Forensic Chemistry Degree

The popularity of shows like CSI has created a new appreciation for forensic scientists, and an increased demand for students with a forensic chemistry degree. Forensic science applies physical and biological science to help law enforcement officials solve crimes that might otherwise go unsolved if not for the evidence uncovered by the criminal science division. Forensic science also plays a hand in testing new drugs before the Food and Drug Administration approves them. Students who desire a fast paced and exciting career that can make a real difference if the lives of others may want to consider going to school for a forensic chemistry degree.

General Information About a Forensic Chemistry Degree

  • According to reports released by the U.S. Department of Labor, forensic science technician will be one of the fastest growing job opportunities in the country through 2014 for individuals that have at least an associate’s degree.
  • The National Academies, a collection of nonprofit institutions that provide expert opinions on pressing challenges that face the U.S., has published a report that recommends increased funding for forensic science education, training and research programs.
  • Graduates with a forensic chemistry degree come out of college in a position to fill the increased need for forensic scientists.
  • Forensic chemists find employment working for: local, state and federal crime labs, law enforcement agencies, medical examiners’ and coroners’ office in local and state offices, pharmaceutical, hospital, analytical and toxicology labs.

Forensic Chemistry Degree Curriculum

The curriculum in a forensic chemistry degree program will provide students with the basic knowledge they need to understand the theoretical background, practical skills, and scientific techniques used in modern crime labs around the country. General coursework will include:

  • Organic chemistry
  • Analytical chemistry
  • General chemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Biochemistry
  • Physics
  • Ethics
  • Criminal investigation
  • Judicial process

What are Some of the Top Schools That Offer a Forensic Chemistry Degree?


  • University of Mississippi in Oxford- The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry that teaches students the techniques need to examine substances found at the scene of a crime.
  • University of Central Florida in Orlando- Ranked in the top ten “Up and Coming Schools” in 2010 by U.S. News and World Report, the College of Science at the school offers a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science, and graduates have the option of also obtaining a Masters of Science in the field as well.
  • Loyola University in New Orleans- The seventh ranked school among all southern universities by U.S. News and World Reports 2011 ranking, the school’s College of Humanities and Natural Sciences offers a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry.
  • Boston University- The university has a biomedical forensic sciences department that offers both a bachelor’s and master’s degree program.
  • Texas A&M University in College Station- Has a Forensic and Investigative Sciences program that prepares students for careers that involve the collection and storage of crime scene evidence.

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