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Forensic Science

Forensic Science

Teri Miller
Liberal Arts Building, Room 308
Direct: 313.927.1333
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bachelor of Science,
Forensic Science Major (B.S.)

Jeanne Andreoli, Ph.D.
Steve Scribner, Ph.D.
Jennifer Tsui, Ph.D.
Sally Welch, Ph.D.

Forensic Science Overview


Criminologist • Doctor • Educator • Field Technician • Government Agent • Laboratory Technician • Lawyer • Odontologist • Pathologist • Forensic Anthropologist Writer Other careers: Engineer, Toxicologist, Behavior Scientist, Questioned document expert, Crime Scene Technician, Forensic Entomologist, Forensic DNA expert, Medical examiner, Trace Evidence Expert, Forensic Computer Analyst, Forensic Accountant, Forensic Nurse


The Forensic Science Department has two major objectives: (1) to provide a strong interdisciplinary forensic science major within a liberal arts framework for those entering forensic-related jobs in industry or the government or preparing for graduate work; (2) to provide cognate backgrounds in chemistry, biology, math and physics others who may require this major.


The Bachelor of Science with a major in forensic science is designed for both students who want a career in forensic laboratories in police departments, district attorney’s offices, regional and state agencies, DEA, ATF, FBI, USPS, SS, CIA and United States Fish and Wildlife Services, medical examiners office, private companies, and for occupations that require a moderate training in chemistry combined with training in one or more other areas.


As a forensic science student you will have a wide variety of excellent career opportunities available to you: foren­sic-related jobs with government departments at the federal, state, and local level. Forensic science majors also often pursue advanced work in graduate schools as well as medical school. A forensic science background is also valuable to you if you major in the health sciences (nutrition, clinical chemistry, and industrial hygiene).


Academic Performance

Only required courses with a grade no lower than a C can be applied to fulfill the Forensic Science major.

Students must have an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher in order to graduate with a BS degree in Forensic Science.

Sigma Zeta National Honor Society

Sigma Zeta is a national science and mathematics honor society.  It was founded at Shurtleff College, in Alton, Illinois in 1926.  Today, more than forty local chapters are active in colleges and universities across the United States.  The society encourages and fosters achievement of greater knowledge in the fields of science and mathematics.  Outstanding scholastic achievement in the fields is recognized through membership in this society.

Transfer Student Information:

All science courses from any other college that are older than 6 years must be repeated. For science courses from a community college, students must achieve a B or higher to be transferred in for science course equivalency.

Writing Intensive Requirement

All forensic science majors must take ISC 312 as their writing intensive course. 


Students may be eligible to win the following departmental awards based on their scholarly work. The awards are American Chemistry Society for outstanding chemistry major, Rubber Chemical Award for the highest achieving GPA in General Chemistry 1 and 2, and Outstanding Graduating Senior.

Credit by examination

Credit by examination, tutorial study and cooperative work experiences are other features of the program. Permission of the department head is required to select these options. Not more than four credit hours in cooperative work experience may be counted within the 128 credit hours required for a degree.


Program Offering


The B.S. in Forensic Science program is primarily a day program, some courses are offered in the evening on a rotating schedule. Students should complete an internship in their Junior or Senior year.  Students must obtain their own internship.  The Department will assist students as much as possible in obtaining this position.  Students may take the internship for credit or as a noncredit option.

Bachelor of Science, Forensic Major (B.S.)

Forensic science is an interdisciplinary major and does not require an additional minor to be completed. The requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree with forensic major are a minimum of 59 credit hours in forensic science and related courses and completion of the following components:

A. General Education Requirements

See page 56.

B. Required Core Courses

FSC 140    Introduction to Forensic Science
FSC 220    Crime Scene Investigation and Evidence Collection 
FSC 385    Forensic Biology or 440 Forensic Chemistry
FSC 410     Special Topics in Forensic Science
ISC 312        Junior Seminar
ISC 496A      Senior Seminar: Library Research
ISC 496B      Senior Seminar: Laboratory Research

C. Related Discipline Requirement

CJ 110             Introduction to Criminal Justice
PSY/SOC 305     Introductory Statistics
CJ 330             Criminal Behavior
CJ 380             Criminal Law

D.  Area of Concentration
Students completing a Forensic Science major must concen­trate in a specific area by selecting at least twenty four hours from one of the following areas.

Forensic Biology:

BIO 150     Biology I: From Molecules to Cells
BIO 267     Clinical Anatomy and Physiology
BIO/CHM 360 Biochemistry
CHM 140      General Chemistry 1*: Atoms and Molecules
CHM 241      General Chemistry 2: Equilibrium
CHM 325      Organic Chemistry 1: Structure and Nomenclature

Forensic Chemistry:

CHM 140      General Chemistry 1*: Atoms and Molecules
CHM 241      General Chemistry 2: Equilibrium
CHM 252     Analytical Chemistry
CHM 325      Organic Chemistry 1: Structure and Nomenclature
CHM 326     Organic Chemistry 2:
PHY 252      College Physics 1

Recommended courses:

BIO 321          Microbiology
BIO 490       Cell Biology
MTH 251      Calculus 1
PHY 253    College Physics 2


Minor in Forensic Science


A minor in forensic science consists of the following components:

A. Related Discipline Requirements

CJ 110             Introduction to Criminal Justice
BIO 150           Biology I: From Molecules to Cells
CHM 140         General Chemistry 1*: Atoms and Molecules      

B. Core Requirements

FSC 140    Introduction to Forensic Science
FSC 220    Crime Scene Investigation and Evidence Collection 
FSC 385    Forensic Biology


440 Forensic Chemistry
FSC 410     Special Topics in Forensic Science 


Forensic Science Course Descriptions

FSC 140  Introduction to Forensic Science 4 hours
Term: Fall

Forensic science is the application of science to the law and encompasses various scientific disciplines. This course will introduce various methodologies and applications used in the forensic context. Topics dis­cussed include organic and inorganic chemical analy­ses of physical evidence, principles of serology and DNA analysis, identification of fresh and decomposed human remains, ballistics, fingerprint analysis, facial reconstruction, drug analysis, and forensic entomology.

FSC 220 Crime Scene Investigation and Evidence Analysis 4 hours
Prerequisite: FSC 140;            Term: Winter, offered alternative years

This course is designed to provide students with the basic theoretical and philosophical understanding of the investigatory process as well as fundamental investigation techniques such as crime scene analysis, collection, preservation, and testing of evidence, modus operandi, use of technology, types of evidence, and the science of criminalistics. Analysis of problems encountered in interviewing, interrogating, evidence collection, and admissibil­ity will be examined. Application of investigation theories to the administration of justice will also be developed. Laboratory course.

FSC 385 Forensic Biology 4 hours
Prerequisite: BIO 150  Term: Winter; Fee: yes; offered alternative years

Study of hereditary material, its biological, chemical and physical nature. Transmission and function will be em­phasized. Students will become versed in the tools of human molecular genetic analysis, the nature of DNA and its applications.  Laboratory course.  

FSC 388 Cooperative Field Experience  1-4 hours
Prerequisites: Junior standing, forensic science major, departmental approval; Term: Fall, Winter, Summer

Supervised work experience in activity related to area of specialization. This is planned in consultation with advi­sor,

co-op supervisor and employer. Recording, reporting and evaluation of experience will be required.

FSC 410 Special Topics 3 hours
Prerequisite: CHM 325; FSC 240         Term: Fall, alternate years

Selected topics and issues in forensic science as chosen by the instructor

FSC 440  Forensic  Chemistry 4 hours
Prerequisite: CHM 252; FSC 140 Term: Winter; Fee: yes; offered alternate years

The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to the chemical aspects of forensic science as it applies to criminal investigation and labo­ratory preparation. This course looks at the instrumentation and chemistry associated with crimes. We will look at how the instrumentation is used, what type of evidence it can process, how to read the results and the properties of the chemical evidence. This course will also study the general principles and fundamentals of forensic toxicology, poisons, action, toxicity, postmortem characteristics, samples required for toxicological analysis and methods of collection, methods of preservation and analysis. Chemical, toxicological and pathological characteristics of commonly abused drugs, including the following: ethanol, barbiturates, narcotics, stimulants, and hallucinogens. Details of the methods employed for analysis, such as color test, Chromatography (GC, GLC, HPLC), mass spectrometry (MS), GC-MS. Laboratory course.

FSC 491 Independent Study 1-4 hours
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor; biology major or minor; Junior status; Term: Fall, Winter, Summer

Opportunity to earn credit for the independent study of a course not listed in the catalog as a specific offering. By arrangement.