UMass Lowell Ready to Train Next Generation of CSIs

10/17/2007


Contact: Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209, Christine_Gillette@uml.edu

LOWELL ߝ If you’ve ever watched “CSI” and wondered how you can become a crime scene investigator, UMass Lowell has the answer: a new degree program in forensic science.

TV shows like “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “NCIS” and “Criminal Minds” have all popularized forensic science, depicting investigators who use trace amounts of blood, a stray carpet fiber and tire marks to solve murders and other major crimes.

UMass Lowell’s new forensic science degree ߝ being offered for the first time next fall ߝ is the only undergraduate program of its kind at a public university in Massachusetts and one of only two in New England.  The bachelor of science in chemistry with forensic science option is a collaboration between the University’s Chemistry Department and Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, as well as the Lowell Police Department.

Driving the creation of the program is the need for more forensic chemists in Massachusetts, says Eugene Barry, Chemistry Department chair. There are only 100 certified working in the state police crime lab, more than 2,000 violent crimes were committed in 2005 in the state, according to a report from the Commonwealth Fusion Center.

Nationally, forensic scientists are also employed in other areas of law enforcement, as well as with private companies, federal agencies, the military and colleges and universities, according to the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Sciences.

The new degree meets standards set by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences’ Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission.

Barry will be on hand Sunday, Oct. 21 at UMass Lowell’s Open House at Tsongas Arena. The half-day event, expected to draw 2,000 people, starts at 9 a.m. and features workshops, opportunities to meet with faculty and admissions staff, campus tours, and even a life-size model of a UMass Lowell dorm room. Admission is free and open to anyone interested in learning about graduate and undergraduate programs, including the new forensic science degree.

UMass Lowell, www.uml.edu, a comprehensive university with a national reputation in science, engineering and the health sciences, is committed to educating students for lifelong success, and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental and social health of the region. UML offers its 11,000 students more than 120 degree choices, internships, five-year combined bachelor’s to master’s programs and doctoral studies in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Management, School of Health and Environment, and the Graduate School of Education.

For more information, contact media@uml.edu or 978-934-3224