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 Forensic Chemistry 

 

SPOTLIGHT

The Forensic Track designed to orient the student to a career in forensic chemistry.  Courses in biology such as genetics and molecular biology provide the foundation for methods in forensic biology such as DNA typing.  The forensic track offers a complement of courses in criminology to give the student perspective in the role that forensics plays in the criminal justice system.  The capstone chemistry sequence is forensic analysis and forensic analysis laboratory.  The focus of the lecture course is in the chemical and instrumental analysis of evidence collected at a crime scene.  The chemical structures and properties of controlled substances, and the strategies for their analysis is covered in detail.  Gun-shot residue analysis, FTIR-microscopic analysis of paints and fibers, and DNA typing are some of the other topics covered.  The forensics analysis laboratory course includes experiments in selective extraction of controlled substance analogs, and the infrared spectroscopic identification of these substances, antimony residue (simulating gunshot residue) analysis using atomic absorption spectroscopy, and gas-chromatography-mass spectrometric analysis of controlled substance analogs.  Since the forensic concentration is still a chemistry degree, students graduating with this degree track can pursue chemistry-related careers or admission into graduate and professional schools.  Students aspiring for a career in forensic science should seriously consider doing an internship in a municipal crime-lab or other forensics related facilities.