Why study Forensic Chemistry at Washburn? 

With a forensic chemistry degree from Washburn, you can contribute to a unique field – and society – with your work in the lab. This rigorous program includes courses in chemistry, biology, physics, calculus, statistics, communications, forensic chemistry and crime scene investigation – all designed to prepare you to work as a key part of a criminal justice team. Washburn’s partnership with the Kansas Bureau of Investigations (KBI) ensures you’ll have opportunities for training on specialized instruments and techniques in a state-of-the-industry laboratory. You’ll also complete research or an internship so you will leave Washburn ready for graduate school or your career.
Career Forecast Bright OutlookAverage Salary $60,590on campus

A forensic chemistry student wearing goggles and gloves stares intently at a sample.

What sets Forensic Chemistry at Washburn apart?

  • Be part of the first program of its kind in Kansas
  • Washburn’s partnership with the Kansas Bureau of Investigations (KBI) Forensic Science Center means you’ll have access to dedicated laboratory space and equipment in the state-of-the-industry facility.
  • You’ll learn with industry professionals. Professor O’Neill worked as a KBI laboratory scientist and in other forensic chemistry roles before joining Washburn faculty.
  • Find your people on campus with the Forensic Science Club.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to complete original research with faculty mentors, and present your research at a conference.
  • Scholarships are available for first-time students, transfer students, and continuing students in this program.

On campus research opportunities

When Ian McClain first toured campus as a high school senior and saw the new Kansas Bureau of Investigation building on campus he knew he had to explore the opportunity to study using the state of the art equipment the professionals were using. Now attending a graduate school in New York, he's doing cutting edge research in forensic chemistry.


A minor in forensic chemistry can be paired with any major. The minor requires 20 hours of coursework, including intro to forensic chemistry, fundamentals of chemistry I & II, organic chemistry I and advanced forensic chemistry.

Set for Success

CAREER FORECAST: bright outlook

Student/faculty ratio


Qualities for success



Detail oriented

Communication and collaboration 

Graduate with experience


of students conduct research or an internship prior to graduation.

Forensics at Washburn

Other chemistry programs

The Washburn University Chemistry Department offers courses in all of the major chemistry fields, including biochemistry and chemistry. Washburn also offers a secondary chemistry education program.

Meet Gretchen Hogan

A senior from Cimarron, Kansas, Gretchen Hogan came to Washburn for the Forensic Chemistry program and its partnership with the KBI. Hogan has taken advantage of the small class sizes and helpful faculty to further her education and success.  

“The smaller class sizes allowed me to build relationships with faculty, and they were always willing to help when needed,” Gretchen said. “The open-door policy that most had gave me the ability to succeed.” 

Hogan received her Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry this spring and believes that the opportunities that Washburn has provided for her have set her up for a successful entry into the working world. 

She plans to work in a forensic science lab or as a chemist within a pharmaceutical lab.

GET IN TOUCH WITH Department of Chemistry

Department of Chemistry
Stoffer Science Hall, Room 312
1700 SW College Ave
Topeka, KS 66621

Phone & Email
Phone: 785.670.2270

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