Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science
Evonne A. Baldauff, Ph.D., Chair
- Chemistry Major (Forensic Chemistry Option)
- Cybersecurity and Forensics
- Forensic Accounting
- Forensic Biology Major (BS)
- Forensic Investigation (BA)
- Forensic Science Major (BS)
Forensics consists of six distinct majors: Bachelor of Science, Forensic Science; Bachelor of Science, Forensic Biology; Bachelor of Science, Forensic Chemistry; Bachelor of Science, Cyber Security and Forensics; Bachelor of Arts, Forensic Accounting; and Bachelor of Arts, Forensic Investigation. The Forensic Science, Forensic Biology, and Forensic Chemistry majors prepare students to pursue careers in forensic laboratories, criminal investigations, and basic biological or chemical laboratories, or to pursue advanced degrees in the forensic or physical sciences, law, or medicine. The Forensic Investigation major prepares students to pursue careers in crime scene/forensic investigations, evidence handling, criminal investigations, private investigations, and law enforcement. Forensic Investigation majors will also be prepared to pursue graduate degrees in criminal investigation or criminal justice administration.
Waynesburg University educates students to make connections between faith, learning and serving so they might faithfully transform their communities and the world. As a Christian comprehensive university, we strive to inspire and challenge every undergraduate and graduate student to a life of leadership and purpose for the glory of God.
The mission of the Waynesburg University Forensic Program is to provide students with well-founded, interdisciplinary forensic science and investigation curricula. The Forensic Science Program will also uphold and adhere to the mission, commitments, and goals outlined in the University’s Undergraduate Code of Conduct.
- develop a sound natural science foundation and obtain minors in both biology and chemistry.
- learn critical thinking skills and understand forensic science professional practice through theory and hands-on experiences in the lab and field.
- develop an understanding of the principles and techniques utilized by forensic science practitioners in the laboratory and at the crime scene.
- gain practical instrumental experience using professional laboratory equipment such as the comparison microscope, gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer, scanning electron microscope, infrared spectrometer, microspectrophotometer, polarized light microscope, stereo microscope, and other analytical tools typically found in the forensic laboratory.
- develop an understanding of the importance of the scientific method and its application in crime scene processing and reconstruction.
- gain practical crime scene processing and evidence handling experience using appropriate equipment and technology in mock crime scene scenarios in a dedicated crime scene house.
- learn critical aspects of the criminal justice system, criminal investigation, common law principles, and rules of evidence through criminal justice administration course work and participation in mock court proceedings.
- learn the importance of ethics and quality assurance in the application of scientific examinations of physical evidence.
- develop communication and leadership skills through the University’s general education requirements, service, and extracurricular opportunities.
Students must meet certain minimum requirements in order to progress into the junior year of the program. Those requirements include:
- a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5,
- at least a C- grade in all required courses designated with a BIO, CHE, CRJ or FSC prefix,
- a recommendation from the Forensic Science Progression Committee (composed of the Forensic Science Program Director, a faculty member from either Biology or Chemistry, and a faculty member from Criminal Justice Administration), based upon review, that the student has met all of the minimum requirements.
If a student fails to meet the requirements for progression, he or she may submit a written appeal to the Forensic Science Progression Committee addressing the reasons for the student’s failure to meet said requirements. Upon review, the committee shall either refuse the appeal or grant the appeal and allow the student no more than two semesters to meet the minimum progression requirements. In order to graduate with a degree in forensic science, students must obtain a grade of C- or better in all forensic science major required courses.
In addition to grade requirements, honesty, integrity, and objectivity are of particular consequence to those pursuing careers in the fields of forensic science and/or law. As a result, each student’s character will be considered continually. Students found to be in violation of the University’s Student Code of Conduct or laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and/or the Borough of Waynesburg may be referred to the University Provost for dismissal from the program.