Marshall University has announced a new organizational model for its College of Science, which will support growth while continuing to provide exceptional teaching and learning experiences for students.

The change was effective July 1 and included the restructuring of nine academic departments into four schools: the School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, the School of Physical Sciences, the School of Mathematics and Applied Informatics and the School of Forensic and Criminal Justice Sciences.

Dr. Chuck Somerville, dean of the College of Science, said the new model would allow for more cross-disciplinary collaborations in the college.

“We reorganized to create synergy between departments that have similar expertise and interests,” Somerville said. “Bringing them together enhances collaboration on research, programs of study and innovative teaching styles.”

Somerville said he is most excited to unite the forensic science and the criminal justice and criminology programs, which will provide an integrative education for students who are interested in the scientific approach to solving crimes, the causes of criminal behavior, the application of criminal law and the practice of police work.

“This is a powerful combination of elements that were always available at Marshall, but in different places,” Somerville said. “We have the no. 1 Master of Science in forensic science program in the country and we have hundreds of criminal justice students who benefit by aligning these two disciplines.”

With both the master’s program in forensic science and the graduate area of emphasis in digital forensic science having full accreditation, Somerville said there is always room to grow.

“We are developing plans for an undergraduate forensic science program and an online graduate program in criminal justice and criminology,” Somerville said. “The forensic science program has seats for 20 candidates every year and we would like to see that grow over the next two to five years.”

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