How Long Does It Take To Become A Forensic Scientist?

The article aims at elaborating the overall time expended to become a qualified forensic scientist while meeting the necessary requirements.

Updated by Rakshitha N on 12th June 2020

Forensic science is a broad field which branches to a number of fields. With a combination of scientific methods, forensic scientists conduct investigations, specialised examinations, identifying foreign substances, documenting the findings to solve crimes. 

If you are willing to pursue this career, the time taken to become a forensic scientist widely depends on the education path you choose, experience period you wish you complete, the type of program choices, training, certification to attain. Also an online program can also vary the time you take to land on a forensic scientist's job profile. In this article we will discuss about the time taken to become a forensic scientist based on how the timeframe is distributed.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Forensic Scientist?

To enter into this field, you must share your educational and career paths by planning well prior. 

The time taken to meet the educational requirements to become a forensic scientist is approximately about 5-6 years. This can vary due to a number of factors such as a part-time or full time program, online program or the level of degree you discontinue at. We will discuss in detail in further sections.

  • Associate’s degree- 2 years: An associate’s degree is a fast-track program which provides surface level knowledge required for an entry level job within 60-65 credits. The credits are transferable to the further degree hence accelerating the completing of the degree program. 

  • Bachelor’s degree- 4 years: This degree is the minimum degree requirement and it is a four years program which offers knowledge on foundational basics on tracking evidences, DNA or ballistics.

  • Master’s Degree- 2-3 years: This is an advanced which provides specialisations after completing the bachelor’s degree. This includes research work and also thesis writing in the period of 2 years. 

  • Doctorate Degree- 3-5 years: Prospective students can pursue this degree to gain higher positions  by earning this degree. With in-depth knowledge gained, students are also given opportunities to conduct case studies, research.

  • Training Programs- 1 years: after graduating, students must gain some amount of training under the supervision of  an experienced forensic scientist before getting employed. 

Online program

Online programs for forensic science are popular where the best universities are striving to provide affordable and flexible study programs. Also students can choose programs offered by,


The path to become a forensic scientist could be a piece of cake for prospective and interested students. The career also yields high paying jobs depending on the career path you choose and the skills you build during the educational journey. With the strong knowledge and thinking capabilities, this is the right route for you