Best Medical Schools for Forensic Pathology

August 17

Table of Contents

Forensic Pathologists are medical doctors who are highly trained and equipped with the proper knowledge and skills to perform postmortem examinations. Also, the work of these medical specialists does not only involve autopsies, and it goes deeper than the surface level. 

For those interested in pursuing this medical career, we will help you choose the best medical schools in the country that offer exceptional residency and fellowship programs for Forensic Pathology.

What is Forensic Pathology?

Forensic Pathology is a subspecialty in Pathology that applies pathological methods such as diagnostic classification of wounds and injuries. It also checks the presence of toxins in tissues or bodily fluids, defensive marks in the body, and more. 

Also, Forensic Pathology involves investigating non-natural death or ones resulting from violence. Some deaths may be caused by heinous crime-related and suspicious or unexplained deaths. 

Solving deaths, especially involving crimes or unexpected circumstances, can be very complicated and tasking. In addition, it cannot be handled alone by police officers.  And it is when Forensic Pathologists are needed to solve these kinds of deaths together with other crime scene investigators. 

Below are the manners of death that Forensic Pathology handles:

  • Homicide
  • Accidental
  • Natural
  • Suicide
  • Undetermined

Forensic Pathology is a subspecialization that focuses on postmortem examinations and autopsies of dead bodies. It is usually performed when someone is already dead with an undetermined cause.

Moreover, an autopsy is done under certain circumstances to verify victims, such as solving criminal cases and when a mass disaster occurs. It is also executed upon the request of family members to determine the cause of death of a loved one. 

What is a Forensic Pathologist? 

A Forensic Pathologist is a medical specialist that conducts examinations such as autopsies and analyzes medical histories of a dead person. 

And they are also responsible for ensuring that standardized and appropriate medical procedures and techniques are conducted to determine the cause and manner of death.

Furthermore, autopsies are done to help Forensic Pathologists know the cause of death and to collect more evidence from the body to support the final evaluation. 

Also, these medical specialists are highly trained and involved in criminal cases. They must submit their autopsy findings in court to further help the case where the dead person is involved.

How Much Do Forensic Pathologists Earn?

Forensic Pathologists are among the most in-demand medical professionals. And because of this, they are also among the top-earning professionals in the medical field. 

These medical specialists earn an average salary of USD 103,062 in the United States. And the base salary for a junior Forensic Pathologist is around USD 67,000 a year. Meanwhile, those in the senior levels can earn as much as USD 295,000

In the United Kingdom, these medical professionals generally receive a gross annual income of GBP 61,810. 

And the entry-level salary for Forensic Pathologists in the UK is around GBP 31,000. Those senior-level positions have an average wage of GBP 99,000.

The median salary of Forensic Pathologists in Canada is CAD 336,079

And the junior medical specialist's salary range is between CAD 223,602 to CAD 250,000

Forensic Pathologists based in India earn an average yearly income of INR 6,38,673. And the salary for an entry-level position is INR 4,82,283. Tthose with 8+ years of experience in the field can earn an estimated wage of INR 7,86,432

A senior-level forensic pathologist based in Australia can make an average salary of AUD 69,147. On the other hand, an entry-level specialist has an average annual income of AUD 42,405. And the median wage for this medical profession is around AUD 56,929

Summary Table: Average Salary Rate of Forensic Pathologists in Different Countries


Average Salary Rate

United States

USD 103,062

United Kingdom

GBP 61,810


CAD 336,079


INR 6,38,673


AUD 56,929

What are the Best Medical Schools for Forensic Pathologists?

Becoming a Forensic Pathologist requires more training and years in medical school. And this specialization requires in-depth learning in biology, chemistry, physics, and other sciences, which are all essentials to study for Forensic Pathology. 

In addition, different medical schools significantly vary in the residency and fellowship programs they offer for this specialization. That is why it is best to thoroughly research and look for the best medical school that offers Forensic Pathology. 

Here are the top medical schools in the country that offer excellent specialization programs for Forensic Pathology. 

1. Harvard University 

Harvard University is one of the country's leading medical schools. It is globally recognized for its exceptional facilities. The university is dedicated to providing excellent and comprehensive medical programs in various specializations. 

Also, it is highly regarded as the best educational institution that offers a competitive medical curriculum based on biomedical science and modern medicine with an excellent clinical training experience for aspiring medical professionals. 

Why Study Forensic Pathology at Harvard?

Harvard Department of Pathology provides an excellent curriculum for Pathology education, including a specialization in Forensic Pathology. Also, it creates a conducive learning and training environment for aspiring specialists.

