Husson University Bangor x 4

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.

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Jocelyn Blore is the chief content officer of Sechel Ventures and the co-author of the Women Breaking Barriers series. She graduated summa cum laude from UC Berkeley and traveled the world for five years. She also worked as an addiction specialist for two years in San Francisco. She’s interested in how culture shapes individuals and systems within societies—one of the many themes she writes about in her blog, Blore’s Razor (Instagram: @bloresrazor). She has served as managing editor for several healthcare websites since 2015.