Laboratory Tools

Like any career field utilizing technology, having access to the proper equipment is crucial. At SHSU, our students are able to use the most recent instrumentation available to working professionals in the field.

Forensic Scientists play a critical role in the justice system by providing scientific information to investigators and the courts.

A forensic scientist must be capable of integrating knowledge and skills in the examination, analysis, interpretation, reporting, and courtroom testimony of scientific evidence. Forensic scientists must have a strong background in the chemical, biological, or physical sciences.

Although the term “criminalistics” is often used to refer to the science and profession responsible for recognition, collection, identification, individualization, and interpretation of physical evidence and natural science, there are a number of disciplines or focus areas.

Forensic science also relies upon physical methods of identification such as fingerprint analysis (fingerprint developing, identification, and comparison), toolmark and firearm identification, forensic document examination, and reconstruction.

Forensic Biology usually refers to the analysis of blood and physiological samples, including DNA typing, for the purpose of identification and individualization. Forensic botany, forensic entomology, and forensic anthropology also broadly fall into this category. Forensic anthropology usually refers to the recovery and identification of skeletonized human remains.

Forensic Chemistry usually indicates the use of instrumental and chemical methods to analyze drugs (controlled substances), alcohol, fire and explosive residues, hairs, fibers, glass, soil, pant, and other materials. Forensic toxicology involves the analysis of drugs, poisons, and alcohol in biological samples taken from living or deceased persons.

The Department of Forensic Science offers hands-on experience in a state-of-the-art facility. The program is housed in the Chemistry and Forensic Science Building and The Life Sciences Building, centrally located on the SHSU main campus. Our laboratories have analytical instrumentation and equipment that are commonly found in crime laboratories, including:

  • Accurate-Mass Quadrupole Time-of-Flight (Q-TOF) LC/MS
  • Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS-MS)
  • Direct Analysis in Real Time-Mass Spectrometry (DART-MS)
  • Liquid Chromatography (Diode Array Detection)
  • Gas Chromatography (GC)
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)
  • Chemical Ionization GC-MS
  • Pyrolysis GC-MS
  • Solid Phase Micro Extraction (SPME) GC-MS
  • Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy
  • DNA Analyzers
  • Thermal Cyclers
  • Gradient PCR Thermal Cycler
  • Real-Time PCR Thermal Cyclers
  • Fast Real-Time PCR Thermal Cyclers
  • Bioanalyzer
  • Ion Mobility Spectrometer (IMS)
  • Massive Parallel Sequencing / Next Generation DNA Sequencers and automation platforms
  • DNA Extraction Robotics
  • Fluorometry
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy - X-ray Energy Dispersion Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS)
  • Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM)
  • Comparison Microscopy
  • Digital Microscopy
  • Stereomicroscopy
  • Visual Spectral Comparator (VSC)
  • Micro-Raman Spectroscopy
  • Portable Raman Spectroscopy
  • Fluorescence Microscopy
  • Electrostatic Detection Apparatus (ESDA)
  • Glass Refractive Index Measurement (GRIM 3) System
  • UV-Visible Microspectrophotometry (UV-Vis MSP)

Working with tools of the trade will prepare you for a successful career in a public or private sector forensic science laboratory.