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Forensic Biology

STUDY AT ONU AND WHAT CAN YOU BECOME? A FORENSIC BIOLOGIST. AT ONU, YOU CAN PREPARE FOR A CAREER IN THIS EXCITING FIELD. THESE PROFESSIONALS WORK IN FORENSIC LABS AND PERFORM DNA ANALYSIS, TOXICOLOGY AND DRUG ANALYSIS TO TEST PHYSICAL EVIDENCE FROM ARRESTS AND CRIME SCENES.

SOLVE CRIMES

As a forensic biology major, you’ll immerse yourself in biology, physics, chemistry, math and forensic courses. Our program emphasizes hands-on learning, so you’ll spend a lot of time in the lab and in the field. These experiences will teach you how to work on teams, communicate, problem-solve and think critically which are skills that are in demand in forensic biology laboratories. 

Large institutions just can’t provide the individualized attention and opportunity you’ll find here. Our forensic biology majors examine human cadavers and work with cutting-edge crime lab equipment. They assist professors with research, attend national conferences and intern at forensic labs. They star on our sports teams, participate in music ensembles and lead student organizations.

Here, you won’t get lost in the crowd. You’ll be a part of a close-knit family. You’ll enjoy small class sizes and build lifelong friendships with your classmates. Our dedicated professors will get to know you. They will support you in your coursework, co-ops or internships, and career preparations such as job, professional and graduate school applications. They will become personally invested in your success and open doors for you.

Upon graduation, you’ll have the scientific knowledge, skills and experience to examine and test physical evidence to help exonerate the innocent and aid in the prosecution to build a solid scientific forensic case to present to the judge or the jury.

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Curriculum

Major
Minor
Preprofessional Program
Concentration
Pathway

OPPORTUNITY ABOUNDS

GET INVOLVED

Join a regional professional organization such as Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists (MAFS) and you’ll discover opportunities in your field and meet new people. Students in ONU’s Association of Future Forensic Professionals (AFFP) plan social activities, invite forensic professionals to campus for forensic science presentations and attend regional and national conferences. Many times the students will present their capstone projects at the regional meetings of MAFS or Southern Association of Forensic Scientists (SAFS). Students that qualify can be inducted into the International Forensic Science Honorary, Delta Delta Epsilon (DDE). You’re sure to find one or two student organizations – or several that fit you.

CSI ADA STYLE

Every spring we stage a series of mock crime scenes at the ONU Crime Scene House that contain all the elements – and complications – found in real crime scenes.  These crime scenes are developed from actual cases from the near past and crime scenes from other important cases. As a forensic biology major, you get to investigate, work with law enforcement officials and practice your lab skills. Experiences like these prepare you for the real world.

INTERNSHIPS

Experience the reality of an accredited forensic laboratory. As a known quantity, you’ll be considered ahead of master-level forensic biologists in many cases. In addition to helping hone your lab skills and critical-thinking aptitude, your 10-week, 400-hour internship often leads to a viable employment offer.



THINK SUCCESS

ELIZABETH OKRUTNY BS WITH A MAJOR IN FORENSIC BIOLOGY `10

Forensic biology is a fantastic major because it builds a strong foundation in biology, chemistry, physics and statistics. It prepares you to become a forensic scientist, and it opens doors to future multidisciplinary research and professional collaboration.

Elizabeth Okrutny became intrigued with forensic biology while doing a high school service project for her local police department. Learning about facial reconstruction, she was fascinated by “the mix of art and bones.” At ONU, Elizabeth devoted herself to her studies and was active in many student organizations, including the Professional Association of Women in Science, Alpha Xi Delta sorority, the Beta Beta Beta national biological honor society, and Mortar Board. She spent a semester in South Korea as part of ONU’s Hanyang University Exchange Program. And she landed a dream internship in Hawaii working for the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command Central Identification Laboratory. Today, she is a doctoral student majoring in biological anthropology at the University of Missouri in Columbia. “There are so many things that I enjoy about my field of study: traveling to interesting places, meeting new people, and learning about individuals and populations from their skeletal morphology. It’s amazing how much you can learn from bones!”

OUTCOMES AND COURSES

SOLID OUTCOMES

  • Over the past five years, 76 percent of our forensic biology majors were employed full-time in their field or enrolled in graduate school within 12 months of graduating.
  • Our forensic biology program follows the recommendations of the Forensic Education Program Accreditation Commission.
  • Our forensic biology graduates are accepted into top-notch graduate schools, including Oklahoma State University, Wright State University, Arcadia University, West Virginia University, Marshall University, University of Central Florida, State University of NY at Albany, Cleveland Marshall College of Law, University of Toledo Medical School, Mercyhurst and Akron University School of Law.

COURSES

You’ll need 124 credit hours to earn a BS with a major in forensic biology. We encourage you to use your elective hours to pursue courses or a minor in an area such as chemistry/biochemistry that will make you more attractive to a potential employer.

Here are some courses you’ll take as a forensic biology major:

  • Forensic Biology 1 & 2
  • Forensic Physical Methods
  • Forensic Microscopy
  • Biochemistry
  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Forensic DNA Analysis
  • Forensic Entomology
  • Computer Forensics

WHERE COULD YOU END UP?

POSSIBLE JOBS

Forensic biologists find employment in university biomedical research centers, intelligence industry, Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL), private forensic hair toxicology testing laboratories and local, state and federal forensic laboratories.  

ALUMNI SUCCESS

Check out where some of our recent forensic biology majors have ended up: Elizabeth Okrutny (2010) received her master’s degree in Anthropology at the University of Central Florida and was an ORISE fellow at the DOD’s JPAC Central Identification Laboratory at Hickman AFB. Presently at the University of Missouri, Columbia as a Life Sciences Fellow in the Ph.D. program. Kevin J. Piccirilli (2013) received his MS in Forensic Science at Aracadia University outside of Philadelphia and now is a Forensic Scientist 1 at Utah Department of Public Safety at Salt Lake City Utah. Matthew Green (2012) received his MS from Oklahoma State University in Toxicology and is now in the Ph.D. program in the Department of Toxicology and Trace Evidence at Oklahoma State University. Kayla Nida (2016) is beginning graduate school at Mercyhurst for Anthropology.

Department of Biological & Allied Health Sciences

Jane Brown

419-772-2325
j-brown@onu.edu
Meyer 118
525 South Main Street
Ada, Ohio 45810
Monday: 8 a.m.-12 p.m., 1 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 8 a.m.-12 p.m., 1 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 8 a.m.-12 p.m., 1 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Thursday: 8 a.m.-12 p.m., 1 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.-12 p.m., 1 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed