Professor of Biology
Director Forensic Science Program
Office: LSA 220
Phone: (910) 672-1650
Ms. Shawnta' Cummings
Office: LSA 220
Phone: (910) 672-2625
Forensic Science Program Links
Many Universities offer degrees called "Forensic" at both Bachelor and Master level. The programs train students in the interactions between an academic specialty and the legal system through, forensic biology, forensic anthropology, forensic psychology, forensic chemistry and forensic in computer science. A graduate program is for the students that want to become a technical leader, supervisor or director of a forensic laboratory. An undergraduate program of four years is for the student who wants to become a laboratory practitioner, or an investigator.
Definitely not! They differ in focus depending on their area of specialization, and they differ in competence. Some programs are little more than loose grouping of courses that any student would take: whereas other programs are very focused with specialized courses taught by practitioners in forensic science
A forensic scientist is a scientist who usually works in a laboratory setting analyzing particular types of evidences, writing reports and testifying in court as an expert witness. In some cases, a forensic scientist may attend a crime or other incident scenes to help reconstruct the crime, or help in the recognition, collection, and preservation of evidence within their specialty. For example, a forensic anthropologist may be called upon to collect skeletal remains found in the woods. A forensic chemist maybe asked to help in processing a clandestine drug. A trace evidence examiner may be asked to collect hairs and fibers and other traces from a homicide scene. Usually the crime scene component of the job of a forensic scientist is a minor part job relatively.
Many forensic scientists work in forensic crime laboratories; in united states, there are more than 4000 crime laboratories, administered by federal, state, or local government or private sector. Most crime laboratories employ scientists in the areas of forensic chemistry, forensic biology; mainly for DNA serology, and criminalistics; fingerprints, questioned documents, firearms and tool marks.
In order to become a forensic scientist, one must become well grounded in the sciences that are important to the discipline. For example, a forensic pathologist must be educated in medicine and pathology. A forensic entomologist must be educated in the biological sciences and entomology.
If you wish to work in a crime laboratory as a forensic chemist or biologist, you must have a thorough grounding in the basic sciences of biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. This can be achieved by obtaining a college degree in one of these sciences, making sure that the others are also covered. Courses in Criminal justice maybe useful to some extent, but a major in Criminal justice is not adequate preparation for a career in forensic science. Crime laboratory directors look first for a solid science background to make the decision to hire a forensic scientist.
After obtaining a strong science background, it is best to specialize in one of the forensic science areas which is most interesting. You may go to medical school to become a forensic pathologist. You may go to the graduate school to obtain a master or PhD Degree in engineering to become a forensic engineer. To prepare for a career in crime laboratories, it is recommended that you pursue a master's degree in forensic science.
A list of Forensic science programs worldwide can be found in the American Academy of Forensic Science web site. There are many programs at the Bachelor's and Master's level, and a few in Ph.D. program level. You should visit the school that you are interested in, and find more details about the program and discuss your goals with the faculty or administrators before you make any decision.
While the program is following the standards of the Forensic Science Education programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the program is not yet accredited. However, the accreditation process is underway.
The faculty members are: Dr. Erin White, Dr. Lieceng Zhu, Ms. Natalia Czado, and Dr. Khalid Lodhi