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 increase course offerings and instrumentation 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. Currently, the Forensic Science Program at FSU is the FIRST and ONLY FEPAC accredited program in North Carolina. We can guarantee that the education you receive here at FSU will prepare you for your future career goals!

Facilities

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
Accreditation

The Forensic Science Program is accredited under the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC). The accreditation ensures that our program meets rigorous educational standards in forensic science.  Currently, only 46 universities have earned FEPAC accreditation, and Fayetteville State University is the ONLY university in North Carolina to have done so.  

Faculty Standards

FEPAC accredited programs must comply with strict standards in regard to the use of full-time faculty members who are academically  or professionally qualified.  Our current faculty have extensive experience working in crime laboratories and/or conducting research.  Furthermore, the Forensic Science Program collaborates with forensic science laboratories and practitioners.  This ensures students an opportunity to interact with professionals in their field of interest.  

Continuous Improvement

Every year, the Forensic Science Program is required to review the curriculum and make any updates to ensure that students receive a high standard of education and are ready for employment upon graduation.  The curriculum provides students with a strong foundation in natural sciences with an emphasis in forensic biology. 

Benefits to Students

Employers are aware of the rigorous accreditation process and know that graduates from FEPAC accredited programs have completed all necessary science courses. Therefore, accreditation can enhance opportunities for student participation in internships and as well as permanent job opportunities. The Forensic Science Program at FSU has one of the highest job placement rates of all majors at the university.  The Program continually strives to prepare its students for real-world employment opportunities.  

FEPAC: Why It Matters to You

FEPAC accreditation demonstrates that a program is committed to meeting the needs of students, investing in state-of-the-art facilities and technology, and offering a current and relevant education that is constantly reviewed and improved. For more information about the accreditation process, please visit FEPAC's website: http://www.fepac-edu.org/.

Faculty

Dr. Danielle Graham

Dr. Danielle Graham, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Interim Chair
Office: LSA 124
Phone: (910) 672-1055
Email: degraham@uncfsu.edu

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.


Ms. Carletta Graves

Carletta Graves

Administrative Assistant
Office: LSA 124
Phone: (910) 672-1692
E-mail:cgraves5@uncfsu.edu

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
E-mail: aosman@uncfsu.edu

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 and a Master of Science in College Student Personnel Services from Arkansas State University in 2020. 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
E-mail: klodhi@uncfsu.edu

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

Professor
Office: STB 417
Phone: (910) 672-1655
E-mail: lzhu@uncfsu.edu

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.


Dr. Kristen Delaney Nguyen

Dr. Kristen Delaney Nguyen

Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Office: LSA 330A
Phone: (910) 672-1046
E-mail: kdelaney@uncfsu.edu

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.


Dr. Oluseyi Vanderpuye

Dr. Oluseyi Vanderpuye

Associate Professor of Forensic Sciences
Office: LS 215
Phone: (910) 672-1692
Email: ovanderpuye@uncfsu.edu

Background: Oluseyi Vanderpuye is currently an Associate Professor of Forensic Science at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina. He graduated from universities in England (PhD) and Scotland (BSc.). Dr Vanderpuye taught 15 different Forensic Science courses over 17 years in Albany State University, Georgia which has a FEPAC-accredited program. He has been invited to teach forensic science courses in the Forensic Medicine one year diploma course at the National Postgraduate Medical College in Nigeria. He is currently on the MS thesis committee of a student at Virginia Commonwealth University and has been a committee member or chair for others in other universities. Dr. Vanderpuye has been an AAFS member and mentored 45 Albany State University undergraduate students in research projects several of whom co-authored abstracts published in the proceedings of annual meetings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. He also was a faculty mentor for the Albany State University chapter of the international Forensic Science honors society Delta Delta Epsilon and consequently is a lifetime member. Dr. Vanderpuye has done other professional activities such as organizing symposia and workshops including helping host one on Forensic epidemiology at Albany State University that was sponsored by the Georgia State Department of Public Health.

Dr. Vanderpuye’s forensic research interests include analysis and toxicology of synthetic cannabinoids, Forensic DNA typing methods and DNA databases, toxin interactions with human lung and adrenal cells, exosomal and salivary glycoprotein biomarkers for biomedical and forensic applications.


Ms. Dawn McGee

Ms. Dawn McGee

Lecturer/Lab Manager
Office: LS 122
Phone: (910) 672-1135
Email: dmcgee@uncfsu.edu

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

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