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Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science Program Overview


Forensic Science at University of Providence is unique compared with the many other programs in the US in that most programs spend their time on criminal justice topics.

University of Providence’s Forensic Science program spends the majority of time on biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics that make up the field of forensic science. This is reinforced by the numerous laboratory classes for the diverse areas of forensic investigation. Small class sizes allow students to discover their interests and students are encouraged to conduct original research projects throughout their career at UP. University of Providence’s Forensic Science program focuses on Forensic Investigation (with a CRJ major).

The entire range of forensic science topics are covered at University of Providence, ranging from the more common, such as fingerprint analysis, DNA analysis, serology, and blood spatter analysis, to the less well-studied, such as evidence and lab analysis of hair, glass, soils, skeletal analysis, drugs, poisons, and some thirty other areas. Numerous opportunities have been developed for internships including working at real crime laboratories in Montana, other states, and for the police departments.

Program Curriculum


Forensic Science Degree

Skills You’ll Learn


Students who earn a Forensic Science Degree from the University of Providence learn these skills and more:

  • Research project development
  • Blood spatter analysis
  • Genetics
  • Crime scene processing
  • Proper evidence handling
  • Chain of custody
  • Identification and processing of:
    • Impressions evidence
    • Patterned evidence
    • Blood
    • Body fluids
    • DNA


In addition to required coursework, Forensic Science students are encouraged to complete Internship hours during their time at UP. Students in the program will also complete an original research project during their senior year. This research project topic is determined by the student and conducted in the lab with assistance from faculty. Past topics have ranged from blood spatter analysis to genetics to entomology. Students present their research at the UP Research Symposium each Spring. This research project gives student the chance to explore the topics that interest them. Past students have presented their projects at other venues and have had their research published.

Career Outcomes


Employment in the field of Forensic Science has been projected to increase by 14 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Because of the many career paths within the field, the demand for this expertise should remain strong. The Crime Lab backlog has resulted in two different opportunities for employment. Many private labs have opened in recent years to help alleviate the stress on the state Crime Labs throughout the US. These labs often process samples for both the private and public sector. Federal funding is also now being provided to state Crime Labs throughout the US, allowing labs to hire Forensic Scientists that hold bachelor’s or Masters degrees.

Internship Opportunities


Internship opportunities are available, and you will receive school credit for your completed hours. Opportunities include:

  • Job Shadowing at the Montana State Crime Lab in Billings, MT. Opportunities to observe autopsies are available.
  • Great Falls Police Department ride along, suspect interviewing, victim interviewing, evidence collection, evidence locker procedures, and crime scene processing.
  • Out of state opportunities can be approved through the organization and your advisor.


Other Degrees You May Like


  • Criminal Justice – For careers in law enforcement or in preparation for law school
  • Biology – For students who plan to pursue medical school upon graduation

Program Faculty

Mykal Gernaat, M.A.

Lecturer of Forensic Science

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long will it take to complete this degree?

Four years.

How much will I make with a degree in Forensic Science?

Expect to make between $50,000 to $70,000 ($53,000 in the state of Montana) as a Forensic Scientist.

What type of career can I expect to have with a degree in Forensic Science?

Because the scope of Forensic Science is so vast, the career opportunities are almost limitless. Some of the more common careers include:

  • Crime Scene Investigator (for Crime Lab or police department)
  • Specialty Analyst for a state lab or private lab
  • FBI Investigator, Evidence Technician
  • Forensic Biologist
  • Forensic Chemist/Toxicologist
  • Forensic Psychologist
  • Arson Investigator
My experience at UP has significantly impacted my life. As the only school in the Pacific Northwest with a Forensic Science degree, I believed that my time at UP would be the most important stepping stone in my journey towards becoming a forensic scientist. I was correct in that assumption, as UP prepared me to enter my Masters (MSFS) program straight out of undergrad and then begin a career as a forensic DNA analyst at the age of 22. The classroom atmosphere at UP allowed for one-on-one interactions with the professors that I would not have received at a larger University. The forensic science program is one of the smaller ones on campus, and therefore, Professor Mykal Gernaat creates an all-inclusive environment in which every student’s success is of her best interest. Additionally, through the Forensic Science Club, I attended three AAFS conferences to network with forensic science professionals outside of Montana and build connections within the community. I would highly recommend the Forensic Science program at UP to any student looking to become adept at the innovative techniques used in a forensic science laboratory and receive hands-on learning from the best professors I have ever encountered.
Paul Yount
Alumni, Class of 2019