The Forensic Science undergraduate program is a concurrent degree program, which means students are required to declare a second degree in addition to Forensic Science. Due to the highly specialized and diverse nature of Forensic Science, the concurrent degree requirement allows students to choose degree combinations that will best prepare them for employment in their chosen career field.
- Any undergraduate degree can be paired with Forensic Science, with the exception of general studies, interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary studies, and other similar degrees.
- There is no separate application process for an undergraduate Forensic Science degree. Once a student has applied and been accepted to UCO, they may simply declare Forensic Science as one of their two degrees.
- Students who complete the concurrent Forensic Science program will be awarded two full Bachelor’s diplomas upon graduation.
There are two mechanisms for earning a Forensic Science undergraduate degree:
- Students must declare a primary degree at UCO in addition to Forensic Science.
- Students must fulfill all degree and GPA requirements for both degrees, and complete a minimum of 139 total credit hours.
- A student already possessing an eligible undergraduate degree can pursue a second Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science by itself, as their previous degree meets the concurrent degree requirement.
- Students must fulfill all Forensic Science course and hour requirements (30-36 hours) regardless of previous coursework and where they earned their first degree.
- It is recommended that students who have already earned an eligible Bachelor’s degree also consider applying to our Forensic Science Graduate program (36 hours).
Forensic Science is an extremely broad field, ranging from Forensic Accounting to Forensic Zoology! Here are just some of the possible degree combinations that students can pair for a unique career in Forensic Science:
- Accounting: Forensic Accountant
- Art: Forensic Artist, Fingerprint Analyst
- Biology: DNA Analyst, Forensic Wildlife Biologist, Medical Examiner/Pathologist
- Chemistry: Forensic Chemist, Forensic Toxicologist
- Criminal Justice: Crime Scene Investigator
- Engineering/Physics: Explosives, Firearms, Forensic Engineer
- Funeral Service: Medicolegal / Death Scene Investigator
- Graphic Design: Crime Scene Reconstruction
- MIS/Computer Science: Digital Forensics Examiner, Cyber Security Specialist
- Nursing: Sexual Assault Nurse
- Psychology: Forensic Psychologist
- Sociology: Victim/Witness Advocate, Social Worker, Domestic Violence or Child Abuse Specialist
- And many more!
Statement on drug abuse and background checks related to the Forensic Science Program
Individuals seeking careers in forensic science and related fields are subject to background checks as they will work with sensitive information. These careers demand a high level of trust, unquestioned ethics, and professionalism. Students pursuing a degree in forensic science can also expect a background check as part of the required internship or practicum program. A background investigation typically includes review of arrest or conviction records; drug and alcohol use and abuse screening; review of credit reports; interview of friends, teachers, and supervisors; and possibly a polygraph examination. Issues derived from background investigations often preclude internships and employment in forensic science or related fields. Even though law enforcement agencies may differ in specific policies, tolerance levels, and practices related to the background investigation, it is unlikely that a candidate failing a background check will be accepted for an internship or able to secure employment in the forensic science field.