FIU Announces New Bachelor’s Degree in Crime Science
Jun 13, 2019, 9:00 AM.
Fully online STEM degree is the first of its kind in the nation.
If you’ve ever been a victim of crime, had an account hacked or identity stolen, you know firsthand that technology has changed everything we do and everything criminals do, too. Florida International University’s new online Bachelor of Science in Crime Science, the first of its kind in the nation, is teaching students how to be two steps ahead of criminals and investigate crime through STEM education.
“We are so proud to offer this degree and teach today’s students how to solve next-generation crime,” said Carleen Vincent, Associated Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs.
Modern Times and Modern Methods
Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice Professor and Chair Lisa Stolzenberg said the degree, which launched Fall 2018, is a direct response to the modernization of our world.
“We’ve entered a new era in law enforcement that offers crime analysis techniques that could only be dreamed of five to 10 years ago,” explained Stolzenberg.
The tools used today provide detectives with the ability to solve crime—violent crime included—more easily than before, including cold cases. Whether it’s analyzing DNA on a stray cat hair, examining a GPS’s navigation data or downloading a log from a smart device, our interconnected lives and advances in science have created multiple new points to explore clues that can help create a safer world.
According to the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, contemporary concerns over homeland security and counterterrorism have created new technological problems and demands for police agencies, as has the growth of computer-related crime. While sophisticated forensics, computer science, body-worn cameras, biometrics, information technology, and DNA testing are helping, agencies need to understand how to use the tools, recognize how they impact the field and identify their efficacy and application. FIU’s program is a response to these needs. The specialized degree seamlessly combines forensics and computer science with traditional criminology and criminal justice. The new program offering comes as no surprise considering the launch, earlier this year, of FIU’s Global Forensic and Justice Center, a university Preeminent Program, deepening FIU’s expertise in the arenas of forensic science, forensic services and justice administration.
““Every industry is finding new ways to use technology. This degree fills the gap in crime intelligence, so we can work as fast as and smarter than criminals,” insists Associate Professor Stephen Pires of the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.
Endorsed by Miami Police
Because of its comprehensive curriculum and STEM focus, The Miami-Dade County Association of Chiefs of Police has fully endorsed the online BS in Crime Science. This endorsement illustrates that there is little doubt that law enforcement agencies benefit from a better educated pool of applicants. Students can expect to become cyber-sleuths, detectives and analysts to tackle areas that tax current police agencies. Graduates of this program will be able to apply their sophisticated analytical skills to work in the U.S. and abroad in criminal intelligence agencies. And while the course load is rigorous, those in the online program will have the advantage of learning from professors located in a major metropolitan area, steeped in technical knowledge and well-informed of big-city crime. They will also have the opportunity to take courses with faculty who have in-the-field firsthand knowledge or may be investigating current cases.
Promising Job Outlook
According to the International Association of Crime Analysts, the demand for qualified crime analysts has increased more than tenfold in the past 15 years. It is also predicted to continue to increase even more over time as law enforcement further comes to realize the potential of sophisticated data gathering and analysis. Ziprecruiter.com indicates that there are 26,402 jobs at the national level, 1,007 in Florida, and 158 in Miami. Crime analysts in all fields earned a median salary of $77,210 in 2015. These figures show promise for graduates as they learn to solve cases the modern way.
“This is a highly desirable degree with a wide range of applications in many different law enforcement analysis areas. We’re at the forefront of a whole new way to make our world safer,” declared FIU Police Chief Alexander Casas.
For more information about the program, visit http://fiuonline.fiu.edu/programs/online-undergraduate-degrees/bachelor-of-science-in-crime-science.