Department of Chemistry

M.S. in Applied Chemistry with a Concentration in Forensic Chemistry


M.S. in Forensic Chemistry Coursework

The forensic chemistry track will require a minimum of 34 credits (of these, 22 credits in letter graded courses) from the courses listed below for the completion of the M.S. degree in Applied Chemistry with a concentration in Forensic Chemistry. The coursework will consist of advanced classes in analytical methods, biochemistry, forensic chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology and a seminar in chemistry. Participation in the internship/practicum course will be dependent upon the acceptability of the candidate to the Department of Chemistry and the host institution or agency. Among the criteria used by these agencies will be completion of Forensic Chemistry AChm 550 A, B and a possible background check of the applicant. Please see the Graduate Bulletin for additional information.

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Proposed Two-Year Curriculum:

Please note: Graduate course requirements are currently being revised, but the outline below is the general academic pathway expected of M.S. students in the Applied Forensic track. A minimum of 34 credits (22 of these in letter graded courses) from the courses listed below are necessary for the completion of the M.S. degree in Applied Chemistry with a concentration in Forensic Chemistry.

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M.S. Forensic Chemistry, Course Descriptions

  • ACHM 517 Advanced Synthesis Laboratory (3). Experimental investigation of advanced syntheses of organic and inorganic compounds including their separation and analysis. The goal of the course is to develop skills and understanding for the application of complex procedures and methods common in current practice. Prerequisite(s): AChm 223 or consent of the instructor.

  • ACHM 524 Seminar in Chemistry (1). Searching the chemical literature; techniques and practice in oral technical presentation.

  • ACHM 526 Experimental Methods of Organic Structure Determination (2). Discussion of modern methods of organic structure determination such as multinuclear NMR, 2D-NMR techniques, IR and Mass Spectrometers. Coverage of interpretation of the spectral results obtained. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

  • ACHM 540A,B Comprehensive Biochemistry (3,3). Chemical characteristics of living matter, amino acids, polypeptides and proteins, supramolecular assembly and membrane structure; enzyme mechanisms and kinetics; bioenergetics and the chemistry of metabolism; electron transport and other transports across membranes; biosynthesis, storage, and expression of genetic information. Additional assignments will be required, including a term paper and oral delivery. Prerequisite: AChm 221 or consent of instructor.

  • ACHM 550A Advanced Forensic Chemistry (3). This course combines a series of advanced seminars, lectures and laboratories, and individualized laboratory exercises which focuses on current topics and methods of analyses used in forensic laboratories. Seminars in Forensic Chemistry will include topics such as Introduction to Criminalistics, Ethical Dilemmas, and Computer Assisted Data Analysis. Lecture and laboratory courses will include Microscopy, Drug Chemistry, Questioned Documents, Toxicology, Latent Prints, Trace and Firearms/Tool marks. Students will be given "hands-on" experience with various analytical methods currently being used in forensic laboratories including chromatography (TLC, GC, GC/MSD), Visible UV and Fluorescence Spectrophotometry, Infrared Spectroscopy, and Mass Spectroscopy. Various separation/extraction techniques such as SPE (solid phase extractions) and liquid/liquid extractions will be covered. One lecture and two laboratory periods each week. Prerequisite: AChm 430 Instrumental Analysis, consent of the instructor.

  • ACHM 550B Advanced Forensic Chemistry (3). Continuation of AChm 550A. This course combines a series of advanced seminars, lectures and laboratories in Forensic Chemistry. Topics such as public speaking on technical and non-technical subjects as well as courtroom testimony will be covered. Lecture and laboratory topics will include DNA in forensics, quantitative methods in drug chemistry and toxicology as well as advanced statistical methods. One lecture and two laboratory periods each week. Prerequisite: AChm 550A.

  • ACHM 558 Introduction to Medicinal Chemistry/Pharmacology (3). Medicinal chemistry is an interdisciplinary course at the interface of chemistry and pharmacy and is involved with designing, synthesizing and developing pharmaceutical drugs. It will include the following topics: molecular modeling, rational drug design, combinational chemistry, QSAR, and cheminformatics. Prerequisites: Chm 221 and Chm 442.

  • ACHM 580A, B Forensic Drug Chemistry Internship/Practicum (4,4). Faculty and field instructor-supervised practicum in a mirrored, professional laboratory setting where qualified students will have the opportunity to apply forensic chemistry methods, techniques, and analyses learned in their academic program. Students pursuing a M.S. degree in Applied Chemistry with a Forensic emphasis may apply to the Department of Chemistry for permission to enroll in this course. Admission to the Forensic Drug Chemistry Practicum course will be dependent upon the acceptability of the candidate to the Department of Chemistry and the host institution or agency. Among the criteria used by these agencies will be completion of Forensic Chemistry AChm 550A, B and a possible background check of the applicant. Enrollment in the course is limited in number and is therefore determined on a competitive basis. Application to the program must be made six months in advance of the beginning of the proposed practicum. As students progress through the practicum, they will be tested and certified in stages on their knowledge of the various techniques and equipment encountered. A written i.e. certified record of the work performed by the student would be the end product of the practicum. (S/U graded). Prerequisite: AChm 550A,B.

  • ACHM 699 Chemical Research (3-6). Original experimental and theoretical research problems. Prerequisite: Consent of the department chair.

  • ACHM 699T Chemical Research (3-6). Original experimental and theoretical research problems. Prerequisite: Consent of the department chair.

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Advisement/ Interships

A faculty member will be appointed to oversee the practicum program. A memorandum of understanding between the Department of Chemistry and the agency or company sponsoring the practicum will be required. This memorandum will delineate the University's expectations of the intern as well as the responsibilities of the sponsoring agency or company. Each semester, the field instructor will be required to provide an evaluation of the student using a departmental evaluation form. It will be incumbent upon students who intend to pursue this degree program to find an internship/practicum that is acceptable to the department. It may be necessary for a student to undergo a background check as part of his/her application to an agency or company for consideration as an intern within the Practicum portion of the program. Consequently, application to enroll in the Practicum must be made six months in advance of the beginning of that portion of the program.

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Two year Program by Semester

SemesterCredits
1st semester: 2 courses and seminar7
2nd semester: 3 courses9
3rd semester: 2 courses and research9- 10
3rd semester: 2 courses and research9- 10
Total Credits34- 36