The careful identification and analysis of the traces of crime occupy a BGSU Forensic Chemistry student in an Ohio lab.
  • Bachelors Available
  • Bachelors Available

Forensic Science Specialization

Forensic Drug Analysis

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

This degree is designed for students interested in applying analytical chemistry to forensic evidence to help solve crimes. Students completing this specialization will be well prepared for a graduate forensic science program or employment in a crime laboratory.

This specialization provides a strong background in chemistry with additional exposure to the unique aspects of working in 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 chemistry and chemical analysis and how to apply those principles to analyzing evidence. This will include chemical reactions in field color tests, extracting drugs from complex mixtures, the use of chemical instrumentation such as a gas chromatograph coupled with a mass spectrometer. Not only will the student be able to analyze mock street-drug samples to mimic the duties of a drug chemist, but they will also analyze mock body fluids to determine the quantity of drugs present, as if working in a toxicology laboratory. This education includes instruction on answering testimony-type questions to increase the understanding of a jury.

Understanding the chemistry of crime

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

BGSU forensic chemistry 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

  • Spectroscopic Methods in Organic Chemistry
  • Introduction to Forensic Science
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology of Drugs of Abuse
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Chemical Separations

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

Curriculum

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

A foundation in biology, human anatomy, organic chemistry and biochemistry is complemented with courses in physical chemistry, chemical separations, toxicology and methods of chemical isolation and detection.

Common forensic tasks like blood typing, white powder labs, hair analysis, toxicology and drugs of abuse are covered in theory, labs and in-field practice in the BGSU Mock Crime House.  

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

GO FAR with a career in

  • Forensic Scientist
  • Drug Chemist
  • Forensic Chemist 
  • Research and Development Chemist
  • Quality Control Chemist
  • Explosives Chemist
  • Forensic Toxicologist

Internships 

Students are encouraged to pursue experiential learning in a lab and to consider chemistry-centric research opportunities that are available on campus. 

The forensic science capstone experience involves an in-house internship experience that includes mock evidence, hands-on time with state-of-the-art instruments, report writing experience and a mock trial.

Career

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

When it comes to solving crimes, it takes a team of trained professionals. For instance, in drug cases, forensic chemists would analyze and identify a substance retrieved by forensic investigators who have sampled and recorded its location. A forensic toxicologist would study the effect of the substance on the body, forensic biologists would study DNA left at the crime scene, and forensic investigators would seek the identity of perpetrators.

Connecting you 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 – requirement/recommendations specific to program

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

Forensic Chemistry 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. 

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), 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 02:04PM