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About the B.S. in Forensic Science Degree

Why Study Forensic Science at Cedarville?

Do you love science? Like to solve puzzles? Have a strong sense of justice? Cedarville’s distinctly Christian B.S. in forensic science is a great way to combine all three! A degree in forensic science will prepare you to apply the scientific method to criminal investigations. You’ll be able to use the full power of scientific knowledge to analyze evidence and interpret the results.

Forensic scientists do everything from determining the chemical compositions of substances through a mixture of simple chemical tests and high-tech instrumental analysis to extracting and analyzing the DNA from blood and other evidence to match DNA from a crime scene to DNA from a suspect. Sound interesting? Cedarville can help you pursue this fascinating career!

Cedarville’s forensic science major is an interdisciplinary program that includes substantial laboratory work, an internship experience at a crime lab, and an emphasis on advanced coursework in the sciences. And with Cedarville’s biblical integration in every course, you’ll discover how the science you are learning connects with God’s Word and how you can use your career for His glory.

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What Sets Cedarville Apart?

Program Overview

Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science Highlights

Biblical — You will learn how science and Scripture intersect through courses that integrate the Bible and recognize God’s Word as the ultimate authority in every area. You’ll discover that as a Christian forensic scientist, it is critical that you analyze evidence in a way that is both accurate and ethical. Proverbs 17:15 says “He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the LORD.” You will learn to do everything possible to convict the guilty but exonerate the innocent, to follow ethical practices without cutting corners or drawing conclusions beyond what the evidence warrants, and to pursue justice justly.

Rigorous, Interdisciplinary — You’ll take at least 10 credits of math, 22 credits of chemistry, 16 credits of biology, 8 credits of physics, and 18 credits of criminal justice, plus specialized forensic science courses and science electives. You will graduate knowing the scientific theory behind the tests you run in the lab and understanding how to conduct a criminal investigation.

Practical — You will complete an internship in an actual crime lab to gain forensic laboratory experience and make contacts to help you in your future career. Cedarville University has an ongoing relationship with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation; most of our students perform their internship there.

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What Can You Do With a Forensic Science Degree?

The forensic science major will prepare you for a number of exciting careers. You’ll be prepared to begin an entry-level position as a crime lab technician immediately upon graduation. This is a growing field, and the industry expects an increase in available jobs for well-prepared candidates. Additionally, because of the academic rigor of the major, you will have other options as well, including working in chemical testing labs or performing environmental analysis or quality control. You can also choose to pursue a graduate degree, such as an M.S. in forensic science or a Ph.D. in chemistry, leading to careers as crime lab directors or university professors. You could also go to medical school and train to be a medical examiner. Or, you could go straight to a police academy and use your forensic science training as a springboard to launch a career as a police detective.

Specific careers in forensic science include:

  • Criminalist – Study physical evidence to link it to suspects
  • Document Examiner – Answer questions regarding documents, such as whether or not a signature is real and if a document has been altered
  • Pathologist – Study diseases and assist with determining cause/time of death
  • Toxicologist – Determine any substances in a victim’s or suspect’s system (drugs, alcohol, poison, and more)

Graduates from Cedarville’s B.S. in forensic science program are currently employed at a range of laboratory facilities, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Placement Success

We're proud of our successful graduates. A three-year average of 97.9% of Cedarville graduates were employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation. Check out Cedarville's other placement rates.

Opportunities to Learn Outside the Classroom

Internships — You will complete an internship at a crime lab as part of your degree program. This will give you valuable practical experience observing and assisting forensic scientists while also gaining contacts in the field. Most of our students have completed their internship at Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification.

Hands-on Lab Experience — You will gain hands-on experience through the lab component of the Forensic Science course. This includes practice collecting and analyzing trace evidence like hair and fibers, taking and matching fingerprints, evaluating handwriting samples, and chemical analysis of simulated drugs.

Program Curriculum

Building on your core liberal arts and Bible minor courses, you will take 72 credit hours of science courses in chemistry, biology, physics, and math as well as 18 credit hours of criminal justice courses. This is a very academically rigorous major that will prepare you well for your career as a forensic scientist.

This major is offered with a  bachelor's-to-master's accelerated completion plan.

Sample courses:

  • Forensic Science
  • Forensic Science Capstone
View Curriculum Plan and Catalog

CUinClass

The CUinClass video project was originally filmed during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow virtual visitors to experience Cedarville classes, While students no longer wear masks and guests are welcomed in person, these on-demand videos still provide a great opportunity to hear from our professors and experience academics at Cedarville. View a class that interests you now!

Program Format and Related Programs

Cedarville offers both graduate and undergraduate programs, with flexible completion options. You may also want to consider these related programs as you consider the degree or program that is a best fit for you.

Program Level and Format

  • Undergraduate
  • Residential
  • 4-Year
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From Our Students:

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Program Faculty

Photo of Aaron Hutchison

Aaron Hutchison, Ph.D.

Professor of Chemistry

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Patrick Oliver, Ph.D.

Director of the Criminal Justice Program

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