A California-based digital publishing company has included Ferris State University
among its top 15 programs, among United States schools offering undergraduate and
graduate degree programs in Forensic Biology.
Forensicscolleges.com, a subsidiary of Sechel Ventures, included Ferris’ Bachelor of Science curriculum in the College of Arts, Sciences and Education, as one of only two institutions from the state of Michigan. Bradley Isler, the coordinator of the Biology program, said it is an honor to be ranked seventh in the U.S. He added that the university has offered this program for more than 15 years.
“Our experience in this field has been an asset, and while a number of universities and colleges in the region offer academic programs that explore forensic science from a criminal justice perspective, Ferris is unique in offering a program that explores forensic science with an emphasis on biology,” Isler said. “Our laboratory-based instruction means that we are well placed to attract and instruct students looking to pursue careers as technicians and specialists in forensic science.”
Isler said that some Forensic Biology students also choose to complete a dual major or minor to broaden their learning and aid their entrance into the job market or graduate school after completing their degree.
“There have been a number of cases where our forensic biology students choose to pursue a major or minor in Criminal Justice, with the goal of attending the Law Enforcement Academy,” Isler said. “These students can go onto service as police officers, or work with the forensic services unit of a department, as the opportunity is there to become a jack of all trades.”
Another popular dual major for forensic biology students is the biotechnology program, which increases a student’s training in the molecular laboratory sciences. This path is especially helpful for those students looking towards graduate school or a career as a forensic DNA analyst.
Isler added that the Michigan State Police have announced plans to establish a regional laboratory in the Grand Rapids area, which could present significant opportunities for their students. However, the job market is highly competitive, he added.
“Internships are not required of our Forensic Biology students, but they are recommended, as a way to gather experience and accentuate their learning, in preparation for their careers,” Isler said. “As state and regional DNA testing sites are established and expanded, we encourage our students and graduates to demonstrate their abilities, which are accentuated by our diverse and intense curriculum.”
Forensicscolleges.com cited that Ferris offers students training in “how to analyze biological evidence for application to legal investigations, and receive in-depth training in laboratory and field settings.” Further noted was that Ferris Forensic Biology students learn to “isolate, purify, and amplify DNA, as well as how to collect and analyze plants, insects, and other biological evidence gathered from a crime scene.”