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Forensic Science Technology

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BS Degree - Code #2023

Wayne Bensley, Program Director
Email address:

The forensic science technology major is a technically rigorous four-year program culminating in a Bachelor of Science degree. Students in this laboratory-based on-campus program will complete classwork focusing on three areas of physical evidence analysis:

  • Biological applications within forensics, e.g., DNA technologies, genetic analysis, and microbiology.
  • Chemical practicalities, notably: physicochemical analysis and identification of drugs, poisons, and fire debris.
  • Microscopic-based examinations, including the analysis of fingerprints, firearms evidence, and trace evidence.

The forensic science technology program is fully accredited by FEPAC (Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission).

Mission Statement

The mission of the forensic science technology program at Alfred State is to provide our students with a strong foundation in the natural and physical sciences.  This includes not only theoretical didactic delivery, but also a wealth of hands-on laboratory-based forensic analytical techniques.  Graduates of the program will be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to obtain entry-level positions as laboratory technicians, scientists, or examiners in a variety of governmental, institutional, and industrial settings, or with the background necessary for successful transfer into graduate-level programs in the forensic, biological, and chemical sciences or related subjects.

Vision Statement

Through a rigorous hands-on curriculum rooted in the natural and physical sciences, the forensic science technology program at Alfred State strives to produce graduates prepared to be active contributors in a variety of career and educational options.


  • All students in the program are required to take a core course load that includes preparation in chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics as well as more advanced training in organic chemistry, genetics, biochemistry, instrumental methods, analytical chemistry, microbiology, biotechniques, evidentiary law, public speaking, and technical writing.
  • Students are trained in the usage and theory of modern instrumental techniques that are utilized by employees in crime laboratories nationwide.
  • Students have the opportunity to broaden and deepen their training by selecting from a list of approved technical elective course work.
  • All students in the program are required to complete either an off-campus internship or on-campus directed research experience. Students selecting the internship option will be exposed to a workplace setting and may complete this course at a multitude of off-campus locations offering laboratory testing services.
  • Students selecting the directed research option will receive preparatory training for future graduate and/or professional school options. In addition, these students will have the opportunity to present their research at both on- and off-campus conferences and/or showcases.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

  • Apply the scientific principles of chemistry, biology, and physics to specific applications in forensic science.
  • Explain and show competency in basic chemical and biological lab procedures, including the identification of and the synthesis of various compounds and the forensic analysis of DNA.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the capabilities, use, potential, and limitations of various laboratory instrumental techniques widely utilized in forensic science.
  • Recognize and use appropriate professional and ethical behavior as defined by the forensic science community.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the scientific principles of crime scene investigation and reconstruction, including evidence collection, preservation, and documentation.
  • Summarize the criminal justice system and explain the role of the forensic scientist and physical evidence within the criminal justice system.
  • Evaluate scientific literature to distinguish fact from opinion, develop informed and reasonable conclusions, apply knowledge and understanding to problems, develop rational and reasonable interpretations, suspend beliefs and remain open to new information and methods, and assimilate information learned into knowledge base.
  • Use technological resources effectively and appropriately to communicate, collaborate, and retrieve information; determine when technology is useful and select the appropriate tool(s) and technology resources to address a variety of tasks and problems.
  • Apply written communication skills to the construction documents of record that are well organized and contain appropriate format, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and spelling in accordance with established professional guidelines.
  • Apply oral communication skills to the explanation of ideas, scientific terminology, and results of scientific examinations in a competent and confident manner.

Occupational Opportunities

  • Government crime laboratories and medical examiner's offices
  • Private forensic testing laboratories
  • Industrial laboratories employing chemical or biological technologists
  • Quality control/quality assurance positions in testing laboratories
Examples of locations where our graduates have obtained employment include:          
  • New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
  • New York Police Department Crime Laboratory
  • National Security Agency
  • United States Army Criminal Investigations Division
  • Hamilton County (Ohio) Coroner's Office
  • Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office
  • Erie County Crime Lab
  • Erie County Medical Examiner's Office
  • NMS Labs

