Forensic Science (B.S.)
Our forensic science major provides students with a solid foundation in both the biology and the chemistry necessary for many forensic investigations along with applications relevant to crime labs. Integrating courses in the sciences with courses in criminal justice, our program emphasizes hands-on laboratory work, critical thinking and data analysis, and effective communication of scientific information. Our students can apply scientific knowledge and methods as well as articulate the connections between the sciences and other fields of knowledge.
Our majors build and hone the skills needed for employment at forensic science and public health laboratories. Our majors are also prepared to pursue graduate studies in forensic science and related fields.
Featured CoursesBIOL 220 Introductory Forensic ScienceThis course consists of 3 hours of lecture and 3 hours of laboratory per week. This course would serve as an elective for biology, chemistry, and criminal justice majors.
Through reading, writing, discussions, and case-studies, students will explore scientific principles of Forensic Science and methods of investigation . Students will be introduced to the many specialties within forensic science and methods for collecting and recording evidence at a crime scenes. Scientific principles based in chemistry and biology will be incorporated into discussions of techniques used for analyzing crime scene evidence. Students will be introduced to technologies for analyzing crime scene evidence such as separating and identifying compounds, microscopy, fingerprinting, document analysis, pathology, anthropology, odontology, entomology, serology, DNA analysis, toxicology, and soil and fiber analysis. Students will also explore ethical and legal considerations in forensic science. The laboratory component of the course will give students hands on-experience using scientific technologies to analyze data and solve problems.
Prerequisites: Introductory Chemistry or Biology course such as BIOL 111, CHEM 111, BIOL 101 or an equivalent introductory science course with permission by instructor. BIOL 241 Introductory GeneticsInvestigates the principles of heredity, including Mendelian genetics, population genetics, and the genetics of microorganisms. The course consists of two hours of lecture, one hour discussion of journal readings, and three hours of laboratory per week. There is an additional laboratory fee for this course. Formerly BIO 222 Introductory Genetics.
Prerequisite: "C" or higher in BIOL 112 BIOL 341 Cell and Molecular BiologyFocuses on the eukaryotic cell at the cell and molecular levels with emphasis on the principles by which cells function in isolation and in multi-cellular communities. The course consists of three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week. There is an additional laboratory fee for this course. Formerly BIO 325 Cell and Molecular Biology.
Prerequisites: "C" or higher in BIOL 241 or permission of instructor CHEM 111 Fundamentals of Chemistry IIntroduces some of the general principles of chemistry. Topics include stoichiometry and chemical reactions; the structure and properties of atoms, ions, and molecules; chemical bonding; thermochemistry; oxidation/reduction and acid/base chemistry. It includes an introduction to equilibrium and kinetics. This course emphasizes active student involvement; many concepts are introduced via direct experimentation. There is an additional laboratory fee for this course. Formerly CHE 105 Fundamentals of Chemistry I.
Prerequisites: MATH 123 (may be taken concurrently) or MATH 108.
General Education: Knowledge and Inquiry CHEM 112 Fundamentals of Chemistry IIContinues the study of basic chemical principles, focusing on thermodynamics, kinetics, and chemical equilibrium. Transition metal complexes give an introduction to inorganic chemistry. There is an additional laboratory fee for this course. Formerly CHE 106 Fundamentals of Chemistry II.
Prerequisites: MATH 125 (may be taken concurrently), CHEM 111 with a grade of C or better, or permission of the program.
General Education Knowledge and Inquiry CHEM 222 Organic Chemistry IIApplies the concepts learned in Organic Chemistry I to new classes of compounds. The course includes a further investigation of substitution and elimination reactions, and the utility of infrared spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance in determining organic structure is emphasized. Students learn about reactions and mechanisms pertaining to alkyl halides, aromatic compounds, alcohols, ethers, and a variety of carbonyl compounds. A working knowledge of the reactions covered in both semesters of will enable students to develop multistep syntheses leading from starting material to product. Will ordinarily be taken with the laboratory (CHEM 224). Formerly CHE 233 Organic Chemistry II.
Prerequisites: CHEM 221 with a grade of C or better, or permission of the program CHEM 350 Forensic Instrumental AnalysisIntroduces the principles, theory and applications of instrumental methods of chemical analysis including spectroscopy (UV-VIS, IR, fluorescence, NMR, MS), electrochemistry and chromatography. Will ordinarily be taken with the laboratory (CHEM 351). Formerly CHEM 350 Instrumental Analysis.
Prerequisite: CHEM 112.
- Crime Lab Technician
- Crime Scene Technician
- Field Agent
- Forensic Examiner
- Forensic Scientist
- Forensic Laboratory Manager
- DNA Analyst
Dr. Cynthia DeBoy, Clare Boothe Luce Associate Professor of Biology (program chair)
Dr. Shizuka Hsieh, Associate Professor of Chemistry
Mr. Thomas Mostowy, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
Mr. Vernon Scott, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice