BS in Forensic Science

What is the Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science?

Forensic science is the application of the sciences to studying evidence in cases related to criminal and civil laws that are enforced by agencies in a criminal justice system, Courses required for this major lead to an understanding of principles and practices of laboratory science which can be applied to law enforcement.

What do students enrolled in the Forensic Science program do?

Forensic science applies to several major careers, including criminalistics, medical examination, pathology/biology, odontology, toxicology, physical anthropology, questioned documents, engineering sciences, computer science, forensic weather, jurisprudence and others. As a forensic science major, you will develop the knowledge base and laboratory skills in inorganic and organic chemistry and the analytical techniques, both chemical and instrumental, for forensic analysis. You will develop the knowledge base and laboratory skills in biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, microbiology, human anatomy and physiology and zoology for appropriate forensic analyses, such as those necessary for DNA analysis, fingerprint analysis, analysis of forensic remains, analysis of unknown microbiological specimens, serological analysis, and forensic entomology. Additionally, you will learn how to use various microscopic techniques and how to analyze hair, fibers, tissue, fluid, glass, soil, and paint, as well as what to look for in an arson investigation, and the techniques to use for analysis of drugs and comparison of firearms.

Is this major right for you?

You might consider a forensic science major if you are interested in a rewarding career where science can be applied to the good of society, public health and public safety and have a genuine interest in the use of technology to solve crimes. If you possess analytical and problem solving skills and are comfortable working in a lab setting, this could be the degree program for you.

About our students

In our Forensic Science program, students have opportunities such as learning how to properly use many tools utilized in biology and chemistry related to forensic analysis, including many types of microscopes (e.g., inverted, florescent, electron, polarizing), spectrophotometers such as UV-Vis and FTIR, electrophoresis apparatus, high performance liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, GS-MS, computer-based data acquisition equipment, many physiological instruments and various types of other equipment and chemical analytical techniques used in a laboratory and research setting. Students will also be taught by faculty with Ph.D.’s in the biological and chemical sciences as well as forensic science instructors with years of experience in forensic science laboratories. There are opportunities for performing research relative to forensic science and all majors must be involved in a forensic science internship at the local, state, or national level.

About our graduates

When you graduate from Southern Wesleyan with a BS in Forensic Science, you will be prepared to:

  • Attend medical school if you want to be a forensic pathologist/medical examiner.
  • Attend dental school if you want to be a forensic odontologist.
  • Work on a master’s or doctorate in forensic science, such as a forensic anthropologist.
  • To immediately go into an entry level position in a crime laboratory or analytical laboratory related to the forensic science field, such as,
    • Forensic GCMS technician
    • Drug analyst
    • Toxicology analyst
    • Trace evidence analyst
    • DNA analyst
    • Questioned documents analyst
    • Fingerprint analyst
    • Firearms analyst
    • Serologist
  • Some positions require additional training provided by the laboratory

"The science division faculty also equipped me with the knowledge to think outside of the box, which allowed me to be passionate about science and Christianity as a whole. The professors that I had during my time at SWU genuinely cared about me as a person."

Courtney Sellers, Class of 2012

Our graduates thus far have obtained positions primarily in:

  • Law enforcement agencies doing drugs and firearms analysis.
  • Corporations that carry out forensic analyses, such as Aegis Sciences Corporation in Nashville, TN.
  • Corporations that perform various types of chemical analyses.