Oklahoma Christian University will begin offering a bachelor of
science major in forensic science this fall.
According to Dr. Bill Luttrell, chair of the chemistry and physics
department, OC is uniquely positioned to offer the forensic science
major which is rapidly growing in popularity. The university is located
near the state’s new forensic science facility in Edmond and has
existing faculty with the necessary experience and expertise in the core
courses. On-campus laboratories have been recently renovated and
additional lab renovations will be completed this fall.
"The interest level among students has been rising since we began
offering summer forensic science workshops several years ago,” Luttrell
said. "This degree will prepare our students for entry-level positions
in the forensic science profession or graduate school.
"Most of the courses are science based and will come from our
existing curriculum, primarily in biochemistry,” he said. "As a result
of some recent changes in the faculty, we found that we had all the
additional requirements for a forensic science major already on staff –
one instructor in fire science and arson investigation, one in law and
one in toxicology. We will use our existing chemistry core curriculum,
three current forensic science courses – introduction to forensic
science, forensic analysis and practicum in forensic science – along
with two new courses – forensic science and the law and forensic
toxicology – to complete the major. OC has the capacity within the
sciences and math to offer all the courses in biology, physics,
chemistry, and mathematics required for accreditation by the American
Academy of Forensic Sciences. Our graduates will meet the requirements
for graduate programs at Oklahoma State University and the University of
The faculty consists of Luttrell, a toxicologist who has written and
edited a toxicology textbook and regularly publishes toxicology
technical papers; Dr. Howard Vogel who has experience in arson
investigation; Dr. Len Feuerhelm, a physicist with a law degree who once
worked for the CIA; and Dr. Amanda Nichols, an inorganic chemist with
interests in forensic science.
OC has an excellent relationship with the Oklahoma State Bureau of
Investigation Forensic Science Center just north of the campus and has
three students currently interning there, Luttrell said. And with the
new forensic science building at UCO, Edmond is rapidly becoming a
center for forensic science.
"We’re excited about this new major because it will ultimately bring
more students to Oklahoma Christian, to our science courses and to the
upper level biology and psychology courses,” he said. "OC has capacity
for 20 to 30 more students in freshman chemistry and organic chemistry.
We currently have more than 200 students majoring in the sciences and a
good number of those have expressed interest in the forensic science
Oklahoma Christian, named a "Best Western College” by The
Princeton Review, and "America’s Best University—Masters” by U.S.News
& World Report, is a private, four-year comprehensive
university. OC offers degree programs in more than 60 fields of study in
three colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of
Biblical Studies and the College of Professional Studies. The university
also offers two graduate degree programs in Biblical studies, a
master’s of science in engineering as well as one- and two-year master’s
of business administration programs. In addition to its Oklahoma City
campus, OC has study abroad opportunities in Vienna, Austria, Honduras,
and throughout the western Pacific. For more information about Oklahoma
Christian, visit www.oc.edu.