Washington State residents who are interested in pursuing careers in forensic science should know that they will absolutely need a degree in order to have success in the field. In fact, the vast majority of forensic science professionals in Washington State possess at least a bachelor’s degree in forensic science or a related area, such as criminal justice.

You can also, if you wise, take your education to even higher levels and earn master’s degrees and doctoral level degrees in these subjects. No matter what degree level you are trying to reach or what your major is, you absolutely need to make sure that you earn your degree from an accredited college or university.

You can think of accreditation as a stamp of approval. A school has to meet certain standards of ethical and educational merit in order to become fully accredited. Accreditation is also what allows a school to issue and grant actual degrees.

Therefore, anything you earn from an unaccredited school is not an actual degree and, unfortunately, will essentially be useless to you in the real world. An accredited school will have no problem displaying its accreditation status, as well as naming the accreditation body. You should always check on both of these aspects before enrolling in or paying any money to a particular school.

While accreditation is a concern with all schools, you need to be especially careful of this if you are choosing an online school for your education. The internet is full of awful scams that exist just to get your hard earned money and waste your time, so you need to be doubly careful about checking up on the accreditation status of online schools.

Also be careful of schools that do not have some kind of a physical base, that are difficult to get into contact with, and that hesitates to answer your questions.

With those cautions said, you will be glad to know that Washington State is home to a number of fine and fully accredited higher learning institutions for you to choose from.

One of the top choices for forensic science and related educations in the state is Argosy University, located in Seattle, offering online bachelor’s degree programs in criminal justice, as well as online master’s degree programs in forensic psychology with a focus on assessment, forensic psychology with a focus on homeland security, forensic psychology with a focus on law enforcement, forensic psychology with a focus on treatment, and general forensic psychology.

Obviously, this school has no shortage of choices for its students.

Another popular option is Bellevue College, in Bellevue, offering an associate’s degree program in criminal justice, or even Central Washington University of Ellensburg, which offers a bachelor’s degree program in law and justice. There’s also Centralia College at Centralia, offering associate’s degree programs in criminal justice and in forensic and private investigation.

Plus, don’t forget about Clark College, located in Vancouver, which offers a bachelor’s degree program in forensic studies, or the always popular Columbia Basin College in Pasco, offering a dual bachelor’s degree program in criminal justice and forensics.

Many students have recently started attending Everest College, with locations in both Renton and Vancouver, and which offers associate’s degree programs in criminal justice. Nearby is Everett Community College of Everett, which has associate’s degree programs in both criminal justice and law enforcement.

A little further from there is Grays Harbor College, located in Aberdeen, offering associate’s degree programs in correctional studies, criminal justice, juvenile justice, and law enforcement.

Many students find their home at Green River Community College in Auburn, which has an associate’s degree program in criminal justice, or at Highline Community College of Des Moines, offering an associate’s degree program in criminal justice.

ITT Technical Institute, with locations in Everett, Seattle, and Spokane Valley – not to mention around the nation- offers both online and traditional associate’s degree programs in criminal justice, as well as online and traditional bachelor’s degree programs in the same for its students.

A few more great choices are Lower Columbia College at Longview, offering associate’s degree programs in criminal justice; Olympic College, located in Bremerton, with associate’s degree programs in criminal justice and law enforcement; and Pierce College, with locations in both Lakewood and Puyallup, offering an associate’s degree program in correctional mental health, which is akin to forensic psychology.