2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
    Jun 18, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physical Sciences, BS, Concentration: Forensic Science

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study

About the Program

Apply Now Students are taught how to analyze crime scenes, perform ballistic and fingerprint comparisons, and learn how to maintain a proper chain of evidence and testify in a courtroom, in order to support modern criminal investigations.

Degree Requirements

  • 120 Credit Hours
  • Minimum grade of C- required for all College of Engineering and Sciences courses
  • Minimum GPA of 2.0 required for graduation
  • Certain courses may only be available at one campus location

PNW General Education Core (31 or 32 Credits)

Other Required Courses (7 or 9 Credits)

Restricted Elective (3 Credits):  Choose from CHM (any course excluding CHM 10000, CHM 10300, CHM 10600, CHM 11100, CHM 11200, and CHM 19400), PHYS (any course 20000 or higher), or forensics oriented SCI course. See program advisor for a list of available courses.

Free Electives (4 or 6 Credits): Student may choose any two (2) courses to fulfil this requirement. At least 3 credits of free electives must be 30000 level or higher.

Civics Literacy Proficiency

The Civics Literacy Proficiency activities are designed to develop civic knowledge of Purdue Northwest students in an effort to graduate a more informed citizenry.

Students will complete the Proficiency by passing a test of civic knowledge, and completing one of three paths:

  • Attending six approved civics-related events and completing an assessment for each; or
  • Completing 12 podcasts created by the Purdue Center for C-SPAN Scholarship and Engagement that use C-SPAN material and completing an assessment for each; or
  • Earning a passing grade for one of the approved courses (or transferring in approved AP or departmental credit in lieu of taking a course)

For more information visit the Civics Literacy Proficiency website.

Total 120 Credits Required

* Note: Students who choose to take MA 16300, MA 16400, PHYS 15200, and PHYS 25100 can reduce their free electives by five (5) credits to meet the 120 credit hour requirement.

Degree Map


Minimum Grade and Grade Point Average (GPA):  Minimum grade of C- required for all College of Engineering and Sciences courses; 2.0 GPA

Experiential Learning (EL):  One EL course required.  EL courses are noted by (e) next to the course title.

General Education Core:  General Education notations can be found within the course description.  Please click on a course to see if it meets a Gen Ed requirement.

Milestone Courses noted by (m) next to the course title have been identified as being critical to your success in this field of study. 

Please see the Additional Information and Guidelines section below for more information.

Semester 7 (14 Credits)

Semester 8 (14 Credits)

Additional Information and Guidelines

Upper division chemistry and physics courses are offered on a two year rotation. Contact an advisor to determine the specific semester a particular course will be offered. Certain courses may only be available at one campus location.

Any individual course within CES must be a C- or better, but the avg. G.P.A. for all disciplinary courses (CHM or PHYS courses) must be at least 2.50. At least 3 credit hours of Free Electives must be 30000 level or higher.

Note 1: Take 2 Gen Ed ENGL Comp, COM 11400, PHIL 11100, & Gen Ed Tech courses in any order.

Note 2: Students who take MA 16031 (S1) need an additional Gen Ed elective during semester 2 to meet the 30-credit minimum.

Note 3: CHM 32100, CHM 42400, FIS 35000, and FIS 41000 are on a two-yr rotation; As needed, swap CHM 32100 (S5) with 3-cr free elective (S7); swap CHM 42400 (S6) with CHM 33300 (S8); swap FIS 35000 (S6) with a Gen Ed course (S8); swap STAT 30100 (S5) with FIS 41000 (S7); CHM 32100 and 32400 may be offered off-sequence on the Westville campus.

Note 4: Students who take MA 16031/16032 instead of MA 16300/16400 and PHYS 22100 instead of PHYS 26100 will need an additional 2 credits of free electives in semester 5.


The 8 semester plan of study is a recommended sequence of classes designed to show how this program can be completed within four years.

Visit the 15 to Finish website for information and resources.

For career information, click here to visit the Careers and Employment Trends page.

For Financial Aid eligibility, click here. Annual FAFSA filing deadline is March 10. Financial Aid recipients are required to complete 30 credits per calendar year to stay eligible for the standard financial aid award.

Financial Guarantee: If you follow the degree map and find a course unavailable, you may be able to take the course for free in a future semester.  Certain exclusions apply. 

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study