Forensic Science

The certificate in Forensic Science trains students in the techniques and methods necessary for analyzing physical evidence found at crime scenes. This training, which ranges from problem-solving techniques to the use of technological equipment and software, prepares students to evaluate evidence and communicate scientific results in a medico-legal context. UWM also offers certificates in Forensic Toxicology and Death Investigation for students who are more interested in one of those specializations within the broader field of forensic science.

Successful students in forensic science have a strong interest in chemistry and biology and wish to apply that type of knowledge to criminal investigation. The certificate complements a number of different majors such as microbiology, biochemistry, anthropology, criminal justice, biomedical sciences, biological sciences, and chemistry. It can make students more marketable for jobs in death investigation, crime labs, pathology, and coroner's offices.

Forensic Science is an interdisciplinary program combining courses from criminal justice, biology, chemistry, anthropology, and clinical lab sciences. In addition to their scientific training, forensic scientists must also have strong communication skills in order to explain and justify their results in written reports and oral presentations to police, attorneys, judges and juries.

All three of the forensics certificates - forensic science, forensic toxicology, and death investigation - are jointly offered by the College of Letters & Science, the College of Health Sciences, and the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare.

Download our fact sheet to the right to learn more about this certificate.

Certificate Requirements

Total Credits

21-22 credits

Required Courses (12 Credits)

Anthro/BMS/Chem/Crm Jst 281 - Dead Men Do Tell Tales: An Introduction to Forensic Science, 3 credits

Anthro/BMS/Chem/Crm Jst 481 - Criminalistics, 3 credits

Crm Jst 110 - Introduction to Criminal Justice, 3 credits

Crm Jst 480 - Criminal Evidence and Investigation, 3 credits

One Course selected from (3 credits)

Anthro 403 - The Human Skeleton, 3 credits

Anthro 404 - Seminar in Human Evolutionary Physiology, 3 credits

One Course selected from (3 credits)

BMS 610 - Pharmacology, 3 credits

HCA 212 - Drugs Used and Abused, 3 credits

One Course selected from (3-4 Credits)

Bio Sci 539 (663) - Laboratory Techniques in Molecular Biology, 4 credits

Chem 602 - Biochemistry: Cellular Processes, 3 credits

BMS 560/561 - Molecular and Genetic Diagnostics/Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, 3 credits

Additional Courses with Forensic Content

Check prerequisites or consult the instructor for eligibility. These courses are recommended, but are not required, for the Certificate in Forensic Science:

  • Anthro/BMS/Chem/Crm Jst 285 - Medicolegal Death Investigation, 3 credits
  • Anthro/BMS/Chem/Crm Jst 585 - Internship in Forensic Toxicology, 1-3 credits
  • Anthro/BMS/Chem/Crm Jst 589 - Internship in Death Investigation, 1-3 credits
  • Anthro/BMS/Chem/Crm Jst 594 - Internship in Forensic Science, 1-3 credits
  • Anthro 405 - Forensic Anthropology, 3 credits
  • Chem 194 - First-Year Seminar: (with forensic subtitle), 3 credits
  • Chem 524 - Intermediate Analytical Chemistry, 3-5 credits
  • BMS 555 - Toxicology and Therapeutic Drug Monitoring, 1 credit

Additional Requirements

All options within the certificate require at least a basic knowledge of chemistry and biology. To meet this requirement, prior to registering themselves in the Forensic Sciences Certificate Program, students must successfully complete Chem 100 (Chemical Science) or equivalent and Bio Sci 100 (Survey of Zoology) or equivalent.

To receive the certificate, students must complete at least one half of the required credits on the UWM campus.

GPA Requirements

The College requires that students attain at least a 2.500 GPA for all credits in the certificate attempted.