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Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Science

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Choose Saint Rose for Your Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Science

At The College of Saint Rose, the forensic science major combines extensive study in the sciences — including chemistry, biology, and physics, with coursework in forensic-related topics, such as evidence, forensic assays, and the court system.

The forensic science degree faculty has broad experience in the field, which gives students access to the latest scientific developments along with real-life applications in criminal investigations as they earn a BS in Forensic Science.

Saint Rose students have completed internships at The New York State Police Forensic Investigation Center, The Division of Criminal Justice Office of Forensics, and many local and regional laboratories.

A partnership with the New York State Police Crime Laboratory System gives Saint Rose students a real-world look at the field of forensic science through mentorship and a facility tour.

The faculty teaches both lectures and labs, increasing the number of contact hours between students and professors. A rigorous curriculum prepares students for graduate school as well as future careers investigating and helping to solve crimes using cutting-edge techniques.

What You Can Do with a Forensic Science Degree

A BS in Forensic Science can be a steppingstone to an exciting career investigating and solving crimes. The forensic science degree prepares graduates to become forensic science technicians who typically work at crime scenes collecting evidence or in a laboratory setting analyzing evidence. Forensic science technicians may examine hair, fibers, DNA, and many other pieces of physical evidence to help law enforcement solve crimes.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for forensic science technicians is expected to increase at a rate of 18% between 2020 and 2030, which is much faster than average for all professions. The mean salary for a forensic science technician in New York is $81,370, which is among the highest salaries in the field in the country.

Forensic Science Major Graduate Programs

After earning a bachelor’s degree in forensic science, some students decide to pursue a graduate program.

Saint Rose prides itself on offering undergraduate programs that prepare students for the rigors of continued academic studies. Forensic science majors may choose to continue their education in a professional degree program, such as law school, or to continue their forensic science studies by earning a master’s degree or doctoral degree.

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Program Highlights

You’ll learn from experienced faculty who are focused on your success, alongside bright, motivated classmates who challenge and support you.

  • Two tracks within the major (chemistry and biology) provide more courses in your area of interest as well as more flexibility in career/graduate school options upon graduation.
  • Capstone course in senior year allows you to apply your knowledge of chemistry and biology to forensic analysis.
  • A dedicated forensic science advisor guides you through your academic career.
  • There is a Saint Rose Chapter of Delta Delta Epsilon (a forensic science honor society) that allows us to recognize and honor our high-achieving forensic science major.

Our Well-equipped Facilities

Biochemistry and forensic science majors enjoy use of our facilities and equipment, including a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer, comparison microscope, fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer with attenuated total reflection (ATR) attachment, UV-VIS spectrometer, gas chromatograph (GC), atomic absorption spectrometer, and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)

Mentorship from New York State Police Crime Laboratory System

The Forensic Investigative Curriculum Program, also known as FIC School, provides undergraduate students at Saint Rose with a unique opportunity to meet and learn directly from forensic professionals from the New York State Police Crime Laboratory System. The partnership empowers forensic science students to seek out mentors and learn what a career in forensic science is all about, and provides them with a tour of the NYSP Forensic Investigation Center in Albany.

Watch a video about the partnership

Co-Curricular Experiences

A very active student-run science club (Natural Science Association, NSA) and our alumni organization, Doctors’ Guild, offers students opportunities advance their knowledge and exchange ideas, while fostering friendly relationships with professionals and undergraduate students.

Upstate Unsolved Podcast

A WGY and iHeartRadio investigative podcast going beyond the headlines of Upstate NY’s unsolved crimes, in partnership with The Cold Case Analysis Center at The College of Saint Rose.

Upstate Unsolved Podcast

Check out undergraduate research opportunities!

Curriculum

The Forensic Science major will provide students with the background they need to obtain entry level positions in a forensic science laboratory or enter a graduate level program in one of the many forensic science specialties. This major is multi-disciplinary, with a combination of chemistry and biology that gives students both the depth and breadth necessary to build a solid scientific foundation for a career in forensics.

View Course Requirements

Forensic Science – Biology Track

  • The effective and correct use of biology scientific terminology.
  • The collection and analysis of data.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use physical and chemical tests to analyze forensic evidence and draw appropriate scientific conclusions from these tests.

Forensic Science – Chemistry Track

  • Use and understand chemistry terminology.
  • Effectively use statistical methods for evaluating and interpreting data.
  • Understand the relationship between chemical structure and reactivity.
  • Solve quantitative problems relevant to chemical processes.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use physical and chemical tests to analyze forensic evidence and draw appropriate scientific conclusions from these tests.

