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1.  How science and math intensive is the Forensic Science Program?

Very! In the first two years, students must successfully complete courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, calculus, physics, biology or biochemistry, and statistics in addition to two forensic science courses. The forensic science classes taken junior and senior year are also incredibly math and science intensive. You will use geometry, trigonometry, calculus, statistics, and chemistry daily. A strong foundation in the sciences is an absolute must for someone who intends to graduate from our program.

2.  Is a forensic science degree necessary to work in a forensic lab?

Not necessarily. Most labs will hire people with degrees in chemistry, biology, or other natural sciences as well as those with a forensics degree.

3.  Do law enforcement officers, federal agents, and crime scene investigators need a forensic science degree?

No (or not necessarily). Most law enforcement agencies – whether they are local, state, or federal – require a four-year degree of some kind, but not specifically a forensic science degree. If you have a specific agency in mind, it is highly recommended you check their website as to what type of degree they might require.

4.  Can I do a 5-year program where I earn both the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Forensic Science from Penn State?

No. Penn State does not offer a 5-year combined degree (although it may be possible through the Schreyer Honors College under special circumstances). Further, if you earn the Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science from Penn State, you are ineligible from applying for the Master’s in Forensic Science at Penn State. You can apply to other graduate level programs offered here.

5.  What is the average class size for forensic science classes?

Lectures generally have 30-35 students and labs usually have 12-16 students.

6.  What degree is earned after completing the Forensic Science program?

Students earn a Bachelor’s of Science (B.S.) degree in Forensic Science.

7.  Is there a Forensic Science minor?

No, we currently do not offer a minor in Forensic Science.

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