May 21, 2018  
2011-2012 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2011-2012 Undergraduate Bulletin [Archived Bulletin]

Forensic Sciences Certificate

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: >Academic Programs

Forensic sciences program director: Susan M.T. Myster, anthropology/forensic sciences.

Students may pursue the certificate as degree-seeking undergraduates or as postbaccalaureate students (postbaccalaureate students are students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university). All certificate-seeking students must complete (or must have completed) an undergraduate major in one or more of the following relevant disciplines: anthropology, biology, chemistry, criminal justice, legal studies, physics, or psychology. Given that the forensic sciences include a broad range of disciplines, petitions requesting to earn the certificate through majors not listed will be evaluated by the director of the program.

A majority of all forensic scientists are employed in a forensic science laboratory setting. Professional requirements for a career in forensic science are currently evolving and the nationally-funded Technical Working Group on Education and Training in Forensic Sciences (TWGED) has published recommendations for an appropriate educational undergraduate curriculum. The Forensic Sciences Certificate program incorporates many of these recommendations and encourages students through close advising to choose the best major from which to pursue their chosen career path in forensic science. Students pursuing a career in forensic science with an emphasis in criminalistics (including analysis of toxicology, controlled substances, DNA, trace evidence, fingerprints, documents, firearms, and impression evidence) must major in either biology, chemistry, or physics while those interested in investigation and/or the medico-legal forensic sciences (e.g., forensic anthropology, forensic pathology, forensic psychology, forensic psychiatry, death investigation) must major in the discipline appropriate to their chosen path (e.g. anthropology, biology, psychology). Students seeking the certificate to enhance a future career in law enforcement or law may major in any of the required majors; a minor in biology or chemistry is strongly recommended.

For information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other program characteristics, please visit

12-16 approved elective credits taken from the following three categories:

a. Legal Studies/Law (4 credits)

b. Sociology/History (4 credits)

c. Topical courses (4-8 credits)

Students must take at least two topical courses, for a minimum of four topical credits.


1. Postbaccalaureate students: a maximum of two courses, with grades of C or better, from prior college work can apply toward the certificate.

2. Relevant courses from other colleges will be considered through petition to the director of the program.

3. No course in which the grade received is less than a C may be used to meet certificate requirements. If a Hamline course is repeated to meet this Forensic Sciences certificate grade requirement, the repeated course credit will be changed to zero and the resulting grade will be excluded in the grade point average computation. The grade point average of all courses taken in the certificate must be 2.7 or higher and the cumulative GPA of all Hamline courses taken must be 3.0 or higher.

4. Violation of the Hamline University Student Honor Code may result in suspension from the Forensic Sciences Certificate Program.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: >Academic Programs