Additional Information about the BS Degree in Chemistry with the Forensic Science option.
The forensic science option is a combination of
courses that are taken in conjunction with a larger set of core courses
in chemistry, physics, and mathematics. This combination leads to a
B.S. degree in chemistry. The final course transcript will specify that
the student has earned the forensic science option.
The courses selected for the forensic science option are based on general course recommendations by directors and forensic scientists at state crime laboratories or faculty at institutions offering graduate degrees in forensic science or chemistry. Chemistry and other majors such as biochemistry and microbiology are normally regarded as providing a good foundation for working in crime labs and further training beyond the B.S. is normal. This further education may be formal education in a graduate school or "on the job" training in a crime lab. OSU does not offer courses in forensic chemistry, but the curriculum provides a strong analytical chemistry background and exposure to many of the techniques and instruments used in crime labs.
The OSU forensic science option allows a chemistry major to gain more experience in biology and biochemistry, as for premed and biochemistry options, and also allows the student to select some electives including toxicology, microbiology, environmental forensic chemistry, and statistics. This option also includes three advanced courses in analytical chemistry as is required for the advanced chemistry and environmental chemistry options. We believe that the combination of courses in the option will make a strong chemistry major at OSU more competitive for positions in crime labs or for continuing their education in forensic chemistry at a graduate school.
Students with the forensic science option are also well
prepared careers not directly involving forensic science. Possible areas include other types of laboratories
such as biotechnology, medical, or environmental or for pursuing graduate
degrees in chemistry and related areas where a stronger biological and
analytical background is advantageous.
Students entering the option program should be aware that obtaining positions in the forensic science area is very competitive. Many many applicants apply for one position. Employers will choose only the top students. Within Oregon there are less than 100 positions in state crime labs, and at most typically one or two positions open a year. The OSU BS chemistry degree with any option provides a strong science background credential that is suitable for pursuing many chemistry related professions or graduate degrees.
Links about Forensic Science (last updated May 2011)
Also see policies
1. CH 463 is the recommended WIC course but CH 462 is the recommended alternative and also a recommended extra lab course.
2. Both chemistry and biochemistry advanced laboratories can be scheduled to meet on TR so students should plan carefully if they choose biochemistry as an elective.
3. CH 411 and CH 412 are a sequence so that CH 411 is the specified inorganic chemistry course.
4. DHE 255 is now the accepted elective in textiles. Chemistry majors may need to get an override from DHE to enroll.
5. BI 211 is not specifically required by chemistry or
part of the total option credits but is an enforced
prerequisite for BI 314 as of Spring 07. BI 211, 212, & 213 can be taken in any
6. BI 314 is an enforced prerequisite for MB 302/303.
|COURSE NUMBER||TYPE OF COURSE||COMMENTS||Enforced pre-requisite|
|BB 492||biochemistry - 3rd term|
|BI 311||genetics||BI 314 strongly recommended|
|CH 401||research||three credits maximum toward option|
|CH 410||internship (external)||student makes own arrangements to work voluntarily or for pay at a crime lab, see internships|
|CH 424||bioanalytical chemistry||not taught often|
|CH 661||separations, chromatography and related methods|
|CH 691||environmental Chemistry of organic substances|
|CH 692||environmental transformation of organic compounds|
|CH 697||mass spectrometry of organic compounds|
|DHE 255||textiles||chem majors will need an override from the DHE office|
|MB 302, 303||microbiology lecture and lab||BI 314|
|ST 201 & 211||statistics|
|TOX 490||Environmental Forensic Chemistry|
|Z 331||human anatomy|
|Z 341||human anatomy lab|
Other suggestions for experience: guns such as a
safety course, photography (Art 261, 262, or 263) microscopy, MS 112 (100 & 200
level courses open to all). Corvallis offers a Citizens
Academy called "Cops and Robbers 101". It is a 10-week workshop, 3 hr/week,
optional 1 cr through LBCC and includes an overview of what Corvallis police do; includes learning to:
drive police car, shoot guns, fingerprint, etc. Usually offered in April. See the web page at:
last updated 09/09/2013 (cp)