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Earn a FEPAC accredited degree!

Madonna University’s Bachelor of Science (BS) in Forensic Science degree provides students with a strong experiential foundation across the sciences and a refined knowledge of its application within the criminal justice system. Students within this program also obtain a minor in chemistry, biology, or both, further cementing their expertise in the field.

One of only 35 institutions in the world to achieve accreditation through the prestigious Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC), Madonna has a longstanding record for excellence in the Forensic Science major, preparing students for careers serving justice and their community through the application of science in law enforcement.

As the only FEPAC accredited undergraduate program in Michigan, the program meets the standards that are being demanded by employers under the Department of Justice’s newly introduced endeavor to improve forensic science nationwide through a partnership between the National Commission on Forensic Science and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). 

Experiential Forensic Science Curriculum

Because the field of forensic science contains a myriad of different sub-disciplines and specialties, coursework is focused on exploring techniques at the experiential level so that students can decide which avenue they wish to pursue when making the next step in their journey to success. Accordingly, the curriculum for the Forensic Science major covers a wide range of engaging topics, including biology, chemistry, genetics, criminal law, ethics and expert testimony, physics, evidence analysis, forensic anthropology, and toxicology. 

Forensic science coursework is led by expert faculty who are scholars and practitioners in the field. They are dedicated to assisting students in mastering techniques and building confidence so that they are prepared not just theoretically but also with “good lab hands” that are essential for the performance of standard operating protocols within a highly regulated environment. 

Explore the full BS in Forensic Science curriculum.

Student Research Opportunities

The Bachelor’s in Forensic Science degree fosters professional relationships that provide opportunities for faculty and students to present and publish the research data generated within the Madonna University Forensic Science Research Facility. 

Students have also been able to participate with faculty members on long term research funded through the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). Funding is available for students to help cover the costs of publication and travel to professional functions to present research.

By engaging in independent projects for research and development within the Madonna University Forensic Science Research Facility, students at the undergraduate level gain a level of skill development that is most often reserved for those in graduate level programs.

Learn more about Student Research Opportunities.

Career and Graduate Opportunities in Forensic Science

The BS in Forensic Science has a strong emphasis on applied learning, providing preparation for immediate employment or entrance into graduate and professional schools upon graduation. Students also gain invaluable communication, problem solving, and critical thinking skills that position them for future success.

The Forensic Science bachelor’s degree program has earned a reputation for excellence and our graduates are in high demand. Explore the roles, future employers, and graduate schools attended by Madonna’s BS in Forensic Science students.

Career Roles

  • Forensic Scientist
  • Forensic Biologist
  • Forensic Chemist/Toxicologist
  • Forensic Anthropologist
  • Latent Print Specialist
  • Ballistics Specialist
  • Crime Scene Technician
  • Evidence Technician
  • Forensic Technologist
  • Research & Development
  • Forensic Pathologist
  • Odontologist
  • Entomologist
  • Laboratory Manager

Employers

  • Michigan State Police
  • Oakland County Sheriff's Office
  • American Systems
  • Houston Crime Laboratory
  • Bode Cellmark Forensics
  • Florida Department of Law Enforcement
  • Arbor Bioscience
  • Condat Corporation
  • MC3 Cardiopulmonary
  • DPD, Wisconsin (Madison)
  • WCOME

Graduate Schools Attended

  • Indiana University-Purdue University
  • Michigan State University
  • Wayne State University
  • Syracuse University
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Toledo

Admission Requirements

The Forensic Science major has a two-stage admissions process. Students must first be accepted into the Pre-Forensic Program and should first review all stage one admission requirements.

Once students are accepted as a pre-forensics student, they must meet Madonna’s stage two forensics admission requirements.

Whether transferring to Madonna or coming directly from high school, the Madonna Undergraduate Admissions team is happy to walk applicants through the necessary steps to becoming a Madonna University student.

Any questions or requests for assistance can be directed to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 734-432-5339 or admissions@madonna.edu

Make a Difference in Your Community with a Forensic Science Degree

Madonna University’s Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science degree emphasizes the applied integration of science and criminal justice, shaping highly skilled professionals who are ready to make a difference for the safety and justice of their communities.

Get started on a Forensic Science career by requesting more information or starting your application!

STUDENT SUCCESS

FORENSIC SCIENCE PROGRAM RESOURCES

OTHER PROGRAMS IN FORENSIC SCIENCE

DNA Analysis Certificate

Learn to recover DNA profiles from evidence items used in the biology division of crime laboratories.

Learn More

Crime Scene Practice Certificate

Gain additional knowledge in crime scene practice through Madonna’s Criminal Justice program.

Learn More

Crime Laboratory Technician Certificate

Learn to analyze physical evidence to determine significance to criminal investigations.

Learn More

Graduate Certificate in Applied Forensic Science Research

Gain advanced research competencies to conduct complex forensic investigations.

Learn More

Faculty Bios

Jodi Lynn BartaProfessor and Chairperson, Forensic Science Program

Ph.D. McMaster University

B.Sc. University of Western Ontario

jlbarta@madonna.edu

734-432-5514

Franciscan Center S217-T

Jodi Lynn Barta

Dr. Jodi Lynn Barta, PhD, is professor and chair of Forensic Science at Madonna University, and director of the FEPAC accredited undergraduate program in Forensic Science. She is a forensic anthropologist with a degree in molecular genetics that specializes in the extraction of DNA from ancient and forensic biological materials.

She has over 19 years of experience in extracting and amplifying DNA from low copy number and degraded human and animal remains. As an experienced forensic consultant she has worked in conjunction with police agencies and the coroner’s office on the analysis of forensic cases including; aging, sexing, and personal biology to assist in the identification of recovered human remains.

She is an NIJ funded researcher involved in research to understand the behavior of DNA molecules during extraction and to optimize protocols for obtaining DNA from biofluids lifted using Zar-Pro™ Fluorescent Blood Lifters (US Patent 8,025,852 B2). Her published research topics include methodological improvements for the extraction of ancient and forensic DNA, recovering bloody impressions from difficult substrates, including from human skin, defining methods to create consistent and reproducible fingerprint impressions deposited in biological fluids on a variety of substrates, ancient DNA analysis of Roman cemetery populations, and ancient DNA analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from paleopathological skeletal remains.

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Jessica ZarateAssistant Professor, Forensic Science

M.S. National University

B.S. Madonna University

B.H.S. Ferris State University

jlzarate@madonna.edu

734-432-5523

Jessica Zarate

Ms. Jessica Zarate, MS is currently an assistant professor in the FEPAC accredited undergraduate Forensic Science Program at Madonna University teaching forensic science coursework including impression and pattern evidence. She was a Michigan certified police officer for eight years and is the inventor of the Zar-Pro™ Fluorescent Blood Lifters (US Patent 8,025,852 B2).

She has worked in impression analysis, for over 9 years, including during her time as a Police Officer with the Northville City Police Department when she collaborated with Michigan State Police Northville Forensic Science Laboratory, Latent Print Unit with research and development in the area of impression enhancement.

Her research work is focused within the impression evidence discipline, publishing on a fluorogenic method for lifting, enhancing, and preserving bloody impression evidence, recovering bloody impressions from difficult substrates, including from human skin, and defining methods to create consistent and reproducible fingerprint impressions deposited in biological fluids on a variety of substrates.

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Stephanie GladyckAssistant Professor,  Forensic Science

Ph.D. Wayne State University

M.S. Syracuse University

B.S. Madonna University

slgladyck@madonna.edu

734-432-5521

Franciscan Center S217-Q

Stephanie Gladyck

Dr. Stephanie Gladyck is an alumna of the Forensic Science Program at Madonna University (Class of 2013), has a MS in Forensic Science with a concentration in Forensic Biology from Syracuse University (2015), and received her PhD in Molecular Genetics and Genomics from Wayne State University’s School of Medicine (2021). Dr. Gladyck is a mitochondrial biochemist, with experience in ancient DNA analysis, forensic anthropology, molecular biology, and genetics. You can find her teaching biochemistry, genetics lab, molecular biology, and assisting Dr. Barta with the forensic anthropology course. She is very excited to be back at Madonna University as a faculty member!

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Wayne JiangProfessor, Forensic Science

Ph.D. McMaster University

M.S. Laurentian University

B.S. Jiangxi University

wwjiang@madonna.edu

734-432-5511

Franciscan Center S217-J

Wayne Jiang

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Adjunct Faculty Bios

Damon Baker 

B.S. Madonna University

djbaker@madonna.edu

Damon Baker

Damon Baker began working with the Detroit Police Department as a crime scene investigator in 2016, and spent three years processing crime scenes in the city of Detroit.  In August of 2017, he also took on the role of being a test-shot officer, testing firearms for submission into the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN).

In February of 2019, he transferred to the Criminal Intelligence Unit as a crime analyst working in the Real Time Crime Center (RTCC), providing intelligence to officers on scene through Detroit’s Project Green Light, as well as performing intelligence research on suspects and incidents at the request of investigators.  In September of 2020, he was transferred to back to the Detroit Police NIBIN Unit, this time as a crime analyst specializing in intelligence with firearms.  During his time as a NIBIN analyst, he worked closely with the ATF and other local partners to track and help build cases against offenders both in and out of Detroit.  In June of 2021, he took over as the Project Manager for the Detroit Police NIBIN Unit, and now runs the crime analyst team stationed there. 

He brings his crime scene and firearm experience to teach Firearms and Tool Marks during the winter semester.

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William Maze 

JD Wayne State University Law School 

B.A. The Military College of South Carolina

wmaze@madonna.edu

William Maze

Mr. William Maze, JD, is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Forensic Science. He has appeared as a defense attorney in over 100 jury trials and has been qualified by numerous Michigan courts as an expert witness in the standardized field sobriety test battery (SFSTs) and Michigan Datamaster breath testing procedures. Mr. Maze has performed the SFSTs on hundreds of individuals and is thoroughly versed in the NHTSA SFST battery and literature. He has participated in teaching the NHTSA/IACP Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Practitioner Certification Course on several occasions and has frequently lectured on the subject of field sobriety tests. He is also knowledgeable in the peer reviewed literature regarding alcohol and highway safety as well as the effects of alcohol on the human body. Mr. Maze teaches FOR 4650 – Ethics and Expert Testimony.

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