Forensic Chemistry, B.S.
Undergraduate Degree
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Program Overview

Forensic Chemistry is an excellent major for detail-oriented science students who also have an interest in law enforcement. Forensic Chemistry majors frequently go on to work in state crime labs and other agencies. In addition, students who choose professions like law also benefit from a technical background in a specialized field like Forensic Chemistry.


The Forensic Chemistry major is designed for students who wish to pursue a career in the field of forensics. The Bachelor of Science degree program, offered by an excellent faculty in the Department of Chemistry, also ensures that Forensic Chemistry majors receive a sound foundation in science by:

Delivering a high-quality program of studies and instruction in chemistry as a scientific discipline

Ensuring a sound background in preparation for advanced studies

Meeting the qualifications of professional chemists and accrediting agencies

Helping students prepare for a professional career in other fields, including medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, medical technology, engineering, nursing and more.

Marshall’s Department of Chemistry is approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS). Marshall has been recertified by ACS through 2026. The department has been continuously certified since 1963.

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Featured Courses
CHM 305 - Research Methods Chemistry
A course concerning the searching and use of the chemical literature, ethical issues relating to the conduct of scientific research, proposal writing, scientific presentations, and proper scientific laboaratory conduct.
CJ 314 - Crime Scene & Investigations
This course exposes students to crime scene processing techniques and technology, criminal investigation procedures, sources of information, interrogation, victim and witness interviewing, legal issues in criminal investigations.
CHM 491 - Capstone Experience
Students engage in a collaborative research project with a faculty member. Students engage in a collaborative research project with a faculty member.
Program Highlights
Research opportunities

Forensic Chemistry majors learn in small classes and can study state-of-the-art science by joining a small research group as early as their first semester. Engaging in research enables students in the bachelor’s in Forensic Chemistry degree program to exercise and expand their innate creativity while strengthening their laboratory skills and problem-solving abilities. This experience also helps to prepare students for lifelong success.

Capstone project

The capstone graduation requirement for Forensic Chemistry majors is either a research project or internship. Nearly all students select a research project (80 of 86 for the past 3 years). Of those, the large majority engages in research with a chemistry faculty member, but Marshall also allows students to work on chemistry-based projects in the Departments of Biological Sciences, Pharmacy, and Forensic Science, and with faculty in the Biomedical Sciences program at Marshall’s medical school.

Comprehensive Lab Facilities

Chemical instrumentation has become an essential component of both teaching and research in modern chemistry. Marshall is among the few medium-sized universities nationwide that offer the extensive collection of state-of-the-art chemical instrumentation used by the Marshall Chemistry department.

Career Opportunities
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of forensic science technicians, which includes forensic chemists and forensic biologists, is projected to grow 14 percent through 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. The ACS reports that job prospects are positive, given an increasing application of forensic science techniques to examine, solve and prevent crime. This includes greater use of DNA analysis, which is creating more jobs.
  • Forensic chemist
  • Forensic science technician
  • Crime scene analyst
  • Crime lab director
  • Drug chemistry analyst