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Forensic Sciences

About our Program

The mission of our program is to provide students with the skills to advance justice through the application of science and technology. Upon completion of the undergraduate degree program in Forensic Sciences, students will have demonstrated use of:

  • The scientific method as it is used in a forensic context,
  • Quality assurance programs, to include the legal system, ethics, and professional practice in the forensic sciences
  • Knowledge from disciplines that comprise the forensic sciences, and
  • Techniques used for the recognition, documentation, and analysis of physical evidence.

A B.S. in Forensic Sciences provides students with a wide range of career options while preparing students to build a career in a crime laboratory or investigations. This degree also provides an excellent basis for further studies in the forensic sciences at the graduate level. The BS in Forensic Sciences also provides an excellent basis for students building a career in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, law, and veterinary medicine.

Since 2010, 86% of our graduates have been placed in science-related positions. Most (55%) of our graduates use the BSFS to enter graduate school in forensic sciences, biology, chemistry, pharmacy, or medicine. Many (25%) of our students opt to acquire employment immediately after graduation, usually as a forensic investigator or laboratory scientist. The remaining graduates have used the BSFS to enter the military or pursue a career in education.

Curricula

Chaminade University offers two credentials in forensic sciences education, a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Sciences (BSFS) and a Minor in Forensic Sciences.

Bachelor of Science in Forensic Sciences (BSFS)

The BSFS degree program requires the completion of a curriculum comprising four components: Core (Track D), Pre-Major, Major, and Electives. All students enrolled in the Forensic Sciences Degree Program must complete the Core Curriculum for Track D.

Minor in Forensic Sciences

A student that has declared a major other than Forensic Sciences may declare a Minor in Forensic Sciences. This minor can be beneficial for students in the natural sciences that are building a career in a biological or chemical laboratory, medicine, pharmacy, or law. For students in degree programs outside of the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, a Minor in Forensic Sciences can be valuable for building a career in anthropology, criminal justice, psychology, and law. Earning the Minor in Forensic Sciences requires the completion of the Pre-Minor and Minor Curricula.

B.S. Curriculum

Coursework for this degree is rigorous and it is imperative that you build a strong relationship with your Academic Advisors to make sure that you graduate on schedule. Degree requirements can vary slightly from year to year, so it is important to know that each student must meet the requirements associated with their Catalog Year. Your Catalog Year is usually your first year Chaminade University, but there are exceptions. Below are some files that you can use to manage your progress toward degree completion.

Professional Development

Internships

All students in the BSFS degree program are required to complete an internship of 135 hours with an approved forensic science agency. For example, our students have conducted their internships at the following locations:

  • City and County of Honolulu: Department of the Medical Examiner
  • County of Los Angeles: Department of Medical Examiner – Coroner
  • Guam Police Department: Crime Laboratory
  • Honolulu Police Department: Scientific Investigation Section
  • Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command: Central Identification Laboratory
  • United States of America Drug Enforcement Administration

Research

All Forensic Sciences students are encouraged to conduct a research project. Students have conducted research on- and off-campus and presented their research findings and/or participated in the following conferences and publications:

Conferences

  • Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences
  • Annual International Association for Identification Educational Conference
  • Society for the Advancement of Native Americans and Chicanos

Journals

  • Forensic Science International
  • Journal of Forensic Sciences
  • Science & Justice