If you are looking to make a jump into forensic science, we have outlined 11 of the best forensic science major scholarships available at the undergraduate and graduate levels below.
There’s a renewed interest in the field of crime scene investigation and a wider pool of forensic science major scholarships to choose from now, thanks to the popular television shows that dramatize the job.
Forensic science is a little more nuanced than it seems on TV, but for young scientists looking to use their skills for justice, it’s a satisfying career choice. From labs and crime scenes to morgues and police stations, through thorough study, forensic scientists work in some environments to discover the truth about illegal activities.
In criminal investigations, forensic scientists play a prominent role by giving judges, juries, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers their professional independent opinion.
Many interested in studying forensic science would be delighted to see a wealth of forensic science major scholarships to help finance their studies. Concerning average tuition rates and the amount of work needed to apply, some forensic science major scholarships can seem tiny, but the incentives add up.
Here are 11 forensic science major scholarships to consider.
1. The NJAFS Scholarship
An organization dedicated to the advancement of forensic science in New Jersey is the New Jersey Association of Forensic Scientists (NJAFS). It does this by connecting professionals through their quarterly dinner meetings and annual seminars and promoting dialogue.
The website of the company offers opportunities for forensic scientists, students, scholars, and associates from various organizations to operate.
- Amount: $1,000
- Deadline: October 31st
- Eligibility criteria: Applicants must be a current member of the NJAFS, or attend a university in New Jersey, or reside in New Jersey but attend college out of state. Students must be enrolled in a science program (biology, chemistry, natural science, or forensic science) and demonstrate academic excellence Undergraduate students must be of junior standing or higher.
2. The George H. Robinson Memorial Scholarship
The Chesapeake Bay Division International Association for Identification (CBD-IAI) is a non-profit organization serving as a regional branch of the world’s oldest and largest forensic association. For various forensic science disciplines, they offer certification programs and host seminars and conferences in the field.
The George H. Robinson Memorial Scholarship is intended to honor students in criminal justice and forensic science. It is awarded to chosen students who receive a scholarship grant and a certificate.
- Amount: $1,000
- Deadline: N/A
- Eligibility criteria: Students pursuing a degree in forensic science or criminal justice are the focus of this scholarship. Applicants must have a 2.5 or better GPA, and undergraduate candidates must be of sophomore standing or higher. Awards are presented annually at the CBD-IAI’s Spring Educational Conference.
3. Gary Boccia Memorial Scholarship
For new entrants as well as those completing their studies, John Jay College of Criminal Justice offers institutional scholarships. The Gary Boccia Memorial Scholarship is one such scholarship. Gary Boccia, who earned his Forensic Science bachelor’s degree, died suddenly in October 1998.
His family and friends, as well as colleagues who worked with him at the Northeast Lab of the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency, created the scholarship. A part-time or full-time student in Forensic Science is awarded this Scholarship. Both undergraduate and graduate students are open to it.
- Amount: $500
- Deadline: April 20th
- Eligibility criteria: Qualified recipients must have achieved junior or senior level status, have completed at least 60 credit hours, carry a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and be currently enrolled in an internship at an accredited forensic science laboratory. In addition to the college’s general scholarship application, candidates must write a 500-word essay covering their future aspirations in forensic science.
4. The ACS Scholars Program
Formed in 1876, chartered by the United States The American Chemical Society (ACS) of Congress is the largest scientific society in the world.
Its stated aim is to enhance the lives of people through the power of chemistry, which is done through public advocacy, scientific journals, community collaborations, continuing education, and scholarship programs.
To provide resources for students from underrepresented minority groups who want to pursue a career in chemical science, the ACS Scholars Program was created. Per year, 350 students are awarded just under $1 million.
- Amount: Up to $5,000 annually
- Deadline: March 1st
- Eligibility criteria: Applicants must be U.S. citizens and enrolled full-time at an accredited institution. They must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0, and be on track to enter a career in a chemical-related science field. Applicants must provide an official transcript, letters of recommendation, proof of need, and college entrance exam scores.
5. The Out to Innovate Scholarship
The Out to Innovate Scholarship, offered by the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals (NOGLSTP), is designed to encourage academic achievement and recognition in STEM professions for promising LGBTQ students.
It is also intended to enable students in their professional lives to be “out” and foster diversity in the workforce of science and technology. Annually, two awards are given.
