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Planning on pursuing the Forensic Science Certificate at UT? 

Pursuing a career in forensic science or a related field is a big commitment. Not only does it require pursuing a challenging academic path but working in a field where what you do affects the lives of many. Working in forensic science means committing yourself to the pursuit of justice for all. This requires drive, acute attention to detail, an inquisitive and collaborative spirit, compassion and strong communication skills.

What is forensic science?

Forensic science involves the evaluating of physical evidence from a crime scene or space/location related to a crime. This may involve analyzing things such as fingerprints, blood, semen, firearms, saliva, drugs, and may involve reconstructing skeletal bones. It may also involve analyzing data on a device such as a computer, camera or cell phone or examining documents or financial accounts. In addition, forensic scientists write reports, preserve evidence, testify in court, and discuss evidence collection with attorneys and law enforcement personnel. (As defined at http://www.criminaljusticeusa.com)

How can I prepare for this field while in high school?

If you want to start getting ready for this career during high school, you can begin by doing the following, as outlined on the College Board career website:

  1. Taking as many math and science courses as possible
  2. Developing public speaking skills by participating in activities such as Debate Team or Drama/Theater
  3. Practice writing detailed notes and keeping an organized notebook and lab books
  4. Visiting or interning at a courthouse and watching legal cases
  5. Developing and honing your writing skills

How Do I Join?

There is no need to apply for the Forensic Science Certificate as part of your admissions application. Once admitted to UT, you can simply inform your academic advisor any time after New Student Orientation that you wish to pursue the Forensic Science Certificate as part of your academic curriculum at UT Austin. Your academic advisor can then guide you on how to get started. 

Learn more about applying to UT Austin as a College of Natural Sciences student: https://cns.utexas.edu/students/future

Learn about applying to other colleges at UT Austin: http://bealonghorn.utexas.edu

Debunking 5 Myths about working in Forensic Science

Since the popularity of shows like Dexter and CSI and its spinoffs, the interest in the field of Forensic Science has grown by leaps and bounds. Students connect with that CSI agent on television and believe that is what they want to do as a career. However, when viewing these shows on television it can be unclear as to what it would really mean to work in the field and what it takes to get there. With this often comes internalizing certain “myths” about the field of forensic science in terms of what your options are and what working in forensics really entails. Here we debunk five of them from these sites' lists http://www.criminaljusticedegreesguide.com and http://work.chron.com: