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Forensic science major

The forensic science profession has never had a higher profile, with a plethora of TV dramas, documentaries and books dedicated to the subject. Most importantly however, it is an integral part of the criminal justice system in this country, helping to solve thousands of crimes each year.

The forensic science program at Columbia College brings together the fields of biology, physics, chemistry, criminal justice and law to prepare you for a rewarding career in this exciting and fast-growing field.

Possible careers with a forensic science degree

You can mold your courses around your specific career goals and specialize in areas like:

  • Physical evidence
  • DNA
  • Trace evidence
  • Toxicology
  • Latent prints
  • Questioned documents
  • and many more

As one of the most well-respected programs in the Midwest, you will develop all of the skills needed for a successful career in forensic science.

Real–world experience

Forensic science students at Columbia College even get to benefit from working on real unsolved murder cases with local police departments.

For example, in 2006, students helped to solve a long-standing murder case by finding the remains of a Missourian woman, more than 20 years after her disappearance. This work helped to bring her killer to justice, resulting in a criminal conviction and prison sentence.

Cold case homicide solved

In addition, in 2009, students in Columbia College’s Cold Case Homicide class worked with the local police department on an unsolved 1989 murder. The students spent 16 weeks mining hundreds of reports, eventually narrowing the list of suspects to six after cross-examining evidence and building a timeline of events. These dedicated students examined, digitized, placed in a proper time sequence and otherwise organized up to 500 pages of evidence.

Two years of work in one semester

According to local Columbia detective, John Short,
the students "got more done in a semester than we can get done in two years".

Read more about the stories here:

Courses offered

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