Forensic Science

  • GU Possibilities
    • Students who pursue the sciences at Gannon University have a long history of active engagement in undergraduate research.  Students in the sciences have co-authored papers and presented their scientific findings at national conferences. 
    • Graduates from the science programs at Gannon University have successfully pursued advanced degrees in  medical and scientific research fields, law and direct post-baccalaureate employment in exciting careers.

    You Will Learn

    According to the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, forensic science is any science used for the purpose of the law, in public, in a court or in the justice system. Gannon University has very strong, established programs in criminal justice, biology and chemistry. This, together with the recently renovated infrastructure and equipment upgrades in the Zurn Science Center and the construction of the Forensic Investigation Center, the only facility of its kind for evidence collection in the region, positions the University to offer a new major in forensic science with a biological or chemistry focus. Fast-paced, scientific advances makes forensic science an exciting and challenging field for study. 

    You Will Experience

    Forensic science majors are encouraged to complement their academic curriculum with the experiential learning provided by an internship or undergraduate research opportunities. Undergraduate research opportunities may be cross-disciplinary in nature and complement the excellent undergraduate research programs already established in the chemistry and biology programs.

    You Will Achieve

    Outside of direct field entry, there are many other employment opportunities and continuation into graduate degree programs. The interdisciplinary curriculum is particularly well suited to giving students the opportunity to pursue all of these options by meeting pre-requisite coursework. Such options include, but are not limited to:
    • animal drug testing laboratory
    • crime scene investigator
    • criminalistics laboratory scientist  
    • DEA laboratory
    • dental school
    • entry-level technical positions with an environmental or health focus
    • forensic laboratory scientist
    • law school
    • master’s or Ph.D. programs
    • medical examiner laboratory
    • medical school
    • Olympics testing laboratory
    • toxicology laboratory

    You will Study

    The forensic science program at Gannon provides a flexible education, allowing students to focus their elective courses in either biology or chemistry. Students receive inter-disciplinary exposure to advanced course work in criminal justice, biology, chemistry and forensic science. Major courses include:

    FRSC 261: Forensic Biology and Laboratory

    This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of forensic DNA analysis. Topics will include the basic structure of DNA, sample handling, analysis and quality assurance.

    FRSC 361: Forensic Chemistry and Laboratory

    A study of the application of analytical chemical principles to the forensic science field. Topics include quality control, laboratory protocol, basic instrumentation, matrix effects and quantitative/qualitative analysis.

    FRSC 361: Forensic Science and Laboratory

    This course continues the study of forensic biology and forensic chemistry. Topics include the analysis of drugs, synthetic polymers, natural polymers (including DNA) and colorants.  

    Liberal Studies Core

    The Liberal Studies Core Curriculum is one reflection of Gannon University's commitment to its Catholic identity. The Core's design offers students a defined, integrated, shared experience as the foundation for their undergraduate program.

    You Will Earn

    Employment is expected to grow six percent from 2012 to 2022. Salaries in the field vary depending on level of education, experience, geographic location and employer.

    • Median annual wage: $52,840  
    All salary information is compiled from data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( and/or PayScale (