Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

Wisconsin’s only bachelor’s in forensic science program with a foundation in the natural sciences.

The Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science program teaches how to examine and analyze evidence from crime scenes to develop objective findings that can assist in crime investigation. Students gain the knowledge, skills, and analytical techniques needed to enter the field through coursework taught by faculty with professional field experience.

We train students in the best practices used by today’s leading laboratory scientists and set individuals up for success thorough preparation in a wide array of disciplines – forensic science, criminal justice, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and statistics.

Why become a forensic scientist at Marian?

  • Learn how to manage a crime scene in our laboratory
  • Earn both a major in forensic science and a minor in chemistry
  • Acquire knowledge from professors who have job experience in forensic science
  • Choose either an internship or research project based on your career goals
  • Understand how the power of science can help solve crimes
  • Major or minor in forensic science

Become a forensic scientist and help solve crimes.

Crime Scene Laboratory
– A Unique Learning Experience

The BS Forensic Science program offers a unique learning experience adjacent to campus. Our crime scene laboratory is a dedicated house designated for the setup of mock crime scenes. Field-based laboratory courses are held at the facility and provide students hands-on experience that shows how to locate, document, recover, preserve, and analyze physical evidence in an objective manner.

Learn More About the Forensic Science Degree Program

Listen to Diana Johnson, Program Director for Forensic Science, as she tells you about how the degree will teach you how to solve crimes. If you like mysteries or enjoy watching crime scene TV shows, then a career in forensic science may be for you. The curriculum includes not only lectures but also hands on laboratory classes in our crime scene facility across from campus. Your field based learning includes analyzing a crime scene, documenting/collecting the evidence, and preserving the evidence. The program also includes courses to complete a minor in chemistry. Graduates hold jobs as death investigators and lab scientists and some progress to graduate school.

Gain Work Experience

Students may complete an internship with participating agencies. Below is a partial list of agencies that have hosted interns:

  • Fond du Lac Medical Examiner’s Office
  • Dodge County Medical Examiner’s Office
  • Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation Major Crimes Unit
  • Wisconsin Department of Corrections SAFE Team

Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science Curriculum

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. The forensic science major requires completion of a concurrent minor in chemistry.

Academic Bulletin
SAMPLE COURSE PLAN
FACULTY DIRECTORY

General Education Courses

As a bachelor’s level student, you are required to take about 30 credits of general education courses as part of the 120 credits required for a bachelor’s degree.  General Education courses are required regardless of your major.

All students take 10.5 to 17 credits in these areas:

  • Mathematical Reasoning
  • Argumentative and Research Writing
  • Introduction to Christian Theology
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Introduction to Ethical Reasoning
  • First Year Studies

Core Courses

Forensic science majors will take courses covering topics such as:

  • Genetics and Lab
  • Forensic Sciences
  • Forensic Photography
  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Organic Chemistry

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.

Mission:

We prepare students for careers in forensic science, crime scene investigation or 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.

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. Careers in forensic science are among the fastest growing in the U.S., with employment in the field projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow 14 percent by 2028.

The Marian University 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 in forensic science, chemistry, biology, medicine, dentistry, optometry, or veterinary medicine, or other related fields.

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