Applied Forensic Science (Justice Studies)

The new Bachelor of Science in Applied Forensic Science is part of the Justice Studies Program here at MU, whose purpose is to provide students with a holistic view and understanding of forensic science from the crime scene to the courtroom.  This exciting hands-on program perfectly blends theory and knowledge with the abilities to perform key and essential actions at crime scenes, crime reconstruction scenes, and performing forensic analysis of certain types of physical evidence.  Students are trained to work in all aspects of law enforcement, crime scenes, and forensic science. 

Students acquire knowledge and experience in the application of forensic science throughout the entire investigative process, cradle to grave. The students acquire the necessary hands-on skills to expertly locate, document, identify, process, collect, protect, and analyze many types of forensic evidence as well as how to conduct felony investigations and work with forensic scientists around the nation.  This training prepares students for the potential to strive for advanced degrees as well as employment within the forensic science and law enforcement professions. 

Methodist University's Advantage

At MU, we’ve created a comprehensive program regarding the complete forensic science process from crime scene to courtroom. Students study law enforcement procedures, crime scene investigation, forensic firearms, behavioral analysis/profiling, forensic photography, and other investigative concepts.  MU provides a solid base of comprehension and understanding of how all of the varied entities and components of the criminal justice and forensic science communities operate jointly to solve our nation’s largest crimes and mysteries.  MU instills in its applied forensic science majors the tools to become future leaders of the forensic science and law enforcement professions in our nation.  Many other universities have forensic science programs, but most offer only biology, chemistry, or anthropology degrees. Community colleges often offer fingerprint examiner curriculums, but none offer such a well-rounded and comprehensive blend of courses that we offer here at MU.  Class size is limited so that you receive personal attention from professors who have decades of real world experience in law enforcement and forensic science throughout the program to ensure your comprehensive applied forensic science education and training.   Last but certainly not least, the applied forensic science program here at MU offers you the opportunity to conduct an internship with an actual police department to review and analyze an actual cold homicide case and at the end of the semester provide your findings and conclusions to the Chief of Police and Chief of Detectives so that they can determine if reopening the cold homicide case is feasible at that time.  MU students have assisted several law enforcement agencies in solving their cold cases and other agencies are asking for future assistance in this venue as well. 

State-of-the-art equipment

The two applied forensic science labs are fully equipped with high-end forensic science equipment that students utilize during their journey here at MU in the applied forensic science program.

Off-site Visits

Students visit government and private forensic labs where they receive tours to better understand crime scene products, training requirements, and the application process for a career in forensic science. Students also visit local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and training facilities including the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA.


Off-campus visits best prepare the student for applying for internships and begin the professional network for future employment. Students have conducted internships with local police departments and CSI units, at the NC state forensic lab, in Ohio at a lab conducting arson evidence examinations, in Miami, FL, with a police department, Las Vegas, NV, and at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Facility in GA.  Students have conducted internships with medical examiners and coroner’s offices across the nation as well. 

Meet Scottie Gendron

Scottie is a student at Methodist University studying Justice Studies with a concentration in Forensic Science. He will give you some great information about the MU Forensic program and his Journey as a Monarch.

Requirements for the major in Applied Forensic Science

45 s.h., including JUS 2200,** 2410, 2420, 3090, 3320, 3890, 3960, 3970, 3980, 4010, 4100, 4150, 4270, 4400, 4700,* PSC 1510, PSY 1010, and SOC 1500

* With the permission of the department chair an appropriate 3000-4000 level course may replace JUS 4700.

**SOC 2200, PSY 2500, or MAT 2200 may be substituted with the permission of the department chair.

The Director of the Forensic Science Program, with the approval of the Department Chair, may allow a non-Justice Studies major to take a Forensic Science class without taking the necessary Justice Studies prerequisites. Such students will be limited to 9 s.h. of Forensic Science classes.

Requirements for the minor in Applied Forensic Science

21 s.h.: JUS 2420, 3890, 3960, 3970, 4010, 4100, and 4150

Justice Studies Affiliations

  • American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS)
  • Vidocq Society
  • Fayetteville Police Department
  • North Caroline Homicide Investigators Association (NCHIA)
  • North Carolina International Association for Identification (NCIAI)
  • FBI National Academy Associates (FBI NAA)
  • International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts (IABPA)
  • International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI)
  • The American Investigative Society of Cold Cases (AISOCC)
  • Council on Forensic Science Education (COFSE). 

Program Faculty & Staff

Mark Bowman, Associate Professor of Justice Studies

Dr. Mark Bowman

Associate Professor of Justice Studies
(910) 630-7434
Darl Champion, Professor of Justice Studies

Dr. Darl Champion

Professor of Justice Studies
(910) 630-7050
Steven Downs, Assistant Professor of Justice Studies

Steven Downs

Assistant Professor of Justice Studies
(910) 630-7581
Sabrina Koncaba, Instructor of Digital Forensics & Cybersecurity

Sabrina Koncaba

Director, Digital Forensics & Cybersecurity
(910) 630-7516
Dave Pauly, Associate Professor of Justice Studies

Dave Pauly

Associate Professor of Justice Studies
(910) 630-7420

Dr. Eric See

Chair, Justice Studies
(910) 630-7459
Mark Vecellio, Assistant Professor of Applied Forensic Science

Mark Vecellio

Assistant Professor of Applied Forensic Science
Phone TBA
Wendy Vonnegut, Associate Professor of Legal Studies

Wendy Vonnegut, J.D.

Director, Legal Studies Program
(910) 630-7491

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