APPLIED FORENSIC SCIENCES
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE

Become an expert in your field.

The Mercyhurst University Department of Applied Forensic Sciences offers a multidisciplinary undergraduate major dedicated to educating students in matters related to science, forensic science, society and the law. Starting with a deep understanding of the natural sciences, students learn to identify, collect, analyze and interpret forensic evidence through hands-on experiences in our state of the art forensics lab on campus and in hundreds of real-life cases outside of Mercyhurst.

Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize, employ and perform the basic and advanced principles, methods and practices of the various forensic science disciplines
  • Gain the ability to identify, collect, analyze and interpret forensic evidence
  • Critically analyze and interpret past and current research in the forensic sciences
  • Display comprehensive scientific writing skills

B.S. in Forensic Applied Sciences

The Department of Applied Forensic Sciences at Mercyhurst University was created in 2002 in an effort to provide students with a solid undergraduate education in the general sciences, with a forensic science focus. Students graduating with a degree in Applied Forensic Sciences will be able to pursue a variety of career options from graduate school in the sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, anthropology) to specific training programs in the field of forensic science and investigations.

The strength of our program will continue to reside in the Forensic Anthropology concentration, which arose out of the Department of Anthropology. This concentration focuses on the recognition and documentation of physical evidence at the outdoor crime scene and the analysis of human skeletal remains recovered from those contexts. These methods prove useful whether the crime scene involves a surface scatter of human remains, a buried body feature, a fatal fire site or a large-scale mass fatality incident.

The development of the undergraduate Applied Forensic Sciences Program represents the first truly multidisciplinary major at Mercyhurst that incorporates the major natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics) and mathematics within the core curriculum. The program includes three concentrations:

  • Criminalistics/Forensic Biology
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Forensic Chemistry

The Mercyhurst core curriculum is enhanced by these three specialized concentrations which meet students' interests while reflecting the changing face of forensic science.

Mission Statement

The Mercyhurst University Department of Applied Forensic Sciences offers a multi-disciplinary undergraduate major dedicated to educating students in matters related to science, forensic science, society and the law. Students receive a solid natural science education, bolstered by the thematic forensic science courses. The program advances the student’s knowledge of science-based forensic fields of study and advocates critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Classroom learning is strengthened by strong, hands-on components of many courses. The Department of Applied Forensic Sciences stresses the importance of reasonable and ethical behavior in regard to the field of forensic science to all members of the department: faculty, staff and students.

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INTERNSHIPS

Our majors have completed internships with the Drug Enforcement Agency, Lake County (Ohio) District Attorney's Office, NCIS, and the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office.

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CUTTING-EDGE FACILITIES

Our top-of-the-line facilities, such as the Ted A. Rathbun Osteology Laboratory, Forensic Anthropology Processing Lab, and Criminalistics Lab ensure that our students get the best experience possible.

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REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCE

Our students work closely alongside their professors to conduct thorough searches for potential evidence and human remains at crime scenes throughout the region.


Contact Us

Dennis Dirkmaat
Chair, Department of Applied Forensic Sciences
Office: Zurn 119A
Phone: 814-824-3119
Email: ddirkmaat@mercyhurst.edu