B.S. in Criminal Justice | Crime Scene Investigation | Liberty University (2023)

Learn How to Investigate Crimes and Safeguard Physical Evidence with a Criminal Investigation Degree

These days, CSI brings with it an image of an exciting, action-packed life filled with drama and romance. The actual field of crime scene investigation is not exactly the same as what is portrayed on TV. If you want a rewarding and exciting job that involves helping to solve crimes and mysteries, then join the ranks of the many professionals who have pursued this as their chosen profession. Crime scene investigators can also be called forensic investigators.

If you are wondering how to become a forensic investigator, then Liberty University’s B.S. in Criminal Justice – Crime Scene Investigation is a great place to start.

B.S. in Criminal Justice | Crime Scene Investigation | Liberty University (1)

Our CSI degree is designed to help provide you with a strong understanding of the criminal justice field and the skills necessary to develop and analyze forensics laws. Through this program, you can learn the essential skills needed to conduct criminal investigations as well as protect and record vital evidence to ensure that it can be accurately analyzed.

Offered 100% online, our program’s flexibility allows you to graduate in less than 4 years without sacrificing your career — because our goal is to support you as both a student and a professional as you become a positive force in the criminal justice field. You can gain the knowledge you need to pursue roles at police departments and government agencies across the country.

What Does a Forensic Scientist Do?

The general term “forensic science technician” is used for someone who aids criminal investigations by collecting, safeguarding, and analyzing evidence. Usually, you would pick an area to specialize in such as crime scene investigation or laboratory analysis. If you were working at a crime scene, you would be involved in analyzing the scene and determining what evidence is there and how it can be collected.

(Video) BSc (Hons) Forensic Science & Criminal Investigation

You would then record the scene for use in the investigation by taking photographs, making sketches, and marking the location and position of evidence. This evidence would then be brought to a crime lab for further analysis.

In the laboratory, you might perform chemical, biological, and microscopic analyses on the evidence that was taken from the crime scene. This would involve analyzing DNA results and consulting with other experts on areas such as toxicology to determine if someone was poisoned. You might work with medical experts to study the causes of death and the identity of the victims through dental records.

Liberty University’s forensic science online degree focuses on helping to prepare you for these roles by covering essential skills that would typically be studied in a criminal justice program. Our online forensic science bachelor’s degree helps provide the knowledge and tools you need to approach your career with confidence.

B.S. in Criminal Justice | Crime Scene Investigation | Liberty University (2)

Why Choose Liberty’s B.S. in Criminal Justice – Crime Scene Investigation?

At Liberty, we are dedicated to excellence, and as a pioneer in distance learning since 1985, we have a history of innovation. Today, we put our experience to use by providing you with an education that is affordable and at the forefront of forensics. Our goal as a nonprofit Christian university is to help provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to lead in the criminal justice field with strength and integrity.

This is a great field to get into as employment is projected to grow 14% from 2019 to 2029.* If you want to be out in the field actively recording crime scenes and collecting evidence, then this crime scene investigation degree can help. If you prefer to work in the lab studying the evidence that has been collected, then this degree can help as well.

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), so your degree has met rigorous academic standards and accreditation requirements. We strive to bring you the best education you can get with the flexibility to study in your home or office without having to travel to campus.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, at Forensic Science Technicians, 2020(viewed online June 24, 2021). Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.

What Will You Learn in Our Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice?

Through Liberty’s online forensics degree program, you will study both the scientific and analytical aspects of forensics. By analyzing past criminal cases, you can understand what police officers and crime scene investigators go through in the execution of their duties. Learn how to identify, collect, preserve, record, process, and analyze all forms of evidence. You will also learn how to capture the crime scene through the use of digital photography.

(Video) How to become a CSI | Answering your Questions about Crime Scene Investigation & Forensics

Furthermore, you can gain the essential skills needed to conduct a criminal investigation, such as how to process a crime scene and how to collect evidence via subpoenas and interviews. Your crime scene investigator education will teach you what is legal under the Constitution and how criminal laws govern the actions of both police and regular citizens.

Featured Courses

  • CJUS 360 – Introduction to Forensics
  • CJUS 361 – Crime Scene Photography
  • CJUS 362 – Crime Scene Management
  • CJUS 420 – Criminal Investigations I


Degree Information

Military Benefits


(Video) Mock Crime Scene Investigation: DCLC-BS in Criminology Batch 2018-2022

Admission Requirements

Crime Scene Investigation Degree Information

  • This program falls under the Helms School of Government.
  • Download and review the Degree Completion Plan.
  • View the Undergraduate Government Course Guides (login required).
  • Want more out of your degree? Add a minor (or 2) to focus or expand your studies further.

