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BS in Chemistry/Biochemistry with Forensic Chemistry option

The forensic science option prepares students for entry-level positions in state and federal forensic science labs as well as for graduate and professional schools. Competitive internships at regional forensic labs are integrated into the curriculum along with research and independent study. Students must complete 45 hours of specified core courses (see footnote1) with a combined minimum GPA of 3.0 before being eligible to declare the forensic major. For all internships with law enforcement agencies, students will be required to pass a thorough background check. It is assumed that the student will enter the program ready to take MATH 161. To finish in four years, students must take an average load of more than 15 credits per quarter.

A partnership has been established with the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory Division. They provide internship opportunities for our students on a competitive basis. Guest lecturers are also provided throughout the course of study.  For all internships with law enforcement agencies, the student will be requied to pass a thorough background check conducted by that agency.

2018-2019 Catalog requirements for Chemistry: Forensic Science

Advisors:  Dr. Ken Raymond and Dr. Ashley Lamm


Required Chemistry Courses (85 credits)

CHEM 140 Criminalistics and Forensic Chemistry (5)1
CHEM 151 General Chemistry (5)1
CHEM 152 General Chemistry (5)1
CHEM 153 General Chemistry (5)1
CHEM 304 Quantitative Analysis (6)1
CHEM 319 Modern Inorganic Chemistry (4)
CHEM 351 Organic Chemistry (4)
CHEM 352 Organic Chemistry (4)
CHEM 353 Organic Chemistry (3)
CHEM 372 Organic Chemistry Lab I (3)
CHEM 373 Organic Chemistry Lab II (3)
CHEM 420 Instrumental Analysis (5)
CHEM 421 Physical Chemistry (4)
CHEM 422 Physical Chemistry (3)
CHEM 431 Physical Chemistry Laboratory (1)
CHEM 445 Topics in Forensic Chemistry (5)
CHEM 450 Advanced Forensic Chemistry (5)
CHEM 480 Biochemistry (5)
CHEM 399/495/499 Internship/Research (5)
CHEM 491 Senior Thesis (5)2 

Required Supporting Courses (65 credits)
BIOL 171 Biology I (5)1
BIOL 172 Biology II (5)1
BIOL 173 Biology III (5)
BIOL 310 Fundamentals of Genetics (5)
BIOL 438 Molecular Biology (5)
CRIM 300 Introduction to Criminal Justice (5)
MATH 161 Calculus I (5)1
MATH 162 Calculus II (5)
MATH 163 Calculus III (5)
MATH 380 Elementary Probability and Statistics (5)
PHYS 151 General Physics I (4)1
PHYS 152 General Physics II (4)
PHYS 153 General Physics III (4)
PHYS 161 Mechanics Laboratory (1)
PHYS 162 Heat and Optics Laboratory (1)
PHYS 163 Instrumentation Laboratory (1)

Suggested Supporting Courses (See your chemistry/biochemistry advisor.)

BIOL 301 Microbiology (5)
CMST 201 Public Speaking (5)
CRIM 304 Forensic Inquiry (5)
TCOM 205 Introduction to Technical Communication (5)
POLI 306 Basic Concepts of Criminal Law (5)

1Core courses are to be completed before formal acceptance into the forensics major and enrollment in the forensic science internship course.
2Students are required to do research on a forensic project and to take it for 5 credits (catalog description states 4-6 credits). Projects must be approved by the forensic science program advisor.
Note: the above option will require more than 12 terms (or 4 years) to complete at an average of 15 credits per term.

What will I study?

Students will study basic sciences of chemistry, biology, mathematics and physics. Courses in criminalistics and forensics science are also included.

Three of the required chemistry courses deal specifically with the application of chemistry and biochemistry to the forensic sciences.

Emphases / Concentrations:

  • Organic and General Chemistry
  • Quantitative and Instrumental Analysis
  • Forensic Chemistry and Criminalistics

Interesting courses I might take:

  • Criminalistics and Forensic Chemistry
  • Topics in Forensic Science
  • Introduction to Criminal Justice

What could I do with my degree?

  • Forensic Laboratory Technician
  • Local or Regional Forensic Lab Technician
  • Forensic DNA Analyst
  • Explosives Examiner
  • Toxicology Technician
  • Forensics Specialist
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