Forensic Science

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Creating Forensics Scientists who revolutionize crime laboratories and criminal investigation

Located in northwest Ohio in the city of Bowling Green, Bowling Green State University is easily accessible from Toledo, Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis or Chicago. The combination of a world-class, on campus Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) crime laboratory and criminal investigation facility with the resources of an internationally recognized academic institution have produced a unique interactive forensic science and criminal investigation learning environment. The Center for the Future of Forensic Science at BGSU maximizes this rare opportunity, offering unparalleled experiential learning to forensic science students and a gateway to advanced training and cutting edge forensic science research for practicing forensic scientists, forensic science technicians; crime scene investigators (CSI) and other law enforcement professionals.

Our Mission

As the teacher/scholars of forensic science education, we are committed to:

• Nurturing leaders in the forensic sciences
• Developing professionals who contribute to the greater good of society by protecting the public and ensuring justice
• Advancing the profession and practice of the forensic sciences through education and cutting-edge research

Center for the Future of Forensic Science Vision

Through an innovative collaboration, we develop leaders who revolutionize the profession of forensic science.

Prepare for a Career in Forensic Science

The BGSU Forensic Science undergraduate degree program is designed to provide students the precise education and training crime laboratories require. BGSU students earning a Bachelor of Science with a major in Forensic Science Degree will be prepared for immediate employment as forensic scientists.

Forensic scientists typically work in laboratory environments, but may also find themselves in courtrooms, at crime scenes, in classrooms, or in morgues.  Employers may be federal, state and local governments; private forensic laboratories; medical examiner offices; international organizations; hospitals; universities; police departments; or they may work independently as forensic science consultants.

By offering three distinct forensic science specializations under the umbrella of the Bachelor of Science with a major in Forensic Science degree program (Forensic Biology, Forensic Chemistry and Forensic Examination), BGSU students have the ability to select the precise forensic curricula that will prepare them to achieve their career goals.

  • The Forensic Biology specialization prepares students for positions as DNA analysts, performing blood and other biological material testing on all types of physical evidence to help solve crime through the discriminating power genetic testing.
  • The Forensic Chemistry specialization prepares students for positions as drug chemists and forensic toxicologists. These scientists utilize the latest technologies to identify legally controlled substances and other dangerous drugs or unknown materials.
  • The Forensic Examination specialization prepares students for positions as trace evidence analysts, latent fingerprint examiners, firearm and toolmark examiners, and questioned document examiners. Students selecting this specialization will learn how to examine ‘impression’ type evidence such as finger and palm prints, footwear, tires, bullets, cartridge casings and documents; as well as understand the science and technologies associated with the forensic analysis of paint, glass, hair, fiber, gunshot residues, vehicle lamps and more.
Background Checks
Anyone considering a career in the forensic sciences must be aware that employment applications typically go well beyond normal job requirements for transcripts, employment history, references, interview and basic criminal-record checks.
Though varying by agency or employer, expect applicant background checks to extend to inquiries about use of alcohol and illegal drugs, family and social companions, financial history, police records, and civil court actions. In addition, personal information posted on the internet, including social media websites, may be subject to review. Candidates should expect to take drug, personality, and polygraph tests prior to employment. As an employee, you may be subject to continued drug testing.
 
The above is true for permanent employment as well as internships. Students must consider all factors that could influence future employment.
 

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Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree, students in Forensic Science are expected to be 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

Accreditation and/or Program/Cluster Review
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 Forensic Science program will undergo Program/Cluster Review during the Academic Year 2025-26.

Professional Licensure (If applicable)
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.

Gainful Employment (If applicable)
    

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.

Specializations:

  • Forensic Biology
  • Forensic Chemistry
  • Forensic Examination

Learning Outcomes – Forensic Biology
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

Learning Outcomes – Forensic Chemistry
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.

Learning Outcomes – Forensic Examination
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.