Forensic Science

Forensic Science

Two student researchers examine a mock crime scene under ultraviolet light
With a major in forensic science, you’ll have the technical know-how, hands-on experience and intellectual flexibility to adapt to any criminal investigation. Every crime scene and scenario is different. Learn how to apply your science knowledge and skills to interpret evidence and arrive at sound conclusions. Prepare for a fulfilling professional career by honing your foundational scientific and technical knowledge, communication skills and ethical considerations.
  • College

  • Hours Required

    120 credit hours
  • Minors Available

    Crime Scene Investigation, Forensic Chemistry, Forensic Biology, Pre-Law 

  • Areas of Focus

    Crime Scene Investigation, Forensic Chemistry, Forensic Biology, Pre-Law

The Nebraska Difference


Get out of the book and into the lab


Learn from experts in your field


Gain experiential hands-on learning opportunities


Tailor your education to your unique skills and interests

Student researcher examining a lifted fingerprint

Program Features

Crime Scene Investigation

Process a decomposition scene using digital imaging and other instrumentation. Collect insects, animals and trace evidence, then package and store the evidence and analyze it in the lab. Along with tactical skills, you will also develop skills in critical thinking, communication, team member relationships, leadership, scientific methodology and legal procedures. 

Forensic Biology

Forensic biology is the application of genetics, cell and molecular biology and chemistry to link a person, whether suspect or victim, to a place, an object or another person. Forensic biology often involves the identification of body fluids and tissues, as well as the use of DNA to derive patterns that can have probative value. 

Forensic Chemistry

Forensic chemistry is the application of chemistry and chemical methods, using modern analytical equipment, to assist in the identification of unknown materials found at a crime scene. Some examples of forensic chemistry applications include the identification of illicit drugs or toxins, explosives residue and fibers. 


Students can complete a 3-year sequence of forensic coursework in either Crime Scene Investigation or Forensic Biology options to start Law School in their fourth year. 

Student researchers examine and photograph a crime scene

Notable Courses

Introduction to Forensic Science (FORS 120L)

Introduction to the United States legal system, serology, DNA analysis, crime scene investigation, comparative analysis, digital forensics and behavioral sciences with a hands-on lab.

Forensic Science Seminar (FORS 200)

Discuss current issues in research, ethics and professional practice related to forensic science.

Crime Scene Investigation (FORS 400)

Identification, collection, preservation and presentation of physical evidence. Discuss ethics and chain of custody.

Forensic Biology (FORS 401)

Ethics, quality assurance, quality control, analysis and interpretation of biological evidence for the legal system.

Forensic Toxicology (FORS 415)

Provides a comprehensive understanding of the principles of toxicology, pharmacokinetics, metabolism, analytical methods and instrumentation relative to forensic science.

Human Remains in Forensic Science (FORS 445)

Forensic anthropology within the broader context of forensic sciences and biological anthropology. Focus on estimation of biological profile and trauma assessment.

Huskers Do Big Things


  • Drug lab intern, Honolulu Police Department of Scientific Investigation, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Intern, FBI, Washington D.C.
  • Crime laboratory intern, Omaha Police Department, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Intern, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Intern, McCrone Research Institute, Chicago, Illinois
  • Intern, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Nashville, Tennessee


  • Evidence technician, Nebraska State Patrol Crime Lab, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Forensic chemist, Nebraska State Patrol Crime Lab, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Crime scene investigator, Pima County Sheriff Department, Tucson, Arizona
  • DNA analyst, South Dakota Forensic Laboratory, Pierre, South Dakota

Graduate Schools

  • M.S. Crime Scene Investigation, George Washington University
  • M.S. Toxicology, Thomas Jefferson University
  • M.D. College of Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • M.S. Forensic Technologies, University of New Haven
  • M.S. Forensic Science, Saint Joseph’s College
  • M.S. Biochemistry, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Outside the Classroom


Academics & Experiential Learning

  • The capstone class, FORS 485, features a mock crime scene at the crime house on campus and a mock trial where you must give your expert witness testimony.
  • Earn credit for internships and research projects.

Career Preparedness

  • Build your resume, CV and cover letters in multiple classes throughout the academic program.
  • Participate in mock interviews held each spring with the Nebraska State Patrol Crime Lab.


  • The forensic science clubs provide the opportunity to connect with peers in the major through various activities and network with guest speakers.
  • Take classes and attend events with biochemistry, microbiology and forensic science majors in the Experience the Lab Learning Community.

Have Questions? We're Here to Help

If you have questions about the Forensic Science major or navigating the application process, contact us.

Portrait of Sue Ellen Pegg
Contact Name
Sue Ellen Pegg
Contact Title
College Relations Director