The Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry at St. Edward’s prepares you for careers that — as depicted in popular TV dramas like CSI and NCIS — focus on the chemical analysis of substances relevant to the solving of crimes. We emphasize experiential learning. You’ll enroll in at least three semesters of research courses and join a student-faculty research group with the goal of producing and presenting professional-level work.
Students benefit from spacious, open-lab environments in the John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center and access to state-of-the-art instrumentation for innovative and collaborative research. St. Edward's is among the best-equipped small-college natural science programs in the country.
Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry
As a BS in Forensic Chemistry major, you’ll receive a thorough grounding in chemistry, forensics and criminal justice. You’ll learn to microscopically examine a range of crime scene evidence that might, for instance, confirm a suspect’s connection to a crime. You’ll analyze blood and tissue samples to identify DNA or run toxicology screens. You may also verify the chemical composition of drugs taken as evidence.
With a BS in Forensic Chemistry, graduates may work with private labs, police departments, coroner’s offices or fire departments, examining evidence related to crimes. They may also work with bomb squads, in the military, or at national agencies like the FBI or CIA. Some forensic chemists become specialists in certain kinds of identification, such as chemicals associated with explosives or toxic substances.
Many students select this degree to prepare for entry or graduate programs in forensic chemistry or chemistry for greater career advancement. Close interaction with faculty at St. Edward’s — and time spent in classes, labs, field work, advising sessions and program events — allows you to learn more about options for careers and graduate work.
For detailed descriptions and timing of courses, please see the Undergraduate Bulletin (course catalog).
I. FOUNDATION COURSES (21 CREDIT HOURS):
• Rhetoric and Composition I and II*
• Oral Communication
• Modern Language
II. CULTURAL FOUNDATIONS (18 CREDIT HOURS):
• Literature and Human Experience
• Understanding and Appreciating Arts
• American Experience
• American Dilemmas*
• History and Evolution of Global Processes
• Contemporary World Issues
III. MISSION COURSES (15 CREDIT HOURS):
• The Human Experience
• Religious Studies/Philosophy
• Science in Perspective
• Science in Depth
IV. CORE COURSES (68 CREDIT HOURS):
Chemistry Required Courses
• General Chemistry, Lab
• Chemistry Seminar
• Analytical Chemistry, Lab
• Organic Chemistry I, Lab
• Organic Chemistry II, Lab
• Spectroscopic, Chromatographic and Electrochemical Methods
• Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy
• Chemical Instrumentation Lab
• Forensic Chemistry
• Forensic Chemistry Laboratory
• Biochemistry I
• Research Methods
• Research (3 times)**
• Upper division Chemistry course
** Internship in Forensic Chemistry may be substituted for 1 hour of Research.
Criminal Justice Required Courses
• Criminal Evidence and Proof
• Introduction to Forensic Science
• Crime Scene Investigation I
• Crime Scene Investigation II
V. SUPPORTING REQUIRED COURSES (18 CREDIT HOURS):
• Calculus I, Lab
• Calculus II
• Mechanics and Waves, Lab or University Physics I
• Electricity, Magnetism and Optics, Lab or University Physics II
• History and Philosophy of Science
VI. CAPSTONE COURSE (3 CREDIT HOURS)
VII. GRADUATION CERTIFICATION:
You must register for this course in your graduating term to be certified for graduation.
* These courses are prerequisites for Capstone.
At St. Edward’s, you’ll participate in professional-level research typically reserved for graduate students at larger universities. Students work alongside professors on a variety of subjects within forensic chemistry. Engaging in professional-level research will sharpen your résumé, build your confidence and skills, and prepare you for graduate studies and your career.
Our students present their work — and win awards — at local, regional and national conferences, including these:
- American Chemical Society – National
- American Chemical Society – Southwest Region
- Texas Academy of Science
Students also present at St. Edward’s University events:
- Honors Thesis Symposium
- McNair Scholars Conference
- Senior Seminar Symposium in the School of Natural Sciences
- Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE)