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10 Forensic Science Summer Camps for High School Students

If you are a high schooler interested in the world of forensic science, a summer camp in this field would be a good place to start! A forensic science summer camp allows you to engage in hands-on activities, simulated crime scene investigations, laboratory experiments and more. You’ll learn how theoretical concepts are applied in real-world scenarios, while honing your critical thinking and problem-solving skills. These camps also offer a chance for you to interact with and learn from experienced professionals and experts in the field, providing valuable insights and creating networking opportunities. 


Participating in a summer camp will not just help you build your skill set and knowledge, but also add experience to your resume that’ll help you stand out when you apply to college. These camps can also serve as a foundational base for your future academics, research and career as they’ll give you a solid idea of what forensic science entails. 


Summer camps are often hosted and conducted by prestigious universities, independent organizations, nonprofits and other institutions. It’s not always easy to find the camp best suited to your interests and needs, so we’ve put together this list of 10 of the best forensic science summer camps for you to choose from!


At the 2-week Forensic Science Academy, you’ll explore concepts in forensic science, guided by professional practitioners and veteran criminal investigators. Topics such as crime scene diagramming, fingerprinting, blood spatter analysis, criminal investigative process, evidence collection, and more will be covered as you explore the application of science and medicine in law enforcement. 


You will attend lectures, and sessions by guest speakers; participate in hands-on activities and group discussions, and go on off-site visits. At the end of each day, you'll participate in optional co-curricular events and residential living activities. Guest sessions from agencies such as the DC Department of Forensic Science will give you an opportunity to learn from detectives who have solved some high-profile cases. You will also get to network with peers who have similar interests in forensic science and gain insight into the various career opportunities in the field. 


Location: Georgetown Campus, WA

Fee: Residential: $5,775 (includes tuition, housing and meals) | Commuter: $4,025. There is an application fee of $50 as well.

Program dates: July 28, 2024 - August 9, 2024 (weekday and weekend options are available) 

Application deadline: Rolling admissions

Eligibility: Students enrolled in grades 9-11 are eligible 


Forensic Anthropology and Bioarchaeology at UMass Amherst is a prestigious two-week-long pre-college summer course. This is a residential program, and local students can apply to attend as commuters. During this course, you will be introduced to forensic death investigation, while you learn about entomology, basic skeletal biology, and various methods in forensic science. You will engage in hands-on activities to understand how the science of biological anthropology can be applied to legal processes. 


You will participate in daily lab exercises, which could include working with plastic skeletal remains and learning to identify bones and recognize signs of trauma and disease. At the end of the course, you will participate in a mock crime scene investigation, working with other students to process the scene and analyze evidence. 


Location: UMass Amherst campus, MA

Fee: Residential: $3,635 | Commuter: $2,167. There is an application fee of $35

Program dates: July 28, 2024 - August 10, 2024

Application deadline: Rolling admissions (applications will be accepted until seats are filled, or till May 31, 2024, whichever is earlier) 

Eligibility: Rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors are eligible


Recognized as the world’s largest aviation and aerospace university, Embry-Riddle’s Forensic Science Summer Camp is a prestigious pre-college camp. With this one-week-long camp, you can build a new perspective about the field of forensic science through an ultra realistic crime scene simulation experience. You will learn about the various stages of forensic investigation with expert faculty guiding you – from legal requirements of the investigation process and the application of forensic science in identifying victims, to the biological analysis of DNA and the collection of contaminant-free evidence. 


The tuition for this residential camp includes supervised housing, on-campus meals, classroom instruction, books, and materials. However, students must bring their own linens, sleeping bags, or towels.


Location: Embry-Riddle campus, Prescott, AZ

Fee: $1,700

Program dates: July 7 - July 12, 2024 | July 14 - July 19 

Application deadline: March 18, 2024

Eligibility: High school students aged 14-18 are eligible 


The reputed National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC) offers a 9-day pre-college Forensic Science Summer program for high school students hosted at American University and Columbia University. In this immersive summer program, you will build a body of evidence as you investigate a crime scene with your team. The program involves experiential learning and hands-on simulations that will help you understand how biology, chemistry, and criminal investigation intersect when it comes to solving crimes. You will work in an anatomy lab, simulate the investigation and the trial, and listen to real-world perspectives from professionals. 


Moreover, you will discover the inner workings of the field through immersive trips and tours to locations such as the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Capitol Hill & the Smithsonian, CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and more. 


Location: American University, WA | Columbia University, NY

Fee: $4,095 (residential). Scholarships and flexible payment plans are available.

Program dates: Multiple sessions available at American University and Columbia University for summer 2024.Application deadline: Rolling admissions

Eligibility: Students aged 14-18 who have completed at least one year of high school are eligible. Students may attend NSLC through the summer following high school graduation.


Bowling Green State University (BGSU) offers a virtual Forensic Science Summer Camp that will give you a glimpse into how science is applied to legal investigations. This cutting-edge forensic science program, offering classroom, laboratory, and field experience in the field, will be taught by experienced professionals who have even been featured in TV series Forensic Files. This online camp will allow you to attend college-style lectures delivered by top forensic specialists, learn about laboratory work related to DNA analysis, fingerprinting, blood stain analysis, and even complete your own home labs such as print casting, blood typing, and more. 


The camp materials sent to you as a camp crate will include a camp workbook, a BGSU Forensic Science T-shirt, and all lab materials needed to complete the mock crime scene will be sent as part of the camp crate. 


Location: Virtual 

Fee: $215 (includes access to the entire week of activities, webinars, lectures, and a camp crate filled with activities to do at home). Scholarships are available. 

