Forensic Science

Program Type: Major
Program Level: Undergraduate
Department: Natural Sciences

You’re a problem solver—asking questions and figuring out how things work. You’re methodical and highly scientific, yet you also have a knack for explaining complicated information in a way that just about anyone can understand.

Explore the fascinating world of forensic science and discover how you can help solve crimes within our criminal justice system.


Applying science to law

With a bachelor’s degree in forensic science, you’ll play a vital role in solving crimes within our criminal justice system. You’ll use scientific methods to analyze physical evidence from crime scenes. During an investigation, evidence is collected at a crime scene, analyzed in a crime lab, and then the results are presented in court. That’s where you come in. With a forensic science degree from Mount Marty, you’ll be prepared to work in a crime laboratory or as a crime scene investigator. You’ll learn how to analyze DNA, fiber, hair, and fingerprints using molecular technology. You’ll become an expert in analytical technology and using techniques such as chromatography and spectroscopy. And you’ll understand the physical nature of wounds and body positions, providing clues about circumstances that lead to death.


A well-rounded degree

In our program, we focus on forensic biology (the specialty that uses biology to explore criminal activity). But we also make sure you have a strong background in criminal justice, learning how our justice system works and delving into criminal investigations. In fact, you’ll have an advisor in both forensic science and criminal justice. Classes in psychology and human services will also help you draw insights from human behavior—skills you need as a forensic scientist.



  • Hands-on learning in the community. At Mount Marty, you’ll have lots of opportunities for community service, internships and mentoring, giving you real-world experience to help you stand out from the rest when applying for a job. You’ll cap your experience with a clinical internship with local or state law enforcement, the court system, a counseling facility, or other related organizations. 
  • Hands-on learning in the lab. You’ll spend a big chunk of your time completing coursework in the lab, including specialized training for your area of interest—ranging from controlled substances, toxicology, trace evidence, biological evidence, including DNA, firearms, fingerprints, impression or pattern evidence and questioned documents.
  • Network with professionals in the field. Forensic science majors can get involved with the Criminal Justice Club and attend lectures where you’ll network with judges, police officers, attorneys, probation officers, and state agents. You’ll also visit local jails, prisons, boot camps, police and sheriff agencies, and the South Dakota Supreme Court.
  • One-on-one attention. At Mount Marty, you’ll be part of a close family both in and out of the classroom. Faculty will get to know you and help you grow as a professional and as a person.
  • Research activities. In our program, you’ll complete a research project, have the chance to present it at state meetings—and maybe even have your work published by the South Dakota Academy of Science.


Start your journey.