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Information About Forensic Pathology Schools

Forensic pathology schools offer degrees or a residency program focused on forensic science and autopsy studies. These schools help you build off an existing medical degree in the pursuit of a specialty in forensic science, while also preparing you for the appropriate licensure exam.

What to Expect From Schooling

Forensic pathology schools provide additional training after you have already completed a medical degree. Most schools involve you studying for another four years in addition to the schooling you have already completed, then completing a one-year residency or fellowship in forensic pathology. During this time you will be receiving didactic lectures and hands-on clinical time in performing autopsies and dealing with the advanced essentials of anatomy and pathology. Your residency or fellowship will prepare you for the credentialing exam you will need to take with the American Board of Pathology, which represents the completion of your training.

Requirements for Entry

Forensic pathology schools require a medical degree and may request additional education depending on the school. During your college career, you should make sure to take plenty of electives that are applicable to the field of forensic science, regardless of your actual major. These electives should include courses like biology, pathology, and anatomy. You should also continue your study of forensics into medical school, taking any courses related to the field that you can. These schools all provide you with the clinical background you need in anatomy and forensic science, but the specific certification requirements can vary from state to state, so you should check with your state board while still in school.

Top Schools in America

Certification as a forensic pathologist can be obtained by any program that has a forensic pathology program. Pursuing one of the schools listed below, however, will give you a better chance of landing a top position in the field.

• Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio

• University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota

• University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida

• Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan

• University of Washington in Seattle, Washington

• New York University in New York, New York

• University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

• University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin

• University of California in Los Angeles, California

• Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tuition and Fees

In addition to pursuing a bachelor's degree, you can expect to pay between $35,000 and $40,000 per year in tuition for both undergraduate studies and medical school. You will also have to pay approximately $1,000 in books and supplies. Fortunately, during your residency and fellowship, you will be pulling down a modest wage while continuing your studies. The cost of the licensure exam is high compared to other licensure exams at $1,800. This cost can be somewhat mitigated through membership in societies like the College of American Pathologists.

A career as a forensic pathologist will give you many opportunities in both medical and legal fields. The training is long, but the career is in high demand and pays very well as compensation.