Forensic Chemistry Concentration

Blue Beaker

As a concentration within the Chemistry program, the Forensic Chemistry option expands the field of career options for chemistry and other science students.

Forensic Science is an applied science, the practice of which requires the integration of scientific knowledge and skills in the examination, analysis, interpretation, reporting, and testimonial support of physical evidence. Forensic Science plays a crucial role in the criminal justice system.

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Most practicing Forensic Scientists are employed in crime laboratories associated with law enforcement and criminal investigations, or government agencies. Private laboratories also employ a few. While there are agencies that accredit forensic laboratories and certify Forensic Science degrees, neither accreditation nor certification is a necessary requirement for employment as a forensic scientist.

Forensic Science requires a strong foundation in the natural sciences with extensive laboratory experience and the ability to apply these sciences to practical problems. Our chemistry curriculum provides the essential knowledge, skills and abilities that are a foundation of a career in Forensic Science.

The curricula for both the traditional chemistry degree and the forensic chemistry option are online. Both programs lead to ACS certified Bachelor of Science degree.

Intent to pursue the Forensic Chemistry option must be declared during the fall semester of the sophomore year. Consultation with the Department Chairman and completion of an intent form are required.

Curriculum Outline – B.S. Chemistry (American Chemical Society Certification- Forensic Chemistry Concentration)

Revised August 2014

Freshman Year Semester
  1st 2nd
Chemistry 201-202 (General Chemistry) 4 4
English 101-102 (English Composition I&II) 3 3
History 106 (World Civilization) 3 -
COM 103 (Oral Communication) - 3
Mathematics 151 -152 (Calculus I&II) 4 4
SOC 205 (Introduction to Sociology) - 3
Freshman Orientation 1 -
Total 15 17
Sophomore Year Semester
  1st 2nd
Chemistry 301-302 (Organic Chemistry I&II) 4 4
Humanities 3 3
Mathematics 251 (Calculus III) 4 -
PSY 203 (Introduction to Psychology - 3
Physics 203-204 (Physics I&II) 3 3
Physics 215-216 (Physics Labs) 1 1
Total 15 14
Junior Year Semester
  1st 2nd
Chemistry 313,408 (Analytical Chemistry I&II) 4 4
Biology 105-106 (Introduction to Biology I&II) 4 4
Chemistry 401-402 (Physical Chemistry I&II) 4 4
Chemistry 303-304 (Intro. Biochemistry I&II) 4 4
Total 16 16
Senior Year Semester
  1st 2nd
Chemistry 405-406 (Chemistry Seminar I&II) 1 1
Chemistry 420/421 (Forensic Chemistry) 3 4
Chemistry 419, (Chemistry Elective*) 4 3
Sociology 215, 305 (Criminology, Criminal Justice) 3 3
Statistic Elective 3 -
Health Education - 2
Total 14 13
Total Credits 120

*Chemistry Elective is any 400 or 500 level Chemistry course.

Instead of CHE 508 Bioorganic Chemistry (3), students may take CHE 407 Intermediate Organic (3). Research courses may be substituted for chemistry electives. Instead of CHE 408 Advanced Analytical Chemistry, students may take a CHE elective. CHE electives include all 400 and 500 level courses offered by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Biology or Marine Environmental Science elective courses may be selected from the following list: BIO 301, Comparative Anatomy; BIO 302, Human Anatomy; BIO 304, General Microbiology; BIO 305, Principles of Heredity; BIO 312, Molecular Biology; BIO 336, Human Physiology; BIO 412, Gene Expression and Control; BIO 415, Fundamentals of Cell Biology; BIO 502, Advanced Genetics; BIO 503, General and Cellular Physiology; BIO 512, Cell Biology; BIO 513, Immunology; BIO 514 Virology; BIO 515, Parasitology; MES 311, Renewable Energy; MES 510, Environmental Toxicology or other biology courses with permission of chair.

Students may choose a Statistics elective (2/3) that will enhance their chosen research and career interests from the following list: MAT 224, Introduction to Mathematical & Statistical Software Packages I; MAT 324, Introduction to Mathematical & Statistical Software Packages II; MAT 205, Introduction to Statistics; MAT 305, Probability and Statistics; PHA 332, Biostatistics and Epidemiology; MES 210, Biometry: Introduction to Environmental Statistics; or equivalent courses with permission of chair.

More advanced level calculus courses may be substituted for MAT 151 and MAT 152. More advanced level biology courses may be substituted for BIO 105 and BIO 106. More advanced level physics courses may be substituted for PHY 203 and PHY 204. We maintain a curriculum that allows students to start from MAT 151/152. Students with acceptable scores in AP Calculus, Physics, AP Chemistry, and AP BIO, AP English or other courses can get credit for equivalent courses in the curriculum.

Humanities sequence includes Humanities 201 and Humanities elective.

If you have any questions regarding the Forensic Chemistry option, please contact Dr. Peter Njoki (