Meet our Physical and Biological Sciences Faculty

Our faculty are great scholars, but your success is their top priority. Unlike large research institutions, Saint Rose is a place where professors invest in their students and put their energy into teaching, making for compelling classes and great learning outcomes.

Sara Alvaro Associate Professor of Chemistry

My research interests range broadly within the field of analytical chemistry, including environmental chemistry, food chemistry, and forensic chemistry. When working with students in my research, I like to find out what interests them and, together we design a viable research experience around that interest. My students regularly present research posters at Saint Rose’s Undergraduate Research Symposium, and some students have presented posters at the local American Chemical Society Undergraduate Research Symposium and the Sigma Xi induction ceremony.

Brad Bauer Associate Professor of Physical Chemistry

My research interests include computational and theoretical chemistry. I use molecular dynamics simulations to study properties of various aqueous solutions and interfaces at the atomic/molecular level. I have published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and have presented at national and regional conferences of the American Chemical Society.

I like to incorporate highly motivated undergraduate students into my research projects. These students have presented their findings at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at The College of Saint Rose, and also at meetings of the Eastern New York Section of the American Chemical Society and the Albany Chapter of Sigma Xi.

Philip M. Crim Assistant Professor of Biology

My research has revolved around plant physiology and ecology, with a more recent focus on terrestrial woody plants. Broadly, I am interested in the conservation of woody plant species, especially via ex situ cultivation, as well as gaining a better understanding of difficult species complexes such as oaks, willows, brambles, and hawthorns.

Kelly Hallstrom Assistant Professor of Microbiology 

I earned my bachelor’s in biology at Clark University, where I was first introduced to academic research under the guidance of enthusiastic and supportive mentors. It was this experience that made me want a career where I, too, could teach and mentor students. After a few years as a technician in a cancer biology lab, I pursued graduate studies at UMass Medical School and earned my Ph.D. in biomedical sciences.

As a result of my previous experiences, I am interested in the ways in which environmental changes affect microbial growth and physiology. I have taught and mentored students at the graduate and undergraduate levels and find that research and teaching are best when paired together. I am also committed to science outreach and communication in the community and enjoy finding ways to incorporate science communication skills in the classroom.

Sara AlvaroAssociate Professor of Chemistry

My research interests range broadly within the field of analytical chemistry, including environmental chemistry, food chemistry, and forensic chemistry. When working with students in my research, I like to find out what interests them and, together we design a viable research experience around that interest. My students regularly present research posters at Saint Rose’s Undergraduate Research Symposium, and some students have presented posters at the local American Chemical Society Undergraduate Research Symposium and the Sigma Xi induction ceremony.

Brad Bauer Associate Professor of Physical Chemistry

My research interests include computational and theoretical chemistry. I use molecular dynamics simulations to study properties of various aqueous solutions and interfaces at the atomic/molecular level. I have published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and have presented at national and regional conferences of the American Chemical Society.

I like to incorporate highly motivated undergraduate students into my research projects. These students have presented their findings at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at The College of Saint Rose, and also at meetings of the Eastern New York Section of the American Chemical Society and the Albany Chapter of Sigma Xi.

Philip M. CrimAssistant Professor of Biology

My research has revolved around plant physiology and ecology, with a more recent focus on terrestrial woody plants. Broadly, I am interested in the conservation of woody plant species, especially via ex situ cultivation, as well as gaining a better understanding of difficult species complexes such as oaks, willows, brambles, and hawthorns.

Kelly HallstromAssistant Professor of Microbiology 

I earned my bachelor’s in biology at Clark University, where I was first introduced to academic research under the guidance of enthusiastic and supportive mentors. It was this experience that made me want a career where I, too, could teach and mentor students. After a few years as a technician in a cancer biology lab, I pursued graduate studies at UMass Medical School and earned my Ph.D. in biomedical sciences.

As a result of my previous experiences, I am interested in the ways in which environmental changes affect microbial growth and physiology. I have taught and mentored students at the graduate and undergraduate levels and find that research and teaching are best when paired together. I am also committed to science outreach and communication in the community and enjoy finding ways to incorporate science communication skills in the classroom.

Brian Jensen Professor of Biology

My academic background is diverse. I am currently interested in how organisms cope with environmental stressors. I have worked in labs that focused on teleost reproduction and development, adipogenesis in a mammalian cell line, and ischemia reperfusion in mammalian lungs. Students in my lab are currently determining the physiological effects of the toxin carbaryl on zebrafish development.

