Frequently Asked Questions
General Program Inquiries
- Do I need a background in science in order to enter your program?
- Is a Bachelor of Technology (BTech in Forensic Investigation) equivalent to a BSc?
- When are the courses offered, and in what format?
- How long does it take to complete the Forensic Investigation program?
- Is the Forensic Investigation program full-time or part-time?
- Is the Forensic Investigation program available through distance or online learning?
- I'm not a student in your program, but would like to take a course for professional development. How do I do this?
- When is your next information session?
Applying to the Program
- When can I apply to the program?
- How does one apply to the program?
- What are the total tuition fees for the Forensic Investigation program?
- If I apply to the Advanced Certificate (AC), can I transfer to the BTech at a later date?
- How many students are admitted to the BTech program? Is entry into the program competitive?
- Is there a minimum GPA for admission into the Forensic Investigation program?
- I'm from an outside province. Does this affect my eligibility in your program?
- I was admitted to the BTech program but now I want to complete the AC program instead. Who should I contact in order to change my program from BTech to AC?
- I had previously provided BCIT with my official transcripts when I applied for admission in a program. If I am going to apply for admission in a different program, can BCIT transfer my transcripts to my new application?
- Can I use the unofficial transcripts (in PDF format) when I complete my online application?
- When and how do I apply for my credential?
- As a professional development student who is not formally accepted into the program, can I obtain the AC once I have completed the courses that meet the requirements?
- What is considered relevant work experience for entry into the BTech in Forensic Investigation program?
- Are BCIT credentials recognized across North America?
Do I need a background in science in order to enter your program?
Not necessarily. This depends on your career goal and/or the study option you plan to pursue in our program. The program study options offered are: Crime and Intelligence Analysis, Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity, Forensic Health Sciences, Forensic Science, and Forensic Investigation of Fraud and Financial Crime.
Specific to the Forensic Science study option:
- Applicants planning to work as a technician, analyst or scientist in a forensic laboratory will need a strong science background (diploma, associate degree, Bachelor of Science or higher).
- If you are currently a law enforcement officer, the Forensic Science option can be taken as long as you are certified as a police officer, and have at least 30 credits of post-secondary education. In addition, the Bachelor of Technology option requires applicants to have introductory (first year university or equivalent) chemistry and biology courses.
- The Forensic Science option is also quite popular with, for example, coroners, criminologists, lawyers, nurses, private investigators, security personnel, etc. The requirement for introductory chemistry and biology also applies.
Is a Bachelor of Technology (BTech in Forensic Investigation) equivalent to a BSc?
Both are baccalaureate level degrees, however, our BTech is not the same as a BSc. The BTech degree is an applied degree that is designed for professionals and incorporates skills which can be transferred to a variety of careers.Top
When are the courses offered, and in what format?
Our program operates on a three term basis (Winter, Spring/Summer and Fall). The program is completed in a part-time studies format, therefore most courses are offered on evenings, weekends or a full-day format.
Courses in the Forensic Investigation programs (identifiable by the 4 letter subject code: FSCT) are 1-3 credits (1 credit = 15 hours of instruction) and are offered in a variety of delivery formats and schedules depending on the instructor. Some courses are offered completely online or in a blended format with a combination of distance and in-class learning.
Students in the program work through at their own pace - often while studying or working full-time. There is no set student schedule because students decide for themselves which courses to take. Different courses are offered each term however we try to offer each course at least once a year, depending on demand.
Here is a listing of the courses currently offered this term.
How long does it take to complete the Forensic Investigation programs?
Students work through their chosen curriculum at their own pace, therefore the total length required to finish the program can vary. For example, if a student takes 6 credits per term for a 24-credit Advanced Certificate (AC) program it would take four terms (less than 1 1/2 years).
Similarly, a 63-credit BTech program would take 10 terms (less than 3 1/2 years).
The Graduate Certificates (GC) can be completed in one year, depending on course preference and availability.
Are the Forensic Investigation programs full-time or part-time?
Most programs are part-time with most courses offered evenings and weekends. However, in these programs, it is still possible to take the equivalent of a full-time course load each semester (depending on the course scheduling and course prerequisites). Please see this question below for information about qualifying for financial aid.
Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity is available in both full-time and part-time formats.
Is the Forensic Investigation program available through distance or online learning?
Several courses have been developed for online delivery with more added each year.
The only program which is offered completely online is the Graduate Certificate in Fraud and Financial Crime.
I'm not a student in your program, but would like to take a course for professional development. How do I do this?
