Undergraduate Certificate in Forensic Science

Program Description

The Undergraduate Certificate in Forensic Science, jointly administered by the School of Integrative Biology and the Department of Anthropology, allows undergraduates to obtain recognition for completing coursework that provides a foundational coursework in biology and anthropology to prepare for additional study in forensic sciences. Careers for which a certificate in Forensic Science may be appropriate include forensic pathology, forensic anthropology, death investigation, crime scene investigation, forensic biology, forensic genetics, forensic botany, forensic toxicology, and forensic entomology.

Importantly, students of ANY major can opt to enroll in this certificate!

Although the certificate will not appear on a student’s transcript, students completing the certificate are free to use this credential on a resume or application for advanced study and will have the option to receive an official certificate document.


Program Requirements and Forms

For completion of the certificate, students must do the following:

  1. Declare their intention to complete the certificate and develop a plan of study in by completing the Certificate in Forensic Science Declaration and Plan of Study Online Form.
  2. Choose which certificate track you intend to follow
    1. Plan A: Complete four courses selected from the list below with no practicum. ANTH 246 Forensic Science is a required course.
    2. Plan B: Complete three courses selected from the list below and participate in at least one practicum experience approved by an IB or Anthropology advisor. ANTH 246 Forensic Science is a required course.
  3. Complete the Certificate in Forensic Science Completion Checklist Online Checklist Form no later than the 10th day of classes in the student’s final term to affirm that the requirements for the certificate have been met or will be met at the completion of the that term.

Students opting to complete the certificate with a practicum must receive approval from an IB Advisor prior to undertaking the practicum. Options for a practicum may include, but are not limited to, the following: volunteering, research, experience abroad, internships, or job shadowing. Practicums are not set up by the certificate program, rather, they are identified and pursued by the student. Practicums should comprise at least twenty supervised hours of experience aligned with the certificate. Students need to complete the online practicum approval form prior to undertaking the experience.

Students are not guaranteed a seat in a course required by the certificate, but are welcome to enroll in courses where seats are available after any restriction, which may have been placed, has been removed.

This program is a total of 9 - 15 Credit Hours.


Program Courses for Undergraduate Students

  • ANTH 246 Forensic Science (required course)
  • ANTH 247 Forensic Anthropology
  • ANTH 347 Human Osteology
  • ANTH 441 Human Genetics
  • ANTH 447 Advanced Skeletal Biology
  • SOC 375 Criminal Justice
  • IB 303 Anatomy
  • IB 335 Plant Systematics
  • IB 365 Genomics and Human Health
  • IB 401 Introduction to Entomology
  • IB 432/ANTH 432 Genes and Behavior
  • IB 439 Biogeography
  • IB 468 Insect Classification and Evolution
  • IB 471 General Mycology
  • IB 481 Vector-Borne Diseases

Students are encouraged to take at least one course in both IB and Anthropology.

Prerequisite courses may be required for selected advanced courses.


Program Contact Information

Dr. Cris Hughes, Undergraduate Certificate in Forensic Science Program Contact
Department of Anthropology
University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign
109 Davenport Hall (MC‐148)
607 Mathews Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 333-9694
E‐mail: hughesc@illinois.edu


Dr. Maritza Quiñones, Undergraduate Academic Advisor
Department of Anthropology
University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign
109 Davenport Hall (MC‐148)
607 Mathews Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 265-8042
E‐mail: quinonem@illinois.edu