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 examiner major 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. Working conditions are more variable than for the other forensic and investigative science majors but are typically field and/or office based rather than laboratory based. Crime scene analysts are often part of major crime scene squads that collect and document evidence, but they rarely participate in the scientific examination of the evidence in the laboratory.
Allison Whitler, Bolingbrook, Illinois
Major: Forensic and Investigative Science
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.
Minors: Psychology and Sociology
Learn more at the Forensic Examiner site