Program type:


On Campus
Est. time to complete:

2-3 semesters
Credit Hours:

Join forces with law enforcement and use cutting-edge equipment and scientific techniques to analyze evidence.
The Forensic Science certification program is available to Biology, Biochemistry or Chemistry majors. It is designed for students who intend to pursue a career in a crime laboratory or federal agency and prepares you for medical school if you want to become a medical examiner.Our strong curriculum follows the recommendations of the National Institute of Justice and primes you for the American Board of Criminalistics certification test.

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Why Earn a Forensic Science Certificate?

Advances in technology have created a need for students in basic sciences to apply the tools of technology to a wide variety of criminal investigations.

The forensic science program offers a certificate in forensic science for biology, biochemistry and chemistry students. The certificate is designed to enable students in degree programs in biological sciences and chemistry to begin careers in forensic laboratories.

UNT's Forensic Science Certificate consists of courses covering topics in Forensic Science. This certificate includes courses in the biological sciences, chemistry and criminal justice departments at UNT and requires a B.S. degree in Biology, Biochemistry or Chemistry, a Forensic Science internship and the Forensic Science Assessment Test.

The program is made up of three tracks, including a Bachelor of Science in Biology, a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. The B.S. in Biology includes a chemistry minor, and the B.S. in Chemistry and Biochemistry includes a biology minor. The different tracks prepare students to enter the field in their chosen specialty.

The undergraduate degree is considered an interdisciplinary degree and has associated with it extensive laboratory work in both biology and chemistry regardless of the core track.

Marketable Skills
  • A thorough grounding in the natural sciences
  • How to build upon this background through a series of more advanced science classes
  • An appreciation of issues specific to forensic science cultivated through course work and laboratory-based instruction

Forensic Science Certificate Highlights

UNT has one of only 35 programs accredited by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
You will receive instruction from nationally certified faculty members who conduct ongoing research in forensic science and have provided expert testimony in high-profile court cases.
Our strong curriculum follows the recommendations of the National Institute of Justice and primes you for the American Board of Criminalistics certification test.
Facilities include a criminalistics lab focusing on fingerprint, ballistic and laser analysis, where students use the same cutting-edge equipment featured in the nation's top crime labs.
Students can participate in the Forensic Science Club, which is designed to enable students learn about the career field, establish a presence in the American Association of Forensic Science (AAFS) and to form student and professional networks which are dedicated to the improvement of forensic science through the application of science to law.
Faculty members will work closely with you to help find an internship to fulfill your certificate requirements. These internships are available in crime labs, crime scene investigations, forensic anthropology, forensic chemistry labs and forensic DNA labs.

Career Outlook

A Certification in Forensic Science at the University of North Texas can lead to careers in:

  • Arson investigation
  • Ballistics or firearm analysis
  • DNA analysis
  • Drug and trace analysis

Forensic Science Certificate Courses You Could Take

Principles of Forensic Science (3 hrs)
This course is designed to reinforce knowledge of forensic techniques and skills critical to evidence preservation and collection. It will also provide students with an understanding of professional ethics in forensic science and courtroom techniques.
Criminal Investigations (3 hrs)
Study of methods of obtaining and reporting information from the crime scene, victims, witnesses and suspects. Specific attention is given to investigation of index crimes (homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, arson, motor vehicle theft and larceny).
Biomedical Criminalistics (3 hrs)
Survey of the various forensic sciences with emphasis on direct examination of human remains and directly related biological evidence; e.g. anthropology, pathology, odontology. Students learn how cases arise, i.e. how remains are located, recovered and processed. Supporting biological, clinical and physical sciences will also be covered; e.g. toxicology, entomology, DNA science, forensic geology/palynology and remote sensing.
Forensic Microscopy (3 hrs)
Introduction to microscopic analysis with emphasis on the fundamentals necessary for identification and characterization of trace evidence materials such as glass, hair, fibers, explosives, soil, paint and biological samples.
Forensic Chemistry (3 hrs)
Analytical chemistry applied to forensic science. Statistics and error analysis of drugs and physical evidence. Identification and analysis of forensic evidence through absorption and transmission spectroscopy, chromatography (TLC, HPLC, GC), electrophoresis, mass spectrometry, and atomic emission and analysis.
Instrumental Analysis (3 hrs)
Principles and theory of chemical analysis utilizing absorption spectroscopy in ultraviolet, visible and infrared regions, nuclear and electron spin resonance, mass spectrometry, chromatography, polarography and other advanced instrumental techniques.

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