Program dates: June 24-28, 2024

Application deadline: Early Decision Deadline: March 1, 2024 | Final Deadline: April 26, 2024

Eligibility: 

  • Students entering 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade. 

  • Students are encouraged (but not required) to have completed at least one advanced math or science course prior to the camp. 


At the Roger Williams University’s (RWU) 1-week Forensic Science Summer Camp, you will learn about cutting-edge technology and investigative procedures used by law enforcement agencies around the world. You will make use of RWU’s state-of-the-art laboratories to explore the latest techniques used by today's forensic investigators. Hands-on activities will include fingerprinting, collecting footwear evidence, analyzing unknown substances, and more. You will also use Virtual Reality (VR) to step into the role of a crime scene investigator, specifically using the immersive technology to analyze bloodstain patterns. 


The camp is not just restricted to the lab; you will have full access to campus facilities during the week, including the recreation center, sailing center, kayaks, and the RWU waterfront. 


Location: RWU campus, Bristol, RI

Fee: $995 (includes tuition, housing, and dining)

Program dates: July 14-19, 2024

Application deadline: Rolling admissions

Eligibility: Students in grades 10, 11, 12 are eligible


West Virginia University (WVU) offers an annual Forensic Science Summer Camp for high school students, conducted by The Next Generation Forensic Science Initiative in collaboration with the Department of Forensic and Investigative Science. Through both conceptual and experiential learning, you will acquire practical knowledge and skills that forensic scientists use in the field. Focusing on learning the fundamentals, by the end of the camp you will be solving mock crime scenes at WVU’s Crime Scene Training Complex. 


You will be a part of educational sessions that include death investigation, shooting reconstruction, latent fingerprints, courtroom testimony, forensic biology and chemistry, crime scene investigation, and more. You will attend such sessions at Oglebay Hall (downtown campus), Law School (Evansdale campus), and the Crime Scene Training Complex (Evansdale campus).


Location: Morgantown, WV

Fee: Day Camp: $969 | Overnight Camp: $1369

Program dates: Summer Camp 1: June 17 - 21, 2024 | Summer Camp 2: July 22 - 26, 2024

Application deadline: Rolling admissions

Eligibility: Students entering grades 11 and 12 in Fall 2024 are eligible. Note that returning campers are not eligible.


The well-renowned DNA Learning Centre offers the science camp, Forensic Detectives. This camp aims to expose students to the true nature of forensic science, as opposed to the glorified version seen on shows such as Crime Scene Investigation (CSI). As a part of this camp, you will experience forensics in a realistic setting through a series of forensic labs and activities. You will use techniques used by forensic experts, collect evidence such as fingerprints and blood, while investigating the science behind them, and explore areas like pathology, entomology, forensic profiling, and more. 


You will also perform real DNA analysis and interpret the results – learning the different techniques used for such analysis and the pros and cons of this type of evidence. While the camp is offered in various in-person locations, it is also available virtually!


Location: Cold Spring Harbor, NY | Brooklyn, NY | Sleepy Hollow, NY

Fee: In-person camp: $580 | On-demand online camp: $400

Program dates: 

  • Cohort 1: July 1 - 5, 2024

  • Cohort 2: July 22 - 26, 2024

  • Cohort 3: July 29 - August 2, 2024

  • Cohort 4: August 12 - 16, 2024

  • Cohort 5: August 26 - 30, 2024

Application deadline: Rolling admissions

Eligibility: Students entering grades 9 and 10 are eligible 


The Forensic Science Summer Institute at Saint Mary’s College is a six-day immersive, residential summer program for girls interested in STEM subjects and their application in the field of forensic science. On the first day itself, you will work on a simulated murder scene. Over the course of the program, you and your team will try to solve this mystery by applying concepts in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and deductive reasoning. You will gather physical evidence, such as fingerprints and hair samples, and participate in lab work as you build your scientific case. 


You will also go on a field trip to a police crime lab during the week. Additionally, you will receive one hour of elective college credit from Saint Mary's College on completing the program.


Location: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN

Fee: $949. Scholarships are available. A $50 early bird discount can be availed if you apply before March 31, 2024.

Program dates: Week 1: July 14 - 19, 2024 | Week 2: July 21 - 26

Application deadline: Rolling admissions

Eligibility: Girls entering grades 9-12 as of September 2023 are eligible


As a part of Tiffin University’s Forensic Science Academy Camp, you will learn principles and tactics used when assisting criminal investigations through chemistry and biology, working with top TU professors who come with field experience and experts currently working in the field of forensic science. You will analyze real and recent crime scenes from coroners across the country, get a glimpse into the mental and emotional challenges of a career in this field, and learn how to handle them from current and past death investigators and coroners. 


You will learn about crime scene investigations and processing, autopsies, fire investigations and fire forensics, explosive detonation, ballistic and bullet trajectory, and how to deal with mental health issues in the profession. You will also participate in blood spatter analysis, crime scene recreation, autopsy experience, forensic anthropology, and more. 


Location: Tiffin, OH

Fee: $975

Program dates: June 10-14, 2024

Application deadline: Not specified but students are advised to register as soon as possible as the camp capacity is only 30 campers.

Eligibility: Rising juniors and seniors are eligible



If you are looking to start your research journey with 1–1 mentorship from a top Ph.D. scholar in forensic science, check out the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students founded by researchers at Harvard and Oxford. You can find the application form here. 


Also check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students. Last year, we had 150 students on full need-based financial aid!


Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a Ph.D. student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.


Image Source: Georgetown University logo

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