What Are The 10 Branches Of Forensic Science?

Forensic science is a scientific field that is used to analyze and interpret evidence found at the crime scene in order to identify and convict criminals. Forensic science is a huge industry and it includes many different branches. This article will outline the 11 branches of forensic science in order to provide a clear definition of the terms.

What Are The 10 Branches Of Forensic Science?

The 10 branches of Forensic Science are the following:

  • Forensic Toxicology
  • Forensic Entomology
  • Forensic Engineering
  • Forensic DNA Analysis
  • Trace Evidence Analysis
  • Forensic Pathology
  • Forensic Linguistics
  • Forensic Geology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Forensic Podiatry

What is Forensic Science?

“The term forensic is derived from the Latin word for “public” (foro) and the Greek word for “examined” (anal). It is used to refer to the use of scientific methods to provide evidence in a legal case to prove or disprove a matter of public interest.”

Forensic science is the application of scientific knowledge to legal evidence in order to provide information for the legal system. The primary goal of forensic science is to provide objective evidence to the legal system. 

It is the science of solving crimes and figuring out how something happened. Some of the fields that fall under the forensic science umbrella are chemistry, DNA analysis, criminal psychology, psychiatry, and more.

The term forensic science has been applied in many ways, including the study of crime scene investigation, the examination of evidence, and the investigation of the causes of disease and injury.

Forensic scientists are also concerned with applying scientific principles and knowledge to legal issues. In the United States, forensic science is a sub-discipline of science that is primarily concerned with scientific or technological investigations of criminal cases.

The first known use of forensic science was in the work of the English physician William Harvey in the 17th century. Harvey performed autopsies and developed methods to distinguish between natural and accidental deaths. 

By the late 1800s, forensic science in its modern form began to emerge as a unique discipline with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle leading the way.

Forensic Toxicology

Forensic toxicology is a branch of forensic science that deals with the identification, investigation, and analysis of the toxicology of a person in order to identify the perpetrator or causes of death. It is also used to identify a toxic substance that has caused or contributed to death or injury in a person.

Forensic Entomology

Entomology includes the application and investigation of

different arthropods like centipedes, millipedes, and shellfish to tackle criminal cases.

Forensic entomology is principally utilized for death examinations because of the presence of such organic entities in disintegrating remains.

Forensic Engineering

Forensic engineering is the application of engineering principles to the investigation of criminal activity and the reconstruction of crime scenes. 

It is the science of crime scene investigation, crime scene reconstruction, and crime scene management. Forensic engineering is not a single field of study but is a combination of several fields of study including engineering, criminology, forensic science, criminal law, and forensic science.

Forensic DNA Analysis

Forensic DNA analysis is a method used to identify the person who committed a crime. This is done by collecting biological evidence and analyzing it to find the person responsible for the crime. 

DNA is the organic chemical complex that is unique to every organism. Forensic DNA Analysis utilizes this genetic information in profiling criminal examinations for the recognizable proof of an unidentified victim or culprit. The identification for DNA profiling includes hair, semen, pee, skin, spit, and blood.

Trace Evidence Analysis

Trace Evidence Analysis gives essential information in connection to the crime scene and the culprit. It uses Locard’s Principle stating that “everything leaves a contact” and includes the recuperation of proof and their scientific assessment to get data.

Forensic Pathology

Forensic pathology is the study of the body in order to make a legal determination as to the cause of death. Forensic Pathology is a discipline of Forensic science that assess a cadaver by gathering and examining clinical samples that are acceptable in the courtroom to decide the reason for its death. 

Forensic Linguistics

Forensic linguistics is one of the branches of forensic science. It is the study of language and communication as they relate to crime. It is also the study of how language is used to frame individuals or a group of individuals. 

There are many different areas of forensic linguistics. These are: 

  • Forensic linguistics of digital communications 
  • Forensic linguistics of forensic science 
  • Forensic linguistics of language 
  • Forensic linguistics of science 
  • Forensic linguistics of the law 
  • Forensic linguistics of terrorism 
  • Forensic linguistics of the media 
  • Forensic linguistics of surveillance 
  • Forensic linguistics of translation 
  • Forensic linguistics of the courtroom 
  • Forensic linguistics of the media

Forensic Geology

Forensic geology is the study of the relationship between rocks, soil, and water to determine the age of the earth. This can be used to determine the age of a crime scene or the age of a body with materials found on the Earth-like soil, rocks, oil, and minerals.

Forensic Geologists examine these materials found from the crime scene to reinforce proof against the suspect and draw derivations about the time and reason for the death

Forensic Podiatry

Forensic podiatry is a branch of forensic science that deals with the examination of the human foot and lower leg injuries. The examination is done to assist with the investigation of cases in which a person has been murdered. It is common for the examination to be done at the crime scene and is typically done by a forensic anthropologist.

Forensic Psychology

Forensic Psychology is interdisciplinary of psychology and forensic science. It uses the methods and principles in psychology in understanding the mind and behavior of both suspect and victim to come up with an analysis that answers the question of motive and why did the crime occur.


Forensic science is a scientific field that is used to analyze and interpret evidence found at the crime scene in order to identify and convict criminals. 

Forensic science is a huge industry and it includes many different branches. Forensic science is the application of scientific knowledge to solve crimes, provide evidence for legal proceedings, or assist in the detection, prevention, and prosecution of crime.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): what are the 10 branches of forensic science?

Who invented forensic science?

Forensic science was not invented by scientists but by the police, specifically police investigators. Police investigators used common sense and observation while heavily relying on scientific methods to solve a crime.

What piece of crime scene data is responsible for identifying most remains? 

Over 93% of bodies are identified because of Dental records. Bones are one of the most sturdy parts of the body and are often preserved in many remains. Same with DNA, Dental imprints are unique to every individual making them a reliable basis for identifying remains.

What is the best method of identifying criminals?

The best method of identifying criminals is an Eyewitness account. Forensic science is the second best. Investigators both use the accounts of eyewitnesses and forensic science to provide reliable findings.


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Houck, M. M., & Siegel, J. A. (2009). Fundamentals of forensic science. Academic Press.

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