Investigative Forensics Bachelor's Degree

Become fluent in the language of crime scene investigation for a career in civil or criminal justice by pursuing a degree in investigative forensics.

This program is not available to new students for the 2020–2021 academic year. Please email for information about the current status of the program.

For reference, the program requirements outlined below are for students who enrolled in the 2019–2020 academic year. Prior year academic requirements are available in our catalog archive.

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. UMGC’s program 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.

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.

What You'll Learn

Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Apply the scientific method to draw conclusions regarding forensic information
  • Use ethical principles and an understanding of legal precedents to 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 needed 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

Coursework Examples

In past projects, students have had the opportunity to

  • Examine evidence via virtual labs, take notes, and write reports based on the examinations
  • Investigate a virtual crime scene, gather evidence, request lab testing, and use the results to write an official report and reconstruction
  • Examine a virtual cold case to locate and interview suspects, re-examine evidence, determine the viability of the case, and write a report based on findings

Industry Certification

This program is designed to help prepare you for the following certification exams:

  • Bloodstain Pattern Analyst Certification
  • Crime Scene Certification
  • Latent Print Certification

Investigative Forensics Bachelor's Degree Requirements

A degree with a major in investigative forensics requires the successful completion of 120 credits of coursework, including 32 credits for the major; 41 credits in general education requirements; and 47 credits in the minor, electives, and other degree requirements. You must also complete all related required coursework, which may be applied to general education or elective requirements, as part of the 120 credits required for the degree. At least 16 credits in the major must be earned in upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above). See overall degree requirements.

General Education Requirements

Since some recommended courses fulfill more than one requirement, substituting courses for those listed may require you to take additional courses to meet degree requirements. Consult an advisor whenever taking advantage of other options. See information on alternate courses (where allowable) to fulfill general education requirements (in communications, arts and humanities, behavioral and social sciences, biological and physical sciences, mathematics, and interdisciplinary issues).

Research and Computing Literacy Courses

Communications Courses

Math Course

Arts and Humanities Courses

Behavioral and Social Science Courses

Biological and Physical Sciences Courses


The bachelor's degree in investigative forensics requires 47 credits in minor and/or elective coursework.

Career Preparation

This program is designed to help prepare you for a career in civil or criminal justice working in crime scene investigation.