Why Study Forensic Chemistry?

Do you get excited watching crime investigation shows, and think it would be fun to work in a crime lab solving similar cases? Consider a degree in Forensic Chemistry.

USF’s Forensic Chemistry program combines laboratory techniques and forensic science knowledge, so you can start your career in analytical or forensic laboratories right after you graduate.

But, is it right for me?

We asked our professors and they said forensic chemistry scientists:

  • Appreciate detailed information and analysis
  • Have physical stamina to work long hours
  • Can keep their composure in difficult situations
  • Enjoy problem-solving

Skills You'll Obtain

Laboratory techniques to perform forensic sample analyses

Expertise operating forensic instrumentation

Ability to provide strong, evidence-based testimonies

After Graduation

Most forensic chemists spend their career working at a federal, state, or county lab associated with the medical examiner’s office. About 90% of forensic chemists work in labs associated with a federal, state, or local police department, medical examiner’s office, forensic services lab, or branch of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). However, there are different types of careers available, including those in other fields of forensic science, academia, or administration. Chemists can also move up within an organization to a position as the director of a crime lab supervising other forensic scientists rather than being involved in day-to-day analysis. A director is also responsible for case review and general lab management.

Types of places you may work after you graduate include:

  • Crime labs
  • DNA analysis labs
  • Police departments and offices
  • Medical examiner/coroners offices