CSI and Criminal Justice Scholarships

Pursue your education in Crime Scene Investigation with help from scholarships

The field of Crime Scene Investigation, Criminal Justice and Forensic Science is a large one with an interesting and intriguing background and day-to-day practice. As the world of technology becomes more advanced, so does what we can learn from forensic analysis, thus the world of CSI and Criminal Justice is ever-expanding. The CSI professional of today is a major player in law enforcement and in bringing criminals to justice.

According to the BLS, the need for skilled professionals to work in this field is growing at a much-faster rate than average. Job outlook for forensic science technicians has a ten-year growth rate of 17 percent. For those looking to work at a crime scene in a police or detective capacity, job growth is also expected at a rate of seven percent in by 2026. Those who are looking for federal jobs can also expect job growth and increased opportunities in cybersecurity and protection and border security.

Students looking to enter the field of Crime Scene Investigation and Criminal Justice may find that they are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in forensics, criminology, criminal justice or similar, and many times may need an advanced degree. Thankfully, there are many scholarships available for those interested in earning these degrees, and you can find financial help from many professional organizations, school programs and even corporations.

*This scholarship list was updated October 2023, so all links should be up-to-date. If you see something inaccurate, please let us know! 

Scholarships from Professional Organizations

Professional associations in the field consist of Foundations and membership organizations that offer scholarships to help members and prospective members gain access to a college or university education. Some scholarships require you to be a member of their organization while others have different requirements.

The J. Edgar Hoover Foundation Scholarships

Award amount: Varies

The J. Edgar Hoover Foundation provides endowments to various universities like the University of Cincinnati, San Jose State University, Penn State and others so they can provide scholarships to students interested in Criminal Justice. One such scholarship is the J. Edgar Hoover Foundation Leadership Scholarship for undergraduate BS majors in Forensic Science. Visit the endowments page to see what the scholarship is.


The Association of Firearm and Toolmark Examiners

Award amount: $2,000

Students interested in a career in Forensic Science can apply for this $2,000 scholarship awarded by the Scholarship Committee prior to the Annual Conference. Students may reapply every year they are in school. Applicants must be entering their third year or higher of a bachelor’s degree program or enrolled in a master’s or PhD program. The application consists of letters of recommendation, transcripts and a narrative statement about why they chose a career in Forensic Science.


ASCLD Scholarship Overview

Award amount: $1,000

The ASCLD awards $1,000 scholarships to applications who are in their junior or senior year or a graduate program and are pursuing a degree in forensic science or forensic chemistry. The application must include a personal statement, transcripts, recommendation of a faculty member or lab member and the application form. Recipients will be selected based on their overall scholastic record, commitment to the field of forensic science, recommendation and personal statement.


Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists

Award amount: Three $1,000 Scholarships

The Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists offers three annual awards in the amount of $1,000 each to current students. Applications must include a letter of recommendation from a thesis advisor, professor, or advisor involved in a Forensic Science curriculum. Applicants must also submit Fall grades, a CV and be available to present at the MAAFS annual meeting, held in May.


George H. Robinson Memorial Scholarship

Award amount: $1,000

Applicants must be entering at least their sophomore year, or enrolled full or part-time in a graduate program in criminal justice or forensic science. Applications must include transcripts and a biographical sketch including the motivation for applying for the scholarship. Also included should be two letters of reference and faculty involvement.


The George W. Chin Memorial Scholarship

Award amount: $2,000

The George W. Chin Memorial Scholarship was founded to remember a pioneer of the Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists. Applicants must be in their junior or senior year of an undergraduate program or be a full or part-time graduate student. Applications must include two letters of recommendation from faculty involved with forensic sciences curriculum, a 250-500-word letter from students detailing their aspirations in the field, achievements and reasons for applying and attend college in the Northeastern region of the United States.


George W. Neighbor Jr. Memorial Scholarship

Award amount: $1750

George Neighbor was a trace evidence examiner with the New Jersey State Police, and this scholarship was founded in his honor. Recipients are given a $1,750 award to go toward education at a school in the Northeast Region. Applicants are required to submit a short essay and letters of recommendation to be considered for the award.


John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Award amount: Varies

The John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York (CUNY) has scholarships in criminal justice, forensic science and more for incoming freshman, transfer students, graduate students and undergraduate students. Freshman applicants should have strong SAT/ACT scores, show dedication to academics and meet the other specific scholarship criteria.


Captain James J. Regan Memorial Scholarship

Award amount: $500

The National Technical Investigators’ Association offers two scholarships at $500 each. Eligible applicants are law enforcement hopefuls who are in the 12th grade or higher. Applicants must include a 250-word minimum essay on “How will technology affect law enforcement in the 21st Century?” Additionally, include high school transcripts, three letters of recommendation and a black and white glossy photo for publicity purposes in the event of selection.