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Military Benefits

Liberty University is dedicated to providing world-class educational experiences to military students across the globe. Whether you are a current service member, discharged or retired from service, or the spouse of a service member or veteran, we are here to support you every step of the journey.

As a thank-you for your dedication and service to our country, Liberty is honored to serve and support youin your pursuit of online education by offering the following benefits:

  • Tuition discounts – $250 per credit hour for undergraduate courses
  • Additional discount for veterans who serve in a civilian capacity as a First Responder (less than $565 per course)
  • 8-week courses, 8 different start dates each year, and no set login times (may exclude certain courses such as practicums, internships, or field experiences)
  • Potential college credit formilitary training

Generous Discount for Active Duty Law Enforcement and Other First Responders

Liberty University is committed to helping students achieve their educational goals in whatever way we can. The First Responder Discount was created to ease some of the financial burdens of tuition from the men and women who work in public service.

(Video) School of Government Crime Scene Investigation

As Liberty University’s way of saying “Thank you,” we proudly provide you with the following benefits:

  • A 25% tuition discount
  • Opportunity for college credit for training and life experience
  • Personalized service throughout your educational journey
  • Potential stacking with other tuition benefits, such as the Corporate Advantage Program or ourmilitary benefits

Potential Career Options with a Crime Scene Investigation Degree

Our forensic investigation degree is designed to help lead you to a career in a diverse and challenging atmosphere in the criminal justice system. Potential career fields include:

  • Crime scene investigator
  • Crime scene technician
  • Criminalist
  • Forensic analyst
  • Forensic project coordinator

Admission Requirements for Online Undergraduate Degrees

Applicants must have a 2.0 or above cumulative GPA for admission in good standing. Please visit our admission requirements page for more detailed admissions-related information.

All applicants must submit the following:

  • Admission application
  • Application fee*
  • Official college transcripts
  • Unofficial college transcripts may be accepted with a completed official transcript request form**
  • High School Self-Certification form and official high school transcripts within first 12 credit hours
  • Proof of English proficiency (for applicants whose native language is other than English)

*There is no upfront application fee; however, a deferred $50 application fee will be assessed during Financial Check-In. This fee is waived for qualifying service members, veterans, and military spouses – documentation verifying military status is required.

**An official transcript is needed within 60 days of acceptance or before non-attendance drops for the first set of matriculated classes, whichever comes first.

Benefits of Liberty’s Crime Scene Investigation Bachelor’s Degree

  • We are recognized by multiple institutions for our academic quality, affordability, and accessibility. Our commitment to excellence also helped us rank among Niche.com’s top 3 online schools in America. Earning your online criminal investigation degree from a nonprofit university with this kind of recognition can help set you apart from others in your field.
  • Your success is our success, which is why we’re committed to providing quality academics at an affordable tuition rate. While other colleges are increasing their tuition, we’ve frozen tuition rates for our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs for the past 7 years — and counting.
  • To continue our mission of providing affordable education, electronic textbooks are provided for all undergraduate courses at no cost to you. As a full-time student, this could save you an estimated $800-2,000 per year on textbooks!
  • Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • As an online forensic science degree student, you will have the opportunity to network with leaders and experts in the crime scene investigation field from across the country.


What should I study in college to become a crime scene investigator? ›

You could do a degree in forensic science, or in a scientific subject like biological science or chemistry. Other relevant subjects include: psychology. criminology.

Is it hard to get into CSI? ›

The International Crime Scene Investigators Association (ICSIA) provides a CSI certification to professionals with at least two years of experience and 50 hours of crime scene processing coursework. Candidates must pass a 100-question exam and submit examples of crime scene photography as proof of experience.

What is the best school for crime scene investigation? ›

  • Ohio State University. Ohio State University has a Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies, BA. ...
  • George Washington University. ...
  • University of Alabama. ...
  • East Carolina University. ...
  • Penn State University. ...
  • Cedarville University. ...
  • Madonna University. ...
  • Virginia Commonwealth University.

What do you study in criminal investigation? ›

criminal investigation, ensemble of methods by which crimes are studied and criminals apprehended. The criminal investigator seeks to ascertain the methods, motives, and identities of criminals and the identity of victims and may also search for and interrogate witnesses.

Do crime scene investigators make good money? ›

How much does a Crime Scene Investigator make? As of Feb 27, 2023, the average annual pay for a Crime Scene Investigator in the United States is $53,331 a year.

