Apply scientific principles and procedures to the law as we reveal the fascinating world of forensic science.
Forensic science is the application of scientific principles and procedures to the law. Laurentian University has offered forensic sciences degrees since 1998 and was the first in Canada to offer FEPAC (Forensic Science Programs Accreditation Commission) degrees. We currently offer three undergraduate degrees including the Honors Bachelor of Science (Hons.B.Sc.) four-year Single Specialization in Forensic Science (FEPAC Accredited); the Honors Bachelor of Science (Hons.B.Sc.) four-year Combined Specialization in Forensic Science and Chemistry (FEPAC Accredited); and the Honors Bachelor of Science (Hons.B.Sc.) four-year Combined Specialization in Forensic Science and Biology (FEPAC Accreditation pending).
Exclusively for police forensic identification officers, we offer a three-year Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Forensic Identification through the Centre of Continuing Education.
The Department of Forensic Science offers these degrees under the guiding principle that it is best to ‘learn by doing.’ We emphasize a ‘hands-on’ experience in the theory and practice of forensic science. Our students benefit from our new state of the art forensic teaching laboratory, crime scene apartment, and new outdoor facility for staging crime scenes for investigation. We conduct labs in:
- DNA analysis
- fingerprint enhancement and analysis
- forensic entomology
- forensic microclimatology
- forensic botany
- forensic soil analysis
- forensic anthropology
- forensic odontology
- hair and fiber analysis
- forensic serology
- forensic chemistry
- forensic toxicology
- bloodstain pattern analysis
- footwear impressions
- firearms examination and ballistics
- tool mark examination
- crime scene procedures and protocols
We also have an extensive curriculum on Forensic Jurisprudence built into all our forensic degrees.
We are proud of our distinguished faculty all of whom are active practitioners in their respective fields. Our faculty have been or are actively consulting on forensic cases. Additionally, all of our forensic science faculty have given expert witness testimony in Canada and/or the United States. In addition to their casework experience, our faculty are actively engaged in forensic research and regularly publish in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, Forensic Science International, and the Journal of Analytical Toxicology, to name a few. We invite you to contact faculty members with whom you have an interest.
A degree in forensic science may be best thought of as a degree in basic science with a forensic theme. Students generally focus on aspects of chemical or biological science and are introduced to the application of these principles to forensic casework. The core science curriculum in the Laurentian University forensic science programs is complemented by comprehensive coursework in law and ethics, as they pertain to the forensic scientist. Finally, students take part in research-intensive courses, where they present their work to their peers, thus establishing some experience with public speaking and presentation. The curricula in our Fepac-accredited programs are suitable for continuation in a variety of fields.
The most common fields that students pursue after graduation from our programs are:
Graduate Study/Research: Biology, Chemistry, Anthropology, Forensic science
Policing In recent years
Some of our graduates have won international research awards for their work, and we are now beginning to see other graduates complete post-graduate degrees in medicine, law, and education. An important accomplishment of our students is the high success rate in publishing or presenting their senior research at international forensic conferences, or in the leading forensic science journals.
Since the inception of the department, over 90% of our undergraduate research students have been successful in this regard. Together, these achievements prove that the B.sc. Forensic science is a strong, fundamental science degree that does not limit its graduates to careers in forensic science, but provides a foundation for future success.
Forensic identification officer, forensic pathologist, forensic anthropologist, DNA scientist, police officer, forensic chemist, forensic odontologist, forensic psychologist, forensic scientist, laboratory technologist, forensic nursing, teacher, graduate studies, medicine, law.
Students interested in careers in forensic science should have a solid science background. Applicants for forensic science jobs are typically subjected to a criminal background check that is similar to that which law enforcement officers undergo as a condition of employment (Reference: NIJ Report NCJ 203099 “Qualifications for a Career in Forensic Science” pp.7-10).
Frédéric Rochon, Forensic Science
I am appreciative of both Laurentian’s welcoming, knowledgeable, and helpful teaching staff as well as it’s facilities; particularly the J.N. Desmarais Library, the Ben F. Avery Physical Education Centre. Another aspect I take advantage of is the bilingualism of Laurentian, allowing me to personalize my academic path by taking classes in both English and French, therefore graduating with a solid scientific background and the ability to utilize my knowledge in both languages. Another opportunity I am appreciative of is the Work Study program that allows student employment on campus, all while being compatible with our busy schedules. Overall, I believe Laurentian is a truly vibrant and tight-knit community composed of professors, colleagues and friends that conveys an atmosphere of learning and conviviality.
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