IU Northwest now offers bachelor’s degree in forensic science; classes begin August

IU Northwest now offers bachelor’s degree in forensic science; classes begin August

The program is the only one in Indiana to offer three tracks: forensic biology, chemistry and criminalistics

Indiana University Northwest will offer a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science beginning August 2023, involving courses in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, criminalistics and criminal investigation.

The new degree program focuses on applying scientific methods to matters of law, usually involving criminal cases.

IU Northwest’s degree has three tracks in forensic biology, forensic chemistry and criminalistics.

  • Forensic biology: focuses on human body evidence, such as DNA analysis.
  • Forensic chemistry: the application of chemistry to crime scene evidence to help solve the crime, such as carpet fiber analysis or explosive analysis.
  • Criminalistics: focuses on the identification, collection and analysis of physical evidence in criminal cases, such as fingerprint analysis or blood splatter analysis.

With this degree, individuals will be prepared to collect and analyze crime scene evidence, work in crime labs at the local, state and federal levels, and assist law enforcement agencies with dedicated crime scene units.

“When serious crime occurs, such as murder, many times there are no available witnesses who can identify the suspect,” said Eric Lambert, Director of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA). “In these cases, and most criminal cases, following the evidence is critical. Forensic science is key to solving the case and identifying the offender.”

Program unique in state, country

The criminalistics track at IU Northwest is the only one in Indiana and one of the few criminalistics forensic undergraduate degrees in the Midwest. There is only one other criminalistics accredited program in the United States, located in Oklahoma.

“With this degree, IU Northwest is pioneering the focus on criminalistics, joining a small group of universities which specialize in criminalistics, in addition to the more traditional bio-forensics and chemistry-forensics,” said Monica Solinas-Saunders, SPEA Associate Professor.

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for forensic science technicians is projected to grow much faster than the average occupation during the 2021-2033 period, with a projected growth of 11 percent.

For more information about the forensic science degree, including degree requirements, contact Carlie Petrus, academic advisor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, at petrusc@iu.edu.