Department website: http://forensics.wvu.edu/
- Bachelor of Science
Nature of the Program
The Department of Forensic and Investigative Science (FIS) offers a Bachelor of Science degree in three major areas: Forensic Biology, Forensic Chemistry, and Forensic Examiner. All of these majors provide students with a strong background in the fundamental science and applied practice associated with forensic science. The Program is accredited by the Forensic Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC).
Because of the unique nature of the profession of forensic science, students are forewarned that a record of criminal, unethical, or other socially unacceptable behavior (such as illicit drug use or alcohol offenses) could negatively affect their ability to pass a background check, which may in turn make it difficult or impossible and complete the degree. Department guidelines are available from departmental advisers.
Students who earn a degree in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences must complete the University requirements, the College requirements for their specific degree program, and their major requirements.
All students have the possibility of earning one or more minors; click the following link for a list of all available minors and their requirements. Please note that students may not earn a minor in their major field.
- Casper Venter - Ph.D. (University of South Africa)
Director of Graduate Studies
- Tina Moroose - M.S. (Marshall University)
Director of Undergraduate Studies
- Rachel Mohr - Ph.D. (Texas A&M University)
- Glen Jackson - Ph.D. (West Virginia University)
Regular Graduate Faculty, Ming Hsieh Distinguished Professor, Forensic Chemistry, Mass Spectrometry
- Keith Morris - Ph.D. (University of Port Elizabeth)
Regular Graduate Faculty, Ming Hsieh Distinguished Professor, Impression Evidence, Evidence Interpretation
- Tina Moroose - M.S. (Marshall University)
Regular Graduate Faculty, Forensic Biology, Quality Assurance
- Jacqueline Speir - Ph.D. (Rochester Institute of Technology)
Regular Graduate Faculty, Forensic Informatics, Microscopy
- Luis Arroyo - Ph.D. (Florida International University)
Regular Graduate Faculty, Toxicology, Environmental Forensics
- Robin Bowen - Ph.D. (West Virginia University)
Associate Graduate Faculty, Ethics, Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
- Tiffany Edwards - M.S. (University of Central Oklahoma)
Criminalistics, Death Investigation
- Arati Iyengar - Ph.D. (University of Southampton)
Regular Graduate Faculty, DNA, Forensic Genetics
- Roger Jefferys - M.S. (West Virginia University)
- Lisa Licata - M.S. (University of North Texas Health Science Center)
- Rachel Mohr - Ph.D. (Texas A&M University)
Associate Graduate Faculty, Forensic Entomology
- Robert O'Brien - M.S. (St. Joseph's College)
Associate Graduate Faculty, Crime Scene Investigation
- Tatiana Trejos - Ph.D. (Florida International University)
Regular Graduate Faculty, Trace Evidence, Elemental Analysis
- First Time Freshmen with a MATH ACT of 22 or a MATH SAT of 540 or with a 3.75 cumulative high school GPA are admitted to the major directly. A minimum ALEKS score of 45 is recommended for the timely completion of the degree.
- Students who wish to transfer from another WVU major must have completed CHEM 115 or higher with a C-.
- Students wishing to transfer from outside of WVU must must have completed CHEM 115 or higher with a C-.
Students who do not meet these requirements will be advised by the Center for Learning, Advising, and Student Success. Only students who are admitted directly are eligible to participate in the Living Learning Community and other departmentally-sponsored first-year programs.
Admission Requirements 2024-2025
The Admission Requirements above will be the same for the 2024-2025 Academic Year.
Major Code 14E1
General Education Foundations
NOTE: Some major requirements will fulfill specific GEF requirements. Please see the curriculum requirements listed below for details on which GEFs you will need to select.
|General Education Foundations|
|F1 - Composition & Rhetoric||3-6|
|Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric|
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research
or ENGL 103
|Accelerated Academic Writing|
|F2A/F2B - Science & Technology||4-6|
|F3 - Math & Quantitative Reasoning||3-4|
|F4 - Society & Connections||3|
|F5 - Human Inquiry & the Past||3|
|F6 - The Arts & Creativity||3|
|F7 - Global Studies & Diversity||3|
|F8 - Focus (may be satisfied by completion of a minor, double major, or dual degree)||9|
Please note that not all of the GEF courses are offered at all campuses. Students should consult with their advisor or academic department regarding the GEF course offerings available at their campus.
Students must complete WVU General Education Foundations requirements, College B.S. requirements, major requirements, and electives to total a minimum of 120 hours. For complete details on these requirements, visit the B.S. Degrees tab on the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences pages.
Departmental Requirements for the B.S. in Forensic Examiner
Capstone Requirement: The university requires the successful completion of a Capstone course. Forensic Examiner majors must complete FIS 406L.
Writing and Communication Skills Requirement: The Forensic Examiner Bachelor of Science is a SpeakWrite Certified ProgramTM. SpeakWrite Certified programs incorporate and develop students' written, verbal, visual, and mediated communication skills across the curriculum.
Calculation of the GPA in the Major: A minimum grade of C- or better in all courses applied to major requirements, including the STEM Foundations. If a course is repeated, all attempts will be included in the calculation of the GPA, unless the course is eligible for a D/F repeat.
Internship Requirement: All students are required to successfully complete the FIS 386 for at least 3 hours of credit.
|ECAS B.S. Requirements||4|
|Forensic Examiner Major Requirements||86|
|General Education Foundations (GEF) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 (31-37 Credits)|
|Outstanding GEF Requirements 1, 4, 5, 6, and 7||18|
|FIS 191||First-Year Seminar||1|
ECAS Bachelor of Science Requirements
Global Studies & Diversity Requirement
| Calculus 1a with Precalculus|
and Calculus 1b with Precalculus
|SCIENCE REQUIREMENT fulfilled by major requirements|
Forensic Examiner Major Requirements
|STEM FOUNDATIONS *||24|
|Principles of Biology|
and Principles of Biology Laboratory
and Introductory Physiology Laboratory
|Fundamentals of Chemistry 1|
and Fundamentals of Chemistry 1 Laboratory
|Fundamentals of Chemistry 2|
and Fundamentals of Chemistry 2 Laboratory
|Introductory Physics 1|
and Introductory Physics 1 Laboratory
and Introductory Physics 2
and Introductory Physics 2 Laboratory
| General Physics 1|
and General Physics 1 Laboratory
and General Physics 2
and General Physics 2 Laboratory
Select one of the following pairs:
and Introduction to Probability and Statistics
|Elementary Statistical Inference|
and Intermediate Statistical Methods
|ADVANCE SCIENCE REQUIREMENT||16|
|Organic Chemistry 1|
and Organic Chemistry 1 Laboratory
|Organic Chemistry 2|
and Organic Chemistry 2 Laboratory
|Select one of the following pairs|
|The Living Cell|
and The Living Cell Laboratory
|Introductory Analytical Chemistry|
and Introductory Analytical Chemistry Laboratory
|Select 4 credits from the following list:|
or BIOC 339
|Introduction to Human Biochemistry|
|Introduction to Biochemistry Laboratory|
|Advanced Cellular/Molecular Biology|
|Advanced Cellular/Molecular Biology Laboratory|
|Molecular Genetics Laboratory|
|Physical Chemistry: Brief Course|
|Physical Chemistry: Brief Course Laboratory|
|Forensic Chemical Analysis|
|Forensic Chemical Analysis Laboratory|
|CORE FORENSIC AND INVESTIGATIVE SCIENCE COURSES||31|
|Introduction to Forensic Identification|
|Science/Technology of Fingerprint Identification|
|Crime Scene Investigation 1|
|Crime Scene Investigation 1 Laboratory|
|Introduction to Microscopy|
|Professional Internship Preparation|
|Forensic Identification Internship|
|Crime Scene Investigation 2|
|Law and Evidence|
|Forensic Quality Assurance|
|UPPER-DIVISION ELECTIVES *||6|
|Science and Culture of Illicit Drugs|
|Blood Stain Pattern Analysis|
|Trace Evidence Examination|
|Trace Evidence Examination Laboratory|
|Advanced Forensic Photography|
|Professional Ethics in Forensic Science|
|Professional Field Experience|
|Capstone: Courtroom Testimony and Laboratory|
STEM foundation courses are common to most STEM majors and excluded from the calculation of the percentage of upper-division courses
A maximum of 3 credits combined can come from FIS 492, 495, or 497. FIS 498C may not be used to fulfill this requirement
Suggested Plan of Study
|FIS 191||1||ENGL 101 (GEF 1)||3|
& 115L (GEF 2; B.S. First Area 1)
& 117L (GEF 8; B.S. First Area 2)
& 115L (GEF 8; B.S. Second Area 1)
& 116L (GEF 8, B.S. Second Area 2)
|FIS 201||3||MATH 156 (Math & Stats Elective 1)||4|
|MATH 155 (GEF 3, B.S. Math Requirement)||4|
|4||ENGL 102 (GEF 1)||3|
|BIOL 219 or CHEM 215 (Advanced Sci Elective 1)||3||CHEM 234|
|BIOL 219L or CHEM 215L||1||PHYS 102 (B.S. Third Area 2)||4|
|PHYS 101 (B.S. Third Area 1)||4||GEF 4||3|
|STAT 215 (Math & Stats Elective 2)||3||General Elective||1|
|GEF 5||3||FIS 302|
|FIS 301||3||FIS 314||3|
|FIS 335||3||FIS 405||3|
|FIS 385||1||GEF 6||3|
|Advanced Sci Elective #2||4||General Elective||2|
|FIS 402||3||FIS 406L||3|
|FIS 404||2||Forensic Science Elective #2||3|
|FIS 480||2||GEF 7 (ECAS Global Studies Requirement)||3|
|Forensic Science Elective #1||3||General Elective||3|
|Total credit hours: 120|
Enrollment in AGBI 412 is strictly limited, with FIS students able to enroll only after all Biochemistry majors have enrolled. Spaces in this course are not guaranteed.
- All majors must meet with a FIS adviser each semester.
- By the start of the third regular semester (Fall or Spring) in the major, students must be enrolled in or have successfully completed and with a C-.
- Beyond the fifth regular semester, all students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5 in all courses applied to major requirements with a minimum grade requirement of C- in all courses applied to major requirements.
- If students do not begin upper-level FIS courses in their third year, they must complete the foundational courses listed below by the end of their sixth regular semester.
- Students who do not meet major benchmarks may be removed from the major.
Upper Level Qualification
During their first four semesters, students are expected to complete their foundational biology, chemistry, math, and physics courses. These fundamentals must be completed prior to taking upper-level FIS courses. Many of these courses will satisfy the GEF 1, 2, 3, 4, and 8 requirements, as well as the College B.S. requirements. Students interested in the forensic chemistry major are strongly encouraged to take PHYS 111/PHYS 112 if they qualify.
To begin taking upper-level FIS courses, typically in the fifth semester/fall of the junior year, students must have completed the courses listed below with a grade of C- or better. If students are deficient in a single course requirement but can complete it in the fall semester, they may be permitted to enroll in upper-division FIS courses alongside the deficient course, based on availability of seats and compatibility of scheduling.
- BIOL 117 & BIOL 117L
- CHEM 234 & CHEM 234L
- MATH 154 or MATH 155 (Forensic Biology and Forensic Examiner) or MATH 156 (Forensic Chemistry)
- PHYS 102 & PHYS 102L or PHYS 112 & PHYS 112L
- STAT 215 or STAT 312
Calculation of GPA
All students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5 in all courses applied to major requirements with a minimum grade requirement of C- in selected courses. Selected courses are: all courses applied to major requirements.
Major Learning Outcomes
Upon graduation from the Forensic Examiner major, students will be able to:
- Apply scientific methodology and evaluate techniques in the collection, processing, analysis, and evaluation of forensic evidence.
- Assess and defend data generated during forensic investigations.
- Present scientific data in written, verbal,and visual formats.
- Demonstrate the professionalism and high ethical standards demanded by the justice system and the forensic science community.