B.S. in Chemistry, Emphasis in Forensic Chemistry

Student Looking Through Microscope

The focus of Forensic Chemistry involves the identification and quantitative analysis of scientific evidence, both in the environment and in urban settings, sometimes available only in very trace amounts. The value of such evidence is determined using statistical analysis of the strengths of similarities or differences in the results from known and questioned samples.

Graduates will be able to successfully pursue their career objectives in private forensic labs and law enforcement and regulatory agencies at all levels, including police departments, sheriff departments, district attorney crime labs and laboratories of a variety of federal agencies including the FBI, DEA, FDA and numerous others.

Preparatory Subject Matter: 47-54 Units

Chemistry: CHE 2 A/B/C or CHE 2 AH/BH/CH
Mathematics: MAT 17 A/B/C or MAT 21 A/B/C
Physics: PHY 7 A/B/C or PHY 9 A/B/C
Biological Sciences: BIS 2A
Environmental Toxicology: ETX 20
Statistics: STA 13 or STA 32 or STA 100 or STA 102

Depth Subject Matter: 51-61 Units

Physical Chemistry: CHE 107 A/B or CHE 110 A/B/C
Organic Chemistry: CHE 118 A/B/C or CHE 128 A/B/C and CHE 129A, CHE 129B
Analytical Chemistry: CHE 104, CHE 105, CHE 115
Environmental Toxicology: ETX 101, ETX 102A, ETX 102B

At least THREE additional upper division units in Chemistry (CHE 199 or 194H strongly encouraged).

At least TWO courses from:

Biological Sciences: BIS 101
Enviromental Science and Policy: ESP 110, ESP 161
Environmental Toxicology: ETX 103A, ETX 103B, ETX 130, ETX 135, ETX 138
Statistics: STA 108, STA 130A

Total Units for the Major: 98-115 Units

Sample Schedule for Forensic Chemistry Emphasis

This sample schedule has students taking required courses as early in the program as possible to permit the greatest flexibility in choosing electives and allow those who are qualified to engage in a full year of undergraduate research (CHE 194H or 199) in their senior year. Students who plan to continue their studies in graduate school are strongly urged to participate in undergraduate research. Elective courses are shown in italics.

Fall Winter Spring

Chem 2A (5)

Math 17A (4)

Chem 2B (5)

Math 17B (4)

Environ Tox 20 (3)

Chem 2C (5)

Math 17C (4)

Biological Sciences 2A (5)


Chem 128A (3)

Chem 129A (2)

Physics 7A (4) 

Chem 128B (3)

Chem 129B (2)

Physics 7B (4) 

Chem 128C (3)

Physics 7C (4)

Statistics 13 (4)


Chem 107A (3)

Environ Tox 101 (4)

Chem 107B (3)

Environ Tox 102A (4)

Chem 105 (4)

Environ Tox 102B (5)


Chem 104 (3)

Chem 115 (4)

Chem 199 (1)

Environ Tox 103A (4)

Chemistry 199 (1)

Biological Sciences 101 (5)

Chemistry 199 (1)