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Masters in Forensics Requirements

Master of Forensics Requirements

There's an assortment of forensics degrees attached to an assortment of academic specialties, and each of them has a different set of requirements. The nature of forensic inquiry is the preparation of evidence for presentation in a court or law, so there are also some characteristics that are common to each degree. Forensic nurses, forensic psychologists, forensic criminologists, computer forensic specialists and forensic science experts all must understand rules of evidence for civil and criminal procedures, the rules for acquiring untainted evidence, and the techniques used for assembling information attached to their particular profession. We'll discuss the general, shared requirements and touch on the individual skills required for each academic specialty.

General Master of Forensics Requirements

The curriculum for each degree in the forensics field has mandatory classes on jurisprudence for both civil and criminal cases. Some forensics experts work in both fields; a forensic scientist might be called on to testify about the cause of an injury in a criminal trial if there is assault involved, and in a civil trial if the assailant is sued for damages by the defendant or the defendant's family. The Penn State Forensics Science program has required course s in Criminalistics and in the Ethics in Forensic Science. Argosy University offers a Master of Forensic Psychology with core classes in Psychology & the Legal System, and Consultation, Triage & Testimony in Forensic Psychology. A degree in Criminal Justice with Forensic specialization will have classes in crime scene investigation and pattern evidence.

Forensic Degree Specialization Requirements

The advanced classes for a forensics degree focus on applying the particular skill set associated with the degree. A Master of Forensic Psychology program will include classes in Psychology of Criminal Behavior, Victimology, Criminal Profiling, and perhaps a course in the Psychology of the Juvenile Offender. The Master of Criminal Justice in Forensics may focus on a combination of evidence gathering techniques and the forensic issues involved with suspects. The John Jay College of Criminal Justice offers electives for the Master of Criminal Justice program that include Treatment of the Offender, White Collar Crime, and Cyber criminology. These courses cover a range of criminal activity, all of which have different evidentiary requirements.

Forensic Computing students will receive instruction on the evidence requirements associated with the singular output of every computer system: data. A Master of Computer Forensics degree will include courses in Forensic Management of Digital Evidence, which covers the rules of evidence. Another area of study will be Data Communications & Forensics Security, which is about developing evidence that cannot be characterized as tainted or corrupted by software. In similar fashion, a Master of Forensic Science student will be trained in maintaining the purity of evidence in a lab setting or at a crime scene. Classes in the scientific area include Trace Evidence Analysis, Forensic Pathology, Forensic DNA Analysis, and courses specific to crime scene investigation.

The Growth of Forensic Professions

There are some more esoteric fields in forensics that deserve mentioning. Forensic Nursing is generally a specialization for experienced nurses who have worked in emergency room or triage positions and have learned to gather evidence that is associated with personal injury or criminal assault. There are a few nurses in this field that work as consultants for law firms or district attorneys. Boston University has a degree in Forensic Anthropology that focuses on biological and skeletal anthropology investigation techniques as they are applied to death investigations. This degree is another example of the increasing specialization occurring in the field of forensics; the range of evidence used in the courtroom is continually broadened by the information that trained technologists can produce.

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