Future Educational Opportunities

  • Graduate-Level Forensic Science Programs
  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Pharmacy
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • LECOM Early Acceptance Program
Graduates of the program have been accepted into master's or doctorate level programs from several universities including:
  • Syracuse University
  • Cedar Crest College
  • University of Buffalo
  • University of Albany
  • George Washington University
  • Upstate Medical University
  • Pittsburgh University
  • Marshall University
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • West Virginia University

LECOM Early Acceptance Program

  • Alfred State's Forensic Science Technology program has an affiliation agreement with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM).
  • As a high school senior you can apply to both Alfred State College and LECOM's Early Acceptance Program (EAP) for the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the College of Pharmacy.
  • Current Alfred State Forensic Science Technology students with at least two years remaining can also apply to LECOM's EAP.
  • Through the 4+4 program, students who earn a BS in Forensic Science Technology at Alfred State College will continue their education at LECOM.  For more information visit  

Employment Statistics

Employment and continuing education rate of 100 percent – 83 percent are employed; 17 percent continued their education.

Student Achievement Data

Employment and Continuing Education Report

Graduation Year 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023  
Receiving Degrees 8 10 9 4 15 17  
Responding to Survey 6 9 5 2 13 12  
Employed 3 6 2 2 12 9  
Employed in Field 3 5 2 2 12 8  
Continued Education 5 3 3 0 1 3  

Program and College Graduation Rates

Major 500 Fall 2013 Fall 2014 Fall 2015 Fall 2016 Fall 2017
Freshmen Enrollment 16 20 22 20 22
# Grad w/in 6 yrs. 12 9 10 4 7
6-yr Grad Rate % 75.0% 45.0% 45.5% 20.0% 31.8%
College (Bachelor's) Fall 2013 Fall 2014 Fall 2015 Fall 2016 Fall 2017
Freshmen Enrollment 146 152 231 313 293
# Grad w/in 6 yrs. 99 100 93 131 133
6-yr Grad Rate % 67.8% 65.8% 42.9% 41.9% 45.4%

Related Programs

Biological Science
Criminal Justice
Health Sciences

Internship Opportunities

Students have completed internship experiences at various locations, including the FBI, ATF, New York State Police Crime Laboratories, multiple county and municipal crime laboratories both inside and outside of New York State, private testing and industrial laboratories, and hospital clinical laboratories.

Entrance Requirements/Recommendations

Required: Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2, Biology, Chemistry

Recommended: Physics

Required Course Prerequisites

If students do not place into MATH 1033 College Algebra, MATH 1084 Calculus I, MATH 1323 Quantitative Reasoning, MATH 1034 College Algebra of Functions, MATH 1054 Precalculus, or MATH 2124 Statistical Methods & Analysis, then MATH 1014 Algebra Concepts is a required prerequisite for completion of the major.

If students do not place into PHYS 1024 General Physics I or PHYS 1044 College Physics I, then PHYS 1014 Introductory Physics is a required prerequisite for completion of this major.

Required Equipment

A tier 1 laptop computer is required for students entering this degree program. Laptop specifications are available at

Office of Accessibility Services

Students who believe they need a reasonable accommodation to properly participate in this program may contact Melanie Ryan in the Office of Accessibility Services. This office may be contacted by email at  or by phone at 607-587-4506. Please keep in mind that some accommodations may take time to implement, so students seeking accommodations are encouraged to contact OAS as early as possible.

Can't get enough of TV shows like CSI? Want to lean how this work is done in the real world? Sounds like you're ready to study forensic science technology! Watch this video to learn more:

Forensic Science Technology - BS Degree



FRSC 1001 Intro to Fornsc Science Tech I 1
CHEM 1984 Chemical Principles I 4
BIOL 1104 General Biology I 4
COMP 1503 Writing Studies 3
MATH 1084 Calculus I 4


FRSC 2001 Intro to Frnsc Science Tech II 1
CHEM 2984 Chemical Principles II 4
BIOL 2204 General Biology II 4
SPCH 1083 Public Speaking 3
GLST 2113 Global & Diverse Perspectives 3


FRSC 3001 Topics in Forensic Science I 1
CHEM 3514 Organic Chemistry I 4
PHYS 1044 College Physics I 4
LITR  xxx3 Literature Elective 3
XXXX  xxx3  General Education Elective  3 


