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UCO Forensic Science Program Receives Accreditation for All Undergraduate Degrees

A sculpture of horse in front of the UCO Forensic Science Institute building.

June 9, 2022

Media Contact: Kyla Carter, Communications and Marketing Coordinator, UCO University Communications, 405-974-2127, kcarter25@uco.edu

UCO Forensic Science Program Receives Accreditation for All Undergraduate Degrees

The University of Central Oklahoma’s W. Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute (FSI) received full, five-year accreditation through the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC), the forensic science accrediting body for the U.S. and Canada. Central is the only university in North America accredited in all available disciplines for undergraduate forensic science programs.

The degrees accredited include the Bachelor of Science in molecular biology, chemistry, digital forensics and crime scene investigations (forensic investigations). UCO’s FSI program is the only institution in Oklahoma with undergraduate-level FEPAC accreditation of any kind.

The institute has overseen the undergraduate and graduate forensic science programs at Central since 2009. Under the direction of Dwight Adams, Ph.D., former director of the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, UCO FSI has seen significant growth from its inception—from fewer than 100 students in 2009, to nearly 1,000 forensic science majors. It is the largest forensic science education program in the country.

“You don’t reach these milestones without support and a team of professionals that focus on students and what is needed in forensic science. The support began with former President W. Roger Webb and his commitment to the FSI. That support has continued with each UCO president that has followed,” Adams said. 

“This program attracts students from Oklahoma and others from across the country and overseas because of its student-centered focus by a contingent of former professionals with more than 300 years of forensic science and law enforcement experience. The extensive hands-on training with the latest technologies and methods makes UCO an elite program.”

All UCO forensic science students complete not one, but two degrees, pairing forensics studies with another major such as biology, computer science, accounting or chemistry. These degree combinations connect UCO graduates to unique career paths in fields like DNA examination, digital forensic examination, crime scene reconstruction, forensic accounting and forensic toxicology.

Adams added that a key component to a program’s FEPAC accreditation is regular interactions with at least one operational forensic science laboratory.

“As a metropolitan university, UCO is fortunate to have several agencies that have helped our program succeed. The FSI enjoys tremendous professional interactions with multiple agencies in the metropolitan area that have certainly contributed to our  students’ success, including the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Forensic Science Center, the Oklahoma City Police Department Crime Laboratory and Crime Scene Unit, the Edmond Police Department Technical Investigations Unit, the Midwest City Police Crime Scene Unit, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for Oklahoma, Analytical Research Laboratory and DNA Solutions in Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma City Zoo and others,” Adams said. 

Central FSI alumni can be found in numerous local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, the Federal Aviation Administration Forensic Laboratory, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Forensic Science Center, the Missouri State Highway Patrol Laboratory, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation Crime Laboratory, Texas Department of Public Safety and the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office, among others. FSI graduates have also been accepted to medical schools, schools of law and other graduate programs across the country.

The UCO FSI program was recognized in 2021 by Study.com as the top bachelor’s degree program in the nation for forensic science.

Founded in 2004, FEPAC maintains and enhances the quality of forensic science education through formal evaluation and recognition of college-level academic programs. Programs accredited by the commission meet the highest standards for forensic science education.

For more information about FEPAC, visit www.fepac-edu.org.

For more information about FSI at UCO, visit www.uco.edu/fsi

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Editor's Note: Download art associated with this release at https://media.uco.edu/press/uploads/2022/06/fsi.jpg

Cutline: The University of Central Oklahoma’s W. Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute (FSI) received full, five-year accreditation through the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC), the forensic science accrediting body for the U.S. and Canada. Central is the only university in North America accredited in all available disciplines for undergraduate forensic science programs.