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Forensic Science ,BS

Forensic Science, BS

Biology, Crime Lab, Crime Scene Investigator, DNA, Forensic Science, Forensic Scientist, Forensics, Science, approved for STEM-OPT extension, chemistry, crime analysis, law, prelaw, premed, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)

Delve into a world where science meets the justice system, and gain practical experience in solving real-life cases while learning scientific techniques for collecting and analyzing crime scene evidence.

Program description

Forensic science is the study and application of scientific methods to matters of law.

The BS degree program in forensic science at ASU is built on a solid foundation in both biology and chemistry, which develop students' basic and upper-level laboratory skills. Students complete holistic, rigorous coursework in the natural and mathematical sciences to adequately prepare for entering a competitive workforce. The interdisciplinary nature of the program is uniquely positioned to train students in forensic techniques ranging from crime scene collection, evidence analysis and mock courtroom testimony.

Along with completing coursework and gaining the necessary scientific skills to succeed in this field, students have the opportunity to gain practical experience in a laboratory setting by being involved in research or an internship. Students can conduct research under experts of varying forensic fields, including biology, entomology and anthropology. Students also may seek to apply for and participate in forensic science internships sponsored by crime labs around the country. Internships are highly competitive.

Job applicants and students seeking a volunteer or internship position within a crime lab are required to undergo an extensive background check that includes a polygraph exam, fingerprinting and drug testing. Actions that can disqualify an applicant include recent or past illicit drug use (including marijuana), felony convictions and drunk driving convictions.

This major is eligible for the Western Undergraduate Exchange program at the following location: West Valley campus. Students from Western states who select this major and campus may be eligible for reduced nonresident tuition at a rate of 150% of Arizona resident tuition plus all applicable fees. Students should click the link for more information and eligibility requirements of the WUE program.

STEM-OPT for international students on F-1 visas

This program may be eligible for an Optional Practical Training extension for up to 36 months. This OPT work authorization term may help international students gain skills and experience in the U.S. Those interested in an OPT extension should review ASU degrees that qualify for the STEM-OPT extension at ASU's International Students and Scholars Center website.

The OPT extension only applies to students on an F-1 visa and does not apply to students completing the degree through ASU Online.

At a glance
  • Second language requirement: No
  • First required math course: MAT 210 - Brief Calculus
    or MAT 251 Calculus for Life Sciences
  • Math intensity: Moderateprogram math intensity moderate

Required courses (Major Map)
Concurrent program options
Students pursuing concurrent degrees (also known as a “double major”) earn two distinct degrees and receive two diplomas. Working with their academic advisors, students can create their own concurrent degree combination. Some combinations are not possible due to high levels of overlap in curriculum.
Admission requirements

General university admission requirements:

All students are required to meet general university admission requirements.
First-year | Transfer | International | Readmission

Tuition information
When it comes to paying for higher education, everyone’s situation is different. Students can learn about ASU tuition and financial aid options to find out which will work best for them.
Change of Major requirements

A current ASU student has no additional requirements for changing majors.

Students should visit the Change of Major form for information about how to change a major to this program.

Attend online
ASU Online

ASU offers this program in an online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. Applicants may view the program’s ASU Online page for program descriptions and to request more information.

ASU Local

It is now possible to earn an ASU degree with ASU Local, an integrated college experience in which students take advantage of in-person success coaching and programming experiences on site while completing one of 130+ undergraduate online degree programs, all of which come with online faculty interaction and tutoring support.

Transfer options

ASU is committed to helping students thrive by offering tools that allow personalization of the transfer path to ASU. Students may use MyPath2ASU® to outline a list of recommended courses to take prior to transfer.

ASU has transfer partnerships in Arizona and across the country to create a simplified transfer experience for students. These pathway programs include exclusive benefits, tools and resources, and they help students save time and money in their college journey.

Global opportunities
Global experience

Students can learn about science and law enforcement in other countries through study abroad. Being immersed in another culture broadens horizons and develops professional skills such as cross-cultural communication and critical thinking.

With more than 300 options available, Global Education programs allow students to tailor their educational experience to their unique interests and skill sets. Whether in a foreign country, in the U.S. or online, students in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences can explore how their varied fields and interests interact in different settings around the world.

Career opportunities

Scientific and technological advances in the field of forensic science as well as continually increasing caseloads in law enforcement are projected to increase the number of forensic science technicians needed over the next decade. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that between 2016 and 2026 employment of forensic science technicians will increase 17%, an average increase much greater than in most occupations.

Graduates of the forensic science program are prepared to enter the workforce in crime labs and private forensic science labs at the local, state and federal levels. Graduates also are prepared for graduate programs in forensic science, law school, medical school and related fields.

Example job titles and salaries listed below are not necessarily entry level, and students should take into consideration how years of experience and geographical location may affect pay scales. Some jobs also may require advanced degrees, certifications or state-specific licensure.

Career *Growth *Median salary
Chemist   Bright Outlook
Not available
* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

Bright OutlookBright Outlook

Contact information
What are accelerated programs?
Accelerated programs allow students the opportunity to expedite the completion of their degree.

3 year programs

These programs allow students to fast-track their studies after admission and earn a bachelor's degree in three years or fewer while participating in the same high-quality educational experience of a 4-year option. Students should talk to their academic advisor to get started.

Accelerated master's

These programs allow students to accelerate their studies to earn a bachelor's plus a master's degree in as few as five years (for some programs).

Each program has requirements students must meet to be eligible for consideration. Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. Students typically receive approval to pursue the accelerated master’s during the junior year of their bachelor's degree program. Interested students can learn about eligibility requirements and how to apply.
What are concurrent programs?
Concurrent degrees allow students to pursue their own personal or professional interests, earn two distinct degrees and receive two diplomas. To add a concurrent degree to your existing degree, work with your academic advisor.
What are joint programs?
Joint programs, or jointly conferred degrees, are offered by more than one college and provide opportunities for students to take advantage of the academic strengths of two academic units. Upon graduation, students are awarded one degree and one diploma conferred by two colleges.

What constitutes a new program?
ASU adds new programs to Degree Search frequently. Come back often and look for the “New Programs” option.
What are online programs?
ASU Online offers programs in an entirely online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. See for more information.
What is the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE)?
The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) is a program in which residents of western states (other than Arizona) may be eligible for reduced nonresident tuition. See more information and eligibility requirements on the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) program.

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