Do you need math to be a crime scene investigator? ›

Education: A career as a forensic analyst requires an undergraduate degree in mathematics, chemistry, biology, or a related natural science field.

Can you be a CSI for the FBI? ›

CSIs can be either law enforcement officers or civilians. They are employed by city police departments, county sheriff's departments, the FBI, the attorney general's office, insurance companies, law firms and others.

What is the highest paying CSI job? ›

The best Forensic Investigator jobs can pay up to $120,500 per year. A forensic investigator is a crime scene investigator (CSI) who collects and analyzes forensic evidence related to a criminal investigation.

Do CSI agents make a lot of money? ›

For example, it comes as no surprise that the BLS reports California as the top-paying state in the nation for crime scene investigators, with an annual, mean salary of $87,200.

What place has the best CSI jobs? ›

We will examine some of these in the following material regarding cities with an excellent CSI department.
  • St. Louis County, Missouri. ...
  • Phoenix, Arizona. ...
  • New York, N.Y. ...
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ...
  • Quantico, Virginia. ...
  • Additional Resources.

How long is a bachelor degree? ›

The average of just over four years to complete a bachelor's degree isn't surprising. After all, bachelor's degrees are frequently called “four-year” degrees and institutions offering them are often called “four-year” colleges.

Is criminal justice hard in college? ›

Is a Criminal Justice Major Hard? Like any accredited college program, earning a criminal justice degree requires rigor and persistence. Criminal justice coursework covers a broad set of topics in order to prepare students for a multi-faceted career. Criminal justice majors also typically require field training.

How many years do you study for criminal justice? ›

Duration: Minimum – 3 years of study (part-time) Maximum – 6 years of study (part-time)

Why choose criminal justice as a major? ›

A career in criminal justice is a great way to give back to your community. The field is full of jobs that help others; from law enforcement to working in the court system, you're protecting people from criminal activity, helping crime victims and ensuring justice for them and society.

How many hours a week do crime scene investigators work? ›

Crime scene investigators and technicians typically work full-time 40-hour work weeks plus overtime hours. You may work a variety of shifts, including during daytime, evening, and night shifts on both weekdays and weekends. CSIs may be required to work on holidays and special occasions.

What are the cons of being a crime scene investigator? ›

Physically Demanding

Crime scene investigators may be required to lift, bend, stretch, crawl, and climb to gather evidence. Slogging through mud and almost impassable conditions are often part of the job. When collecting evidence, you may spend hours on your knees in uncomfortable positions.

What is the lowest salary for a crime scene investigator? ›

Crime Scene Investigator Salary Info by Industry

The average salaries of forensic science technicians vary significantly by industry, ranging from an average of over $100,000 to around $36,000 on the low end.

What GPA do you need for forensics? ›

The Master of Professional Studies degree in Forensic Science is appropriate for students with a baccalaureate degree in the biological sciences, chemistry, or a related field of study. Applicants are required to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) in their undergraduate degree.

What grades are needed for forensics? ›

Entry requirements

a minimum of 112 points from A levels including a C in Biology or Human Biology (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science with MMM) English Language and Mathematics GCSEs at grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent)

What skills do you need to be a crime scene investigator? ›

CSI Career & Education Requirements
EducationBachelor's Degree, Higher degrees could advance your forensic career
Preferred ExperienceLaw Enforcement
Expected SkillsAttention to detail, Critical-thinking, and problem-solving skills, Ability to remain focused despite the environment
1 more row

Do CSI agents work alone? ›

Work independently and as part of a team: Crime scene investigators often work on crime scenes independently as they obtain evidence while also working as part of a larger law enforcement team to solve crimes and bring justice to victims.

What is the difference between a CSI and a criminal investigator? ›

Unlike crime scene investigators, forensic scientists do not visit the crime scene. Instead, they work in a lab environment, examining and analyzing evidence provided by investigators to help law enforcement agencies pursue justice.

What does a crime scene investigator do on a daily basis? ›

Crime Scene Investigator Job Description

CSIs collect and analyze evidence taken from the scene of murders, robberies, sexual assaults, and other crimes. Evidence found at a crime scene can include anything from weapons, clothing, and fingerprints to fibers, human hair, and blood spatter.

Are CSI in high demand? ›

Yes, crime scene investigator jobs are in demand.

What jobs are similar to CSI? ›

Within the crime scene investigation field, a number of distinct professions exist:
  • Crime Scene Leader. ...
  • Crime Scene Photographer. ...
  • Evidence Collector. ...
  • CSI Technician. ...
  • Firearms/DNA/Toolmark/Fingerprint Specialists. ...
  • Forensic Artist.

