Forensic Science Degrees in Wisconsin

wisconsin forensic science degree

Forensic Science

Forensic science is the scientific method of gathering and examining information about the past which is then used in a court of law and it requires very intense training and formal education.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 Wisconsin.

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 Wisconsin

A bachelor’s degree in forensic science or a natural science is a requirement for getting a job as a forensic scientist. A Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry is recommended for persons interested in specializing in toxicology, the analysis of bodily specimens for the presence of poison or other harmful chemicals. Individuals wishing to focus on analyzing and comparing DNA samples from blood, sweat, saliva, semen or other bodily fluids would be wise to major in a field like biochemistry or molecular genetics.

“AFIS Specialist” is the only scientific job at the Wisconsin crime labs that does not require a bachelor’s degree. These technicians use the Automated Fingerprint Identification System to search, catalog, match and store fingerprints, palm prints, latent prints and other demographic data as well as to interface with the FBI database. The job requires a high school diploma (or its equivalent) and FBI certified AFTS training which is offered online by a number of schools.

Forensic Science Training in Wisconsin

There are currently 130 forensic scientists working in Wisconsin and the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that number will experience a 19 percent increase by 2020. Most forensic scientists in Wisconsin are employed by the state; however, other potential employers include medical facilities, colleges/universities and private research or analytical laboratories. Wisconsin has at least 23 four-year colleges/universities offering bachelor’s degrees in the natural sciences and at least three of these have programs in forensic science. The primary state university has campuses in 13 cities making it convenient for people living almost anywhere in the state to attend. At least one university offers three forensic science certificates that can be earned in addition to a bachelor’s degree.

Forensic Science Salary in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, the average mean wages for forensic science technicians were $55,070, as of 2012 BLS data. This falls just below the nationwide average for the job, which was $55,730 as of 2012. However, depending on the time spent on the job and level of education, forensic science technicians can earn varying levels of pay. For example, those in the lowest 10 percent of pay earned as little as $32,200 while those in the highest 10 percent earned up to $85,210, according to 2012 data. Forensic science technicians could look for jobs in the state’s large cities of Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay, but also could find jobs in smaller towns and municipalities.

Forensic Science Schools and Colleges in Wisconsin

Bachelor’s Degree Programs


University Fox Valley Technical College, Forensic Science B.S.
Duration 4 years
Type Full time, Part time
Tuition and fees $6,928 in-state, $19,354 per year
Program link

Forensic science is a fascinating field where law enforcement meets scientific investigation. Your training will introduce you to crime scene management, criminal law and constitutional law. You will learn how to identify, document, collect, preserve and analyze physical evidence. Gain experience with biological evidence such as DNA, as well as fingerprints and footwear impressions, trace evidence, tool marks and more. You’ll also develop skills for crash scene investigation, and property and evidence management. Then you can enhance your credentials with a concentration in either physical evidence or digital evidence. An internship gives you hands-on, real-world experience to help you prepare for entry-level positions in the forensic science field. The core modules are:

  • Biological and Trace Evidence
  • Basic Crime Scene Photography
  • Impression Evidence
  • Crash Scene Investigation
  • Property/Evidence Management
  • Forensic Science Capstone
  • Constitutional Law
  • Technical Reporting
  • Introductory Statistics

The program covers legal issues and a working knowledge of interview and interrogation techniques in agreement with current legal stipulations. Learn various forms of communications including verbal and nonverbal, as well as written statement analysis. Students will be instructed in appropriate interview techniques, the interviewing of victims and witnesses and interrogation techniques.

The courses explore the applications of science in the field of crime scene management from the crime scene to the courtroom and beyond. Students will focus on the examination and reconstruction of various crime scenes with the emphasis on the identification, collection, documentation and preservation of physical evidence. The program teaches the importance of crash scene management as a crime scene management application. Students are exposed to response, recognition, documentation, collection and preservation of evidence techniques. Topics include reports, legal aspects, manual and laser measuring techniques, plotting methods, manual and computer-aided diagramming, evidence collection, approach speed, approach angle, crush evaluation, departure angle, drag factor, percent braking, post-collision speed, scrape, skid, test skids, etc.

University Caroll University, Waukesha, Forensic Science B.S.
Duration 4 years
Type Full time, Part time
Tuition and fees $27,850 per year
Program link

The chemistry program is approved by the Committee on Professional Training of the American Chemical Society. This approval means that the program has the faculty, curriculum and instrumentation necessary to provide a quality education for undergraduate students.

The chemistry program offers courses in the basic areas of inorganic, organic, analytical, physical, and biochemistry, which are supplemented by special opportunities such as industrial internships, studies in laboratory safety and health, and independent research. Modern scientific instrumentation is available and incorporated into all courses of the curriculum. Recognizing the individuality of students and that chemistry can be a strong preparation for a variety of careers, the program offers three emphases. Students are encouraged to consult with chemistry faculty about the various emphases and opportunities associated with each. The core modules for the forensic science concentrations are:

– General Chemistry

– Biological Chemistry

– Forensic Science + Laboratory

– Advanced Forensic Science + Laboratory

– Drug Discovery

– Quantum Mecanics and Spectroscopy

– Advanced Chemical Analysis and Instrumentation

– Special Topics in Chemistry + Laboratory

Today, the institution draws upon its rich liberal arts tradition to prepare students to achieve their full potential in our ever-changing society. The University’s educational philosophy is sustained by the four pillars of integrated knowledge, lifelong skills, gateway experiences and enduring values. Integrated knowledge is the very foundation of a quality liberal arts program. The Carroll curriculum emphasizes breadth and depth of learning. Our purpose is to encourage students to recognize the interrelationships among ideas. We believe that students with this understanding will continue to learn, grow and succeed long after they leave the campus. Lifelong skills help students prepare for life and work in a world of rapid and constant change. We believe that graduates will continue to evolve and contribute to their communities long after they earn their degrees. To that end, our mission is to help students learn to think critically and creatively, adapt to changing technologies, work efficiently and effectively, collaborate with others, and communicate clear, compelling ideas. Enduring values help students to consider always the impact of their actions on the world around them. We believe that effective leaders draw their inspiration from strong personal value systems. Our goal, therefore, is to offer students multiple opportunities to make decisions and then to reflect upon their consequences. Gateway experiences occur both upon entering and upon leaving Carroll University. We believe that our educational responsibility extends beyond the classroom into every aspect of our students’ lives. That is why we place a special emphasis on preparing incoming students for university life and on helping graduates make successful transitions into their first jobs, or graduate and professional schools. The four pillars undergird all that they do at Carroll University. They are integral to the undergraduate curriculum and guide our post-baccalaureate and graduate programs. In other words, they provide the broad inspiration for the Carroll experience and the many relationships they nurture with other organizations and institutions.


University Marian University, Font du Lac, Forensic Science B.S.
Duration 4 years
Type Full time, Part time
Tuition and fees $38, 540 per year
Program link

General Education Program: 46-49 credits University requirements. Major satisfies natural sciences and mathematics common core and elective core requirements, laboratory science common core requirement, social science elective core requirement, and applied liberal arts elective core requirement. Forensic science majors must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 beginning with entry to sophomore year and continuing through the first semester of senior year. Progression will be based on fall and spring ending cumulative GPAs only. Transfer students must complete one-half of their major and one-third of their minor credits at Marian University. The core modules are:

– Biological Principles I and II

– Genetics

– Introduction to Criminal Justice System

– Criminal Procedures

– Principles of Judicial Practices

– Survey of Forensic Sciences

– Forensic Photography + Laboratory

-Rules of Evidence

– Crime Scene Investigation + Laboratory

– Forensic Sciences + Laboratory

– Forensic Science Literature + Seminar

– Internship

– Introduction to Probability and Statistics

Designed to impact your mind and heart, Marian University education will inspire you to take on your goals and meet your full potential. You can be confident that you’ll get an outstanding education that will not only prepare you for a career, but also for the challenges of a changing world. With emphasis on combining academics with on-the-job training and service learning, you’ll be ready to put your knowledge and skills to work in inspiring ways, fulfilling your dreams and creating a life that you’ll love, while better serving your world as an informed, compassionate and caring citizen. Through your Marian education, you will inspire others by your actions and help make both the Marian community and the world a better place. The University is about outstanding academic programs designed to meet the needs of undergraduate, graduate students, and working adults. It’s about a distinguished faculty, a flexible curriculum, and a whole world of exciting research, internship and other experiential learning opportunities.


