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CSI: Fairfax

An interest in forensics fuels academic programs.

Mention the word “forensics” to someone and it likely conjures up images of beautiful people miraculously solving crimes in convenient 60-minute periods while driving fast cars and removing their sunglasses at particularly dramatic moments. The latest technology is always available in the lab, and the resulting data provide iron-clad proof of guilt. If you talk to the real professionals, however, you get a different picture of what it is like to work in the field of forensics.

The College of Science recently approved a new graduate certificate in forensics. This certificate was created partially in response to the growing national student interest in forensics fostered by popular TV shows such as CSI, Cold Case, Bones, and others, but it was also created to meet the substantial local and regional demand for graduates trained in the technical and legal aspects of forensic science. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for forensic science technicians are predicted to grow faster than other professions from 2006 to 2016.

The college is working closely with forensics agencies at the local, state, and federal level to ensure that students receive up-to-date instruction that includes regular interaction with, and instruction from, current forensic practitioners. Students who complete this 18-credit certificate will be well-prepared for jobs in forensic science.

Two concentrations will be offered. Students applying for admission into the forensic science concentration should have an undergraduate degree in biology or chemistry, whereas those applying to the general forensics concentration may hold a bachelor’s degree in any field.

For more information, visit the program’s website. [1]