Investigative Forensics Bachelor's Degree

With an investigative forensics degree, become fluent in the language of crime scene investigation for a career in civil or criminal justice.

A key element within the field of criminal investigation today is the work of forensics specialists—the people who gather, process, and report on evidence from crime scenes—in discovering the facts of a case. The role of investigative forensics is also expanding within the field of civil justice. University of Maryland University College's degree in investigative forensics is based on national guidelines and designed to help you understand both the theory and practice of forensic disciplines and police work.

This program is also available as a minor.

About the Investigative Forensics Bachelor's Degree

In your core investigative forensics courses, you'll learn and practice evidence detection, collection, processing, and reporting, as well as criminal procedure and analysis of evidence. You'll also learn to write reports specific to the criminal justice field and gain an understanding of the abilities and limitations of the crime lab. Hands-on, practical experience is provided via online learning tools that allow you to virtually investigate a crime scene.

Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Apply the scientific method to draw conclusions regarding forensic information
  • Using ethical principles and an understanding of legal precedents, make decisions related to investigation, analysis, and testimony as a crime scene or forensic professional
  • Access, interpret, and apply investigative, forensic, and criminal justice research
  • Report and articulate information, analyses, or findings to relevant users
  • Recognize and evaluate evidence to determine all of the appropriate analyses to gather all available forensic information
  • Synthesize forensic, evidential, and investigatory information from multiple sources to generate theories about a crime
  • Understand the capabilities, processes, and limitations of the crime laboratory to become an informed consumer or practitioner

Investigative Forensics Bachelor's Degree Requirements

Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.

Classes in the Major

General Education Requirements

Writing and Communication Classes | 12 Credits

No more than 3 credits in writing can be earned by exam.

Introductory Writing Class | 3 Credits

All Available Options

This requirement must be completed within the first 18 credits. A placement test is not required for Introduction to Writing (3 Credits, WRTG 101). The requirement cannot be met through course challenge exams.

Writing Class | 3 Credits

All Available Options

Communication, Writing, or Speech Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for Investigative Forensics Bachelor's Degree

Media and Society (3 Credits, COMM 202)

All Available Options

Advanced Writing Class (Upper Level) | 3 Credits

Recommended for Investigative Forensics Bachelor's Degree

Advanced Technical Writing (3 Credits, WRTG 393)

All Available Options

Arts and Humanities Classes | 6 Credits

Classes must be from different disciplines.

Historical Perspective Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for Investigative Forensics Bachelor's Degree

Technological Transformations (3 Credits, HIST 125)

All Available Options

A 3-credit class in ARTH or HIST

Arts and Humanities Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for Investigative Forensics Bachelor's Degree

Introduction to Humanities (3 Credits, HUMN 100)

All Available Options

A 3-credit class in ARTH, ARTT, ASTD, ENGL, GRCO, HIST, HUMN, MUSC, PHIL, THET, dance, literature, or foreign language

Biological and Physical Sciences Classes | 7 Credits

Laboratory Science Class | 4 Credits

Recommended for Investigative Forensics Bachelor's Degree

Introduction to Biology (4 Credits, BIOL 103)

All Available Options

  • A 3-credit science lecture class with a related 1-credit lab
  • A 4-credit science class combining lecture and lab chosen from ASTR, BIOL, CHEM, GEOL, NSCI, PHYS, biotechnology, botany, entomology, general science, or zoology

Science Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for Investigative Forensics Bachelor's Degree

Introduction to Physical Science (3 Credits, NSCI 100)

All Available Options

Math Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for Investigative Forensics Bachelor's Degree

Finite Mathematics (3 Credits, MATH 106)

All Available Options

Overall Bachelor's Degree Requirements

In addition to the general education requirements and the major, minor, and elective requirements, the overall requirements listed below apply to all bachelor's degrees.

  • You must complete a minimum of 120 credits
  • You must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 overall and a minimum grade of C for any class applied to the academic major or minor
  • Within the 120 credits required, the following coursework must be taken through UMUC:
    • 30 credits (normally the final 30)
    • Half of the required number of credits within both the major and the minor
    • 15 credits at the upper level (earned in classes numbered 300 to 499), preferably within the major or minor
  • At least 45 credits must be upper level and include
    • At least half of the credits required for the major
    • 3 credits in advanced writing
  • The remaining upper-level credits can be earned in any part of the curriculum
  • At least half the required number of credits for any academic major or minor must be earned through graded coursework. Credit earned by examination, portfolio assessment, or noncollegiate training does not count as graded coursework

Double majors: You can earn a dual major upon completion of all requirements for both majors, including the required minimum number of credits for each major and all related requirements for both majors. The same class cannot be used to fulfill requirements for more than one major. Certain restrictions (including use of credit and acceptable combinations of majors) apply for double majors. You cannot major in two programs with excessive overlap of required coursework. Contact an admissions counselor before selecting a double major.

Second bachelor's degree: To earn a second bachelor's degree, you must complete at least 30 credits through UMUC after completing the first degree. The combined credit in both degrees must add up to at least 150 credits. You must complete all requirements for the major. All prerequisites apply. If any of these requirements were satisfied in the previous degree, the remainder necessary to complete the minimum 30 credits of new classes should be satisfied with classes related to your major. Contact an admissions counselor before pursuing a second bachelor's degree.

Electives: Electives can be taken in any academic discipline. No more than 21 credits can consist of vocational or technical credit. Pass/fail credit, up to a maximum of 18 credits, can be applied toward electives only.

Recommended Minors

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2015-16 Investigative Forensics Degree Planning Worksheet

If you began your degree program prior to fall 2015, please refer to the catalog for the year you began your studies to determine degree requirements.

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