The Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science at St. Edward’s University goes beyond the crime scene investigations depicted on television and in movies. Our Forensic Science program includes diverse coursework that prepares students to solve crimes using practical scientific application to criminal cases.
As a forensic science major, you’ll work alongside faculty in the spacious, open-lab environment of the John Brooks Williams Natural Science Building at St. Edward’s. You’ll have access to instrumentation for innovative and collaborative research, and “mock” crime scene rooms that simulate common field experiences.
Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
The BS in Forensic Science relies on a balance between practical, applied scientific principles and the law. This combination allows for scientific methodologies to be applied to criminal cases, thus solving more crimes. As a forensic science major, you’ll develop the knowledge and fundamental skills necessary for crime scene processing — including latent fingerprint processing, biological identification, forensic photography, and aspects of death investigations centered on determining the cause and manner of death.
With a BS in Forensic Science, graduates are eligible for entry-level positions as crime scene technicians or fingerprint technicians, or they may pursue advanced degrees in general forensic science or other specialized fields. Our graduates have found rewarding careers with the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory, the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office, the Austin Police Department, and other jobs relating to science and the law.
Close interaction with forensic science faculty at St. Edward’s — and time spent in classes, labs, advising sessions and departmental events — allows you to learn more about career options and choosing classes that are specific to your field of interest.
In addition to the general education courses required of all majors, and elective courses, BS in Forensic Science majors take courses from these groups:
Students who major in forensic science complete core courses, which include Crime Scene Investigations I and II, Crime Scene Photography, Administration of Justice, and Criminal Evidence and Proof. Additional “Aspects" courses allow students to learn more about their specific area of interest during their program.
BS in Forensic Science majors complete supporting courses, which could include General Biology, General Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology, and Social Statistics.
Students will choose one of three thematic tracks within Forensic Science: biology, criminal justice or general forensic science.
As a forensic science major, you’ll conclude your studies with a senior research project, designed to provide hands-on experience in your chosen area of interest. One example of a former senior research project was “Genetic STR Typing Using Chip Electrophoresis” — which gave students experience with DNA extraction, experimental design, real-time PCR and data analysis.
View the Degree Plan (PDF) for sample course information for the Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science.
Students majoring in forensic science at St. Edward’s complete internships each year with top law enforcement agencies and criminal justice organizations. Internships are excellent opportunities to explore your passions in a specialized area of forensic science and to learn new skills and collaborate with experts in the field. An internship experience is an outstanding addition to your résumé and can give you a distinct advantage for graduate school or your career path in forensic science.
Forensic science majors have earned highly competitive internships at state and local agencies, including the Austin Police Department and the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office.
At St. Edward’s, you’ll participate in professional-level research typically reserved for graduate students at larger universities. Forensic science majors work alongside professors to conduct academic research, as they build confidence and skills that prepare them for graduate school or criminal justice careers.
Our students not only conduct research, they publish and present their work — and win awards — at local, regional and national conferences. Forensic science majors have participated in forums such as these:
- American Chemical Society Conference
- Texas Division of the International Association for Identification Conference
- World History Association of Texas Conference
The opportunities to attend conferences, participate in workshops and make important social connections add valuable experience that benefits forensic science majors long after graduation.