Q) What forensic
does Ohio University offer?
A) The degree title is Forensic Chemistry. It is much more similar to a
chemistry degree than any other major. It is therefore likely to be
more rigorous (in terms of natural science requirements) than degrees
such as “forensic science” conferred from a social
science or criminal justice department.
Q) What department
college grants the degree?
A) The Department
of Chemistry and Biochemistry in
Q) Is the degree
A) Yes, the Forensic Chemistry degree has full FEPAC accreditation
(part of American
Academy of Forensic Sciences)
through 2012. Click here
to see a copy of our letter
of accreditation. We are
one of about a dozen undergraduate programs to hold accreditation.
Q) I really want to
CSI; is this degree right for me?
A) Firstly, the job description of a CSI is nothing like that shown on
the various TV shows. See this list
documents for more information.
Of the few ‘real’ CSI jobs
available, they usually involve the collection of evidence (with
possible inclusion of fingerprint developing) and the detailed
recording of the crime scene. You do not necessarily need the rigor of
our chemistry degree to perform these duties. That said, our degree
would certainly not inhibit your chances of obtaining this kind of job.
you would not consider pursuing a degree in chemistry, the forensic
chemistry major is probably not for you.
Q) What classes are
required to complete the degree?
A) See this
link for details
Q) I have already
classes at another undergraduate institution; will any of my classes
A) The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) answers questions related to
transfer credit. This
link will help for students attending a school in Ohio.
You should contact the college office or undergraduate
admissions directly. Typically, CAS requires a college transcript and a
detailed syllabus of each class to make these decisions.
Q) I have taken AP
classes. Will they count for anything?
decisions are made by the university and college admissions offices.
article for a list of AP transfer credits.
Q) Are there any
scholarships available and if so, how do I apply?
A) To guarantee consideration for all chemistry scholarships,
student must complete
a FAFSA form through the Office of Student Financial Aid
meet the other qualifications: 1) Shall be pursuing or intensding to
pursue a BS degree in any of the chemistry majors (chemistry, forensic,
environmental, pre-med, pre-pharm, pre-dent); 2) shall have been
admitted as a full time student to the OU Athens campus; 3) Shall have
applied for University sponsored tuition scholarships through the
Office of Student Financial Aids and Scholarships; 4) Shall have
demonstrated ability or potential for succesful performance in college
level study and for a career in chemistry.
Some scholarships are restricted to forensic
chemistry majors (BS3310) only. You
should consult with University’s Office of Admissions website
for information about University-level scholarships and other financial
Q) Do you require an
internship at a forensic laboratory?
A) No, internships are not required, but we do encourage them and we
will assist you in finding internship opportunities. We also offer the
ability to earn course credit for your internships by presenting
submitting a written summary of your internship experiences, and by
presenting a seminar to the forensic faculty about your experiences
during your internship.
Internships in forensic labs are tpyically unpaid and take place in the
summer between the junior and senior years. Most labs require a GPA of
at least 3.0/4 and prefer to have letters of recommendation from
departmental faculty. Feel free to contact the program director, Dr.
Harrington, for help about locating internship positions.
Q) Can I do anything
with a Forensic Chemistry degree other than be a forensic chemist?
A) Yes, of course. Historically, about 40% of our alumni have
successfully completed M.S., Ph.D., J.D., VMD, and M.D. degrees in a
of natural science and professional areas, including chemistry,
biochemistry, physics, toxicology, pharmacology, pharmacy, law and
medicine. Advanced degrees are usually
stepping-stones to careers in industry, government and academic careers.
In addition to learning to be a forensic chemist, the coursework
prepares you to think and act as an analytical chemist. Our graduates
are therefore competitive for any employment opportunities related to
analytical chemistry. Employment areas include the following:
State/Government: DEA, EPA, FDA, FBI, Defense Agencies, National
Industry: Crime labs, analytical labs, chemical industry,
pharmaceutical labs, biomedical labs, metallurgy labs, paint/polymer
industrial labs, cosmetic and fragrance labs, food manufacturers etc.
Q) I still have a
go before I graduate from high school. Are there any classes or
subjects I should focus on?
A) We recommend any advanced natural science classes you can take,
especially (in order of slight preference) chemistry, mathematics,
physics and biology. You will be expected to take a number of classes
in each of these areas at the college level (see list of required
courses for examples). The University
credit according to
the following table.
Q) I have a choice
languages at my high school: would Latin help in my science classes?
A) We do not recommend one foreign language over any others. However,
you should be aware that you can receive university credit for multiple
years of foreign language instruction at the high school level. See the
CAS website for details.
Q) What honors
are available and what do they offer?
A) Within the Department, we offer an Honor’s degree. This
entails signing up for additional research credit with a research
advisor of your choice and writing a senior thesis on your research
accomplishments. Honor’s students typically plan on pursuing
advanced degrees in chemistry.
Another option for above-average students is the Honor’s
Tutorial College (HTC). You can
develop your own specialized program
and receive one-on-one tutorial-style instruction from faculty.
Q) Can I get
forensic chemistry or chemistry research?
A) Yes, of course. Our chemistry faculty members are very research
active and usually supervise 2-5 undergraduates per quarter (in
addition to graduate students). Usually, an undergraduate student will
select an advisor in his/her junior year and stay with that advisor
until he/she graduates. It is the student’s responsibility to
contact faculty members to discuss potential projects. Usually,
students elect to sign up for research credit while performing
undergraduate research and this typically means three hours in the lab
for each credit hour.
Q) What facilities
the forensic chemistry program?
A) See this
link for details.
We also make use of research equipment in faculty members’
labs and around campus for undergraduate research.