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Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry

Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry at Illinois Tech in Chicago

Forensic chemistry is the application of chemistry to forensic investigation. Illinois Tech is the only university in the Chicago area to offer a B.S. in forensic chemistry. Our degree will provide you with a strong background in both traditional chemistry areas and chemical, biochemical, and instrumental techniques for analysis, detection, and characterization of forensic and controlled substances. You’ll gain systematic training in chemical science and chemical, biochemical, and instrumental analysis for forensic applications. This chemistry-centered forensic science program will prepare you to develop a career in forensic science, forensic medicine, forensic drug analysis, forensic toxicology and DNA analysis, or criminalistics.

Majors will have an opportunity to conduct undergraduate research with chemistry faculty in the areas of biosensors for detection of bio-terrorism chemicals and toxins, computational modeling of nanopore systems, and atomic force microscopy for forensic examination.

Forensic chemists can work in forensic investigation and service labs and crime and drug investigation and enforcement labs in federal, state, or county government agencies including the Chicago division of the U.S.  Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Forensic Sciences (DFS), U.S. Army, police departments, departments of public safety, and other crime scene investigation (CSI) labs.

Program Requirements

Semester 1 Credits
CHEM 124 General Chemistry I 4
CS 105 or Intro to Computer Programming 2
CS110 Computing Principles  
MATH 151 Calculus I 5
Humanities-200 level course 3
    14
Semester 2  
CHEM 100 Introduction to Profession 2
CHEM 125 General Chemistry II 4
MATH 152 Calculus II 5
PHYS 123 General Physics I 4
Social Sciences Elective  3
    18
Semester 3  
CHEM 237 Organic Chemistry I 4
BIOL 107 or General Biology Lectures 3
BIOL 115 Human Biology  
MATH 251 Multivariate and Vector Calculus 4
PHYS 221 General Physics II 4
Humanities or Social Sciences Elective 3
    18
Semester 4  
CHEM 239 Organic Chemistry II 3
CHEM 240 Organic Chemistry Lab 2
CHEM 247 Analytical Chemistry 3
MATH 252 Introduction to Differential Equation 4
Humanities Elective (300+) 3
    15
Semester 5  
CHEM 321 Instrumental Analysis 4
CHEM 343 Physical Chemistry I 3
IPRO Elective I 3
Free Elective2 3
Social Sciences Elective (300+) 3
    16
Semester 6  
CHEM 344 Physical Chemistry II 4
CHEM 434 Spectroscopic Methods 4
CHEM 485 Chemistry Colloquium 1
CHEM 475 Forensic Chemistry 3
Humanities Elective (300+) 3
    15
Semester 7  
CHEM 415 Inorganic Chemistry 3
BIOL 401 Introduction to Biochemistry 4
OR    
BIOL 403 Biochemistry 3
CHEM 476 Forensic Chemistry Lab 3
CHEM 463 Analytical Method Development Lab 3
Free Elective2 3
    15/16
Semester 8  
Forensic Chemistry Elective1 3
Forensic Chemistry Elective1 3
CHEM 495 Seminar in Special Topics 1
IPRO Elective II 3
Free Elective2 3
Social Sciences Elective (300+) 3
    16
Total Credit Hours 127-128

1Forensic Chemistry Electives (Select at least 2 courses, 6 credits):

  • CHEM 460 Bioanalytical Chemistry
  • CHEM 461 Bioanalytical Chemistry Lab
  • CHEM 452 Cheminformatics
  • CHEM 472 Environmental Chemistry
  • CHEM 473 Environmental Analytical Chemistry
  • CHEM 467 Medicinal Chemistry
  • CHEM 513 Statistics for Analytical Chemists
  • CHEM 538 Physical Biochemistry
  • CHEM 500 Advanced Analytical Chemistry
  • CHEM 416 Inorganic Chemistry Lab (Required for ACS-Accredited BS Degree)

2Free Electives (Suggested, Select 3 courses, 9 credits):

  • BIOL 210 Microbiology
  • BIOL 214 Genetics
  • BIOL 514 Toxicology
  • BIOL 445 Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 550 Bioinformatics
  • ITMD 521 Client/Server Technologies and Applications
  • ITMD 525 Topics in Data Science and Management
  • ITMD 527 Data Analytics
  • ITMS 538 Cyber Forensics
Forensic Chemistry Requirements 57
CHEM100, 124, 125, 237, 239, 240, 247, 321, 343, 344, 415, 434, 485 41
CHEM 475 Forensic Chemistry 3
CHEM 476 Forensic Chemistry Lab 3
CHEM 463 Analytical Method Development Lab 3
CHEM 495 Seminar In Special Topics 1
Forensic Chemistry Electives 6
Biology Requirements 6-7
BIOL107 or 115, BIOL 401 or 403  
Mathematics Requirements 18
MATH 151, 152, 251, 252  
Physics Requirements 8
PHYS 123, 221  
Computer Science Requirements 2
CS 105 or 110  
Humanities and Social Sciences Requirements 21
Interprofessional Projects (IPRO) 6
Free Electives 9