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Forensic Science Course Descriptions

FSC 140  Introduction to Forensic Science 4 hours
Prerequisites: completion of developmental and foundational courses. Term: Fall Fee: yes
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, ballistics, arson, fingerprint analysis, drug analysis, and document examination. Laboratory included.

FSC 220 Crime Scene Investigation and Evidence Analysis 4 hours
Prerequisite: FSC 140; Term: Winter Fee: yes
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 included.

FSC 385 Forensic Biology 4 hours
Prerequisites: BIO 150, FSC 140; FSC 220. Term: Fall (odd); Fee: yes.
This course is designed to introduce students to the principles governing the application of biology and biological statistics to solve crimes. Topics include: evidence collection, documentation, examination and preservation; serology; microscopy; analysis of hair, tissue and skeletal remains; entomological evidence; extraction and quantification of human and non-human DNA; generation of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA profiles; statistical analysis of DNA evidence. Laboratory included.

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: Junior status in the major; Term: TBA
Selected topics and issues in biology as chosen by the instructor.

FSC 440  Forensic  Chemistry 4 hours
Prerequisite: CHM 241; FSC 140, FSC 220 Term: Fall (even); Fee: yes.
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 488 Cooperative Field Experience 1-4 hours
Prerequisites: Senior standing; forensic science major, departmental approval; Term: Fall, Winter, Summer
Supervised work experience in activity related to an 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 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.

ISC 312 Junior Seminar 3 hours
Prerequisites: Junior standing in the major, ENG 312; Term Fall, Winter
Junior Seminar has been designed to help science majors improve their writing AS SCIENTISTS. Competence in writing in science requires critical evaluation of one’s work. In order to encourage the development of critical thinking, students critique published work as well as write essays, reviews, and research reports. The heart of the course lies in the weekly interaction between the instructor and students through discussion both in class sections and one-on-one. A weekly lecture provides structure and continuity and allows consideration of other topics such as interviewing and resume writing, poster presentations, ethics in science, and the nature of science and creativity. This is the program’s writing intensive course.

ISC 496A Science Senior Seminar: Library Research 2 hours
Prerequisites: ISC 312; Senior standing in major. Term: Fall, Winter
This course is designed for senior science majors to have the opportunity to write and orally present a research proposal. This will include conducting a literature review and designing an original research project. Students carry out their research project in ISC 496B. Use of computer for informational searches, data analysis, and word processing; oral presentations and final research paper required.

ISC 496B Science Senior Seminar: 2 hours Laboratory Research
Prerequisites: ISC 496A; Senior standing in major; Term: Fall, Winter; Fee: yes.
This course is designed for senior science majors to conduct research with the direction of a faculty member. The student will carry out a research project of their own design. Specifically students will conduct experiments, write up the results of those experiments, write up the conclusions based on those results and present the results and conclusions of the project both in written and oral formats.