It’s easy to see why forensic science fascinates so many people and inspired the creation of countless books, television shows, and movies. Forensic science combines natural sciences expertise with evidence analysis to solve crimes. Few careers can match such an intriguing job description.

For students in Wisconsin interested in a forensic science degree program, the Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science from Marian University is one of the state’s only forensic science bachelor programs. Graduates earn a chemistry minor while also gaining knowledge in biology, physics, math, and statistics.

Program graduates have gained employment in crime labs, medical labs, chemistry labs, medical examiner offices, and a variety of other workplaces. 

What Is Forensic Science?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, “forensic science and technology” focuses on applying natural sciences to analyze physical evidence at crime scenes, human testimony, and criminal suspects. Working in the field requires knowledge in many different disciplines, including:

  • Forensic medicine 
  • Forensic dentistry
  • Anthropology
  • Psychology
  • Entomology
  • Pathology
  • Forensic laboratory technology
  • Autopsy procedures
  • DNA analysis 
  • Blood pattern analysis
  • Crime scene analysis
  • Crime scene photography
  • Fingerprint technology
  • Document analysis
  • Witness and suspect examination procedures
  • Laws and regulations
  • Professional standards and ethics

Forensic Science Career

There’s no one career path in forensic science. Because the skills required are unique and in high demand, forensic scientists enjoy many options for deciding where they want their career to take them.

Where Do Forensic Scientists Work?

Forensic scientists may work in laboratories, in the field, or both. Professionals working in the field become experts at crime scene analysis and evidence collection. Those who work in the lab may become forensic biologists or forensic chemists, using their scientific knowledge to examine and analyze evidence. Some also specialize in cybercrime and become forensic computer examiners or digital forensics analysts.

What Do Forensic Scientists Get Paid?

In May 2020, the average annual pay for a forensic science technician in Wisconsin was $57,460, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The top 25% of those in the profession made more than $66,400, with the top 10% making more than $91,000. Demand is also high. Nationwide, projections call for a 14% increase in the number of forensic science jobs by 2029.

Marian’s BS in Forensic Science Program

In the Marian forensic science degree program, students learn to analyze and examine evidence from crime scenes and develop objective findings that can assist investigators in solving crimes.

Faculty in the program are experienced forensics professionals. They teach students the best practices used by leading scientists in the field. Students get hands-on experience in the university’s crime scene facility. They learn how to locate, document, recover, preserve and objectively analyze physical evidence at mock crime scenes and in the laboratory.

 Other topics in the curriculum include:

  • Criminal justice
  • DNA analysis
  • Expert witness testimony
  • Technical photography

Students can choose either an internship or research project, depending on their career goals. Former students have interned at the Fond du Lac Medical Examiner’s Office, Dodge County Medical Examiner’s Office, Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation Major Crimes Unit, and Wisconsin Department of Corrections SAFE Team.

Marian University welcomes students who have earned an associate degree in forensic science to earn their bachelor’s degree at Marian. The university will transfer up to 90 credits from other schools, shortening the time to earn a bachelor’s degree. Graduates from a Wisconsin Technical College will also receive a 10% tuition discount.  Marian also offers tuition discounts to various organizations, including professionals working in law enforcement.

For those interested in a forensic science bachelor’s program, the first step is to contact an admission counselor about your specific situation and find out what support Marian University can offer to help you reach your education goals.