Forensic Science – Concentration

For information, contact Professor Lawrence Quarino, laquarin@cedarcrest.edu, 610-606-4666, ext. 3567

The forensic science concentration at Cedar Crest College is unique in that it combines many of the most exciting educational features into one package. The concentration is integrated, multi-disciplinary and highly applied and offers a foundation from which to launch a career in forensic science. Students in the program have opportunities to interact with forensic professionals, work on forensic research projects, and apply for internships.

The liberal arts component provides exposure to disciplines and develops skills that will be important when students are called upon to act as expert witnesses, communicate with law enforcement personnel, and present their work to the public.

Students must apply to the concentration in their sophomore year to the director of the forensic science program. Students will be admitted unconditionally to the forensic science program if they did not receive a grade of C- or below in BIO 121 (lecture and lab), BIO 122 (lecture and lab), CHE 111 (lecture and lab), CHE 112 (lecture and lab), MAT 141, and MAT 142. If a student receives a C- or below in any of these courses, she will be accepted conditionally into the program. During the conditional acceptance period, students can begin to take coursework in the forensic science concentration. However, students with conditional acceptance status must repeat the deficient course(s) within one academic year and receive the requisite grade. Students who do not will be dropped from the program.

Students who are not in the forensic science concentration may register for CHE 241, 347, and 348 to fulfill degree requirements for a particular major. Only students in the forensic science concentration will be allowed to register for CHE 349.

The forensic science concentration is accredited by the Forensic Science Educational Programs Accreditation Commission.

Program Mission Statement

To provide Cedar Crest students wishing to enter a career in the forensic sciences with a solid foundation in the natural sciences, to emphasize the importance of critical thinking skills in approaching forensic problems, and to educate students in a broad range of forensic analytical techniques from a generalist perspective.

Requirements for the Forensic Science Concentration

In addition to the core requirements of the major in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, or genetic engineering, the following courses are required for the concentration in forensic science:
CHE 111 Chemical Principles 4 credits
CHE 112 Chemical Equilibrium and Analysis 4 credits
CHE 205 Organic Chemistry I 4 credits
CHE 206 Organic Chemistry II 4 credits
CHE 241 Crime Scene Pattern Analysis 4 credits
CHE 302 Instrumental Analysis 4 credits
CHE 307 Biochemistry I 4 credits
CHE 347 Trace Evidence and Microscopy 4 credits
CHE 348 Forensic Molecular Biology 4 credits
CHE 349 Professional Issues in Forensic Science 3 credits
BIO 121 Principles of Biology I 4 credits
BIO 122 Principles of Biology II 4 credits
BIO 236 Cell and Molecular Biology 4 credits
BIO 248 Biostatistics 3 credits
BIO 313 Advanced Mendelian and Population Genetics 3 credits
MAT 141 Calculus I 3 credits
MAT 142 Calculus II 3 credits
PHI 200 Ethics 3 credits
PHY 101 Introductory College Physics I 4 credits
PHY 102 Introductory College Physics II 4 credits

Students are also required to register for 2 semesters of research. Students can register for CHE 391 and CHE 392 Chemistry Research, or BIO 353 Biology Research (2 semesters), 6 or 4 credits. Biology or Genetic Engineering majors in the concentration who are in the Honors program can take the Concentrated Research Creativity Track for the Honors Program in lieu of 2 semesters of BIO 353 or CHE 391/392. In addition, Biology and Genetic Engineering majors must register for BIO 354 (Thesis and Presentation) during the semester just prior to graduation.

Students must complete each course (including laboratory components with at least a C- except CHE 11, CHE 112, BIO 121, BIO 122, MAT 141, and MAT 142 which require a grade of C for successful completion.

Student Learning Outcomes

Program students will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and application of forensic science topics, techniques, and concepts,
  • Demonstrate the ability to perform qualitative and quantitative critical analysis in conjunction with the development and completion of a scientific research project,
  • Demonstrate the ability to use and conceptually understand instrumentation typically used in forensic analysis,
  • Demonstrate the ability to access and understand primary scientific literature from the forensic sciences and other sciences,
  • Demonstrate effective writing and speaking skills to communicate scientific concepts and findings to faculty and students,
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of the forensic scientist in the criminal justice system,
  • Demonstrate an understanding of ethics in the application of forensic science,
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the application of the scientific method to the management and reconstruction of a crime scene
  • Demonstrate the ability to understand and respond to forensic science issues of national and international importance.