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The Eberly College of Science

Careers for a Forensic Science Degree

Forensic Careers

The Forensic Science Program at Penn State strives to be an international leader in forensic science education, and produce graduates who will become future leaders in the field. We offer a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes a strong science foundation, ensuring our students will be well prepared for careers in forensic science, criminalistics, and other science-based professions.

If you are a current student looking for job-searching and career resources, check out our Job and Career Resources page.

Career Opportunities with a Forensic Science Degree

After graduation, our students can find work as criminalists in the crime lab, crime scene investigators, and general scientists in labs of all kinds. They can also go on to earn advanced degrees in forensics or another scientific field, or attend a professional school to prepare for a career as a doctor or lawyer. Potential career field include:

  • Criminalistics/Investigative Science
  • Controlled substances
  • Biology/Serology
  • DNA
  • Fire Debris/Explosives
  • Trace Evidence
  • Crime Scene Investigation and Reconstruction
  • Firearms/Ballistics
  • Chemistry
  • Biochemistry/Molecular Biology
  • Toxicology
  • Medicine/Medical Examiner/Pathology
  • Criminology/Criminal Justice/Law/Legal Studies
  • Law Enforcement

*Note that careers in forensic science often require a lengthy background check during the hiring process. The background check investigation can be intensive and dive deeply into your criminal, financial, and personal history. Some may include a polygraph, depending on the policy of the hiring agency. Failure to successfully complete the background check or polygraph may cause you to be ineligible for employment in the forensic field or prevent you from being eligible for certain types of jobs.

What Careers Do Our Students Choose After Graduation?

pie chart showing path of graduate alumni

Master of Forensic Science Students

Since 2007, our Master of Professional Studies in Forensic Science program has graduated 95 students, 65% of whom have gone on to careers in crime labs and non-forensic science labs around the world. 17% of our graduates have gone on to obtain additional degrees or now work in higher education. 1% have gone on to work in law enforcement or crime scene investigation. 17% have chosen work in another field, including law, medicine, secondary education, and non-forensic areas of criminal justice.






pie chart showing path of undergraduate alumni

Bachelor of Forensic Science Students

Since 2007, our Bachelor of Science program has graduated 362 students, 43% of whom have gone on to careers in crime labs and non-forensic science labs around the world. 18% of our graduates have gone on to obtain additional degrees or now work in higher education. 3% have gone on to work in law enforcement or crime scene investigation. 36% have chosen work in another field, including law, medicine, secondary education, and non-forensic areas of criminal justice.




Investigate the Possibilities

Our students find employment in both the public and private sectors. Our graduates become forensic scientists, criminalists, lab technicians, research scientists, CSIs, law enforcement personnel, and more. Those who choose to continue their education are accepted into Masters and PhD programs at prestigious universities around the world. Explore our lists of employers and universities that students have gone on to after graduating with their degree from Penn State!

Employment or Education following graduation with an MPS in Forensic Science from Penn State

  • Abu Dhabi Police Department
  • Aegis Sciences Corp
  • Agilent Technologies
  • Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL)
  • Armed Forces Medical Examiner System (ARP Sciences, LLC)
  • BioReference Laboratories
  • Bode Cellmark Forensics
  • City of Columbus
  • Comprehensive Lab Services
  • Connecticut State Forensic Science Laboratory
  • DC Department of Forensic Sciences
  • Delaware Dept. of Forensic Science
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Hamilton County Coroner's Office
  • Janssen, Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson
  • Lancaster Laboratories
  • LGC Forensics
  • Max Planck Institute, Leipzig, Germany
  • MilleporeSigma
  • MVA Consultants
  • New York School of Medicine
  • NEXT Molecular Analytics
  • NMS Labs
  • Orebro University
  • PerkinElmer Genetics
  • Penn State College of Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Product Development, Inc.
  • Planet Pharma
  • Queen's University
  • Regenisis
  • Restek Corporation
  • Supelco
  • South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division
  • Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences
  • Syracuse University
  • Texas Department of Public Safety
  • The Institute of Transfusion Medicine
  • The Pennsylvania State University
  • Union County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina
  • University of California - Davis
  • University of Texas Health Science Center and San Antonio
  • University of Washington Seattle
  • Virginia Dept. of Forensic Science
  • VUV Analytics

Employment or Education following graduation with a BS in Forensic Science from Penn State

  • American University of Antigua College of Medicine
  • Abu Dhabi Judicial Department
  • Accenture
  • ACM Global Central Laboratory
  • Aegis Sciences Corporation
  • Aerotek
  • Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL)
  • Alabama Dept of Forensic Sciences
  • Allegheny County Health Department
  • Allegheny General Hospital
  • Arcadia University
  • Arizona Department of Public Safety
  • ARP Sciences LLC
  • Baltimore Police Department
  • Baylor College of Medicine
  • Bode Cellmark Forensics
  • Bode Technology Group
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF)
  • California Department of Justice
  • Canon Biomedical Inc.
  • Center for Disease Control
  • Cedar Crest College
  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
  • City of Philadelphia, PA
  • Columbus Division of Police
  • Cordant Health Solutions
  • County of Lycoming
  • DC Department of Forensic Sciences
  • Dept of Defense (DOD)
  • Dow Chemical Company
  • Drexel University
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • Emory University
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Federal Highway Administration
  • First Energy Corporation
  • Fisher Bioservices
  • Florida Department of Law Enforcement
  • Forensic Services
  • G&W Laboratories
  • George Mason University
  • George Washington University
  • Georgetown University
  • Georgia Bureau of Investigation
  • Harrison County Institute of Forensic Science
  • Indiana University
  • Insight Diagnostics Labs
  • John Jay College (CUNY)
  • Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • Kentucky State Police
  • Lancaster Labs
  • Lankenau Institute of Medical Research
  • Lycoming County
  • Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory
  • MedTox Laboratories, Inc
  • New Jersey State Police
  • New Mexico Department of Public Safety
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • NMS Labs
  • North Seattle College
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
  • Shepard Broad School of Law
  • NYPD Police Lab
  • NYU Langone Medical Center
  • Office of Chief Medical Examiner, NYC
  • Ohio Attorney General's Office
  • Ohio State Highway Patrol Crime Laboratory
  • Orange County Sheriff's Crime Lab
  • Penn State University
  • Pennsylvania College of Technology
  • Pennsylvania State Police
  • Petrotrin
  • Philadelphia Police Department
  • Progeny Systems Corporation
  • Quest Diagnostics
  • Randox Toxicology Ltd
  • Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
  • Saint Clare's Hospital
  • Sam Adams Brewhouse
  • Sanofi Pasteur
  • Seton Hill
  • SMA Medical Lab, Inc
  • SoftGenetics LLC
  • Sorenson Forensics
  • South Carolina Law Enforcement Division
  • State University of New York Upstate Medical University
  • The Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC)
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc
  • Towson University
  • Tufts University
  • United States Navy
  • University of California - Davis
  • University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
  • University of Colorado at Boulder
  • University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine
  • University of Lausanne, Switzerland
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • University of North Texas Health Science Center
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Strathclyde, Scotland
  • University of Warwick, Coventry, England
  • University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • UPMC Altoona Family Physicians Residency
  • US Army
  • US Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • Virginia Commonwealth University

*These are partial lists. Not all employers are listed.


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