B.S. in Forensic Chemistry
Apply the principles and tools of chemistry to the analysis of evidence in criminal investigations.
Forensic chemistry students at the University of Mississippi focus on analytical chemistry and biochemistry/molecular biology, with a capstone internship experience and participation in research.
The nationally ranked University of Mississippi Forensic Chemistry program is one of only a few chemistry programs accredited by the Forensic Education Programs Accreditation Committee. The required internship experience is a unique aspect of the program.
A liberal arts education prepares graduates to deal with complexity and change. They gain key skills in communication, problem-solving, and working with diverse groups. Graduates gain employment in forensic chemistry labs associated with state or local police departments, medical examiner's offices, forensic services labs, private forensic labs, and even the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The 10-week required internship at a state or federal crime laboratory provides these laboratories with the opportunity to recruit students for future employment. Students must also perform original research that must be presented to a minimum of three faculty members or presented at local, regional, or national conferences.
B.S. in Forensic Chemistry Faculty
The faculty members in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Mississippi have expertise in analytical, biochemical, computational, electrochemical, environmental, forensic, inorganic, organic, physical, and theoretical chemistry.
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, 441, 459, 469, 470, 471, 473, 512. \With prior departmental approval, 3 hours of Chem 463 may substitute for Chem 441. 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.
To enroll in the program, students must have successfully completed Chem 105 or have a minimum ACT mathematics score of 25 (SAT 580 or SATR 600). Students who live in certain states associated with the Southern Regional Education Board's Academic Common Market program may have the out-of-state fee waived if the student's home state does not have a Forensic Chemistry program.
Caroline (2014) studied abroad at the University of Leicester, where DNA fingerprinting was discovered in the 1980s. She later interned with Dr. John Bond in Leicester where they developed fingerprints on receipts, or thermal paper. Their research was later published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences. Currently earning a Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Mississippi, Caroline has presented at conferences around the country on her forensic chemistry research, including DNA analysis, drug analysis and illicit drug studies using computational chemistry.
Why study forensic chemistry at UM?
"UM has one of the top forensic chemistry programs in the country. We offer a wide variety of classes to cover most areas of forensic science, such as DNA, toxicology, analytical chemistry, criminal justice and many more. Our program is also unique in that it requires both research experience and a summer internship. Internships are a fantastic way to gain hands-on experience in the field and can lead to potential employment opportunities following graduation."
Join the Forensic Chemistry Club, American Chemical Society, and/or the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers.