Forensic Science

Your future in Forensic Science

Do you like a good mystery? One that tests your scientific knowledge and requires top-notch problemsolving skills? One that demands strong analytical skills to examine evidence and re-create a crime scene? These are some of the skills you need for a successful career in the fast-growing field of forensic science.

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

What we offer

The Forensic Science certification program is available to Biology, Biochemistry or Chemistry majors. It's 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.

You'll receive instruction from nationally certified faculty members who conduct ongoing research in forensic science. They've also provided expert testimony in high-profile court cases. Our distinguished faculty includes Dr. Harrell Gill-King, a world renowned forensic anthropologist who helped identify victims of the Oklahoma City bombings, World Trade Center tragedy and Hurricane Katrina.

We utilize the same cutting-edge equipment featured in the nation's top crime labs. These range from gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for arson investigations to high-performance liquid chromatography for drug and trace analysis from a crime scene. Our facilities include a criminalistics lab specializing in fingerprint, ballistic and laser analysis.

We're one of the only bachelor's programs in Texas accredited by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (410 North 21st St.; Colorado Springs, Colo. 80904; telephone 719-636-1100). This distinction means we meet or exceed high standards for excellence in education.

What to expect

You can take courses in your major and the 19 credit hours of required forensic science course work simultaneously. The forensic science courses cover criminal investigation, biomedical criminalistics, forensic microscopy, forensic chemistry and instrumental analysis. You must also successfully complete the Forensic Science Assessment Test.

You'll be required to participate in an internship. Faculty members will work closely with you to find an internship that fits your interest area.

Internships are available in:

  • Crime labs
  • Crime scene investigations
  • Forensic anthropology
  • Forensic chemistry labs
  • Forensic DNA/genetics labs

How to apply to the program

Incoming freshmen

  • Apply and be accepted to UNT
  • Fulfill the College of Arts and Sciences' math requirement
  • Complete the program application
  • Complete an interview with Dr. Teresa Golden, forensic science program director

Transfer students

  • Complete 30 credit hours of college course work
  • Fulfill the College of Arts and Sciences' math requirement
  • Complete the program application
  • Complete an interview with Dr. Teresa Golden, forensic science program director

Your overall GPA is also considered when applying to the program.


High school students

We encourage you to fulfill the graduation requirements for the distinguished level of achievement under the Texas Foundation, Recommended or Distinguished Achievement high school program or the equivalent.

In your junior year, take the SAT or ACT and have your scores sent to UNT.

In your senior year, apply for admission at by March 1 and request that your high school transcript be sent to the UNT admissions office.

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses can count toward college credit at UNT.

Transfer students

If you're attending a Texas community college, you should consult our online transfer guides, the UNT Undergraduate Catalog and an academic counselor or advisor to review your degree plan. Proper planning will allow you to receive the maximum amount of transfer credits.

Our Transfer Center will help you make a successful transition to college life at UNT by connecting you with a peer mentor and other campus resources. Each year, 3,800 students transfer to UNT.