B.S. Forensic Chemistry Degree

The B.S. in forensic chemistry is intended for students who are interested in careers as scientists in criminal investigation and law enforcement. Forensic chemistry applies analytical chemistry to aid the justice system in identification and quantification of substances collected at a crime scene. Students take relevant courses in chemistry and biology, study criminal investigation procedures, and undertake a summer internship in a crime laboratory.  The students that choose forensic chemistry as a major are advised that the student must past extensive background checks prior to forensic internship and employment opportunities.

The mission of the Forensic Chemistry Program at The University of Mississippi is to cultivate young inquisitive minds into problem solving instruments that are prepared to meet the demands in the forever changing technological arena of forensic science.

A major in forensic chemistry for the B.S. degree consists of the following 46 hours of chemistry courses: Chem 105, 106, 115, 116, 221, 222, 225, 226, 314, 331 or 334, 459, 463 (3 hours), 469, 470, 471, 473, 512.

Also required are Phys 211, 212, 221, 222 or Phys 213, 214, 223, 224; Math 261, 262, 375; Bisc 160, 161,162, 163, and 336; Phcl 381; Chem 319 or CJ 415; one course chosen from CJ 230, 310, or 410; and one course chosen from Csci 251, Bisc 440, or Chem 580.

The following courses may not be used for major credit: Chem 101, 103, 104, 113, 114, 121, 201, 202, 271, 293, 381, 382, 383 or 393.

Other Academic Requirements:

Students must earn 30 hours in residence, which must include Chem 314, 459, 463, 469, 470, 512, and Phcl 381. The capstone experience of this degree program (Chem 459) is a summer internship in a local, state, or federal crime laboratory.

ACS Certification: The addition of Chem 332, 401, and either 337 or 402 to the B. S. Forensic Chemistry curriculum satisfies the requirement for certification by the American Chemical Society.

The B.S. Chemistry degree is certified by the American Chemical Society.

 

Click here for a recommended typical curriculum for the Forensic Chemistry Program.

SAMPLE PROGRAM

FRESHMAN YEAR  
Courses:
Hours:
General Chemistry (CHEM 105, 106, 115, 116)
8
Writing Requirement (WRIT 100 or WRIT 101 and either WRIT 102 or LIBA 102)
6
Biology (Biology 160, 161, 162, 163)
8
Calculus (Mathematics 261, 262)
6
General Electives (Social Science or Humanities)
3
 
31
   
SOPHOMORE YEAR  
Courses:
Hours:
Organic Chemistry (CHEM 221, 222, 225, 226)
8
Genetics (BISC 336)
4
Foreign Language Requirement (111 and 211)
6
Physics (PHYS 211, 212, 221, 222 or PHYS 213, 214, 223, 224)
8
 
26
   
JUNIOR YEAR  
Courses:
Hours:
Analytical and Physical Chemistry (CHEM 314 and 331)
7
Instrumental Analysis (CHEM 469)
4
Statistics (MATH 375)
3
Forensic Methods Course (CHEM 319 or CJ 415)
3-4
Criminal Justice Course (CJ 230, 310, or 410)
3
English Literature Requirement (ENG 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, or 22X)
6
General Electives (Social Science or Humanities)
6
 
33-34
   
SUMMER SESSION  
Courses:
Hours:
Internship* (CHEM 459)
3
   
SENIOR YEAR  
Courses:
Hours:
Biochemistry and Forensic DNA (CHEM 470, 471, 473)
10
Advanced Instrumentation (CHEM 512)
3
Senior Research (CHEM 463)
3
Toxicology (PHCL 381)
3
Additional Science Course Requirement (CSCI 251 or BISC 440 or CHEM 580)
3
General Elective (Fine or Performing Arts)
3
 
25
   

*Requires completion of Instrumental Analysis (CHEM 469)

From Spring 2006-Spring 2015, the FEPAC accredited B.S. Forensic Chemistry degree was awarded to 98 graduates. Eighty-two percent of responding graduates reported employment in a forensics laboratory, graduate school, or scientifically related field.