Frequently Asked Questions
General Program Inquiries
- Do I need a background in science in order to enter your program?
- What type of credentials are offered and what are the prerequisites for entry?
- Is a Bachelor of Technology (BTech in Forensic Investigation) equivalent to a BSc?
- Applicants are required to have at least 60 credits of post-secondary education. In what area must my 60 credits be?
- What is the schedule of courses?
- When are courses offered?
- 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?
- How do I know if I've satisfied the academic admission requirement?
- 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 AC credential?
- When and how do I apply for my BTech credential?
- As a BTech student, can I apply for the AC once I have fulfilled the requirements?
- As an accepted AC student, can I continue on to the BTech in my program area?
- 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?
- What career opportunities are available to me?
- Are BCIT credentials recognized across North America?
Course Specific & General BCIT
- Are part-time studies courses eligible for financial aid?
- Where can I find more information about BCIT?
- How can I obtain a BCIT calendar or other BCIT info?
- How do I start my online course?
General Program Inquiries
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 four program study options offered are: Crime and Intelligence Analysis, Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity, Forensic Health Sciences and Forensic Science.
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.
What type of credentials are offered and what are the prerequisites for entry?
We have an Advanced Certificate (AC; 24-30 credits) and Bachelor of Technology degree (BTech; 63-66 credits).
The AC and BTech for each option require:
- Two years of education in English in an English-speaking country with one of the following:
- English 12 (67%) or
- Three credits of post-secondary English, Humanities or Social Sciences (67%) from a recognized institution
- At least 60 credits (two years) of post-secondary education including 18 credits at the second year level. The Computer Crime option requires these credits to be in a computing or IT related field.
- A criminal record check
Depending on the option you are enrolling in and your academic background, you may require some bridging courses.
The BTech also requires 200 hours of relevant work experience in order to complete the degree requirements.
We also have an alternative entry policy [PDF] that you can read if you do not have the required post secondary education. In addition, law enforcement officers can be accepted into our programs with a police constable certification and at least 30 credits of post-secondary education.Top
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
Applicants are required to have at least 60 credits of post-secondary education. In what area must my 60 credits be?
The 60 credits can be in the form of a diploma, certificate, associate or bachelor degree from BCIT or other recognized post-secondary institution.
The Computer Crime option requires that the applicants take computing or IT related courses for the required minimum 60 post-secondary credits.
In the Forensic Science, Crime and Intelligence and Forensic Health Sciences options, we do not specify what your background must be in, but we do attempt to give you a realistic understanding of your career options given your background and the training we offer. Ideally, you will enter our program with an academic background relevant to the program study option you plan to pursue.Top
What is the schedule of courses?
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. 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.Top
When are courses offered?
Courses in the Forensic Investigation program (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. For example, some courses are offered one evening per week, on weekends, full-day or a combination of all three. Some courses are offered in-class on five consecutive days in a concentrated format. Some courses are offered completely online or in a blended format with a combination of distance and in-class learning. Different courses are offered each semester, however we try to offer each course at least once a year depending on demand.Top
How long does it take to complete the Forensic Investigation program?
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 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).Top
Is the Forensic Investigation program full-time or part-time?
Currently, the program is part-time with most courses offered evenings and weekends. However, 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.Top
Is the Forensic Investigation program available through distance or online learning?
Several courses have been developed for online delivery with more added each year. At this time, no program can be completed solely by online instruction due to the nature of the lab work required by most programs.Top
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. 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 apply to the program once they've met the program admission requirements. Currently, we do not have an application deadline; we accept applications to the program year-round.Top
How does one apply to the program?
Students can apply to the program online once they have met the program admission requirements.
To apply for admissions in either the BTech or the Advanced Certificate program in the Crime and Intelligence Analysis option or in BTech in the Forensic Science option, applicants must have a pre-assessment with the program area to identify if they already have the required bridging (pre-entry) courses. Please contact a Program Assistant to make arrangements.
Students applying to the Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity option need to contact the Program Coordinator for a pre-entry assessment.
Once you have completed all of the necessary pre-entry courses for these options, you can apply to the program online and upload your authorized pre-entry assessment document with your application (just click Apply Now on the program web page).
Student intake is continuous in this program and applications are processed throughout the year. Applicants must upload all the information required in PDF format to complete the application process. Information required includes transcripts, a completed criminal record check and a completed and authorized pre-entry assessment form if bridging courses are required.
There are three terms in our program (Winter, Spring/Summer, Fall) and after you are accepted into the program you can register for courses in the following term (or that term if courses have not already started and there is space).
For instructions and tips on how to submit transcripts and supporting documents during the application process, see the Admissions page for details.Top
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?
No, there is no program transfer available. You will need to 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?
At this time, there is no minimum GPA for entry. There is 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 program are lecture-based and require in-person attendance.Top
How do I know if I've satisfied the academic admission requirement?
If you have 60 credits of post-secondary education (including bridging courses) you meet the requirements (the Digital Forensics & Cybersecurity option requires those credit to be in computing or an IT related field). If you have any doubts, contact the Program Coordinator for your program. In addition, applicants for the Crime and Intelligence Analysis program (either AC or BTech) or the BTech Forensic Science program must work with a program assistant to complete a pre-assessment form for their bridging courses.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?
Yes, please contact the Admissions department directly. They will 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 AC credential?
When you have received the final grade of your last course in the program, 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.Top
When and how do I apply for my BTech credential?
When you have completed the course work in the program, including the 200 hours of relevant work experience, 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. You can apply for a credential anytime, however, the actual graduation ceremony, or convocation, is held only twice per year.Top
As a BTech student, can I apply for the AC once I have fulfilled the requirements?
No, you will need to apply for admissions to the AC program of your choice and all program entrance requirements at that time will be applicable.Top
As an accepted ASC student, can I continue on to the BTech in my program area?
If you would like to continue on to the higher credential, a new application is required and all program entrance requirements at that time will be applicable.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. 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
What career opportunities are available to me?
Career opportunities will vary and depend on what your educational background is prior joining our program and which option you are enrolled in. Examples include:
- Crime and Intelligence Analysis: crime analyst, intelligence analyst, major crimes analyst, national security analyst, strategic intelligence analyst, research analyst, open source analyst, etc.
- Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity: police detective, provincial investigator, manager of corporate security, network security manager, risk manager, securities investigator, private security/investigations practitioner, information systems auditor, etc.
- Forensic Health Sciences: This credential will be of interest to those working as a health care provider or in law enforcement. This program will also be of interest to student nurses wishing to work as a Forensic Nurse Examiner.
- Forensic Science: forensic technologist, analyst or scientist (with an advanced degree) in a forensic laboratory, police officer (including forensic identification), coroner, private investigator, etc.
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
Course Specific and General BCIT
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
Where can I find more information about BCIT?
About the institute will give you more valuable information about BCIT.Top
How can I obtain a BCIT calendar or other BCIT info?
Please visit the BCIT publications website.Top
How do I start my online course?
You will be able to access the online course website on the start date of the course - provided you have registered two weeks prior to the start date.Top