Chemistry B.S. – Forensic Science Emphasis

College of Natural and Health Sciences

Contact: Michael D. Mosher, Ph.D., Chair

Location: Ross Hall 3480

Telephone: 970.351.2559


Advising Information:

Students must consult with their assigned major advisor each semester prior to registering.

Assigned advisor is available through the Ursa login;; under Student tab Academic Profile channel and is term specific. If no advisor is listed, contact the major program for advisor information.

The program consists of four parts:

  1. Liberal Arts Core (LAC) Credits
  2. Required Major Credits
  3. Required Minor 
  4. University-Wide Credits

Program Description:

This program is designed to prepare students to enter the field of forensic science by providing them with background courses in chemistry, physics, sociology and criminal justice along with laboratory experiences as research and an internship. Students completing this degree emphasis who wish to pursue graduate study in one of the areas of chemistry may be required to complete additional course work in physical chemistry and/or mathematics and biology depending on the entrance requirements of the specific graduate school.

Program Admission Requirements:

Academic Good Standing

Program Requirements:

  • All students in the program must take an assessment examination before graduation.
  • Students majoring in chemistry must earn a grade of “C” or better (C- is not acceptable) in all courses having a CHEM prefix which count toward the major.
  • In accordance with University Policies, coursework earned more than 10 years prior to the date of matriculation to UNC may not be used to satisfy any major or minor requirements.  Any exception to this policy is at the discretion of the academic program.

Program Recommendations:

  • Graduate level CHEM courses are recommended for juniors and seniors. Other recommended electives include courses in statistics, sociology, criminal justice, anthropology, or additional courses in mathematics.
  • It is recommended that students have a fundamental background in computers.
  • Juniors and seniors are expected to participate in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry’s undergraduate research program.
  • Qualifying students may be eligible for a five-year program resulting in a B.S./M.S. degree. Consult your advisor early in your program for details.

Degree Requirements — 120 Credits

Degree Requirements

1. Required Specified LAC — 21 credits

LAC area 1b. — Intermediate Composition

SCI 291Scientific Writing


LAC area 2 — Mathematics

MATH 131Calculus I


LAC area 6 — Physical and Life Sciences

BIO 110Principles of Biology


CHEM 111Principles of Chemistry I


CHEM 111LPrinciples of Chemistry I Laboratory


PHYS 220Introductory Physics I


Remaining LAC — 19 credits

See “Liberal Arts Core”.

NOTE: Students need to select courses from LAC areas 7 and 8 that also count for areas 3, 4, or 5.

2. Required Major — 45 credits

Take all of the following courses:

CHEM 112Principles of Chemistry II


CHEM 112LPrinciples of Chemistry II Laboratory


CHEM 321Chemical Analysis


CHEM 331Organic Chemistry I


CHEM 331LOrganic Chemistry I Laboratory


CHEM 332Organic Chemistry II


CHEM 332LOrganic Chemistry II Laboratory


CHEM 381Principles of Biochemistry


CHEM 381LPrinciples of Biochemistry Lab


CHEM 421Instrumental Analysis


CHEM 422Directed Studies


CHEM 425Forensic Chemistry


CHEM 441Inorganic Chemistry I


CHEM 450Survey of Physical Chemistry


CHEM 450LSurvey of Physical Chemistry Laboratory


CHEM 499Seminar and Research in Chemistry


PHYS 221Introductory Physics II


CHEM 422: Take 0-2 credits

CHEM 499: Take 0-2 credits

CHEM 422 and CHEM 499: Take 2 credits total between those two courses.

3. Required Minor 18-21 Credits

A minor in Criminology and Criminal Justice or Anthropology is required. 

4. University-Wide Credits — 14-17 credits

Complete additional credits to achieve the minimum credits needed for this degree at UNC; for this degree, that will typically be 14-17 credits.

NOTE: Students wishing to participate in the Honors Program should consult their advisors about Liberal Arts Core selections and other requirements.