Forensic Science


Best defined as “science in service to the courts,” Forensic Science is the study of physical evidence in a modern legal context. Students in Forensic Science gain a broad base of knowledge about scientific application and analysis while studying another subject area (either by taking a second major in an approved area of study, or by pursuing one of the streams of specialization listed below).

Programs and specializations

  • Forensic Anthropology Specialist
  • Forensic Biology Specialist
  • Forensic Chemistry Specialist
  • Forensic Psychology Specialist
  • Major in Forensic Science

Why choose U of T Mississauga for Forensic Science?

  • Courses are taught by professionals who bring their own expertise and unique field experience to the classroom. For example, Professor Tracy Rogers, Director of the program, is the lead Forensic Anthropologist at the Pickton pig farm in BC, which is perhaps Canada’s largest crime scene. Many U of T Mississauga Forensic Science students helped recover materials at that site.

  • Professor Michael Pollanen is the senior forensic path-ologist at the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario and teaches the senior course in forensic pathology.

  • Dr. Hisham Ragab is an expert in Forensic DNA. He worked for the Abu Dhabi Police Forensic Science Laboratory from 1997-2010 where he developed their DNA lab and was responsible for its accreditation. He studied under famous Forensic Scientist Dr. Henry Lee (OJ Simpson). He teaches a number of courses including our DNA Evidence course and our Introductory course in Forensic Science.

  • Professor Wade Knaap, a Forensic Identification Police Officer and the Scenes of Crime Officer Coordinator with Toronto Police Services, Forensic Identification Unit, Training Section, instructs our forensic identification courses.

  • Our array of courses provides students the opportunity to learn about all aspects of Forensic Science in the classroom and to apply their knowledge to practical assignments (e.g. Forensic Identification Field School) using state-of-the-art technology and instruments (e.g. digital fingerprinting).

Hands-on experience

  • As Canada’s first BSc program in Forensic Science, U of T Mississauga has developed well established partnerships with organizations such as the Centre of Forensic Sciences, the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario, the Ontario Provincial Police, the RCMP and numerous other police services and agencies across Canada. In their senior year, each student interns with a professional forensic practitioner at one of these agencies to complete a major research project, monitored by a U of T Mississauga professor.

  • Past projects have involved researching the best methods of lifting fingerprints, examining practices for locating marijuana grow operations, investigating issues surrounding criminal profiling and collecting DNA from firearms. Each year students present their reports in front of an audience of forensic science professionals invited from across Canada.

  • Students learn about entomology, decay and decomposition first-hand through experiments at the “Maggot Farm” (an outdoor lab on-campus where students study the decomposition of animal remains in various environmental conditions).

  • Our Forensic Science Crime Scene House, located right on campus, provides our students with the unique opportunity to investigate simulated crime scenes in a realistic setting. This enables students to put theory, skills and knowledge gained in lectures, practical demonstrations and tutorials into practice. Students learn hands-on how to preserve, document and process the scene using appropriate equipment and procedures, including the collection and analysis of data such as DNA, fingerprints, footwear impressions, tool marks and trace evidence. The extensive outside areas around the house simulate outdoor crime scenes, such as clandestine burials and vehicle crime scenes.

  • Field school courses (e.g. Archeology Field School) allow students working in teams to put themselves in the place of an investigator to locate a “missing person” buried on campus, collect evidence, reconstruct the crime scene, and do a complete analysis of the victim.

Affiliated student clubs

  • IVNVI - Forensic Science Society offers workshops on academic skills, careers, lab safety, life saving with CPR, and firearms. It organizes trips to important national and international forensic science conferences (e.g.  American Academy of Forensic Sciences).

  • Depending on the student’s area of specialization, the undergraduate Biology,  Anthropology, and Chemistry clubs may also be very helpful.

What high school preparation do I need?

  • Students need a total of six Grade 12 U/M courses including Grade 12U English.*

  • Advanced Functions (MHF4U), Biology (SBI4U) and Chemistry (SCH4U) are required.* Physics (SPH4U) is strongly recommended.*

*This refers to courses from the Ontario curriculum. We will accept equivalent courses from other academic systems. For details, visit

What courses do I take?

All Forensic Science students take the same core courses:

  • BIO152H5: Introduction to Evolution and Evolutionary Genetics
  • BIO153H5: Diversity of Organisms 
  • CHM110H5: Chemical Principles 1
  • CHM120H5: Chemical Principles 2
  • FSC239Y5: (1) Introduction to Forensic Science
  • MAT135Y5: Calculus

For Forensic Biology and Forensic Chemistry, add:

  • PHY136H5: Introductory Physics 1
  • PHY137H5: Introductory Physics 2

For Forensic Anthropology, add:

  • ANT101H5: Introduction to Biological Anthropology and Archaeology
  • ANT102H5: Introduction to Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology
  • MAT135Y5 and CHM110H5/120H5 are not required unless students are completing a Forensic Science major program with an intended second major in Anthropology or Psychology.

For Forensic Psychology, add: 

  • PSY100Y5: Introductory Psychology
  • MAT135Y5 and CHM110H5/120H5 are not required unless students are completing a Forensic Science major program with an intended second major in Anthropology or Psychology.

Some interesting upper-year courses include:

  • FSC306H5: Forensic Identification Field School
  • FSC310H5: DNA Evidence in Forensic Science
  • BIO338H5: Forensic Entomology
  • FSC361H5: Forensic Science and Miscarriages of Justice
  • FSC401H5: Forensic Pathology
  • FSC402H5: Forensic Toxicology

After graduation

  • U of T Mississauga’s Forensic Science program is excellent preparation for graduate programs in Anthropology, Biology, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Molecular Biology, Psychology or Toxicology. Some graduates proceed to graduate programs in Forensic Science in the United States or the United Kingdom.
  • Each year several graduates enter professional programs (e.g. medicine, dentistry, law, pharmacy).
  • Graduates pursue careers in law enforcement (either as civilians or sworn police officers). Others take positions in laboratories including the Centre of Forensic Sciences.


More information

Teresa Cabral
Administrative Assistant