Undergraduate Certificate in Forensic Science

The Mission of our undergraduate Certificate in Forensic Science is to educate students who wish to pursue a laboratory career in the forensic sciences. The field is interdisciplinary and requires significant academic and laboratory training in the natural sciences. This program provides in-depth coursework and hands-on training to facilitate successful entry into a forensic laboratory position.

The program is coupled to either the ACS-certified FIU BS in Chemistry or the FIU BS in Biological Sciences degrees. This certificate is accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) provided that it is accompanied by a BS in Chemistry or Biological Sciences from FIU. 

A non-accredited Certificate is also available to FIU BA students and other persons in the community who have already earned a BS or BA in chemistry, biological sciences or a natural science from another institution and who have completed the required prerequisites. Students in this category must submit their transcripts for evaluation to confirm that their course preparation is equivalent to that of the relevant FIU BS major and that all requirements and policies that are applicable to admissions to the University for a certificate program are met.

View our student and program success data.

  • Program

    Learning outcomes and student accomplishment goals for the program include:

    • Familiarity with the basic concepts of forensic analysis of drug, explosive, arson, and trace evidence samples, including instrumentation and the recording of laboratory data and preparation of reports for forensic purposes
    • Familiarity with human and non-human DNA typing techniques and instrumentation and applications of DNA typing to forensic legal proceedings
    • Demonstration of the ability to work independently to complete in a timely manner a laboratory-based project in forensic science, including completion of an acceptable final report
    • Demonstration of proficiency in principles of basic crime scene investigation, including proper collection and handling of chemical and biological evidence
    • Familiarity with courtroom aspects of forensic casework, including experience with providing expert technical opinions under direct and cross examination
    • Knowledge of and competency in the use of statistical approaches to analysis of forensic data.
    • Mastery of the concepts of ethics in forensic science


  • Courses

    The Certificate in Forensic Science program consists of three specialized forensic courses plus a relevant elective course. The program also includes an internship performed at a government or private-sector forensic laboratory.


    • 1 calculus course (3 credits)
    • 1 statistics course (3 credits)
    • 1 general biology course with lab (4 credits)
    • 2 physics courses with labs (8 credits)
    • 2 general chemistry courses with labs (8 credits)
    • 2 organic chemistry courses with labs (8 credits)
    • 1 analytical chemistry course with lab (4 credits)
    • 1 biological chemistry/biochemistry course (3 credits)

    Required coursework (16 credits):

    • CHS 3501 / CHS 3501L Survey of Forensic Science with lab (4)
    • CHS 4503C Forensic Science (3), or CHS 5542/5535L Forensic Chemistry with Lab (4)
    • CHS 3511C Forensic Evidence (3), or CHS 5535 Forensic Analysis (3)
    • BSC 4401 Principles of Forensic Biology (3), CHS 4533C Forensic Biochemistry Applications, or BSC 5406 Forensic Biology (3)
    • CHS 4591 Forensic Science Internship (3), or CHS 6946 Graduate Forensic Internship (3)

    In addition, the student must complete one elective course (total of 3-4 credits) chosen from the following or another selected in consultation with the Certificate Program Director:

    • PCB 4524 & PCB 4524L Molecular Biology with lab (4)
    • PCB 3063 & PCB 3063L Genetics with lab (4)
    • BOT 1010 Introductory Botany (3)
    • CHM 4130 & CHM 4130L Instrumental Analysis with lab (4)
    • CHS 5539 Forensic Toxicology (3)
    • CHS 5538C Chemistry and Analysis of Drugs (3)
    • CCJ 3024 The Criminal Justice System (3)
    • CCJ 3651 Drugs and Crime (3)
    • CCJ 4225 The Courts and Forensic Science (3)
    • GLY 3039 Environmental Geology (3)
    • SOP 4842 Legal Psychology (3)

    For more information, consult the Undergraduate Certificates Catalog

  • Application

    Current degree-seeking students only need to submit the Change of Program/Plan form to add a certificate. All other certificate applicants should complete the application form below and submit to the department for approval. Currently enrolled degree-seeking students do not need to re-submit residency documents. Approved certificate applications will be forwarded to the Registrar for processing.