Forensic Chemistry

"I firmly believe that attending WIU for a major in forensic chemistry was the best decision I have ever made academically. This is because it allowed me the opportunity to learn from and research under faculty who are experts in their field. The faculty at WIU care about their students and actively help them to grow into cutting edge chemists with bright futures."  Hannah Drake, B.S. Forensic Chemistry, May 2016

Forensic Chemistry.WIU is the only Illinois institution (one of only six nationwide!) to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Forensic Chemistry.

The Department of Chemistry also offers an integrated B.S. Forensic Chemistry- M.S. Chemistry degree program as an opportunity for outstanding students to complete both degrees within a 5 year period.

Forensic Chemists are also involved in the investigation of crime against society, such as food adulteration, environmental pollution, use and distribution of unsafe chemicals, and dangerous working conditions. This major is recommended for individuals who wish to pursue a career in criminal investigation, in the laboratory analysis of forensic evidence, or pursue graduate study in forensic science. Due to the nature of forensic investigations, the forensic chemist requires a strong background in chemical analysis and must be able to effectively communicate the results of laboratory analyses in reports and in the courtroom. The curriculum is designed so that the major provides a strong theoretical and experimental background in chemistry as well as written and oral communication skills.

Integrated Baccalaureate and Masters Degree in Forensic Chemistry/Chemistry

The Integrated Baccalaureate and Masters Degree in Forensic Chemistry/Chemistry (IBMP) allows an opportunity for outstanding students to earn both the B.S. Forensic Chemistry and M.S. Chemistry degrees in one five year program.

Possible Careers

Forensic Chemistry majors are qualified to work in modern laboratories at local, regional, state and federal levels. Students can also find employment with private chemical companies, pharmaceutical companies, as well as such agencies as:

Forensic Chemistry majors are qualified to work in modern laboratories at local, regional, state and federal levels. Students can also find employment with such agencies as the;

  • Drug Enforcement Administration
  • Food and Drug Administration
  • Environmental Protection Agency

as well as private chemical and pharmaceutical companies.

Why Choose Forensic Chemistry at WIU?

The curriculum provides students with a strong chemistry foundation and a specialization in forensic sciences. Forensic Chemistry majors learn basic concepts of crime scene investigations; including managing and reconstructing a crime scene, analytical laboratory techniques, and pattern analysis.

Students are also trained to document and collect physical and biological evidence, take notes, and write a forensic report.

Our Students

  • get highly individualized advisement and mentorship from our faculty.
  • participate in departmental research grants and contracts; involve them as “doers and thinkers” in novel, cutting edge research
  • become involved in research learning techniques and instrument use not normally accessible in a large instructional setting
  • travel to state, regional, national, and international conferences via faculty research grant funding
  • present their research, mix with and meet chemists from across the US around the world
  • have made 47 research presentations in the past few years at the national American Chemical Society or the national American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology meetings in Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, San Diego, Washington DC, and San Francisco
  • become published authors!
  • have been listed as coauthors with the chemistry faculty in over 100 referred journal articles during the past four years alone. Most of these have been in nationally or internationally known journals, such as the Journal of Organic Chemistry, the Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Organic Letters, Applications in Biotechnology and Microbiology, Experimental Biology, the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, and many, many more
  • graduate our program with impressive resumes!
  • gain top flight careers!

At A Glance

Degrees Available:

  • B.S.

Major: Yes
Minor: Yes
Graduate Degree: No
Campus: Macomb
Study Opportunities:

  • GradTrac
  • Honors

Quick Links