The Biomedical Sciences Program, Criminal Justice Program, and Departments of Anthropology and Chemistry cooperate in offering three certificates in the area of forensic sciences. Sponsored jointly by the College of Letters and Science, the College of Health Professions and Sciences, and the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, these certificate curricula are designed to train students in basic skills that will provide the foundation for careers in the fields of law enforcement, death investigation, pathology, and toxicology.

Certificates are offered in Death Investigation, Forensic Science, and Forensic Toxicology. Where applicable, the curriculum meets the criteria required for professional certification examinations (Medicolegal Death Investigation, Toxicological Chemist).


Undergraduate students who pursue a forensic sciences certificate maintain their identity as majors in their home departments and continue to progress toward a baccalaureate degree while in the certificate program. Courses include lecture presentations and laboratory experiences that cover fundamental areas of forensic science and provide unique instruction on techniques that are essential in the specific certificates. Students are given instruction by faculty members at UWM and forensic professionals in the Milwaukee community. Any of the programs may be pursued as a post-baccalaureate educational certificate. Individuals who are not enrolled in a degree program at UWM, but are seeking continuing education for career development, may be admitted to courses in the certificate programs by meeting prerequisites with equivalent experience or consent of the instructor.


To receive a certificate in Death Investigation, Forensic Science, or Forensic Toxicology, students must complete at least one half of the required credits on the UWM campus. A minimum grade point average of 2.500 must be achieved on the required credits. All options within the certificate require at least a basic knowledge of chemistry and biology. To meet this requirement, prior to registering themselves in the Forensic Sciences Certificate Program, students must successfully complete CHEM 100 or equivalent and BIO SCI 100 or equivalent.

The following courses must be completed successfully to obtain a Certificate in Forensic Toxicology:

ANTHRO/BMS/CHEM/CRM JST 281Dead Men Do Tell Tales: An Introduction to Forensic Science3
ANTHRO/BMS/CHEM/CRM JST 481Criminalistics3
CHEM 524Instrumental Analysis3
BMS 610Pharmacology3
CRM JST 110Introduction to Criminal Justice3
CRM JST 480Criminal Evidence and Investigation3
ANTHRO 403The Human Skeleton3
or ANTHRO 404 Human Biological Variation
Total Credits21

Additional courses with forensic content are listed below. Check prerequisites or consult the instructor for eligibility. These courses are recommended, but are not required, for the Certificate in Forensic Toxicology:

ANTHRO/BMS/CHEM/CRM JST 285Medicolegal Death Investigation3
ANTHRO/BMS/CHEM/CRM JST 585Internship in Forensic Toxicology1-3
ANTHRO/BMS/CHEM/CRM JST 589Internship in Death Investigation1-3
ANTHRO/BMS/CHEM/CRM JST 594Internship in Forensic Science1-3
ANTHRO 405Forensic Anthropology3
BIO SCI 539Laboratory Techniques in Molecular Biology4
CHEM 194First-Year Seminar: (with forensic subtitle)3
CHEM 602Biochemistry: Cellular Processes3
BMS 555Toxicology and Therapeutic Drug Monitoring1
BMS 560Molecular and Genetic Diagnostics2
BMS 561Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory1