Forensic Science (BS)

As a Forensic Science student, you will receive hands-on learning with state-of-the-art equipment while enjoying a student to teacher ratio of 10 to 1.

Forensic science encompasses a wide array of disciplines including criminology, pathology, toxicology, etc. The educational background of professionals in this field is embedded heavily in the natural and behavioral sciences such chemistry, biology, physics, sociology and criminal justice. The mission of the Bachelor of Science Degree Program in Forensic Science is to produce technically skilled graduates equipped with the foundational science and laboratory problem solving skills necessary for success in the modern crime laboratory.

The Forensic Science Program is one of the best up and coming majors at Fayetteville State University. While at FSU, I was granted multiple research opportunities, which aided in developing and strengthening my abilities. Through this program, I gained a lifetime of mentors that have truly supported and provided me with a solid foundation. I am forever grateful to have worked alongside some of the best professors FSU has to offer.
Carla Peguese
Forensic Chemist at New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Laboratory

Why Choose Forensics at FSU?

The dedicated faculty within the Forensic Science Program at FSU have worked to design a diversified curriculum and state-of-the art laboratory infrastructure for research and educational purposes. Our efforts have led to the Program receiving accreditation through the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) in 2017, which expired on January 1, 2023. Currently, the Forensic Science Program is going through reaccreditation review. It has been proven the track record that the education you receive here at FSU will prepare you for your future career goals in crime laboratory, industry (biotechnology/chemical), research or graduate/professional schools!


In addition to the high quality of education we are able to offer, the facilities here at FSU provide both hands-on training on laboratory equipment standard to crime laboratories and research projects. If you have ever wanted to investigate your own crime scene, you will have the opportunity to do so. If you have ever wondered how lab technicians examine trace or biological evidence, you will be able to conduct your own examinations. You will then present your findings to a board of experts. Here at FSU, you can place yourself in the shoes of crime lab personnel as you learn the real role forensics plays in solving crimes.

Class Size

In order for you to receive the hands-on training needed to be successful in career placements, we have kept our class sizes small. Our classes do not exceed a student to teacher ratio of 25:1. Most courses are designed to not exceed a ratio of 10:1, especially senior-level courses. If a closer, supportive relationship between your peers and instructors is important to you, the Forensic Science Program at FSU will be the perfect fit!

What Will You Learn in Forensic Science?

You will receive preparation in areas such DNA analysis, forensic chemistry, crime scene investigation, and trace evidence. The program will also provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to prepare laboratory reports and expert witness testimony based on your examinations. Upon completion of the Forensic Science Program, you will be prepared to function as forensic scientists and specialists, or for advanced study in areas such as forensic science, biomedical research, medicine, and law.

View more in our academic catalog.

What Will You Do with a Forensic Science Degree?

Graduating from the Forensic Science Program at FSU will prepare you for several careers in the STEM field, including positions as a:

  • Serologist
  • DNA Analyst
  • Toxicologist
  • Drug Analyst
  • Trace Evidence Analyst
  • Fingerprint Examiner
  • Researcher in Biology, Biotechnology, or the Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Food and Drug Inspector

Dr. Danielle Graham

Dr. Danielle Graham, Ph.D.

Associate Professor/ Chair
Office: LSA 124
Phone: (910) 672-1055

Background: Dr. Danielle Graham received her Bachelor of Science in Biology at Fayetteville State University. Dr. Graham joined the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and completed her PhD in 2015. Dr. Graham went on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship from UNC‐Chapel Hill that focused on training in pedagogy and research. In 2017, Dr. Graham joined the Department of Biological and Forensic Sciences at FSU as an Assistant Professor of Microbiology and currently serves as the Interim Department Chair. In addition to her instructional and administrative duties, Dr. Graham is an active researcher and currently manages an NSF grant to study microbial pathogenesis, antibiotic resistance, and biofilm formation. In 2020, Dr. Graham was recognized as one of the “1000 Inspiring Black scientists in America” by Cell Mentor. Dr. Graham is also the 2021 recipient of the “Teacher of the Year” award at the departmental and college level. Dr. Graham is passionate about increasing diversity in STEM by inclusive teaching, outreach, and authentic research experiences.</p

Research Description: Dr. Danielle Graham”s research focuses on enhancing the understanding of microbe-microbe interactions and further advancing the knowledge of antibiotic discovery using a tried-and-true method of mining soil microbes coupled with a metagenomic and computational approach (NSF Award 2000260). Dr. Graham also conducts interdisciplinary, collaborative research to investigate how prior environmental nutrient conditions influence bacterial inter- and intraspecific interactions (NSF Award 2302609). Collectively, results from this work are of broad national interests in agricultural, natural resources management and conservation sectors.

Ms. Carletta Graves

Carletta Graves

Administrative Assistant
Office: LSA 124
Phone: (910) 672-1692

Background: Ms. Carletta M. Graves joined the Department of Biological and Forensic Sciences as the Administrative Support Associate on May 16, 2022. She has been a part of the Fayetteville State University family for many years. Some years as a student pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education and seven years as an employee of Cumberland County school’s Early College High School, which is located on the FSU campus where she served as the school’s Office manager and Data manager. Ms. Graves has been working administratively at every level for nearly 20 years. She brings a wealth of knowledge of how to engage and interact with students and the academic staff. Ms. Graves is a member of many organizations that serve her community such as the North Carolina Museum of the Arts and the Black History Society of Cumberland County. In working with the Department of Biological and Forensic Sciences it is always a pleasure to assist and direct others as needed.

Angel Osman

Angel Osman

Academic Advisor
Office: LSA 220
Phone: (910) 672-1588

Background: Mrs. Osman joined the Department of Biological and Forensic Sciences on May 3, 2021. She brings years of experience in higher education, biological sciences, and supporting students. Mrs. Osman earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Campbell University in 2009, a Master of Science in College Student Personnel Services from Arkansas State University in 2020, and a Master of Science in Academic Advising from Kansas State University in 2022. She has a passion for supporting students as they navigate college, develop as adults, find their professional calling, and realize their academic goals. Mrs. Osman has a history of volunteer mentoring with first-generation college students and laboratory instruction in Biological Sciences and Chemistry. Mrs. Osman is proud to be a part of the FSU family and to do her part in ensuring students receive advisement to reach their academic and professional goals.

Dr. Khalid Lodhi

Dr. Khalid Lodhi

Professor and Director of the Forensics Program
Office: STB 322
Phone: (910) 672-1650

Background: He is a Professor in the Department of Biological and Forensic Sciences at Fayetteville State University. In addition, he serves as the Director of the forensic science program. Dr. Lodhi started his forensic career at ReliaGene Technologies, Inc. as a Senior Scientist, where he was a member of team who worked on forensic DNA database. He then joined Indianapolis Marion County Forensic Services Agency as a forensic scientist, where he investigated over 100 criminal cases involving DNA, and testified as an expert witness. Dr. Lodhi received several scholarships and prestigious awards to receive his education and career advancements such as NUFFIC/FAO fellowship, UNESCO research fellowship, Asia 21 Scholarship, Yoneyama Rotary Scholarship, Kenan Fellowship, and Fulbright Specialist award. Dr. Lodhi's current research interest involve:

  1. The identification of one or more individual(s) using Low Copy Number DNA from a touched object.
  2. Innovative methods of forensic education.
  3. Identification of one or more individual(s) from Hematophagous insects.

Dr. Lodhi supervises the research of graduate, undergraduate and high school students on these projects. He is the author of several high-ranking international peer reviewed journals. He serves on the Editorial Board of Journal of Forensic Research. He is the member of American Academy of Forensic Sciences, International Association for Identification, Southern Association of Forensic Scientists, Council of Forensic Science Educators, and North Carolina Academy of Science.

Dr. Lieceng Zhu

Dr. Lieceng Zhu

Office: STB 417
Phone: (910) 672-1655

Background: Dr. Lieceng Zhu is a Professor in the Department of Biological and Forensic Sciences (DBFS) at Fayetteville State University (FSU). She teaches a variety of Biology, Zoology, and Forensic Science courses including BIOL/FORS 431, Population Genetics; FORS 410, Technical Writing in Forensic Science; and ZOOL 310, Principle of Genetics. Dr. Zhu's research focuses on the impact of environmental stresses on resistance of wheat plants to the Hessian fly. Since 2009, she has trained 25 students in research and publications at FSU. Dr. Zhu has published 27 papers in peer-reviewed journals and given 20 presentations in international, national and regional conferences. Because of her efforts and accomplishments in research, Dr. Zhu was selected as the 2015-2016 Academician of the Year in both DBFS and the College of Health, Science, and Technology (CHST). Additionally, Dr. Zhu has devoted herself to the success of students, faculty, and the university through service. She has served as the Assistant Chair for five years, and served as the Interim Chair of the DBFS during the 2014-2015 academic year.

Research Description: Dr. Lieceng Zhu’s research aims to understand the impact of heat stress on plant resistance to insects using wheat and Hessian fly interaction system as a model. Currently she is the Principal Investigator of an NSF-funded grant “Phytohormones and Heat-Induced Loss of Wheat Resistance to Hessian Fly” (Award ID 2100425). The findings of the research will enhance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of heat-induced loss of plant resistance to insects and co-evolution between host plants and parasites in the context of global warming and environmental change. As a faculty in a teaching-intensive and minority serving university, Dr. Zhu’s research has been focusing on promoting student success. She has engaged ~ 40 students in research and scholarship since 2009.

Dr. Kristen Delaney Nguyen

Dr. Kristen Delaney Nguyen

Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Office: LSA 330A
Phone: (910) 672-1046

Background: Dr. Kristen Delaney Nguyen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological and Foresnics Sciences. She joined the department in 2013. She teaches a variety of coureses including microbiology, immunology, molecular biology, biology seminar, and research capstone. One of her primary foci is integrating research expereinces into courses in the form of CUREs (Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences). She was selected as DBFS Teacher of the Year twice (2015-2016 and 2017-2018). Her research background is in the host-pathogen interface and recombinant vaccine development. Current projects focus on finding novel viruses to combat argiculturally important pathogens. Since 2015 she has mentored 17 students and published 3 peer-reviewed papers and 4 genome annotations.

Ms. Akanksha Mandayam Narasimhan

Akanksha Mandayam Narasimhan

Phone: (910) 672-1490

Background: Ms. Akanksha Mandayam Narasimhan obtained her Bachelor of science in Forensic Science at Jain University in Karnataka, India. She earned her Master of Science in Medicolegal Death Investigation at Syracuse University, NY and went on to work as a Death Investigator at an IACME accredited Medical Examiner’s office. As she continued to move up the ranks, Ms. Mandayam Narasimhan passed her certification and became a registered diplomat of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (D-ABMDI). In the course of her career she obtained her second Master of Science degree in Forensic Science and switched her career to a more academic one. She is passionate about teaching forensics with a practical approach.

Ms. Dawn McGee

Ms. Dawn McGee

Lecturer/Lab Manager
Office: LS 122
Phone: (910) 672-1135

Background: Ms. Dawn McGee joined the Department of Biological and Forensic Sciences as a Lecturer and Lab manager in May 2020. She is a proud alum, obtaining both her BS and MS in Biology from Fayetteville State University. Ms. McGee has serviced the university in different capacities for almost 20 years. Currently, she teaches a variety of biology courses and manages the Forensic Science laboratories.

Student Achievements

Mishal and Josh image

Many of our students have received internships, conducted and presented research, obtained employment in forensic and related fields, and enrolled in graduate degree programs.