Mercyhurst University

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.


We asked our students to tell us in five words or less what they love about studying applied forensic sciences.
Image for Megan Stubbs '18
Challenging program and amazing people.
Megan Stubbs '18
Image for Jonah Cook ’17
Engaging hands on experience.
Jonah Cook ’17
Image for Taylor Rider '17
We question everything.
Taylor Rider '17
Image for Kyle Briggs '17
Rewarding, influential, significant.
Kyle Briggs '17



FRSC 242 Criminalistics

Learn to locate, document, recover and interpret multiple types of physical evidence from various types of crime scenes.

FRSC 390 Crime Scene Archaeology

Between in-class lectures and hands-on excavation of outdoor mock crime scenes, you’ll learn how to utilize archaeological principles for the recovery of various classes of evidence.

FRSC 410 Death Investigation

This course focuses on the similarities and distinctions among all manners of death and the investigative protocols and procedures used in death investigations.



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.


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.


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

Forensic Students featured on NPR

Dr. Dennis Dirkmaat and his team of students played a major role in providing some helpful clues in this episode of NPR's "Whose Bones are These?"

Meet the Faculty

Faculty Image for 
Dennis Dirkmaat
Dennis Dirkmaat, Ph.D., D-ABFA
Director, Department of Applied Forensic Sciences, Master of Science in Anthropology: Forensic and Biological Anthropology Concentration, Forensic Anthropology Summer Short Course Programs
Dennis Donovan , PSP, ret.
Adjunct Professor
Luis Cabo-Perez, M.S.
Director, Forensic and Bioarchaeology Laboratory, Director, Graduate Student Research, Department of Applied Forensic Sciences
Leslie Fitzpatrick, Ph.D
Post-Doctoral - Forensic Science
Andrea Ost
Rhian Dunn