University University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Forensic Toxicology B.S.
Duration 4 years
Type Full time, Part time
Tuition and fees $9, 300 per year
Program link

Students seeking the B.S. in Forensic Toxicology will receive preparation for certification exams of both the American Board of Forensic Toxicology and the National Registry in Clinical Chemistry. Job opportunities would be available in crime labs, and hospital and commercial labs that screen for drugs of abuse. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee offers a world of intellectual, social, and personal possibilities. Whether you study at UWM for one semester or all the way through to an undergraduate degree, this catalog can help you make the most of those possibilities. UWM features: 94 bachelor’s degree programs, 58 master’s programs, one specialist degree, and 34 doctoral programs; 14 schools and colleges; more than 3,000 different courses, including evening and off-campus classes; faculty members who are nationally recognized for research and publication and are active citizens of the metropolitan community; a community of 30,000 students, 1,674 faculty and instructional staff, and more than 2,000 staff members.  UWM was established 57 years ago, in 1956, with the merger of Wisconsin State College, Milwaukee, and the University of Wisconsin Extension Center in Milwaukee. (Wisconsin State College traces its origin to the Milwaukee State Normal School, founded in 1885.) Since then, UWM has become a major part of the intellectual, cultural, and economic life of Southeastern Wisconsin. The core modules are:

– Introduction to Forensic Science

– Criminalistics

– Pharmacology

–  Intermediate Analytical Chemistry

– Introduction to Criminal Justice

– Criminal Evidence and Investigation

– The Human Skeleton

– Medicolegal Death Investigation

– Internship in Toxicology

– Forensic Anthropology

– Internship in Forensic Science

– Lab Techniques in Molecular Biology

– Toxicology and Therapeutic Drug Monitoring

– Molecular Diagnosis

– Forensic Pathology

With increasing regularity, the world’s students are making UWM a first-choice destination. UWM’s diverse student body representing 80 countries and all 50 states and the District of Columbia is attracted by UWM’s academic excellence and urban setting, convenient to the professional, cultural, and recreational advantages only a large metropolitan area can offer. There’s a lot for students to do at UWM. In the Peck School of the Arts complex and elsewhere on campus, you can enjoy concerts, art exhibitions, dance performances, and films by student and faculty artists and by distinguished visitors from the broader art world. You can cheer for UWM athletic teams, work off your tensions in organized or pickup sports, or keep in shape at the Klotsche Center. The Center, and the campus in general, are accessible to disabled students. As a student, you’re also eligible for medical services at the Student Health Center. At UWM, social life centers on the Union, where students can see internationally acclaimed authors, buy course books and Panther gear, dine at restaurants from very fast to sit-down-and-stay, view French and Latin American film festivals, or wait for the bus. UWM’s four residence halls house mostly first-year students in suite-style accommodations. Residents have access to a variety of dining and activity options in all complexes. As a student at Wisconsin’s major urban university, you have access to the employment, social, cultural, and recreational opportunities of a large city, while enjoying the closeness of the UWM community. UWM’s 104-acre main campus is located on Milwaukee’s upper East Side, one of the city’s most attractive residential areas and home to many faculty, staff, and students. UWM also is just a short walk from historic Lake Park and the beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline, and a short drive or bus ride from a wealth of cultural and recreational resources. The location in the cultural and economic heart of Wisconsin puts students in the center of a growing metropolitan area that doubles as a learning laboratory.





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