Forensic toxicology is a discipline that plays a vital role in the criminal justice system. It involves the analysis of chemical substances in the body to aid in investigations. The evidence that forensic toxicology can uncover is so valuable, and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that it is an indispensable part of the criminal justice field.
Experts in this area are known as forensic toxicologists. During an investigation, a forensic toxicologist is called in when there’s a need to find out if toxic chemicals or drugs played a role in the death of a person. The forensic toxicologist evaluates chemical levels in the body to help establish facts about drug use or poisoning, and to determine the cause of death. They also identify foreign, toxic, or otherwise hazardous chemicals found in the body.
In other words, forensic toxicologists have the expertise to find traces of alcohol, illegal narcotics, prescription drugs, poisonous metals, gases, and other toxic materials in the body, tissues, and biological fluids, through various chemical processes.
The services and expert opinion of forensic toxicologists are highly sought after in criminal cases. Because of that, forensic toxicology has become one of the most in-demand professions in the field. A career as a forensic toxicologist is challenging yet fascinating, and it is lucrative as well. If you, like many others, are dreaming of getting into this great career, know that it starts with a degree from one of the top forensic toxicologist colleges in the United States.
There are many schools, colleges, and universities across the country offering degree-level training programs in forensic toxicology. Below are more details.
Requirements to Fulfill
Before enrolling in a forensic toxicology college, you must fulfill some basic requirements first. The requirements for becoming a forensic toxicologist may vary from state to state and from school to school. Generally, though, you need to be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or a GED, be in good physical and mental health, and have a clean criminal record. It’s also a plus if you have prior knowledge of subjects like biology, chemistry, mathematics, anatomy, and physiology.
Degrees You Can Earn
Various degree programs in all levels are available from the top forensic toxicologist colleges, including associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and even doctoral degrees. Although you can find jobs with an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in forensic toxicology, it is recommended that you earn at least a master’s to really enhance your skills and competitiveness. And it’s even better to earn a doctorate-level degree in forensic toxicology, as most employers prefer that.
Listed below are the different programs, along with a short description of each:
- Associate’s Degree Program – An associate’s degree in forensic toxicology is a two-year degree program. With this degree, you can find entry-level jobs as a crime scene technician, a laboratory technician, or an evidence custodian, among others. It is a valuable stepping stone towards a bachelor’s degree program.
- Bachelor’s Degree Program – A bachelor’s degree in forensic toxicology is a four-year degree program. Students of this program are required to spend at least one semester interning in a forensic lab. The coursework includes classes in legal procedures, the chain of evidence, communication, and others.
- Master’s Degree Program – A master’s degree program in forensic toxicology takes two years to complete. To be eligible for this program, students must first complete a baccalaureate program. The coursework of the master’s degree program includes more advanced subjects like drug design theories, the effects of drugs on human and non-human species, neurochemical pharmacy, molecular biology, and criminal law, among others.
- Doctorate Degree Program – Doctorate-level degree programs in forensic toxicology, or PhD toxicology programs, are generally research-intensive programs. If you have a master’s degree, you’ll be eligible to apply to a doctorate degree program. During the first two years, you’ll study various courses such as general pathology, biostatistics, and cardiovascular biology. In the final year of your doctorate degree program in forensic toxicology, you’ll be required to prepare a dissertation on any toxicology subject of your choice. You’ll generally be allowed five years to work on your dissertation.
When looking into schools offering forensic toxicology degree programs, it is highly recommended that you pick only those that are accredited. That’s because degrees from non-accredited colleges may not be recognized by most employers. The American Academy of Forensic Sciences-Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (AAFS-FEPAC) accredits schools that meet its standards of quality. Look for AAFS-FEPAC accreditation to make sure you’re getting into a high-quality program.
Listed below are some of the top colleges offering degree programs in forensic toxicology, along with their mailing address:
George Washington University
Department of Forensic Science
2100 Foxhall Road, NW
Washington DC 20007
University of Florida Forensic Science
Office of Registrar
201 Criser Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611
Biomedical Forensic Sciences
School of Medicine
72 E. Concord St., R806
Boston, MA 02118
Michigan State University in East Lansing
Forensic Science Masters Program
Michigan State University
655 Auditorium Road, Room 560A
East Lansing, MI 48824
University of Florida in Gainesville
Master’s in Forensic Toxicology
University of Florida
P.O. Box 100484
Gainesville, FL 32611-0484
Phone: (352) 578-3052
Fax: (352) 273-8716
University of Illinois at Chicago
Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences (MC 865)
Forensic Toxicology Program
833 South Wood Street
Chicago, IL 60612
Recommended Criminal Justice Schools!
- PhD in Criminal Justice - Public Management and Leadership-Advanced
- PhD in Criminal Justice - Online Teaching in Higher Education-Advanced
- B.S. in Criminal Justice - Crime and Criminals
- And more...
Founded in 1888, Tiffin University is proud to offer a personal and practical education for motivated, professionally focused students who want real-world experiences and results. Tiffin University also is known for creating innovative partnerships in nearly everything we do: from helping our students gain access to competitive internships to connecting them to professionals in the real world as they enter the job market.
For more information call now 844-867-2370.
- Bachelor of Criminal Justice: Justice Administration
- Master of Science in Criminal Justice: Crime Analysis
- Master of Science in Criminal Justice: Criminal Behavior
- And more...
DeVry University provides quality education that employers respect, and is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (ncahlc.org), the same organization that accredits many other well-known public and private schools.
- Bachelor's - Justice Administration
Founded in 1819, the University of Cincinnati (UC) has been categorized at the highest level of higher education: the Carnegie Commission (which evaluates the achievements of faculty, current research, leading edge curriculum, and accreditation) has recognized UC as a Doctoral/Research University — Extensive. Each year, this urban, public, nonprofit university graduates 5,000 students, adding to more than 200,000 living alumni around the world. The online programs connect students to a dynamic community of devoted educators, accessible research, and a dedicated support team.
- Master of Science in Criminal Justice
You’re serious about success. With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7.
At AIU, the Serious U, you can get started to get ahead.
- Bachelor's (BSCJ) - Generalist
- Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
- Bachelor's (BSCJ) - Corrections and Case Management
- And more...
Earn your degree anytime, anywhere with Kent State University’s online graduate degrees and certificate programs offered by our Office of Continuing and Distance Education.
- Master's - Criminology & Criminal Justice - Victimology
- Master's - Criminology & Criminal Justice - Corrections
- Master's - Criminology & Criminal Justice - Police
- And more...
Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its seven colleges: Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Business, Education, Health Sciences, Undergraduate Studies, The Art Institute of California and Western State College of Law as well as certificate programs in many areas.
- Criminal Justice (BS)
Pioneering distance education since 1985, Liberty University is now the nation’s seventh largest university. With more than 300 online and residential areas of study, Liberty offers programs from the certificate to doctoral level.
- BS in Criminal Justice
- AA in Criminal Justice
- Masters in Criminal Justice: Command College
- And more...
Take your career to new heights with Colorado Tech ! Since 1965, Colorado Technical University has helped thousands of students achieve success in business, management and technology careers. Learn more today.
- Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
- Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Human Services
- Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Cybercrime and Security
- And more...
Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University. We offer online programs focused on doctoral and master’s degrees in the schools of business and technology management, education, psychology and marriage and family sciences.
- Homeland Security - MBA
- Criminal Justice - PhD in Bus. Admin.
- Homeland Security Leadership & Policy - D.B.A.
- And more...