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Forensic Science B.A.

Through hands-on learning and extensive laboratory training, this integrated learning major prepares you to use advanced techniques in demanding forensic science careers.
Woman in lab coat examining t-shirt for evidence
A student analyzes evidence for the presence of biological fluids using an alternate light source.

About this Program

  • Be part of Syracuse’s Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute, home both to undergraduate forensic science majors and also to interdisciplinary research projects in collaboration with public and private forensic science organizations.
  • Take courses taught by practicing forensic science professionals who understand the latest techniques being used in both forensic science and national security sciences.
  • Enjoy small class sizes consisting of 15 to 30 students, which allow for individualized instruction, practical, hands-on experience and discussion-based learning.
  • Choose from flexible, interdisciplinary pathways with coursework in fields like chemistry, biology, psychology and national security.
  • Add a required second major, so you’ll have a strong foundation in a related field. (For students interested in a forensic laboratory career, a chemistry, biology or biochemistry second major is strongly recommended.)
  • Connect with your peers by joining Syracuse’s Undergraduate Forensic Science Student Association, or by living in the Science, Technology and Math Living Learning Community.
  • Take laboratory science courses if you're interested in field-based forensic careers like crime scene investigation, forensic biology, forensic chemistry or latent prints.
  • Want to continue your education as a graduate student at Syracuse? Apply to one of the five master's degree tracks in the Forensic and National Security Studies Institute's graduate program.

Program Information

Degree Type






College or School

Career Path


Students per typical class size in courses.
90 %

of forensics M.S. graduates are employed in an area related to their field of study.

and the Onondaga County Center for Forensic Sciences are where students have recently interned.
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College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) is Syracuse University’s first and largest college. As the home of the liberal arts, our internationally recognized programs provide the cornerstone of a Syracuse University education with 50+ majors in the natural sciences and mathematics, the humanities and the social sciences (in partnership with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs).
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A strength of the forensic science integrated learning major is that it must be paired with a base major that aligns with your interests and career goals. For example, if you’re interested in working in a forensic science laboratory, you should also major in biology or chemistry. If you’re interested in criminal justice or national security, consider psychology or anthropology. A professional advisor and faculty mentor will help with major selection early in your four-year plan.

In addition to the coursework required for their second major, forensic science students take two broad-based courses in forensic science, one course in statistics, one course that connects their two majors and three advanced electives in forensic science and/or related areas. A capstone course is also required.

  • Explain the scientific foundational principles of forensic science and how they relate to the area of major.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between forensic science and the legal system.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use a rationale-based approach in problem-solving and/or to evaluate and analyze forensic practices as related to the reliability, accuracy and limitations of forensic science.
  • Become oriented in the ethical standards, integrity, professionalism and quality assurance protocols and standards in the field of forensic science.
  • Contact an expert and use their feedback to design and conduct a research project.
  • Effectively communicate scientific principles, research questions and project investigation with objectivity and transparency to stakeholders, including scientists and nonscientists.

A second major is required for all students majoring in forensic science and determines whether a student will graduate with a B.A. or B.S. degree. For example, a student who pursues a B.A. in anthropology alongside their forensic science coursework will graduate with a B.A., whereas a student who pursues a B.S. in biology alongside their forensic science coursework will graduate with a B.S. The B.A. and B.S. forensic science requirements are the same.

  • Forensic Chemical Analysis
  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Firearms and Impression Evidence
  • Forensic Mental Health
  • Latent Prints

Extracurricular Opportunities

Hands-on learning opportunities

Advanced Laboratory Coursework

Our courses provide students with hands-on exposure to tools and techniques used in different areas of forensic science. In courses like Latent Print Processing, Crime Scene Investigation, Bloodstain Pattern Analysis and Forensic Analysis of Biological Evidence, students can learn practical skills in evidence collection and analysis.

A person photographing evidence at a crime scene
Student organization

Undergraduate Forensic Science Student Association

Any student at Syracuse with an interest in forensic science can join the Undergraduate Forensic Science Student Association. Members participate in social events and also benefit from academic support, professional development opportunities and community engagement activities related to forensics.

People at an information table about forensic science

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