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Forensic and Investigative Science

administrative contact

Lori Britton
Forensic and Investigative Science Program
forensicinfo@mail.wvu.edu
phone: 304-293-2578

program contact

Lori Britton
Forensic and Investigative Science Program
forensicinfo@mail.wvu.edu
phone: 304-293-2578

Program Details

Program Description

One of WVU’s most highly ranked majors, Forensic Investigative Science is for students with a passion for research and a desire to apply scientific analysis to legal proceedings.

WVU’s undergraduate program has three areas of emphasis: Forensic Examiner, Forensic Biology, and Forensic Chemistry. All students take the same courses the first year and then as part of the admissions process, select the area or areas in which to specialize. The curricula are designed to facilitate obtaining a second major in biology, chemistry or other areas.

How to choose? First, make sure you have a realistic understanding of what a forensic job is and what it entails. It is not like television where characters participate from crime scene through investigation, scientific analysis, and testimony. In reality, these responsibilities are compartmentalized. Crime scene analysts rarely work in the lab while forensic chemists and biologists rarely go to crime scenes. A good place to start your research is at the website of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and their sections on forensic careers and forensic jobs. Look over these job listings to get an idea of what the real world of forensic science is like.

Career Profile

Do you want to work in a laboratory or in the field? Are you more inclined to scientific laboratory environments or investigative work? Read the descriptions below to see what fits best and remember that you don’t have to choose until your sophomore year. However, knowing sooner makes it easier to plan your program and obtain the best second major to complement your program.

Forensic Examiner Track: This track prepares students for entry level positions as crime scene analysts, latent fingerprint examiners, forensic photographers, evidence technicians, investigators, and law enforcement officers and agents. It also is well suited as a pre-professional program for dental, medical, and law school.

Forensic Biology Track: This track prepares students for entry level positions in forensic labs as DNA analysts. It also is well suited as a pre-professional program and as excellent preparation for graduate work in biological disciplines. Forensic DNA work is a laboratory based profession with employment opportunities in local, state, federal, and private laboratories.

Forensic Chemistry and Toxicology Track: This track prepares students for entry level positions in forensic labs as forensic chemists, arson analyst and investigator, forensic toxicologists, and trace evidence examiners. Like the biology track, it too is well-suited as a pre-professional program and as excellent preparation for graduate work in biological disciplines. Forensic chemistry work is a laboratory based profession with employment opportunities in local, state, federal, and private laboratories.

English Language Proficiency

All applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. WVU accepts either the TOEFL or the IELTS for this purpose. Please see Office of Admissions - English Language Proficiency for more information.

Apply Now

Prospective students should apply online at:
apply.wvu.edu.

Accreditation

WVU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The Forensic and Investigative Science Program is fully accredited by the American Academy of Forensic Scientists, Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission.