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Student in labIf you want to learn and study forensic science, IUPUI is the perfect place. We have nationally recognized faculty in forensic chemistry and biology supported by one of the largest medical schools and one of the top law schools in the U.S.

IUPUI is in downtown Indianapolis where the state and local crime labs, courts, state police and other law enforcement agencies are located. We have the most modern, state of the art instrumentation that you can use yourself to learn about how evidence is analyzed. You can perform cutting edge research and do an internship at a real crime laboratory and get credit for all of it. Come to IUPUI and be a part of one of the leading forensic science programs anywhere in the world.

Degree Programs:

What is forensic science?

Forensic science is the application of scientific methods and processes to matters that involve crime or the public. There are many branches of forensic science because almost any science has some applications to public or criminal matters.

Why study forensic science?

The Forensic and Investigative Sciences Program combines the best of biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics and, along with criminal justice and law, enabling you to solve crimes and settle civil disputes. People who work in forensic science solve scientific puzzles, testify as experts in court and even sometimes help collect evidence at crime scenes.

What natural abilities or interests are needed for a career in forensics?

Obviously, an inquisitive nature and a love of puzzles (and solving them!) are essential. Students must be strong in math, science and writing to do well in our forensics program. Forensic science also requires an ability to tolerate situations and scenes of crime and violence that are difficult to understand and accept. Loss of life and suffering are often involved in these cases, so an forensic scientists need to have the ability to maintain perspective when working in terrible situations.

What careers are available?

A forensic scientist usually works in a laboratory setting analyzing particular types of evidence, writing reports and testifying in court as an expert witness. In some cases, forensic scientists may attend crime or other incident scenes to help reconstruct the crime or help in the recognition, collection, and preservation of evidence within their specialty. For example, a forensic chemist may be asked to help in the processing of a clandestine drug laboratory. A trace evidence examiner may be asked to collect hairs and fibers and other traces from a homicide scene. Usually the crime scene component of a forensic scientist's job is a relatively minor part of the duties.

Many forensic scientists work in forensic science (crime) laboratories. In the United States, there are more than 4000 crime laboratories administered by the federal, state, or local governments or private industry. Most crime laboratories employ scientists in the areas of forensic chemistry (drugs, toxicology, trace evidence, explosives, fires, etc.), forensic biology (mainly DNA and body fluids and tissues), and criminalistics (fingerprints, questioned documents, firearms, and toolmarks).

Learn more about the career outlook for forensic sciences graduates.