Moreover, the department is dedicated to giving its residents a broad knowledge of forensics, medical science, and legal matters. It includes in-depth exposure and training experience in various forensic fields, such as firearms, medical science, medicolegal documentation, toxicology, and more. 

The curriculum is also designed to offer extensive courses for death reports, murder cases, manslaughter, sexual assault, and other causes of death. 

In addition, the department gives substantial and detailed residency and fellowship training programs for autopsies and postmortem examinations in their affiliated medical centers. 

Educational Institution

Harvard University

Forensic Pathology Program/Institution Ranking:

Acceptance rate:


Tuition Fee:

USD 67,610

Average MCAT Score Requirement:

INR 37,48,624

USD 428,584

519 to 520 Points

Average GPA Score Requirement:


Financial Aid/Scholarships Offered: 

Internal-Offered By Harvard Medical School (HMS)

Dean’s REACH Scholarship Award Program

General Restricted Scholarships

Resident Tutor Policy

MD-PhD Funding

Private Scholarships Coordination with Harvard Medical School (HMS)

Joseph Collins Foundation Scholarship

National Medical Fellowships (NMF)

F. Edward Hebert Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Programs (AFHP SP)

Veterans Affairs Health Professions

Scholarship Programs (VAHP SP)

National Health Service Corps (NHSC)

Scholarship Program

Loans (Institutional)

Harvard Medical School Revolving Loan (HMSRL)

HMS Wolfson Loan

2. Stanford University

The university’s School of Medicine is committed to excellent education in its medical residency and fellowship programs. Furthermore, the institution provides new advances in medicine, patient care, teaching, and medical research. 

It is also highly invested in creating a diverse learning environment with long-term exposure to every medical specialization. Also, it encourages its residents to engage in community outreach programs through different healthcare programs.

Why Study Forensic Pathology at Stanford University?

The Stanford School of Medicine and the Department of Pathology are affiliated with the top healthcare institutions in the country, including Stanford Healthcare, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, and the Veterans Administration Palo Alto Health Care System

It delivers an exceptional level of medical programs, especially in Forensic Pathology. And it aims to provide cutting-edge residency and fellowship training courses for future specialists.

Moreover, the institution promotes excellent research studies for clinical care and postmortem studies. The medical school also has the best faculty members with distinguished backgrounds in this specialization. 

The curriculum also covers intensive criminal evidence, forensic law, and crime scene investigation courses. And also it gives weight to surgical pathology, gastrointestinal pathology, and autopsies. 

3. University of California - San Francisco 

The University of California San Francisco (UCSF) is a prestigious educational institution and is globally ranked for its educational system. 

Also, the university is known for its Medical School, which consistently ranks as one of the best medical schools in the country. 

Why Study Forensic Pathology at the University of California?

The medical school’s Department of Pathology is affiliated with renowned hospitals for general surgical and autopsy pathology. It includes UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus Heights, UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay, UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion, San Francisco VA Health Care System, and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital

Residents are highly exposed and well-trained in forensic toxicology, laboratory, radiology, anthropology, and odontology. They are all given opportunities to perform post-mortem studies on-site such as forensic autopsies. 

Moreover, the department offers structured didactic lectures focusing on surgical procedures, autopsy, pathologic findings, reviewing the patient’s medical history, and generating differential diagnoses.

The Educational Institution

University of California - San Francisco

Forensic Pathology Program/Institution Ranking:

Acceptance rate:

2.6 %

Tuition Fee:

USD 55,036

Average MCAT Score Requirement:

518 Points

Average GPA Score Requirement:


Financial Aid/Scholarships Offered: 

University Grants & Scholarships

Need-Based Grants

Regents Scholarships

Professional School Scholarships and Other Campus Scholarships

Outside Scholarships

Service Scholarships

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Professionals Scholarship Program (HPSP)

Indian Health Service Scholarship Program

National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program

NURSE Corps Scholarship Program 

Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Programs



Air Force HPSP

Segal AmeriCorps Education Award

Common Outside Scholarships

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing

The Delta Dental Award

The Kaiser Permanente Scholarship

The Kaiser Permanente Deloras Jones RN Scholarships

The Santa Barbara Scholarship Program


Federal Student Loans

Federal Direct (Stafford) Loan

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Campus-Based Loans

University Loan

Health Professions Student Loan

Loan for Disadvantaged Students

Nursing Student Loan

California DREAM Loan

Primary Care Loan

Private Education Loan

CA Medical Association Foundation (CMAF)

Loan for Medical Students

Emergency Loan

4. Baylor University 

Baylor University is acknowledged and well-respected as among the top and best educational institutions in the US, with the current rank of 77 out of 443 universities

Furthermore, Baylor University has a good reputation regarding its medical education and the medical training for its residents. Also, the Baylor College of Medicine is consistently one of the top-performing medical schools for any M.D., Ph.D., and other medical specialization.

