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Forensic and Investigative Science

We stand above all universities nationally with the largest forensic science and crime scene training complex in the nation — four crime scene houses, a vehicle processing garage, a ballistics test center and special outdoor venues.

By the numbers300

Faculty have 300+ years of combined academic and practical experience.

Description

What is Forensic and Investigative Science at WVU like?

Description

Forensic and Investigative Science is where scientific knowledge and the search for justice meet. Forensic scientists might uncover evidence at the scene of a crime or apply their scientific knowledge to the analysis of evidence in the lab.

Our students develop skills in chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics and more to make sure no piece of evidence goes unused. You will leave our program with the skills needed to testify and present proper interpretation of evidence in a court of law.

At a Glance

Areas of Emphasis

Tailor this major to your interests by taking courses in one of these areas:

  • Forensic Biology
    Prepares students for positions in forensic labs as DNA analysts. It is well suited as a pre-professional program and as excellent preparation for graduate work in biological disciplines. Forensic DNA work is a laboratory-based profession with employment opportunities in local, state, federal and private laboratories. Forensic biologists typically do not do crime scene work on a routine basis, but may occasionally be called to a scene.
  • Forensic Chemistry
    Prepares students for positions in forensic labs as forensic chemists, arson analyst and investigators, forensic toxicologists and trace evidence examiners. Like the biology track, it too is well-suited as a pre-professional program and as excellent preparation for graduate work in chemical disciplines. Forensic chemistry work is a laboratory-based profession with employment opportunities in local, state, federal and private laboratories.
  • Forensic Examiner
    Prepares students for positions as crime scene analysts, latent fingerprint examiners, forensic photographers, evidence technicians, investigators and law enforcement officers and agents. Working conditions are typically field and/or office-based rather than laboratory-based. Crime scene analysts are often part of major crime scene squads that collect and document evidence, but they rarely participate in the scientific examination of the evidence in the laboratory.

Opportunities

What makes Forensic and Investigative Science at WVU unique?


Research and Academic Opportunities

Transfer Articulation Agreements

In addition to guaranteed admission agreements WVU has transfer articulation agreements with:

Student Organizations

Connect with other students who share your academic interests as a member of:

View all of the student organizations you can join.

Professional Organizations

Network with professionals in your field as a student member of:

  • American Academy of Forensic Sciences

WVUteach

You can earn a secondary teaching certificate through WVUteach while completing a four-year degree in WVU's Forensic and Investigative Science major.

Careers

What can you do with a degree in Forensic and Investigative Science?

Possible Careers

Wondering what you can do with a degree from WVU's Forensic and Investigative Science major? Check out these ideas from WVU Career Services and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). A median salary is the midpoint of what people typically earn—half of those surveyed earned above the median salary, and half earned below.

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Employers

Graduates from this major have gone to work at:

Courses

What are the courses like in Forensic and Investigative Science at WVU?

Major Map

Check out the course requirements and suggested plan of study for WVU's Forensic and Investigative Science major.

View the Major Map
 

For a program overview, learning goals and course descriptions, visit the course catalog.

Popular Courses

BIOL 432:
Forensic Biology

Biological applications and advances in forensic identification technologies, including advantages and limitations of different approaches. Focuses on isolation, quantification, amplification, and analysis of DNA.

CHEM 460:
Forensic Chemistry

Analytical chemistry as applied in forensic science. Drug analysis, toxicology, arson, paints, polymers, fibers, inks, and gunshot residue.

FIS 302:
Crime Scene Investigation 1

An introductory course providing basic competencies required for crime scene examiners. The course will focus on developing a consistent approach to the processing of a crime scene with a major focus on recovery/processing evidence.

FIS 305:
Biological Evidence for Forensic Examiners

This is an elective course for Examiner Track students in the Forensic & Investigative Science major. The course focuses on the collection and testing of body fluids as well as death scene investigation procedures.

FIS 314:
Introduction to Microscopy

Laboratory-based introduction to theory and practice of light microscopy, polarizing light microscopy, imaging, particle manipulation, comparison microscopy, and simple microscopy. Open to non-FIDP majors and pre-admits on space available basis. (3 hr. lab.)

FIS 335:
Forensic Photography

Students focus on the fundamentals of photography, how to handle a camera, and expose film correctly. Include unique forensic environments encountered in forensic work includes fingerprints, crime scenes, and disaster scenes.

FIS 406:
Court Testimony

PR or CONC: FIS 404. A skills intensive course that combines in-class instruction with practical experience in the area of court testimony, legal writing presentation, and creation and presentation of exhibits in an actual court setting.

FIS 409:
Blood Stain Pattern Analysis

Scientific analysis of blood patterns at crime scene investigations and their applications in solving crimes.

Cost

How much does Forensic and Investigative Science at WVU cost?

Tuition and Fees

Estimated rates for the 2018-19 academic year. Rates are subject to change. Anyone that is not a current West Virginia resident will be charged non-resident rates. That includes international students.

West Virginia Resident
Per Semester $4,896
Fall and Spring Semesters $9,792
Non-Resident
Per Semester $13,188
Fall and Spring Semesters $26,376
International
Per Semester $13,488
Fall and Spring Semesters $26,976
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Ways to Save

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Transfer Articulation Agreements

To simplify the transfer process, we have formal agreements with certain institutions. These agreements outline the courses you should take to prepare for transferring to WVU. In addition to guaranteed admission agreements Forensic and Investigative Science has transfer articulation agreements with:

Review the full list of transfer articulation agreements to see if your institution is listed.

Learn How to Transfer Course Credits

Requirements

What are the requirements to apply for Forensic and Investigative Science at WVU?

Program Requirements

In addition to meeting WVU's base admission standards, first-time freshmen must also meet the following requirement for the 2017-18 academic year:

For direct admission to the Forensic and Investigative Science program:
  • ACT Math: 22
  • SAT Math: 570

If you don't meet the requirements for WVU's Forensic and Investigative Science major, check out some related programs.

University Requirements

To be admitted to WVU's Forensic and Investigative Science major, you must first meet WVU's first-time freshman admission requirements for the 2018-19 academic year. Interested in transferring? Review the transfer admission requirements.

Next Steps

I like this major. What are the next steps?

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