Best Online Bachelor’s in Crime Scene Investigation Programs

Reese LopezTBS Rankings Team
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Updated April 12, 2024
Edited by
The best online CSI degree can prepare you for an exciting career in crime scene investigation.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

TV shows like Law & Order or CSI may show off the dramatic side of police forensics, but crime scene investigation (CSI) is a practical career choice that offers strong employment potential.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that careers for forensic science technicians will grow by 13% from 2022-2032, which is much faster than the national average growth rate for all occupations.

This page offers an overview of crime scene investigation degrees, including typical courses you might take and career options after graduation.

Popular Online Crime Scene Investigation Programs

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What Should I Expect in a Bachelor’s in Crime Scene Investigation

A bachelor’s in crime scene investigation gives you a comprehensive overview of CSI theory and practice. You’ll gain the skills to analyze crime scenes, collect evidence, and document forensic findings. You may also be able to choose a professional specialty, such as toxicology or pathology.

It usually takes about four years to complete a bachelor’s degree, though some accelerated CSI programs may let you finish faster. An online CSI degree can also give you the flexibility to work while you’re in school.

How to Become a Crime Scene Investigator

You can pursue several different pathways to become a crime scene investigator, though most jobs call for some level of higher education. This list outlines three of the most common approaches.

Complete a Certificate or Associate Program

A certificate or associate degree can prepare you for entry-level careers in crime scene investigation. However, you’ll likely need a bachelor’s degree if you want to pursue more advanced positions.

Earn a 4-Year Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree often serves as the minimum education requirement for more advanced CSI careers, such as forensic science technician. A bachelor’s in forensic science, biology, or physical science can prepare you for field and lab positions in crime scene investigation. Earning a master’s in crime scene investigation degree can also increase your job opportunities in the field.

Gain Experience in Related Fields

While most CSI jobs require a college degree, you can enter many law enforcement positions with just a high school diploma. You may be able to gain on-the-job experience in crime scene investigation even if you don’t have a college degree in a related field.

Popular Online Crime Scene Investigation Programs

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Careers in Crime Scene Investigation

While a bachelor’s degree meets the minimum standard for entry-level crime scene investigator requirements, it also provides a foundation for other careers in forensic science or law enforcement.

The following careers are popular among graduates of crime scene investigation programs. All salary and job outlook data below is from the BLS.

Popular Online Crime Scene Investigation Programs

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Best Online Bachelor’s in Crime Scene Investigation Programs

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#1 Best Online Bachelor’s in Crime Scene Investigation Programs

Florida State University

  • Location-markerTallahassee, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,640
  • Out-of-state$19,084
  • Retention Rate93%
  • Acceptance Rate36%
  • Students Enrolled42,450
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment47%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 Best Online Bachelor’s in Crime Scene Investigation Programs

Liberty University

  • Location-markerLynchburg, VA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$15,417
  • Out-of-state$15,417
  • Retention Rate81%
  • Acceptance Rate51%
  • Students Enrolled85,586
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment92%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 Best Online Bachelor’s in Crime Scene Investigation Programs

National University

  • Location-markerLa Jolla, CA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$13,320
  • Out-of-state$13,320
  • Retention Rate50%
  • Acceptance Rate89%
  • Students Enrolled16,670
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment53%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 Best Online Bachelor’s in Crime Scene Investigation Programs

Columbia College

  • Location-markerColumbia, MO
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$10,912
  • Out-of-state$10,912
  • Retention Rate64%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled9,913
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment76%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 Best Online Bachelor’s in Crime Scene Investigation Programs

Salem University

  • Location-markerSalem, WV
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$16,500
  • Out-of-state$16,500
  • Retention Rate47%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled960
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment100%
  • AccreditationYes

Frequently Asked Questions About CSI Degrees

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