Why Study Forensic Pathology at Baylor University?

The department offers forensic investigations, crime scene investigations, bloodstain pattern analysis, trace evidence, and more. Also, the students are exposed to various investigations done by Police Departments, Crime Laboratories, and Federal Agencies. 

Moreover, it is dedicated to providing a higher learning level for Forensic Pathology by using new technologies and innovations during investigations and death analysis. The program also integrates lectures, labs, hands-on experience, and training. 

The students are exposed to in-depth courses in law, justice, evidence identification, scientific analysis, anatomy, biology, and more. 

Educational Institution

Baylor University

Forensic Pathology Program/Institution Ranking:

Acceptance rate:


Tuition Fee:

USD 19,425 (For Texas Residents Only)

USD 32,525 (For Non-Texas Residents Only)

Average MCAT Score Requirement:

518 Points

Average GPA Score Requirement:


Financial Aid/Scholarships Offered: 

Financial Aid Programs (For Medical Students)

Baylor Institutional Loans (Excludes

M.D./Ph.D. Students)

Baylor Merit Scholarships

Baylor Endowment Scholarships

Primary Care Loan (MS 4 Only)

Loans for Disadvantaged Students

Federal Work Study

Texas Medical Association Loan (MS4 Only)

National Health Service Corps Scholarship

Other Financial Aids

Direct Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan

Direct Federal Grad PLUS Loan

Baylor College of Medicine Emergency Loans

Outside Alternative Loans

5. Johns Hopkins University

John Hopkins University is globally recognized for its academic excellence, innovative learning programs, and state-of-the-art facilities. 

Furthermore, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine is among the top choices for studying medicine. And the medical programs of the university are of the highest standards. The medical school is also affiliated with the best hospitals in the country.

Why Study Forensic Pathology at John Hopkins?

The Pathology Department of the university offers excellent programs for this specialization, including Forensic Pathology. In addition, it is the first to be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (AGCME)

It has the best and most effective laboratory testing, morphologic, and postmortem diagnosis programs.

Moreover, the residents are exposed to in-depth and vast experiences in various forensic pathological specimens and training in autopsies. 

They are also guided by dedicated educators and specialists in the field. In addition, the program is also dedicated to providing an intensive research study in Forensic Pathology. As well as unparalleled access to different postmortem specimens and postmortem toxicology. 

Educational Institution

Johns Hopkins University

Forensic Pathology Program/Institution Ranking:

Acceptance rate:


Tuition Fee:

USD 25, 241

Average MCAT Score Requirement:

521 Points

Average GPA Score Requirement:


Financial Aid/Scholarships Offered: 

Student Loans

Federal Direct Loans - Unsubsidized

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans

School of Medicine University Loans

Financial Literacy Resources

Direct Loan Consolidation


Federal Student Aid Information

NSLDS for Students

Student Loans Office at Johns Hopkins

Budgeting - AAMC’s First for Medical Education Fact Sheets

AAMC Education Debt Manager for Matriculating Students

Budgeting Worksheet for Students

AmeriCorps Program

Central Scholarship Bureau

Heartland ECSI

Some Outside Scholarships

American Medical Association (AMA)

Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)

Baltimore City Medical Society Foundation

Chinese American Physicians Society

Cook/Rutledge Fellowship Program

Dr. Frank and Florence Marino Scholarship Fund

Edward T. Conroy Memorial Scholarship Program


Herbert W. Nickens Medical Student Scholarships

Howard G. Lapsley Memorial Scholarship Fund for Medical Education

The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago Academic Scholarship Program

Joanna F. Reed Memorial Scholarship

Joseph Collins Foundation

Kaiser Permanente Medical Student Scholarships

Maryland Graduate and Professional Scholarship

National Health Service Corps Scholarship and Loan Repayment Program

P.E.O. Foundation Scholar Award

Worcester District Medical Society

Summary Table: Best Medical Schools for Forensic Pathology

Educational Institution 

Forensic Pathology Program/Institution Ranking 

Acceptance Rate

Tuition Fee

Average MCAT/BMAT Score Requirement

Average GPA Score Requirement

Harvard University


USD 67,610

519 to 520 Points


Stanford University


USD 20,731

519 Points


University of California - San Francisco


USD 55,036

518 Points


Baylor University


USD 19,425 (For Texas Residents Only)

USD 32,525 (For Non-Texas Residents Only)

518 Points


Johns Hopkins University


USD 25, 241

521 Points


Additional Reading – Best Medical Schools:


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