You must obtain approval from a Program Coordinator to take a course for professional development. Email the Program Coordinator for the area you're interested in, identify the course(s) you wish to take and be sure to clearly outline your reason(s) for taking the course. Additional information, such as a resume, criminal record check or letter from employer may be requested.Top
When is your next information session?
We generally hold information sessions three times yearly, in January, April and September, and we have information booths at the twice-yearly BCIT Big Infosession. Our home page will let you know if we're holding an info session soon.Top
Applying to the Program
When can I apply to the program?
Students can usually apply to the program once they've met the individual program admission requirements. Most programs do not have an application deadline; we accept applications to the program year-round. Please check individual program pages for specific information on deadlines.Top
How does one apply to the program?
Please visit the program's "Program Entry" page for specific information on admissions requirements and options for each program.
What are the total tuition fees for the Forensic Investigation program?
Students pay on a per course basis. Fees for our courses are listed on their associated web page. See the current schedule for an example of course costs. Some courses may have a required textbook, other course materials, or additional costs.Top
If I apply to the Advanced Certificate (AC) can I transfer to the BTech at a later date?
While AC coursework may be transferable, you will need to formally apply for admission to the BTech program and all program entrance requirements at the time will be applicable.Top
How many students are admitted to the BTech program? Is entry into the program competitive?
Due to the part-time nature of the program, there is no limit to the number of students accepted into the program. Limits are imposed on individual course enrolment which is first come, first served. If you'd like to know in advance when our schedule for upcoming terms is published and when registration dates are, follow our blog.Top
Is there a minimum GPA for admission into the Forensic Investigation program?
There is currently only a minimum GPA for the English requirement (67% in English 12 or a post-secondary English, Humanities or Social Science 3-credit course).Top
I'm from an outside province. Does this affect my eligibility in your program?
No, this does not affect your eligibility. However, the majority of courses in our programs are lecture-based and require in-person attendance. The GC in Fraud and Financial Crime is an exception, as it is offered fully online.Top
I was admitted to the BTech program but now I want to complete the AC program instead. Who should I contact in order to change my program from BTech to AC?
You will need to apply for admission to the Advanced Certificate program. All program entrance requirements prevail at the time of your application and will have to be met for full acceptance.Top
I had previously provided BCIT with my official transcripts when I applied for admission in a program. If I am going to apply for admission in a different program, can BCIT transfer my transcripts to my new application?
Please contact the Admissions department directly. They may be able to provide you with the transcripts in PDF format for uploading online during the new application process.Top
Can I use the unofficial transcripts (in PDF format) when I complete my online application?
Yes, please include the front and back of every page but do not include blank pages. BCIT reserves the right to request the original official transcripts at any time.
Please note: If you are applying for transfer credit, you must mail or drop off the official transcripts to the Student Information and Enrolment Services office to complete the application for course credit exemption.Top
When and how do I apply for my credential?
When you have received the final grade of your last course in the program, and met all graduation requirements, you will need to complete the Application for BCIT Credential [PDF] form and submit it to Student Records for processing. You will be contacted when the credential is ready for mailing. The processing time is approximately 4-6 weeks. The actual graduation ceremony, or convocation, is held only twice per year. Top
As a professional development student who is not formally accepted into the program, can I obtain the AC once I have completed the courses that meet the requirements?
No, credentials are only available for students fully accepted into the program.Top
What is considered relevant work experience for graduation from the BTech program in Forensic Investigation?
Any paid (or volunteer) position with a law enforcement agency, private forensic company or security firm, for example, may count as relevant work experience. Contact your program coordinator for more details. Students may find their own work experience or may choose to enroll in the Practicum Placement course. If the student is finding their own work experience, they must contact their program coordinator to ensure that this experience is sufficiently related to their program. The Practicum Placement course places students in positions with various agencies to do work at a professional level where the students apply their core competencies that they have developed in the program. Enrolment in this course requires the completion of all required courses in the Liberal Studies, Legal Framework, Applied Management, Investigative Framework and Specialty areas of the degree program or by approval of the program coordinator.Top
Are BCIT credentials recognized across North America?
Yes. BCIT is a public, post-secondary institution with programs recognized by the province of British Columbia (Canada). Our graduates are employed by all levels of government and private corporations within Canada and in some cases, even the United States.Top
Are part-time studies eligible for financial aid?
Possibly, as long as the student is taking the equivalent workload to a full-time program. Please visit the BCIT Financial Aid website for more information.Top