- Amount: Two $5000 scholarships
- Deadline: June 6th
- Eligibility criteria: Undergraduate or graduate students pursuing a STEM degree and who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or an active ally of the LGBTQ community are eligible for this scholarship. Applicants must have completed at least two years of higher education and maintain a 3.0 GPA or better.
6. The George W. Neighbor, Jr. Memorial Scholarship
George W. Neighbor, Jr., a trace evidence examiner and microscopist whose work reversed false convictions and strengthened the need for quality assurance in forensic science labs, is honored by this second NEAFS scholarship.
George W. Neighbor, a former NEAFS founder, left a mentorship legacy, and several of his mentees went on to become laboratory supervisors and mentors themselves.
- Amount: $1,750
- Deadline: April 30th
- Eligibility criteria: Students interested in these scholarships must attend schools in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania. Students must submit two letters of recommendation from professors involved in their forensic science or related studies.
7. Michelle Lee Memorial Scholarship
Growing up in Queens, NY, Michelle Lee graduated with a BS in Forensic Science. She is a John Jay College alumnus. She passed away at just 24 years old on April 27th, 2009.
This Forensic Science scholarship was created by her family and friends to celebrate her life by offering the opportunity for students from under-represented communities to complete their education.
- Amount: $1,000
- Deadline: April 20th
- Eligibility criteria: Forensic science students are qualified for the award.
8. The ASCLD Scholarship Program
The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD), founded in 1973 in Quantico, Virginia, is a non-profit professional society of directors of crime laboratories and managers of forensic science.
The organization aims to cultivate professional interests, establish concepts of laboratory management, exchange forensic-based knowledge, enhance cooperation between directors of crime laboratories, and promote high practice standards in the field.
This scholarship is awarded annually, as approved by the Board of Directors, to graduate and undergraduate students in forensic science.
- Amount: $1,000
- Deadline: February 15th
- Eligibility criteria: Qualified bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree students must be attending an accredited U.S. institution, enroll in a program approved by the FEPAC and be supported by a recommendation from a faculty member or lab director. Selection will be based on applicants’ scholastic records, personal statements, recommendations, and demonstrated motivation for entering forensic science careers.
9. The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship & Excellence in Education Program
This scholarship, which was created by Congress in 1986, honors the legacy of Senator Barry M. Goldwater and his 56 years of service as a soldier and statesman. It is considered to be the most prestigious forensic science undergraduate major scholarship in America for natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering studies.
There are several similar areas, including chemistry and biology, but forensic science is not a specifically specified direction for this award.
- Amount: $7,500 per year
- Deadline: Last week of January
- Eligibility criteria: Applicants must be fully matriculated sophomores or juniors, with a GPA of 3.0 or better, who are pursuing a research career in a major confirmed by the Goldwater Foundation. Applicants are nominated by a Goldwater campus representative at the academic institution they are currently attending.
10. The Floyd E. McDonald Scholarship
The Southwestern Association of Forensic Science (SWAFS) is a non-profit group of practitioners engaged in physical evidence scientific analysis.
Its objectives are to link forensic scientists, develop forensic procedures, share best practices, promote the academic study, and keep members of SWAFS updated about field developments. To promote studies that train them for a career in forensic science, the SWAFS Floyd E. McDonald scholarship exists.
- Amount: $1,000
- Deadline: April 1st
- Eligibility criteria: Qualified candidates must be pursuing a bachelor’s degree, attend an accredited university in the United States, carry at least six semester hours per term, and maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0. Interested students can apply by submitting a completed application form with three recommendation letters and an official college transcript.
11. The Paul B. Ferrara Graduate Scholarship
This Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) scholarship honors the legacy of Dr. Paul B. Ferrara, who served as the director of the Forensic Science Department of Virginia, where the first state laboratory capable of conducting DNA fingerprint analysis was established by the Commonwealth of Virginia under his leadership.
Dr. Ferrara was also a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he gave national attention to the forensic science program. The scholarship is awarded every year to second-year students from the Department of Forensic Science, College of Humanities and Sciences.
- Amount: $1,000
- Deadline: March 15th
- Eligibility criteria: This scholarship is specifically catered towards second-year VCU forensic science graduate students. Applicants must demonstrate either significant research or service contributions to the field, as well as leadership experience or potential. A 700-word essay explaining such contributions will be used in the selection process.