UM is among 13 top programs, including two other SEC institutions, that made the elite list. Criteria used in the rankings included notoriety among professionals and peers, as measured by comprehensive surveys done by U.S. News and World Report, cost and opportunities for experience.
UM’s forensic chemistry program is the only one in Mississippi. It also is among only three forensic chemistry programs in the South and six nationally that are accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission, which is administered through the American Academy of Forensic Science.
“One of the key factors in this list was whether or not there were internship opportunities, hands-on labs that students would work in and other experiential qualifications,” the report states. “Although the University of Mississippi only offers a B.S. in forensic chemistry, a key difference is that all students of the program are enrolled in a summer internship with a local criminal laboratory.”
Because of this hands-on experience, more than 70 percent of graduates find employment right away, many of them working in local and federal crime labs.
“It is an honor that the University of Mississippi’s Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry is recognized in the top 13 of forensic chemistry programs by ForensicsEd,” said Murrell Godfrey, UM associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry and director of forensic chemistry. “Our program contains a demanding science-based curriculum that prepares our graduates for versatile careers in forensics laboratories, including the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Agency.”
Perhaps spurred by popular TV shows such as “CSI” and “NCIS,” many curious and observant problem-solvers are attracted to forensic chemistry, as it involves the analysis of physical crime evidence and allows students to deal directly with the very puzzle pieces that come together to solve cases. Students learn to use chemical and biochemical processes to determine culpability of potential crime suspects.
Other institutions on the ForesicsEd.com list include the University at Albany-SUNY, the University of Florida, Pennsylvania State University, Texas A&M University, Michigan State University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Towson University, George Washington University, Sam Houston State University, Lake Superior State University, St. Edward’s University and Loyola University.
For more information, visit http://www.forensicscolleges.com/blog/resources/15-top-forensic-chemistry-programs.