Forensic Science Program - Curriculum & Duration

Each major participating in the forensic science program has defined a curriculum for a four-year course of study with required and elective forensic science courses. An approved program of study in forensic science culminates with a baccalaureate degree in a major with a certificate verifying completion of the forensic science program.

How Your Studies Will Be Enhanced

You choose the science major that appeals most to you, and we’ll help you tailor your courses toward forensic science.

Discipline-specific courses

Discipline-specific courses with integrated forensic science focus in:

  • Genetics
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Advanced Microbiology
  • Instrumental Analysis

Courses like these will include instruction by a field expert.

You’ll benefit from instructors who are working in places such as the:

  • EPA
  • Medical Examiner’s Office
  • Philadelphia Crime Scene Unit
  • Federal government investigative agencies

Through their real-world knowledge of forensic science, you’ll discover how to apply what you are learning to the area of forensic science.

Forensic science courses

These fundamental forensic science courses will help you learn principles and procedures you can apply to your classroom research and lab work, as well as in your chosen internship.

  • Forensic Analysis
  • Crime and Society
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Principles of Forensic Pathology


For students entering University of the Sciences in Fall 2015 the following curricular requirements, based on standards set by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, must be met.  Other students should refer to their advisor for their curricula.

Required Natural Science Core Courses

General Biology I, II or Introductory Biology I, II
General Chemistry I, II or Principles of Chemistry I, II
General Chemistry Lab I, II or Principles of Chemistry Lab I, II
Organic Chemistry I, II or Principles of Organic Chemistry I, II
Organic Chemistry Lab I, II or Principles of Organic Chemistry Lab I, II
Introductory Physics I, II or Physics I, II
Precalculus, General Calculus or Calculus I   

Specialized Science Courses

A minimum of 12 additional semester hours in more advanced coursework in chemistry or biology is required. These classes are consistent with the major degree program and meet the needs of students specializing in sub disciplines of forensic science.  At least two of the classes include laboratory training.  Specialized science courses from any of the following will meet this requirement:

Molecular biology
Population genetics
Inorganic chemistry
Analytical/quantitative chemistry
Physical chemistry
Instrumental analysis
Cell biology
Calculus II

Forensic Science Courses

A minimum of 15 credits in forensic science coursework is required. Required courses include:

Forensic Analysis I
Crime and Society

Additional courses used to meet the remaining 8 credits in this requirement may be selected from any course with an FS designation, including those below in Major Discipline and Internship/Research.

Major Discipline

Specific courses in forensic science required for individual majors are detailed in each major's curriculum for forensic science and vary by major.  Additional courses may be taken as electives.

Forensic Anthropology
Forensic Applied Microbiology
Analytical Chemistry - Forensic Focus
Principles of Analytical Chemistry - Forensic Focus
Instrumental Analysis - Forensic Focus
Principles of Forensic Pathology


All students complete a minimum of 3-credit hours of one of the following courses:

Independent Study in Forensic Science
Forensic Science Internship
Directed Research in Forensic Science

Additional general education courses are required as part of this program.


Admission Office


University of the Sciences
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495


888-996-8747 or 215-596-8810