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Physical Sciences

Bachelor of Science, Concentration: Forensic Science

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Program Intro

A BS in Physical Science with the Concentration in Forensic Science prepares students for a wide range of careers in forensic and industrial science.

Public sector job growth in the field is expected to increase in the coming years, with starting salaries around $56,000 per year. Additionally, up to 170,000 new jobs are expected in adjacent fields.

Department of Chemistry and Physics

PNW is a leading innovator in forensic science education. We led the industry in the development of a virtual reality crime scene, and our students have presented leading-edge research at international conferences.

Our program produces professional scientists who are qualified for rewarding work in a number of fields. We also have strong relationships with several prestigious graduate programs.

Curriculum Overview

In this program, you’ll study biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics and of course, forensic science. You’ll learn how forensics apply to the court system and have opportunities to engage in scientific research.

You can currently complete this program at PNW’s Hammond campus.

Begin with classes in chemistry, criminalistics and evidence handling.

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Sample Courses

  • CHM 11500 – General Chemistry
  • FIS 14005 – Introduction To Forensic Science: Evidence Handling

Explore physics, biology and quality system theory.

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Sample Courses

  • CRJU 15000 – Introduction To The Criminal Justice System
  • CHM 26505 – Organic Chemistry

Expand on your knowledge of science and humanities – and learn how to testify in court.

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Sample Courses

  • PSY 35000 – Abnormal Psychology
  • FIS 35000 – Courtroom Demeanor

Develop your understanding of professional practice in forensics and apply it to hands-on scientific research.

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Sample Courses

  • FIS 41000 – Professional Practice In Forensic Science
  • CHM 42400 – Analytical Chemistry II


At PNW we know that forensic scientists are, first and foremost, scientists. So train you in the core scientific disciplines as well as standard and innovative forensic techniques.

A lion sculpture on PNW's campus PNW graduates at commencement


As a Forensic Science major, you’ll get the vital skills you need qualify for entry into government careers as well as various private sector careers. You’ll work with forensic scientists learning evidence collection techniques, along with standard and state-of-the-art testing practices.


There are multiple scholarships available to students in this program, including:

Beyond the Classroom

More than 70 percent of our students participate in community engagement activities. Forensic Science majors also participate in:

  • College Ambassadors Program
  • National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS)

Career Paths

You’ll graduate well prepared for a variety of jobs in forensic science, including:

  • Crime scene investigator
  • Crime lab technician
  • Industrial laboratory technician

I am enjoying my college experience and getting to know my fellow students in an environment where my professors genuinely care about my success – and have taken the time to get to know me.

Sara Jerde

Physical Science, Concentration: Forensic Science, Westville

Meet the Faculty

Charles Steele

Charles A. Steele, M.S.

Lecturer of Physical Science

Charles Steele is a visiting instructor of Physical Science and serves as the forensic science coordinator. He teaches courses in forensics, chemistry and physics and mentors student research.

Christian G. Westring, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Crime and Forensics

A PNW Student in the Classroom

Take the Next Step

See how a PNW degree opens doors, from corporate boardrooms to non-profit leadership.

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