FRSC 4001 Topics in Forensic Science II 1
CHEM 4524 Organic Chemistry II 4
PHYS 2044 College Physics II 4
MATH 2124 Statistical Methods & Analysis 4
XXXX  xxx3 General Education Elective 3


CJUS 1003 Intro to Criminal Justice 3
CHEM 5414 Analytical Principles 4
BIOL 5254 Principles of Microbiology 4
COMP 5703 Technical Writing II 3
XXXX  xxx3 Technical Elective 3


BIOL 6534 Genetics 4
CHEM 6614 Instrumental Analysis 4
CJUS 6003 Law & Criminal Evidence 3
FRSC 6214 Microscopy and Criminalistics 4


FRSC 7214 Forensic Chemistry 4
CHEM 7784 Biochemistry 4
XXXX xxx3 Technical Elective 3
XXXX xxx3 Technical Elective 3


FRSC 8214 Forensic Biology 4
FRSC 8111 Forensic Science Tech Capstone 1
FRSC 8113 Forensic Scie Tech Prof Prepar 3
FRSC 8703 Senior Research Project 3
FRSC 8713 Forensic Sci Tech Internship 3
BIOL 5013 Biotechniques 3

Approved Technical Electives:
ANTH 5333 Medical Anthropology
BIOL 1304 Botany
BIOL 1404 Anatomy & Physiology I
BIOL 2504 Anatomy & Physiology II
BIOL 4403 Pathophysiology
BIOL 4900 Directed Study, Biology
BIOL 5900 Directed Study, Biology
BIOL 6003 Molecular and Cell Biology
BIOL 6403 Advanced Pathophysiology
BIOL 7723 Research Methods in Health Sciences
CHEM 4900 Directed Study, Chemistry
CHEM 5900 Directed Study, Chemistry
FRSC 3113 Forensic Pathology
FRSC 4900 Directed Study, Forensic Science
FRSC 5900 Directed Study, Forensic Science
MATH 2094 Calculus II
MATH 6104 Multivariate and Vector Calculus
MATH 6114 Differential Equations
MEDR 1132 Essen. of Pharmacology and MEDR 1133 Med. Terminology

Students pursuing a career in forensic biology/DNA are advised that the following three courses are required at the undergraduate level:  Biochemistry, Genetics, and Molecular and Cell Biology.

Technical Standards

It is essential that students in this degree program are able to fully and safely participate, with or without reasonable accommodation, in all classroom, laboratory, field, internship, and research experiences required for completion of the program. Students in this degree program should be able to:

  • Function in a safe manner, not placing themselves, faculty, staff, or other students in jeopardy.
  • Appropriately and safely use standard laboratory equipment, materials, and instrumentation to include possession of fine motor skills and mobility.
  • Make sensory visual and auditory observations during, and interpret data from, all required laboratory assignments.
  • Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.

In addition, this degree program requires students to complete either an off-campus internship experience or a research project. Students in this degree program are expected to meet the following professional standards:

  • Maintain confidentiality in professional workplace settings.
  • Maintain professional composure at all times.

Be advised that a prior felony conviction may impede a student's ability to participate in an internship experience. In addition, students desiring careers within the field of forensic science should be aware that they will likely have to undergo background checks prior to being offered employment or an internship at a crime laboratory. These background checks are often similar to those required for law enforcement officers and may include questions regarding drug usage, criminal history, driving records, credit history, personal associations, and/or past work performance. In addition, they may include drug tests, polygraph examinations, and physical and medical examinations.

Graduation Requirements

  • Minimum of 122 total semester credit hours
  • Completion of at least one course from seven of the 10 SUNY General Education categories
  • 60 Liberal Arts & Science credits
  • Minimum of 45 upper-division semester credit hours
  • Minimum of 30 upper-division semester credit hours in residence
  • 3 credit hours of research or internship
  • 2.0 cumulative grade point average
  • Grade of "C" or higher in courses with BIOL, CHEM, and FRSC prefixes
  • Completion of a "mock trial" capstone experience
  • Approval of department faculty

All laboratory-based courses for this academic program must be completed in an in-person format.  Laboratory-based courses in the on-line format will not fulfill degree requirements.