Forensic science

Forensic Science

Finding answers to life’s challenging questions.

For some, there’s nothing quite like meeting a challenge head on. In the world of forensic science, this is what happens every day. As a professional in this field you’ll have a broad range of investigative responsibilities, and Marian's program will equip you with the analytical knowledge, skills and techniques it takes to get the job done.

Program Information

Marian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission .


The Mission of the Forensic Science Program is to prepare students for careers in forensic science, crime scene investigation, death investigation. The interdisciplinary nature of the curriculum also provides students the coursework necessary for careers in scientific laboratories or for graduate study in forensic science or professional health programs.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the major scientific principles behind forensic science analysis.
  • Understand how to recognize, collect, secure, and preserve physical evidence.
  • Understand how to perform physical, chemical, and/or biological analyses to locate and identify items having evidential value.
  • Understand how to interpret and compare analytical data generated from the analyses of physical/chemical evidence and known exemplars.
  • Understand how to recognize the potential for forensic examinations in areas outside an area of specialization, prioritize the sequence of examinations, and handle evidence accordingly.
  • Evaluate the appropriateness and/or the appropriate method of securing samples.
  • Understand the use of laboratory instrumentation.
  • Observe safe practices to ensure the safety of analysts.
  • Understand legal processes including courtroom testimony, relevant legal decisions and concepts.
  • Recognize and employ quality assurance measures to ensure the integrity of the analyses.
  • Understand the importance of impartial and ethical work practices.

The Program
The Forensic Science Program at Marian offers a distinctive interdisciplinary approach that brings together various aspects of biology, chemistry, mathematics, statistics, criminal justice, physics and forensic science. As a result, you will build essential skills in investigative processing, crime scene reconstruction, criminal laboratory science, DNA analysis, evidence handling, police science, expert witness testimony and technical photography.

General Education Program: 46–49 credits University requirements. Major satisfies natural sciences and mathematics common core and elective core requirements, laboratory science common core requirement, and social science elective core requirement..

Other requirements

The forensic science major requires completion of a concurrent minor in chemistry, including CHE 201, CHE 251, CHE 202, CHE 252, and CHE 302.

58–63 credits as follows:
50–52 credits:

BIO 101 Biological Principles I, 4 cr.
BIO 102 Biological Principles II, 4 cr.
BIO 301 Genetics & Lab, 4 cr.
CRJ 101 Intro to Criminal Justice System, 3 cr.
CRJ 302 Criminal Procedures, 3 cr.
CRJ 340 Principles of Judicial Practice, 3 cr.
FOS 105 Survey of Forensic Sciences, 1 cr.
FOS 300 Forensic Photography, 3 cr.
FOS 350 Forensic Photography Lab., 1 cr.
FOS 304 Rules of Evidence, 3 cr.
FOS 305 Crime Scene Investigation, 3 cr.
FOS 355 Crime Scene Investigation Lab., 1 cr.
FOS 405 Forensic Sciences, 3 cr.
FOS 455 Forensic Sciences Lab., 1 cr.
FOS 412 Forensic Science Literature and Seminar, 2 cr.
FOS 497 Internship, 1-3 cr.
PHS 203 University Physics I, 5 cr.
PHS 205 University Physics II, 5 cr.

3-4 credits:
MAT 122 Introduction to Probability and Statistics, 4 cr.
MAT 304 Introduction to Mathematical Statistics I, 3 cr.

5–7 credits from the following:

BIO 302 Cell and Molecular Biology, 4 cr.
CHE 301 Instrumental Analysis, 4 cr.
CHE 401 Physical Chemistry I, 3 cr.
CHE 451 Physical Chemistry I-Lab, 1 cr.
CHE 402 Physical Chemistry II, 3 cr.
CHE 452 Physical Chemistry II-Lab, 1 cr.
CHE 411 Advanced Organic Chemistry, 3 cr.
FOS 406 Detection & Recovery of Remains, 2 cr.
FOS 407 Bloodstain Pattern Analysis, 2 cr.
FOS 457 Bloodstain Pattern Analysis Lab, 1 cr.
FOS 408 Fingerprint Analysis, 2 cr.
FOS 458 Fingerprint Analysis Lab, 1 cr.
FOS 409 Advanced Forensic Photography, 2 cr.
FOS 459 Advanced Forensic Photography Lab., 1 cr.

Chemistry minor
25 credits:

CHE 101 Principles of Chemistry I, 4 cr.
CHE 102 Principles of Chemistry II, 4 cr.
CHE 201 Organic Chemistry I, 3 cr.
CHE 251 Organic Chemistry I Lab, 1 cr.
CHE 202 Organic Chemistry II, 3 cr.
CHE 252 Organic Chemistry II Lab, 1 cr.
CHE 300 Analytical Chemistry, 4 cr.
CHE 302 Biochemistry, 5 cr.

For more details regarding this program, view Marian’s Academic Bulletin.

As you might imagine, the forensic science program offers extensive hands-on training and an abundance of opportunities to apply what you’ve learned in meaningful settings. Some areas you might find yourself working include:

  • Automated Fingerprint Identification System
  • Bloodstain pattern analysis
  • Crime scene investigation
  • “CSI Effect”
  • Decomposition, detection, and recovery of remains
  • Fingerprint identification, recovery and analysis
  • Forensic photography and electronic digital imaging.

For more information, please contact:

Office of Admission

Diana Johnson, M.S.
Assistant Professor & Chair
Forensic Science Department

You might also be interested in these programs:

As much as anything, the forensic science program offers you versatility. When you graduate from the program, you’ll also have earned enough credits to be awarded a minor in chemistry. The broad nature of the program’s curriculum offers ideal preparation if you are looking to pursue an advanced degree and apply for graduate admission in medicine, dentistry, optometry and veterinary medicine.

Forensic Science majors must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 starting with entrance to the program and throughout the first semester of senior year. Forensic Science majors may not earn a grade lower than C in any of the required major or Chemistry minor courses.

As technology continues to evolve and agencies across the country are relying more on forensic science experts, the field will continue to see dramatic growth. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor projects the need for forensic science technicians to grow 19 percent through the year 2020. As a graduate of the program, you’ll be prepared to meet the professional and accreditation standards for forensic positions in private agencies, as well as at the local, state and federal levels.

There have been 10 Forensic Science graduates as of January 2016. The placement rate within six months of graduation is 100%. Sixty percent of graduates have been placed in the field.

Jace Klimeck

Jace Klimeck is a Forensic Scientist for the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory in Wausau, Wisconsin. Jace graduated from Marian University with a B.S. degree with a major in Forensic Science and a minor in Chemistry. (‘15)

Katelyn Lindsley

Katelyn Lindsley works for the Fond du Lac County Medical Examiner’s Office. She obtained a B.S. degree with a major in Forensic Science and minors in Chemistry and Psychology. (‘14)

Andrea Kessler is a Medico legal Investigator with the Rock County Medical Examiner’s Office. Andrea earned a B.S. degree with a major in Forensic Science and a minor in Chemistry from Marian University. (’14)

Diana Johnson

Diana Johnson, M.S.
Assistant Professor & Chair
Forensic Science Department

Christopher Engle-Tjaden, M.F.S.
Part-Time per Course Faculty
Forensic Science Department
Patrick Schoebel, B.S.
Part-Time per Course Faculty
Forensic Science Department


Did You Know?

At Erbert & Gerbert’s Bistro, Honey Wheat bread is the students’ favorite sub bread (Source: Sodexo Sales as of June 2014).

Campus Info

Marian University
45 S. National Ave.
Fond du Lac, WI 54935-4699


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