Chemistry - Forensic Chemistry - Concentration | UW-Superior

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Chemistry - Forensic Chemistry - Concentration

UW-Superior offers a challenging concentration in Forensic Chemistry. This area of chemistry is of interest to many people, in part due to the success of the popular TV programs (such as Cold Case Files and the CSI series) where methods of Forensic Chemistry are used to solve crimes. Interestingly, the success of these TV series also increases the need for specialists in forensics because prosecutors find juries increasingly demanding that excruciatingly convincing proof of guilt (obtained using forensic science methods and techniques) be produced to obtain a conviction. The U.S. Department of Labor and the American Chemical Society are both optimistic about the job prospects for forensic chemists.

In the past, we have successfully trained students to become employed in forensic labs such as the Minneapolis Crime Lab. The forensic chemistry concentration differs from the university's chemistry major by focusing more on analytical chemistry and including biology courses that cover topics such as DNA analysis. Students enrolling in existing chemistry courses also will find new laboratory experiments in topics such as infrared analysis and fluorescence. In the new concentration, we have limited the number of chemistry, physics, and math courses for prospective majors to take. At the same time, the selected courses satisfy the admission requirements in many Forensic Chemistry/ Forensic Science graduate programs, so that our graduates can continue their education in their chosen area if desired.

Professors in each of the major areas comprising the curriculum (chemistry, biology, and criminal justice) have appropriate experience teaching their respective disciplines and hold doctorate degrees from leading universities. One of the courses in criminal justice, LSTU 212, is traditionally taught by an instructor with significant practical experience in the field (FBI or local law enforcement) which would provide students with important insights into how the system works.

Degrees and Majors/Minors:

Major: Chemistry -- Forensic Chemistry Concentration

Let's talk Forensic Chemistry

  • Small classes and laboratory sessions, especially in advanced courses.
  • All faculty members have earned doctorate degrees from world-renowned universities.
  • Students can work within the department as laboratory assistants and with faculty members as research assistants.
  • Students have access to modern laboratory techniques such as thermal cycler for DNA fingerprinting, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Infrared Spectroscopy, Laser Optics, biotechnology instrumentation and many others.
  • Forensic Chemistry majors are eligible for Swenson Scholarships that pay for up to four years of tuition and books.

What can you do with a degree in Forensic Chemistry from UW-Superior?

Jurors nowadays increasingly demand forensic evidence, which in turn increases the demand for forensic specialists. Both the American Chemical Society and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics are optimistic regarding the job prospects for forensic chemists.

They can be employed in:

  • state and federal crime labs
  • law enforcement agencies
  • medical examiners' and coroners' offices
  • pharmaceutical and toxicology laboratories

You can also continue your education at a number of graduate schools in the areas of Forensic Chemistry/Forensic Science.

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