Program type:


On Campus
Est. time to complete:

4 years
Credit Hours:

Find critical clues at the elemental level with a deep foundation in chemistry and cutting-edge forensic techniques.
UNT's BS in Chemistry with a Forensic Science concentration prepares students for careers in crime laboratories, where they can use deep knowledge of chemistry to uncover evidence. Students can also prepare for medical school, to pursue careers as medical examiners. Students earn a Certificate in Forensic Science as part of the program.

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Why Earn a Forensic Science Chemistry Degree?

The undergraduate certificate program in Forensic Science at the University of North Texas offers a strong curriculum based on natural science degrees (in Chemistry, Biology, or Biochemistry) that have been in place for over 50 years. The Forensic Science curriculum ensures that each student:

  • Obtains a thorough grounding in the natural sciences,
  • Builds upon this background by taking a series of more advanced science classes, and
  • Develops, through course work, laboratory-based instruction, and internships, an appreciation of issues and techniques specific to forensic science.

The Forensic Science program strives to:

  • Deliver a complete and rigorous curriculum designed to develop undergraduate students' understanding of the fundamentals of forensic science, critical thinking, and laboratory skills
  • Regularly review and update course content and forensic techniques taught to ensure the incorporation of current forensic practices in the curriculum
  • Involve students in active inquiry and scholarship, developing a research mindset and desire for continuation within the field
  • Foster learning in a community environment through research and internship opportunities
  • Encourage student involvement in professional societies to enhance appreciation of their chosen field.

The forensic science course work includes Biomedical Criminalistics, Forensic Microscopy, and Instrumental Analysis, among other forensics-oriented courses. You must also successfully complete the Forensic Science Assessment Test.

Our faculty include nationally and internationally recognized experts in forensic analytical chemistry, forensic anthropology, and forensic biochemistry, all of whom have had real-world experience in the forensics field.

Marketable Skills
  • Operation of modern spectrometric instrumentation
  • Operation of modern chromatographic instrumentation
  • Application of appropriate statistical methods
  • Safe handling of stable compounds
  • Laboratory notebook keeping

Forensic Science Chemistry Degree Highlights

Many opportunities are available for our students to participate in undergraduate research. This helps you prepare for graduate school, gain experience for an internship, or publish in a scientific journal.
Our faculty members include professors who have achieved national and international recognition for their scholarship. Their research spans the traditional areas of analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry, as well as interdisciplinary fields like chemical biology, materials chemistry, and chemistry education.
The forensic science program is one of only 38 programs nationwide certified by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
Students use the same cutting-edge equipment featured in the nation's top crime labs.
Facilities include a new criminalistics lab focusing on fingerprint, ballistic and laser analysis.
The Chemistry program is recognized for its excellence in education, earning accreditation from the American Chemical Society. This distinction means we meet or exceed high standards for excellence in education.

Career Outlook

Forensic scientists work in crime laboratories as forensic chemists and biologists. Their jobs may include the following responsibilities:

  • Applying principles and techniques of the physical and natural sciences to the analysis of the many types of evidence that may be recovered during a criminal investigation
  • Providing expert court testimony. An expert witness is called on to evaluate evidence based on specialized training and experience, then express an opinion as to the significance of the findings
  • Participating in training law enforcement personnel in the proper recognition, collection and preservation of physical evidence

Other specialized forensic science careers outside the crime laboratory include:

  • Forensic pathology
  • Forensic anthropology
  • Forensic entomology
  • Forensic psychiatry
  • Forensic odontology
  • Forensic engineering

Forensic Science Chemistry Degree Courses You Could Take

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.
Biochemistry I (3 hrs)
Chemistry and biochemistry of carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids and proteins, and nucleic acids; biochemical energetics, enzyme catalysis, vitamins and coenzymes, and their interrelationships in energy-producing cycles and pathways.
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.
Forensic Science Analysis (3 hrs)
This course is designed to provide the student with a comprehensive understanding of today’s crime laboratories and investigative techniques used in the proper collection, preservation, and
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; for example, toxicology, entomology, DNA science, forensic geology/palynology and remote sensing.
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.

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