Patrick Jokiel Associate Professor of Organic Chemistry

I teach first and second semester organic chemistry, lecture, and laboratory and an upper-level laboratory course in organic chemistry. In addition to the organic chemistry offerings, I also teach a course in medicinal chemistry. I include my students in my research which includes the synthesis of heterocyclic organic molecules via transition-metal catalyzed oxidative C-H amination.

Two Saint Rose students have been awarded summer research grants to work on these projects. My research students have also presented posters on their work at the undergraduate research symposium here at the College of Saint Rose, at the annual meeting of the Albany chapter of Sigma Xi  and at the annual undergraduate research symposium hosted by the Eastern New York Section of the American Chemical Society.

Rebecca Landsberg Associate Professor of Biology

My research focuses on investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of the precerebellar system. This essential system is found in the brainstem and functions to regulate balance, posture, and motor control by relaying information from the central nervous system to the cerebellum. I also focus on understanding how exposure to teratogens, such as alcohol, during gestation impacts the development of the precerebellar neurons.

Keith Sturgess Associate Professor of Physics

I gained leadership experience through a 23-year career as an officer in the U.S. Army in the Field Artillery from Lieutenant to Lieutenant Colonel. As an Army physicist, I worked at the Army Research Laboratory on foliage and ground-penetrating radar design and testing.

I have attended a number of workshops on innovative techniques for improving student performance and understanding in undergraduate physics courses, to include peer instruction, workshop physics, and studio physics. I use physics education research to inform my classroom presentations, and I am open to working on any physics problem that a student is interesting in investigating.

Brian Jensen Professor of Biology

My academic background is diverse. I am currently interested in how organisms cope with environmental stressors. I have worked in labs that focused on teleost reproduction and development, adipogenesis in a mammalian cell line, and ischemia reperfusion in mammalian lungs. Students in my lab are currently determining the physiological effects of the toxin carbaryl on zebrafish development.

Patrick Jokiel Associate Professor of Organic Chemistry

I teach first and second semester organic chemistry, lecture, and laboratory and an upper-level laboratory course in organic chemistry. In addition to the organic chemistry offerings, I also teach a course in medicinal chemistry. I include my students in my research which includes the synthesis of heterocyclic organic molecules via transition-metal catalyzed oxidative C-H amination.

Two Saint Rose students have been awarded summer research grants to work on these projects. My research students have also presented posters on their work at the undergraduate research symposium here at the College of Saint Rose, at the annual meeting of the Albany chapter of Sigma Xi  and at the annual undergraduate research symposium hosted by the Eastern New York Section of the American Chemical Society.

Rebecca LandsbergAssociate Professor of Biology

My research focuses on investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of the precerebellar system. This essential system is found in the brainstem and functions to regulate balance, posture, and motor control by relaying information from the central nervous system to the cerebellum. I also focus on understanding how exposure to teratogens, such as alcohol, during gestation impacts the development of the precerebellar neurons.

Keith SturgessAssociate Professor of Physics

I gained leadership experience through a 23-year career as an officer in the U.S. Army in the Field Artillery from Lieutenant to Lieutenant Colonel. As an Army physicist, I worked at the Army Research Laboratory on foliage and ground-penetrating radar design and testing.

I have attended a number of workshops on innovative techniques for improving student performance and understanding in undergraduate physics courses, to include peer instruction, workshop physics, and studio physics. I use physics education research to inform my classroom presentations, and I am open to working on any physics problem that a student is interesting in investigating.

Ann Zeeh Professor of Biology

My teaching interests include genetics, cell biology, principles of biology, human heredity, and my research interests include antibiotic resistance in our environment, human traits influenced by androgen sensitivity, and HIV resistance in humans.

Ann Zeeh Professor of Biology

My teaching interests include genetics, cell biology, principles of biology, human heredity, and my research interests include antibiotic resistance in our environment, human traits influenced by androgen sensitivity, and HIV resistance in humans.

The science curriculum at Saint Rose prepared me well for a career in forensic science.

The small class sizes and availability of the professors and their candid feedback provided the support and confidence I needed to pursue my career."

Jennifer Busk ’16

Forensic Scientist in Trace Evidence Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Atlanta area

The College of Saint Rose has helped me achieve my goals by instilling my passion and knowledge in forensic science. As a result of direct instrumental use as well as conceptual knowledge, I have gained the confidence needed to ensure my analytical work is always precise and accurate.

Through Saint Rose, I was able to find my calling in forensic toxicology and have been servicing the community through scientific work ever since.”

Jeremy Peralta ’15

Forensic Scientist in Trace Evidence Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Atlanta area

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