Loyola University Chicago

Forensic Science Program


Forensic scientists are dedicated professionals who apply their specialized knowledge to the analysis of physical evidence.  Forensic scientists are employed by government agencies (federal, state, and local), private laboratories, universities, medical examiners, coroners, and hospitals.  

Qualifications for a Career in Forensic Science

Forensic Science is an integral part of the criminal justice system. All forensic scientists must have personal honesty, personal integrity, and scientific objectivity. Additionally, the professional skills of a forensic scientist include critical thinking, good laboratory practices including laboratory safety, observation and attention to detail, public speaking, communication, and computer proficiency.

Prior to employment, individuals will be subjected to extensive background checks similar to those required for law enforcement officers. These may include: in-depth personal and financial checks; history of drug use; drug testing; polygraph examinations; driving history; and past work performance. More information can be found in the National Institute of Justice's Education and Training in Forensic Science Report.

Subdisciplines within forensic science may have specific educational requirements.  For example, Forensic DNA analysis has specific course requirements, mandated by the FBI's Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories (QAS).  There are four required courses: genetics, statistics, biochemistry, and molecular biology.  Genetics, statistics, and biochemistry courses are standard courses in the forensic science curriculum.  Students intending to pursue a career in DNA should take FRSC 371 (Forensic Molecular Biology) as their capstone, which combines traditional molecular biology and DNA casework topics.      


The forensic science program encourages students to complete internships.  These experiences are highly beneficial for students, allowing them to apply the knowledge and capabilities acquired in coursework in a professional setting.  These opportunities also allow students to explore and discover their career path. 

Students are responsible for applying to and obtaining internships; placement is not guaranteed. 

Since 2021, our students have interned throughout the country.  Agencies include the Illinois State Police, US Department of Justice, Midwest Regional Forensic Laboratory, Indiana State Police, Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences, Simple Laboratories, and local police agencies.

Note: Internships may require background checks similar to those listed above.


*updated 07 Feb 2024