Forensic Chemistry

Forensic science is the scientific method of gathering and examining information about the past, which is then used in a court of law. Forensic chemists analyze non-biological trace evidence found at crime scenes in order to identify unknown materials and match samples to known substances. Different analytical methods are used to reveal what chemical changes occurred during an incident, which helps reconstruct the sequence of events. Forensic chemists analyze physical evidence and samples for clues to solve crimes.

The forensics concentration at Shippensburg University is designed to prepare you for graduate study and ultimately careers in forensic science. Our students are welcome to apply for an internship at the Cumberland County District Attorney's Office Forensic Laboratory located nearby in Carlisle, PA. This unique experience allows students in the forensics concentration to apply what they learn in the classroom to real world criminal cases.

Forensic scientists are vital to the criminal justice process. Most forensic scientists work for federal or state crime laboratories. Possible careers in forensics:

  • Forensic analyst
  • Laboratory technician
  • Digital forensic examiner
  • Forensic research technician
  • Crime scene investigator
  • Coroner

The average salary for forensic science jobs in PA is $61,000.

Students interested in studying forensics as part of their Bachelor of Science in Chemistry must complete the Chemistry Core Curriculum along with additional courses in chemistry, biology, and criminal justice. To be eligible for the forensics internship, you must first complete Physical Chemistry II, have a minimum QPA of 3.0, complete a background check and polygraph test at an interview. Students who would like to graduate with ACS certification need to take an additional 2 credits in research and CHM312 Seminar. See the Undergraduate Catalog for specific course requirements.

The Chemistry Club is a group of students who share a passion for Chemistry. One or more faculty advisors and four elected student officers lead this group of students. There are a lot of great educational and leisure activities for members to enjoy while making a difference around campus and the surrounding area. Best of all, funds are acquired through fundraisers so membership is free. Overall, it is a great opportunity to expand your leadership and to use your knowledge in Chemistry to help others.

Franklin Science Center, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1629
Department Website