Forensic Chemistry

Forensic Chemistry (BS)

Professor Paula Avila and USF student examining bullet.


Fill out this online form to learn more about USF's academic offerings.

USF’s program blends the science of chemistry with the science of human behavior, giving you the knowledge and skills needed to launch a career in the expansive field of forensic science.

As a Forensic Science student, you will:

  • Learn from professionals – active forensic scientists!
  • Work in our on-campus Forensic Lab with professional instrumentation
  • Get in the field with research & internship opportunities
  • Start your career in an analytical or forensic lab right after you graduate!

When I started my career, I felt prepared. Running multiple instruments is a big part of my job and I was able to jump right in. I think that says a lot about the Chemistry program and the way it prepares students!

Jordan Heim ’13
Systech Environmental Corporation

Academic Plan

An academic plan is a general blueprint showing how one might complete the degree, semester by semester.

Career Outlook & Success


Of our Forensic Chemistry graduates secure jobs in the field within 6 months of graduation!


Median salary for chemists


Expected job growth for forensic science technicians by 2026


Median salary (per U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Apply your Skills

Forensic Chemistry students expand their skills & knowledge through real-world applications.

I appreciate how this program teaches the most up-to-date information. In the forensics lab, for example, we go beyond the typical practices like fingerprinting and DNA analysis and we study genetics. I see the impact already: the grad schools I’m applying to have been impressed by the depth of our curriculum.

Selassie Ijelu ‘19
Forensic Chemistry major

Summer Research

Opportunities are limitless! One student went to Romania to do research on the forensics of juvenile osteology; another went to Kellogg Biological Station Lab in Michigan.


  • A & L Great Lakes Laboratory
  • Systech Environmental Corporation
  • Allen County Prosecutor’s Office
Forensic Chemistry student examining bullet.

Be Taught by Forensic Scientists!

Your courses will be taught by expert faculty & professionals who work in the field. For example:

  • A superior court judge teaches a course on Expert Witness Testimony
  • A chief firearm’s examiner teaches Criminal Evidence

On-Site Forensic Chemistry Lab

You’ll work and learn in our Forensic Chemistry Lab with up-to-date instrumentation including:

  • Confocal Microscope, used to run ballistic tests
  • DNA analysis: biotechnology & fingerprinting
  • Comparison microscope to view simultaneous samples, like hair and fiber from a crime scene
  • Scanning Electron Microscope with magnification up to 20,000x
  • Oxygen Combustion Bomb to sample soil and other trace elements

Ready to start?

I want to learn more

Fill out this online form to learn more about our academic offerings.

Program Director

Jean Elick, Ph.D.