2024 ACJS Student Scholarship Awards

Award amount: $600

The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) awards a student scholarship to two students, one at the master’s level and another a PhD). These scholarships are to be given for attendance at the ACJS Annual Meeting so a student can present their research. A nominee may submit multiple papers for consideration, and self-nominations are welcome.


National Grand Chapter American Criminal Justice Association

Award amount: $800 *new amounts

Members of the ACJE-LAE may compete for three different award levels: The Graduate Division, the Upper Division and the Lower Division for the Student Paper Competition. Applicants may be undergraduate or graduate students who are enrolled in a criminal justice related program. All entries must include topics including criminology, juvenile justice, law enforcement, correction, courts or related. Deadline is January 31.


Brian Terry Scholarship

Award amount: Varies

The Brian Terry Scholarship is intended for undergraduate students who are intending to study criminal justice or a related field. Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation, a recent college or high school transcript and a personal essay. Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.


My Alarm Center

Award amount: $1,000

My Alarm Center provides annual scholarships to students studying law, criminal justice, law enforcement, or a related field. Students may win up to $1,000 for college tuition if they answer two essay questions with 500-1000 words.


Alpha Phi Sigma Criminal Justice Honor Society

Award amount: Varies

The Alpha Phi Sigma Criminal Justice Honor Society offers several individual scholarships to its members. The V.A. Leonard Scholarship is a $2,000 award to an undergraduate or graduate student based on academic achievement, extracurricular activities and professional recommendations. The award requires a 9-page essay, with the first 7 pages about Alpha Phi Sigma, and the final two pages about, “Why I deserve this scholarship.” The Regina B. Shearn Scholarship is a $2,000 award and requires a personal statement, academic achievement, evaluations from three individuals and leadership and service on the campus. The Society also offers a Best Paper Scholarship, max award $1,000 and a Student Member of the Year at $750.


State Scholarships

Certain states and municipalities have various scholarships for college and university attendance. There are several memorial scholarships and law enforcement agencies who provide scholarships to citizens in their area. Take a look at these local scholarships to see if there is one near you.

New Jersey Association of Forensic Scientists

Award amount: $1,000

Students enrolled in a Science program (Chemistry, Forensic, Natural, Biology etc.) may apply for this scholarship. Students must be at least a Junior in college, and graduate student applicants are welcome. Students must also be a member of the NJAFS or attend college in New Jersey to qualify. They may attend college in another state if they are legal residents of New Jersey. Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation, a copy of college transcripts and be able to demonstrate academic excellence. This is a one-time award.


Camden County Scholarships

Award amount: Varies

The Camden County Hero Scholarship Fund provides access to scholarship funding to students who are interested in a career in law enforcement or fire, or are the sons or daughters of law enforcement professionals, either living or killed in the line of duty. Typical applications must include a personal statement and transcripts. Applicants must be able to demonstrate character and what they plan to do both post high school and post-college.


Riley Burrell Criminal Justice Memorial Scholarship Fund

Award amount: $2500

Students from Koochiching County who are interested in career in the criminal justice system may apply for the Riley Burnell Criminal Justice Memorial Scholarship, honoring its namesake, Riley Burrell. It is desired that students attend a four-year institution, but it is possible to use the scholarship for some other type of training courses related to criminal justice. Applicants should submit letters of recommendation, have at least a 3.0 GPA and exemplify personal integrity in their everyday life. Awards are typically split between Fall and Spring semesters.


Mike Byrd Science Scholarship

Award amount: $2,000

The Mike Byrd Crime Scene Investigation Scholarship is awarded to any Broward, Miami-Dade or Monroe County high school senior or current college student who is the son or daughter of a sworn officer working within the Miami-Dade county boundaries, maintains at least a 2.5 GPA and is planning to major in anything related to Crime Scene Investigation (Biology, Forensics, Pathology). High school seniors must submit transcripts along with letters of recommendation. Applicants may reapply every year.


SAISD Foundation Scholarships

Award amount: Varies

The SAISD Foundation awards more than 150 student scholarships to help students in and around San Antonio gain access to higher education. One scholarship, the Robert “Bobby” Deckard Jr. Memorial Scholarship, is awarded to a student with a 3.0 GPA who is active in Police Explorers, FFA or NHS, and must be a graduating senior from Highlands, perform community service and include two letters of recommendation.


Graduate Scholarships

Some Criminal Justice and CSI scholarships are only open to graduate students, while some are available to both undergraduate and graduate candidates. Below you will find scholarships solely for graduate students.

Dr. Paul B. Ferrara Scholarship in Forensic Science

Award amount: Varies

The family and friends of Dr. Paul Ferrara, a former professor and director of the Virginia Department of Forensic Science, award a scholarship each year to a second-year graduate student who has demonstrated service contributions or forensic science research. Students must attend Virginia in the Department of Forensic Science in the College of Humanities and Sciences. The application includes a 700-word essay detailing the applicant’s contributions to the field of forensic science.


