A BGSU Forensic Science Biology student looks for traces of biological material on a simulated piece of evidence in an Ohio lab.
  • Bachelors Available
  • Bachelors Available

Forensic Science Specialization

Forensic Biology

The BGSU Bachelor of Science in forensic science offers a specialization in forensic biology. 

This degree provides students with the precise education and training crime laboratories require. Graduates will be well prepared for a graduate Forensic Science program or immediate employment as a forensic scientist.

Forensic science majors specializing in forensic biology gain skills 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.

The program benefits from a close affiliation with the Center for the Future of Forensic Science and the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation crime lab. Students will learn aspects of molecular biology and genetics and apply those principles to the analysis of biological fluids recovered from evidence. Their education will involve identifying potential biological fluids, as well as extracting, quantifying, amplifying and analyzing DNA retrieved from evidence. They will further learn the principles of applying statistical analysis and the use to the Combined DNA Indexing System (CODIS), which is the DNA database of convicted offenders that is moderated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This education includes instruction on answering testimony-type questions to increase the understanding of a jury.

The science of biological evidence

Proper, ethical and accurate processing of physical evidence from a crime scene is critical in solving crimes. Forensic science biologists are a vital piece of the justice system.

BGSU forensic science students are interdisciplinary, studying the biological and chemical foundations for forensic science, in-field procedures and the legal and ethical requirements of gathering, analyzing and presenting evidence in court. 

The BGSU Forensic Science Program offers students an unparalleled opportunity to prepare for careers as forensic scientists through a unique combination of:

  • Expert faculty with decades of professional crime laboratory work experience
  • Newly designed forensic science classroom and laboratory learning spaces
  • Hands-on use of cutting-edge crime laboratory instrumentation
  • Mock crime scene house

Stand Out in courses like

  • Introduction to Forensic Science
  • Molecular Biology
  • Forensic Biology
  • Forensic DNA Analysis
  • Genetics

BGSU is one of the few universities in the nation that has a criminal investigation lab on the campus.

Curriculum

Students are hands-on with labs and forensic evidence from early on in their BGSU forensic science degree. Students have the opportunity to work a mock crime scene at a dedicated residence half a block off campus for use by the department for experience-based learning.

The Bachelor of Science in forensic science curriculum provides the essential scientific and laboratory problem-solving skills necessary for graduate success in a modern forensic science laboratory.

The specialization in forensic biology focuses on biological evidence left at crime scenes - DNA from hair, blood, skin cells and other bodily fluids. The reliable identification and matching of samples is a focus of the specialization, focusing on meeting the educational requirements of the FBI for DNA analysis. 

Students will gain familiarity with the State DNA Index System (SDIS) and the National DNA Index System (NDIS), which are part of the FBI administered Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).

The program combines rigorous scientific study and laboratory training with exposure to the broader unique aspects of the practice of forensic science, including evidence collection, handling, analysis and reporting practices; specific legal and ethical considerations; and expert courtroom testimony.

GO FAR with a career in

  • DNA analyst
  • Forensic Biologist
  • Forensic Lab Technician
  • Forensic Scientist
  • Serologist

Internships

Students are encouraged to pursue work in a lab and to consider research opportunities that are available on campus. The capstone experience involves an in-house internship experience that includes mock evidence, hands-on use of instruments, report writing experience and a mock trial.

Careers

Students completing this specialization will be well prepared for a graduate forensic science program or employment in a local, state, federal or military crime laboratory. 

When it comes to solving crimes, it takes a team of trained professionals. In drug cases, for instance, forensic investigators would identify, sample and record found substances, passing those on to forensic chemists who would analyze a retrieved substance to identify it, forensic toxicologists would study its effect on the body. Forensic biologists would study DNA left at the crime scene and forensic investigators would seek the identity of perpetrators. 

Connecting students with opportunities and meeting practicing professionals in those roles is possible through an extensive field-based internship and close contact with professionals from the on-campus Ohio State Crime Lab.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 14% increase in the Forensic Science Technician workforce over the period 2019 - 2029, much faster growth than the 3% national average.

The Center for the Future of Forensic Science at BGSU offers unparalleled experiential learning to forensic science students and a gateway to advanced training and cutting edge forensic science research.

Forensic Science Residential Learning Community

The Forensic Science Residential Learning Community (FSRLC) is for any student enrolled in the BGSU Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science degree program, or seeking a pathway to enrollment through either the Biology or Chemistry Department forensic science specializations. 

The FSRLC is designed to help forensic science students live, learn and succeed together. It provides experiential forensic science learning and networking opportunities designed to augment the classroom experience as well as provide unique opportunities beyond the classroom to investigate the real world of forensic science.

Admissions information

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 may 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 1230 or CHEM 1350 and
  • Earned a “C” or better in any subsequent chemistry courses including CHEM 1270 or CHEM 1370, CHEM 3410 and CHEM 3440.

Students who meet 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 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.

Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

​​The BGSU Forensic Science program, which is designed to meet the standards of the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC), and is working toward that accreditation. The program is going through the accreditation process as of the Fall of 2021 with accreditation expected to be awarded in the first quarter of 2022.  More information on accreditation.

Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The forensic science program does not lead to professional licensure.

Under the Higher Education Act Title IV disclosure requirements, an institution must provide current and prospective students with information about each of its programs that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

The forensic science program is not a recognized occupation that requires a Gainful Employment disclosure.

Updated: 04/29/2022 11:38AM