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Forensic Chemistry

Explore a field of study where scientific knowledge and the search for justice meet. Forensic and investigative science majors develop skills in chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics and more to make sure no piece of evidence goes unused. Forensic scientists might uncover evidence at the scene of a crime or apply their scientific knowledge to the analysis of evidence in the lab. Students leave our program with the skills needed to testify and present proper interpretation of evidence in a court of law. 

WVU students can choose to major in forensic examiner, forensic biology or forensic chemistry. The forensic and investigative science majors at WVU stand above all universities nationally with the largest forensic science and crime scene training complex in the country. Our faculty, with over 300 years of combined forensic crime laboratory experience, is dedicated to training the next generation of forensic leaders. 

How will I focus my studies?

The forensic chemistry major prepares students for entry level positions in forensic labs as forensic chemists, arson analysts and investigators, forensic toxicologists and trace evidence examiners. It is well-suited as a pre-professional program for medical and dental school and as excellent preparation for graduate work in chemical disciplines. Forensic chemistry work is a laboratory-based profession with employment opportunities in local, state, federal and private laboratories. Forensic chemists typically do not do crime scene work on a routine basis but may occasionally be called to a scene.

Allison Whitler, Bolingbrook, Illinois

Major: Forensic and Investigative Science
Minors: Psychology and Sociology

Allison Whitler knew early on that she wanted to combine law enforcement and applied science into a career as a forensic investigator. “I want to be able to tell the story of a crime scene,” she says, and“to be able to give a voice to those who no longer have one.” At WVU, Allison has studied everything from biology and chemistry to impression evidence, arson, and crime scene investigations. One class held a nighttime crime scene where she and her classmates were in charge of processing the scene and interpreting their findings. As an intern with the Orland Park Police Department, she applied her classroom experiences to working with Evidence Technicians on latent prints, crime scene investigations and forensic photography. Allison feels her internship and the research she has done in her major will help her as she applies for jobs in crime laboratories and other agencies.

Learn more at the Forensic Chemistry site