Forensic science combines science and investigation in order to aid and support the prosecution or defense in criminal and civil investigations. While the profession has been widely romanticized by various TV shows, make no mistake – this job is most likely different that you expect. In contrast with popular perception, this is a highly scientific role, which often involves detailed, painstaking work. Field duties are limited to a few areas of expertise, and most often than not a forensic scientist will spend his time in the lab.
If you made it this far, though, congratulations! You’re taking the first steps in joining a very rewarding profession and itsGOV is here to guide you through what you need to know and what you need to do to join a forensic science program in Arkansas.
Depending on the type of forensic science practiced, different degrees and educational backgrounds may help a candidate get a job and excel in this field. Regarding formal education, requirements vary across jobs, but you should definitely have a solid background in mathematics, biology and chemistry.
The National Institute of Justice, a division of the U.S. Department of Justice, offers guidelines for model undergraduate and graduate forensic science degree programs. According to the American Academy of Forensic Science, strong programs should offer a curriculum that concentrates on scientific writing, laboratory skills, public speaking, and computer software application training.
Forensic Science Requirements in Arkansas
The Arkansas State Crime Laboratory is responsible for providing forensic science services to the state’s criminal justice system. Forensic scientists, from Little Rock to Fayetteville and Jonesboro and beyond, are also called upon to provide assistance to law enforcement personnel and expert testimony in Arkansas criminal courts. The Arkansas State Crime Laboratory has 130 employees, the majority of whom are responsible for receiving, testing, and storing evidence. The state crime lab, which is the only forensic laboratory in the State of Arkansas, accepts evidence from investigations at the city, state and federal levels. he most widely accepted path to a career in forensic science is through an undergraduate degree in a science field, such as chemistry or biology, although a number of programs have been created that combine the scientific component of forensic science and the technical aspects of this career.
For example, there are colleges and degree granting schools that offer a Bachelor of Science in Forensics. These degree programs then allow students to select a track, or concentration, such as biology or chemistry.
Forensic Science Training in Arkansas
In some cases, to become a crime scene technician in Arkansas requires a high school education, along with 1 to 1.5 years of related experience and/or training. An equivalent amount of education can substitute.
There is a high degree of competition for entry level CSI jobs, and applicants would be well advised to obtain formal training in criminal justice. Many of these programs have a specialty in crime science investigation.
Residents of Arkansas can obtain an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from a number of schools in the state or from online schools that offer this type of training. A good driving record is also important to be a CSI, since the job involves driving to crime scenes on a regular basis.
In some departments, such as the Jonesboro Police Department, detectives handle the analysis of crime scenes. These skilled professionals have years of investigative experience coupled with advanced training in forensics.
Forensic Science Salary in Arkansas
The average annual salary for forensic science technicians in Arkansas in 2009 was $39,280 according to Discover Arkansas. The BLS indicated that the average salary in Little Rock in 2012 was $40,720 with those in the top ten percent making $57,420.
One of the major employers of forensic lab technicians and crime scene investigators in the state is the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory in Little Rock. The salaries of forensic scientists at this lab ranged from $55,280 to $67,626 in fiscal year 2014.
Forensic Science Schools and Colleges in Arkansas
Bachelor’s Degrees in Arkansas
|University||Arkansas State University, College of Science and Mathematics, Forensic Science and Technology, B.S.|
|Type||Full time, Part time|
|Tuition and fees||$23,283 per year|
The Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science provides students with the laboratory skills and knowledge in the sciences that will allow them to compete regionally and nationally for
positions in forensic laboratories. The degree requires 125 hours for graduation, including a core of 10 hours plus an additional 6 hours in criminology, 39 of fundamental science courses, and 7 hours of math and statistics. The program offers a general degree plan as well as two emphases: Forensic Chemistry or Forensic Biology. Students are required to complete an internship as part of the core and will have the opportunity to select electives reflecting their specific interests.Individuals interested in the program should contact the Forensic Science program for additional information. The core modules are:
- Introduction to Criminal Justice
- Courts and Justice
- Law Enforcement Systems
- Criminal Law
- Criminal Procedure and Constitutional Rights
- Critical Perspectives on Justice Policy
- Environmental Crime
- Comparative Systems
- Drug Issues and the Law
- Discretion and Decision-making
- White-collar and Corporate Crime
- Violent Crime
- Law in America
- Security in a Globalized World
To ensure the students’ future success, the staff are committed to placing the needs of the learner, at the center of everything we do. The distinguished professors are committed not only to teaching the students, but serving as mentors and working with you as well. Here, hands-on learning and the opportunities for research and creative pursuits are available to the student, even as an undergraduate. Celebrating and promoting diversity is a cornerstone of the university. To help broaden your university experience, we sponsor a variety of international opportunities and multicultural events. The university welcomes nearly 1,000 international students to their campus each year, representing more than 60 countries worldwide.
They promote inclusion throughout your entire university curriculum. Additionally, the staff create opportunities for all diverse groups to share their perspectives and knowledge – so all students receive a rich learning experience. Together, they build a civil, engaging, and respectful campus climate where all backgrounds are respected. All students are encouraged to participate in their wide array of student clubs and organizations that foster diverse interests.
Master’s Degrees in Arkansas