Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Bachelor of Science degree in Forensic Biology provides students with a foundation in biology, chemistry, and law with the necessary course work to become a certified molecular biologist or chemist by the American Board of Criminalistics (ABC) through examination upon graduation. Students will also accrue all of the prerequisite courses to continue into medical, dental, graduate, or law school, should they choose one of those paths.
The accompanying laboratory components within all of the biology and chemistry classes will offer ample hands-on experiences with techniques and equipment. In the Forensic Crime Scene Investigation Lab and the Forensic Biology Lab, students participate in evidence collection, crime scene investigation, tissue sampling and analysis, and DNA and biological specimen analysis techniques.
Led by faculty from science, law enforcement, and judicial backgrounds, the program provides the necessary breadth and expertise to students’ studies. Students enrolled in this program will be part of a team of experts that has had and will continue to have an impact on forensic science.
Students have the chance to join Lambda Alpha Epsilon (ACJA-LAE), the ERAU chapter of the American Criminal Justice Association, as well as the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS). Students can also opt to participate in annual national and regional competitions in crime scene investigation, firearms, physical agility, and academics, in addition to participating in undergraduate research projects with various faculty mentors.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics has predicted that employment opportunities for forensic science professionals will grow 17 percent from 2016 through 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Graduates of the Forensic Biology program often find jobs in local and state crime labs, private forensic labs, medical examiners’ offices, offices of prosecutors and defenders, the FBI, or even the Armed Forces DNA Identification Lab, to name a few in the forensic branches. Students can also find gainful employment in medical research, biotechnology companies, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies.
About Forensic Biology at the Prescott, AZ Campus
At ERAU’s Prescott Campus, the B.S. in Forensic Biology degree program, housed within the Department of Biology and Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences, combines the disciplines of biology, chemistry, and law to give students the skills and background needed by professionals in forensic science laboratories, law enforcement, and related fields.
Students will get the opportunity to work in four brand new laboratories with professional equipment and experts in the field, which will give graduates the knowledge and technical skills needed to confront issues in forensics that affect evidence acceptance and validation, as well as ethical dilemmas.
Students who have interests in analyzing evidence found at a crime scene, the justice system, medicine, and working in the outdoors should explore this growing, rewarding, and promising career field.
Core curriculum and program requirements in Forensic Biology are designed to give students fundamental science knowledge and demonstrate the ways in which biology, chemistry, and law integrate with aspects of their future careers.
Undergraduate research with faculty in specialized subject areas is a valuable way to increase knowledge through hands-on experience.
Travel to the annual national AAFS conference with faculty is highly encouraged and a great opportunity to network by meeting people in the field, which can lead to internship and job offers.
Study abroad opportunities include visiting internationally recognized forensics labs and tours of infamous crime scenes.
Get access to state-of-the-art labs and fieldwork opportunities locally from the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office. ERAU students have the chance to intern with that office’s Volunteers In Protection (VIP) program, assisting in criminal investigations, working with the forensics unit, cold case unit, and much more.
Prescott’s small campus atmosphere creates an ideal learning environment in which students interact closely with faculty, enhancing their educational experience.
Required internship or co-op gaining valuable hands-on experience in the student’s career of choice, in addition to valuable networking.