What type of investigator makes the most money? ›

High Paying Investigator Jobs
  • Principal Investigator. Salary range: $97,000-$209,000 per year. ...
  • Polygraph Examiner. Salary range: $51,000-$132,500 per year. ...
  • Forensic Engineer. Salary range: $79,500-$120,500 per year. ...
  • Forensic Analyst. ...
  • Forensic Investigator. ...
  • Director of Investigations. ...
  • Corporate Investigator. ...
  • Investigations Manager.

Do CSI agents carry guns? ›

Yes, NCIS Special Agents are required to carry firearms and periodically qualify with their service weapon. Firearm instruction is included in the basic agent training program.

Do CSI members carry guns? ›

Investigators must be authorized to carry a firearm, have the authority to arrest suspects, and hold a valid driver's license. Investigators need to travel to and from crime scenes, so a driving license is usually an essential requirement of the job.

Do you have to be good at science to be a CSI? ›

The meticulous processing of crime scene evidence is a science, so it stands to reason that crime scene investigators, or CSIs, must have a strong background in the natural sciences.

Can I finish a Bachelors degree in 2 years? ›

A bachelor's degree will typically take 4 years of sitting in class. But testing out of classes (credit by exam) and 8-week online classes are the turbo-boost needed to finish your bachelor's degree in 2 years. You still complete a freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year. You just do it in half the time!

Is there any 2 year bachelor degree? ›

What is 2-year college degree? The 2-year degree courses are generally Diploma, Postgraduate Diploma or Certificate programmes. These concentrate on a particular skill and enable students to master them. A 2-year degree program can be pursued at community, technical, and vocational colleges.

Is 2 years a bachelor's? ›

However, two-year bachelor's degrees do exist with one caveat: they're reserved for transfer credits from community college. Two-year bachelor's options are really degree completion programs intended for returning adults who've finished associate degrees or equivalent semester hours at other accredited colleges.

What is CSI acceptance rate? ›

CUNY--College of Staten Island admissions is less selective with an acceptance rate of 94%. The application deadline is rolling and the application fee at CUNY--College of Staten Island is $65.

How long does it take to be a CSI? ›

Forensic science interests and CSI skills are honed over about five to eight years of education and experience.

What skills do you need to be a CSI? ›

Top crime scene investigators are natural problem-solvers. They combine science aptitude, analytical skills and critical thinking to piece together evidence and testimony. In essence, forensic science careers try to develop stories based on their interpretations of evidence and theories of circumstantial events.

Is CSI a good school? ›

CSI High School for International Studies 2022 Rankings

CSI High School for International Studies is ranked #2,599 in the National Rankings. Schools are ranked on their performance on state-required tests, graduation and how well they prepare students for college. Read more about how we rank the Best High Schools.

How many students are in CSI? ›

Is CSI an accredited College? ›

The College of Southern Idaho is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

What are the negatives of working as a CSI? ›

Crime scene investigators can be under intense pressure from police to finish forensic reports. Caseloads are heavy in high crime areas. At times, the job can be emotionally draining.

What are the benefits of being a CSI? ›

Most Popular Benefits at CSI
  • Paid Holidays / Vacation. Employees: 46.
  • 401(k) Employees: 35.
  • Life Insurance/Disability. Employees: 28.
  • Paid Sick Leave. Employees: 27.
  • Casual Dress/Atmosphere. Employees: 25.
  • Education/Training/Tuition/Certification Reimbursement. Employees: 13.
  • Cell Phone. Employees: 11.
Jan 28, 2023

How many hours does a CSI work? ›

Crime Scene Investigators are basically highly trained forensic scientists on call. That being said, most CSI's work a standard forty-hour work week with standard hours, with only some variation due to specific cases.

What is the difference between a detective and a crime scene investigator? ›

Both criminal investigators and detectives work for law enforcement agencies. Typically, detectives work on cases involving homicides and felonies, while criminal investigators work on a range of criminal and civil cases, such as fraud and missing persons.


1. Criminal Justice Mock Crime Scene Investigation
(The University of Toledo)
2. Studying Criminal Justice and Crime Scene Investigation at Wayne State College
(Wayne State College)
3. 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Crime Scene Investigator
(RHO Said It)
4. The Department of Criminal Justice & Forensic Investigation
(Jacksonville State University)
5. Introduction to Crime Scenes
(University of Derby)
6. Criminal Justice Degree: Worth It?
(Shane Hummus)


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