National Defense Science and Engineering Fellowship Program

Award amount: Varies

This three-year fellowship is awarded to graduate students who demonstrate ability and aptitude for advanced training in science and engineering. The program objectives seek to increase the number of people trained in science and engineering of military importance, develop continuing relationships with the recipients, and attract doctoral students. To be eligible, you must be a U.S. citizen, have an undergraduate degree, and be about to start or enrolled in a science or engineering program. This program usually accepts applications between September and November for the next academic year.


Scholarships for Minority Students

 Representation of minority groups in law enforcement, criminal justice and forensics is the key purpose of several scholarships, designed specifically for LGBTQ, African-American, Hispanic and other students. The scholarships below represent those that require you to disclose minority status in order to qualify.

Out to Innovate (LGBTQ) Scholarships in Science, Engineering and Math

Award amount: $5,000

The National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals, Inc. awards two $5,000 scholarships for the Fall semester. One is awarded to an undergraduate student, and one is awarded to a graduate student. Students must be enrolled in a STEM-related program and applications must include three letters of reference, a personal statement, academic achievements, extracurriculars and an official transcript.


ACS Chemistry for Life

Award amount: Varies

Students looking to enter into careers in Forensic Chemistry and Toxicology and related disciplines are eligible to apply for tuition awards from the American Chemistry Society. The scholarships are for students of Hispanic/Latino, Black/African American or American Indian/Native American descent. Students must be enrolled full-time at an accredited institution, major in a Chemistry-related discipline, demonstrate financial need and maintain over a 3.0 GPA.


Edna R. Anthony Memorial Scholarship

Award amount: Varies

BECA – Believe, Excel, and Commit to Achieve is an organization that hosts the Edna R. Anthony Memorial Scholarship, an award given to women who attend a historically Black College or University and major in Criminal Justice, Journalism or Healthcare. Candidates must submit a completed application including a 1000-word essay on why they are looking for a career within their selected major. Candidates must also submit a high school transcript to be considered. This is a one-time award.


Jeannette Rankin Scholar Grants

Award amount: Varies

The Jeannette Rankin Scholar Grants are awarded every year to two unrestricted non-tuition grants to  women or non-binary students, aged 35 or older, who is considered low-income according to the scholarship eligibility chart on the Rankin Foundation website. Any major is accepted, but students must be pursuing their education at a not-for-profit, regionally accredited institution. They can be enrolled in a vocational or trade program, an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree program. Selection factors include learning the candidate’s goals, what the plan is to reach those goals and how the candidate plans to give back to the community. In Georgia or Montana, students may qualify for the Emerge Grant.


Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship

Award amount: Varies

The Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship is awarded to a minority student who has demonstrated a willingness and a need to continue their education in the field of criminal justice. Applicants must be nominated by a member of the ACA to the ACA Committee on Correctional Awards. Undergraduate applications must provide proof of enrollment in an accredited institution, proof of financial need and of academic achievement. Applications must include a 250-word essay detailing the applicant’s reflections on the ideals and philosophies of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and how they strive to emulate those qualities in their lives.


Thurgood Marshall Scholarship

Award amount: $2,000

The National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice awards an annual Thurgood Marshall Scholarship for students who demonstrate financial need as well as academic achievement. Winners are encouraged to attend the National Conference, held by the NABCJ in July. A successful candidate should have at least a 3.0 GPA, be accepted into an undergraduate Criminal Justice program, submit a 1000-word essay detailing their interest in the field of Criminal Justice and why they are seeking the scholarship. Applicants must also be able to demonstrate financial need in the form of a statement and tax documentation. Candidates must also be involved in community service.


Association of American Indian Affairs

Award amount: Varies

The Association of American Indian Affairs encourages Higher Education for its members through its scholarship program. Applicants must be enrolled with their respective Tribe, submit a copy of tribal enrollment, and have at least a 2.5 GPA. Applicants must submit a copy of their current class schedule. Candidates must also submit a 2-3-page essay on a topic provided by the scholarship committee. The AAIA does not fund scholarships for certificate programs.


Ruth D. Peterson Fellowship for Racial and Ethnic Diversity

Award amount: $6,000

The Ruth D. Peterson Fellowship for Racial and Ethnic Diversity was created to encourages students of color to enter the field of criminal justice and criminology. Applicants must be accepted into a doctoral program of study. Candidates must submit proof of admission to a doctoral program in criminology, criminal justice or related program, a personal statement regarding their race or ethnicity, three letters of reference, transcripts, a statement of financial need, and a letter describing career plans and desired contributions to the field of criminal justice.