As a Kansas resident who dreams of one day becoming a forensic scientist, you should know that in order to have the career you want, you will more than likely need to possess at least a bachelor’s degree, though there are sometimes entry level positions available to those with only an associate’s degree.

In either case, you will, of course, have to decide what to major in and what to get your degree in. Most people think that you have to take the obvious route and major in either forensic science or general forensic studies. While this is certainly a real possibility, you can also choose to major in very closely related areas, such as criminal justice.

The best way to determine what your major should be is to first decide upon the career you want to have in the field; forensic scientists work in a wide variety of capacities. From there, you can research the different educational requirements and preferences for these professionals and then map out your own education accordingly.

You will be happy to know, that whatever you decide to major in, Kansas is full of educational opportunities that can help you on your way.

You can attend, for example, a traditional college or university, which is the most commonly taken route for Kansas residents. Or, if a traditional schedule isn’t an option for you, you can think about going with an online school or even with a community college or vocational school to start.

Such alternative options, in addition to being geared toward the demanding schedules of non-traditional students, are also often much cheaper than traditional colleges and universities to attend. Just make sure that any school you attend, whether it is online or based in the “real world,” is fully accredited. This is the only way that you can earn an actual degree and get an education that will be regarded as legitimate.

As mentioned earlier, Kansas definitely has no shortage of colleges and programs geared toward those hoping to break into the forensic science field. One popular choice is Allen County Community College, located in Iola, which offers associate’s degree programs in criminal justice and in law enforcement.

Another great community college is Barton County Community College in Great Bend. There’s also Butler Community College at El Dorado, which offers an associate’s degree program in administration of justice, and Cloud Community College, located in Concordia, offering associate’s degree programs in corrections and law enforcement, and in criminal justice.

Not to be outdone, Colby’s Colby Community College has an associate’s degree program in criminal justice, and Cowley County Community College of Arkansas offers an impressive range of associate’s degree majors, including computer forensics, general forensic science, and criminal justice.

There are many traditional colleges and universities in the state as well, such as Bethany College of Lindsborg, offering bachelor’s degree programs in both criminal justice and forensic science. Brown Mackie College is another fine choice. The school has locations in both Lenexa and Salina, and offers an associate’s degree program in criminal justice.