Ashley Vidot '10, forensic DNA technician at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, responds to a crime scene (above) and then searches evidence for the presence of semen (below).
The Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science degree is designed to prepare students for careers as forensic scientists. The core of the curriculum consists of chemistry and biology courses and a small number of criminology and criminal justice courses. The curriculum is enhanced by internship opportunities with forensic laboratories such as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Tampa Crime Laboratory, the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner, the Pinellas County Crime Laboratory and Field Forensics, Inc. The program also prepares students for graduate programs in forensic science, chemistry, toxicology, biochemistry and health professional schools.
Graduates of the program are well-prepared for employment with local, state and federal crime laboratories and law enforcement agencies. Based on polling of our graduates, 79% of them are employed in forensic science or a related field, are in Ph.D. programs related to their training, or are in medical school within a year after graduation. Several graduates are in doctoral programs in top schools in their field. Our graduates work in various aspects of forensic science, including crime scene, forensic DNA and forensic chemistry.
A complete listing of required courses for the Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science degree and the Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science four-year curriculum plan can be viewed on UT's online catalog.
Forensic Science Mission Statement
The mission of the forensic science program is to prepare the student, through the development of student knowledge and laboratory skills, for post-baccalaureate training and careers in forensic science and related fields, in an environment that emphasizes faculty-student mentoring.
The objectives of the forensic science program are to graduate students who:
- Possess knowledge essential to a broad understanding of forensic science and the underlying scientific and legal concepts, with particular knowledge in crime scene investigation, firearms and pattern comparison, genetics, molecular biology, forensic chemistry and forensic toxicology
- Develop and demonstrate competence in forensic science methods and instrumentation, data collection and interpretation, through hands-on experiential learning
- Be able to make reasoned decisions and ethical choices to obtain, report and communicate their results with integrity
- Develop the ability to communicate effectively through both oral and written methods and in both scientific and courtroom environments
- Have an attention to detail necessary for thorough and rigorous evidence analysis
- Demonstrate the ability to effectively work independently through an independent project, original research and/or an internship experience