How long does the program take to complete?
The program is 120 credit hours long. A student averaging 15 credit hours a semester should complete within 8 semesters or 4 years.
I’m an older student, how will my age impact my employment options?
Most investigative positions are state or federal ones. Each department has its own hiring guidelines. Many departments have hiring restrictions above age 37.
I want to be an investigator but I don’t want to be law enforcement. What are my prospects?
The most direct route to investigative work is through law-enforcement positions. There are civilian options. Medical examiners utilize death Investigators who are typically civilians. Prosecutors and defense councils also utilize civilian investigators. Increasingly, jurisdictions, like Florida, are hiring civilian crime-scene investigators.
What’s the difference between a Forensic Investigation Program and a Forensic Science Program?
Forensic Investigation programs prepare generalists with a breadth of forensic and investigative knowledge for field work.
Forensic Science programs usually prepare specialists that have depth of knowledge in a particular area for laboratory work.
The Investigation program at WVU Tech is focused on field work. This program replaces some of the upper-level science and math courses typical of a forensic science program with courses that add to a student’s breadth of knowledge. It’s this breadth of knowledge that gives field investigators an edge. From developing interviewing skills and rapid scene-assessment to preparing for court room arguments, the courses are designed to optimize the effectiveness of the field-investigator.
The program is flexible enough to allow students to take upper level math and science courses as part of their restrictive electives because some graduate programs require these courses. Students, who have plans for graduate school, should plan to take them as part of their progression.