Forensic Science Courses

FSC 101 Forensic Science in Criminal Investigations - 3-4 credits

Through online modules students will develop a fundamental appreciation of Biology, Chemistry and Physics and how each of these disciplines impact Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation.  Students will learn how to use the scientific method and apply analytical data typical of the natural sciences to form proper conclusions in the analysis of physical evidence. Case studies will be discussed.  Students can take the online lecture component only (3 credits) or the online lecture and on site lab component (4 credits).   The laboratory component is described below. This course fulfills the Natural Science requirement of the Liberal Arts Curriculum. 

FSC 101 Introduction to Forensic Science (Laboratory)

Through laboratory exercises, students will develop a fundamental appreciation of Biology, Chemistry and Physics and how each of these disciplines impact Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation. Students will learn how to use the scientific method and apply analytical data typical of the natural sciences to form proper conclusions in the analysis of physical evidence.

CHE 241 Crime Scene Pattern Analysis - 4 credits

Students will be introduced to basic concepts in criminalistics, such as identification and individualization. Among the topics for lecture and laboratory instruction are photography and other methods of crime scene documentation, imprint and impression recovery, toolmark and firearm analysis, and questioned document examination. Students are introduced to physical patterns such as blood spatter, bullet trajectory, and glass fracture typically found at crime scenes. Emphasis is also placed on the proper handling, packaging, and transport of physical evidence from crime scenes. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours.

Prerequisite: CHE 111.

CHE 347 Trace Evidence and Microscopy - 4 credits

Lecture and laboratory instruction are given in the analysis of trace evidence typically found in forensic investigations such as hair, fiber, soil, glass and paint. The course focuses on the use of the light microscope, polarized light microscope, scanning electron microscope, and the micro-FTIR as analytical tools. Students will also receive instruction in instrumental and wet chemical methods for the analysis of trace evidence, inorganic ions and drugs. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours (students should be advised that the laboratory portion of the course may require more than the three hours per week). 

Prerequisites: CHE 111 and CHE 112 plus CHE 241 or permission of instructor.

CHE 348 Forensic Molecular Biology - 4 credits

Lecture and laboratory instruction are given in body fluid stain identification and modern DNA typing methods used in forensic biology. The process of DNA analysis is covered with emphasis placed on PCR technology and STR fragment analysis. Students are also introduced to mitochondrial DNA typing methods, Y-Chromosome typing methods as well as future forensic DNA methodologies. The use and calculation of population statistics used in forensic DNA testing is also discussed. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours (students should be advised that the laboratory portion of the course may require more than the three hours per week). 

Prerequisites: BIO 236.

CHE 349 Professional Issues in Forensic Science - 3 credits

Students are introduced to professional issues specific for forensic science practitioners. Topics include quality assurance, laboratory accreditation, professional certification, courtroom admissibility of physical evidence, courtroom testimony and report writing. Students are also presented with ethical dilemmas typically encountered by practitioners and discussion centers on their resolution. Standards of ethics codified by professional forensic organizations and guidelines for employment in forensic science laboratories are also presented. 

Prerequisite: Seniors in the Forensic Science concentration only.