Crime Scene Investigation Degree – CSI
Crime scene investigators arrive at the scene of a crime to gather evidence and record details to be examined by forensics analysts and ultimately used in a court of law. Each type of crime has precise protocols and processes for handling and recording the scene and there are sometimes very specialized roles to play in the examination of the scene of a crime depending upon whether it is a local bank robbery, homicide, or a large scale terrorist attack. Start by requesting information from schools and learn about the specifics of their programs including curriculum, potential internships, and more.
CSI Degree Prerequisites
In order to be qualified for a CSI job, you will need, at a minimum, an associates degree in criminal justice, law enforcement, or a related field of study. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, most gain entry level positions after completing an associates degree. Those with a bachelors degree in forensic science, law enforcement, or a topic related to a particular specialty (such as photography for a CSI photographer or chemistry for a trace evidence handler), will be more competitive job applicants for available positions in CSI. Among the most common combination of education is science and technology in combination with criminal justice or law enforcement due to the fact that these fields are aligned with many common procedures and tasks of a CSI investigator.
General Prerequisites for CSI Positions
- Entry Level Positions – High School Diploma or GED, Recommended at least AS Degree
- Mid Level Positions such as DNA Analysis, Trace Evidence Analysis – Bachelors Degree
- Specialized Roles such as Photographer – Recommended combination of CSI Photography Courses in conjunction with associates, bachelors, or certificate program.
** When requesting information from CSI programs of interest, school representatives will help you understand if you have met their prerequisites. If not, they can assist you in putting together a plan to meet prerequisites in order to qualify for enrollment
CSI Specializations & Degree Concentrations
There are many types of crime scene investigators needed for various types of crimes. The following are some of the common types of crime scene investigators needed:
- Crime Scene Photographer
- Crime Scene Technician
- Forensic Science Specialist (many subspecialties within forensics)
- Fingerprint Specialist
- Impression Evidence Specialist
- Evidence Technician
- Crime Lab Assistant
- Fire Investigator
To learn more about what happens at the scene of a crime and the different roles in gathering and examining evidence, read crime scene investigator job descriptions.