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Lake Superior State University

Forensic Chemistry: Bachelor of Science

Program Description

The B.S. in Forensic Chemistry combines elements of criminal justice and biology with a strong chemistry program. The forensic chemist analyzes and interprets materials collected at crime scenes, accidents, and at sites of terrorist activities.

The degree is offered in response to strong student, state and local government demand for an undergraduate academic program to prepare students for careers in forensic chemistry. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010 Occupational Outlook Handbook, forensic science technicians will grow much faster than average.

Graduates with a bachelor of science in forensic chemistry work in forensic laboratories for federal, state, or local government agencies or in some cases, work for private investigative laboratories. Some graduates may also go on to pursue a graduate degree.

The Chemistry Program at Lake Superior State University is now accredited by the American Chemical Society (ACS).  According to the 2011 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimator, more people are employed as chemists and chemical technicians than in any other job classification in the life and physical science occupations (  With many free electives and a common general education core, a chemistry degree can also be used in combination with other majors or minors such as pre-professional (medicine, pharmacy, veterinary, law, etc.), engineering, business, biology, and many more to match student interest and career plans.

Graduates with a bachelor of science in chemistry work in many disciplines and industries, and many proceed on to graduate school in natural sciences, medicine, law, or engineering.  Internships in chemistry are encouraged where students can gain valuable real-world work experience while gaining college credit.  In addition, students pursuing the ACS certified degree will participate in an applied research project in close collaboration with faculty members to address meaningful chemical-based problems.  These projects, through the excellent preparation they provide our students, are often cited as important factors in successful job searches and entry into graduate programs.

The LSSU chemistry program has been approved by the American Chemical Society, and may provide a certified degree in Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Forensic Chemistry, and Pre-Professional Chemistry degrees if a student chooses this track.  Graduates completing the prescribed requirements are awarded an ACS certificate signifying their completion of the approved degree and can qualify for membership in the Society upon graduation.

American Chemical Society
Committee on Professional Training
155 Sixteenth Street, N.W.,
Washington, D.C.  20036

Degree Requirements

Major Requirements (55 credits)

Chemistry (39 credits)

For American Chemical Society certified degree, additionally required (total lab hours must be at least 400 hrs).  See Department Chair for special rules regarding ACS certification:

  • CHEM261 Inorganic Chemistry 4
  • CHEM326 Organic Chemistry II 4
  • CHEM495 Senior Project 2
  • MATH152 Calculus II 4
  • EGNR140 Linear Algebra and Numeral Apps Engineers 2
  • EGNR245 Calculus Applications for Technology 3

Criminal Justice (16 credits)

Support Courses (47 credits)

  • USEM101 University Seminar I:  Foundation Success 1
  • BIOL131 General Biology: Cells 4
  • BIOL132 General Biology: Organisms 4
  • MATH111 College Algebra 3
  • MATH112 Calculus for Business & Life Sciences 4
  • MATH207 Principles of Statistical Methods 3
  • BUSN211 Business Statistics 3
  • NSCI110 Introduction to Forensics 4
  • Two semesters of College Physics with laboratory (8 cr min)
  • POLI110 Introduction to American Government and Politics 4
  • PSYC101 Introduction to Psychology 4
  • PSYC259 Abnormal Psychology 3
  • SOCY103 Cultural Diversity 3
  • SOCY214 Criminology 3

General Education: All LSSU bachelor's degree candidates must complete the LSSU General Education Requirements.

A minimum of 124 credits (at the 100 level or higher) must be earned for graduation with a cumulative gpa of 2.00 or higher.  A gpa of 2.00 or higher is required in your Major, and a gpa of 2.00 or higher is required in your General Education Requirements.

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