Forensic Science

The major of Forensic Science has specializations in Forensic Biology, Forensic Chemistry and Forensic Examination. The major with its specializations are designed for students interested in the application of scientific principles to the analysis and interpretation of forensic evidence. The Forensic Science major provides students with a strong background in chemistry, biology, and scientific instrumentation, with additional exposure to all aspects of forensic science. Students will select one of three specializations within the major. Students completing a major in Forensic Science will be well prepared for a graduate program in Forensic Science or employment in a crime laboratory. This major will be housed in the Department of Chemistry.

Admissions Requirements
A student who wishes to declare the major of Forensic Science must meet the following admissions criteria:

    Incoming Students:

  • SAT - prior to March 2016: Combined SAT score of 1100 or higher, with at least a 550 score on the Math portion; or
  • SAT - March 2016 and forward: Combined SAT score of 1200 or higher, with at least a 550 score on the Math section; or
  • ACT - An ACT composite and math score of 25 or higher

    Students with scores falling below these ranges will be reviewed for acceptance on an individual basis.

    Current BGSU students and Transfer Students may be eligible for the program if they have:

  • Obtained a cumulative college GPA of a 3.0 or better,
  • Earned a "C" or better in CHEM 1250 or CHEM 1350 and
  • Earned a "C" or better in any subsequent chemistry courses including CHEM 1270, CHEM 1370, CHEM 3410 and CHEM 3440.

    Students who met these criteria should contact the Forensic Science program regarding admission.

Learning Outcomes
BGSU Forensic Science graduates are vital members of the criminal justice system and are able to:

  • Think critically and analyze complex data for the benefit of the criminal justice system
  • Apply diverse information and skills toward solving real-world problems associated with solving crimes
  • Utilize laboratory skills with exacting standards and precision of care within the context of solving crimes

BGSU Forensic Science graduates shall be proficient in the following ability-based outcome measures. Focused on the comprehension, evaluation, synthesis and application skills necessary for success in the profession, these measures illuminate specific dimensions of the general program outcomes.

  1. Conceptual Competence:
    ...understand the foundations of the profession of forensic science and its position within the criminal justice system (Comprehension).
  2. Scientific Competence:
    ...design forensic studies based on the scientific method to produce evidence-based discoveries for use in criminal investigations (Synthesis).
  3. Mathematical Competence:
    ...use mathematics to analyze physical, chemical, or biological evidence (Application).
  4. Communication Competence:
    ...create verbal and written documents that inform, educate, and motivate a wide range of audiences using a variety of methods and media with clarity, sensitivity, and accuracy (Synthesis).
  5. Critical thinking and decision making abilities:
    ...appraise forensic evidence relevant to the solution of an identified problem and make sound evidence-based decisions (Evaluation).
  6. Social Awareness:
    ...express how forensic evidence and professional issues are placed within appropriate historical, cultural, social, economic, scientific, political and philosophical frameworks; and, demonstrate sensitivity and tolerance within a culturally-diverse society (Comprehension).
  7. Professional Conduct and Demeanor:
    ...demonstrate high ethical standards toward others with integrity, compassion, empathy, and respect (Application).
  8. Leadership, Innovation and Advocacy:
    ...contribute to positive change within the forensic sciences on behalf of society and the profession (Synthesis).

Major, Bachelor of Science

Students with a major in Forensic Science will select one of the following specializations to establish their academic and professional focus.

Forensic Biology Specialization - Fall 2017 Course Requirements
The major of Forensic Science with a specialization in Forensic Biology is designed for students interested in the application of biology and DNA to forensic evidence. This specialization provides a strong background in molecular biology with additional exposure to aspects of forensic science. Students completing this specialization will be well prepared for a graduate Forensic Science program or employment in a crime laboratory.

Specialization learning outcomes

    BGSU forensic biologists are able to:

  • demonstrate learned critical thinking and decision making capabilities based on available case facts when analyzing evidence.
  • use laboratory competence garnered through required university coursework in forensic science, biology and chemistry.
  • implement strong communication skills, as necessary to effectively perform as a productive member in a team based analysis approach.
  • complete necessary tasks in a time efficient manner.
  • comply with the educational requirements of the FBI for DNA analysis.

Forensic Chemistry Specialization - Fall 2017 Course Requirements
The major of Forensic Science with a specialization in Forensic Chemistry is designed for students interested in the application of analytical chemistry to forensic evidence. This specialization provides a strong background in chemistry with additional exposure to aspects of forensic science. Students completing this specialization will be well prepared for a graduate Forensic Science program or employment in a crime laboratory.

Specialization learning outcomes

    BGSU forensic chemists are able to:

  • demonstrate formal education and training in genuine crime laboratory casework.
  • operate all scientific instrumentation typically used by crime laboratories to identify controlled substances.
  • understand analytical processes necessary to identify controlled substances for criminal proceedings.
  • record accurate and complete examination documentation; as well as use that examination documentation to prepare a laboratory report summarizing their findings.
  • implement the foundation of applied scientific and ethical education to ensure an objective evaluation of suspected controlled substances without bias.

Forensic Examination Specialization - Fall 2017 Course Requirements
The major of Forensic Science with a specialization in Forensic Examination is designed for students interested in forensic science as it applies to impression evidence analysis and comparison, as well as other trace evidence examinations. This specialization provides a strong background in both the chemical and biological sciences with additional exposure to other aspects of forensic science. Students completing this specialization will be well prepared for a graduate Forensic Science program or employment in a crime laboratory.

Specialization learning outcomes

    BGSU forensic examiners are able to:

  • demonstrate fundamental crime scene investigation techniques.
  • perform assorted latent print processing and capture techniques.
  • understand microscopic theory and the ability to use a variety of microscope types in the examination of forensic evidence.
  • operate all scientific instrumentation typically used by crime laboratories in the analysis of trace, pattern and impression evidence.
  • describe and defend the scientific foundations of the comparative forensic sciences in a fashion consistent with answering legal challenges.