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2020 - 2021 Academic Catalog

Forensic Biology Minor

The minor in Forensic Biology is an interdisciplinary pre-professional minor designed for students with interests or career goals in Forensic Biology.  It complements any major, but is especially appropriate for students with a biology, exercise science or health science major. It provides students with the scientific academic background in basic principles of Forensic Science and Forensic Biology. 

The Forensic Biology minor consists of  five courses.

Course Code Course Title Credits
Core Courses
CJ101 Introduction to Criminal Justice (KP) 3
CJ205 Forensics 3
FSCI309 Forensic Science II 4
FSCI413 Forensic DNA Analysis 4
Choose 1 from the following:
CJ201 Criminology 3
CJ207 Criminal Investigations 3
CJ316 Criminal Procedure 3
FSCI411 Trace Evidence and Microscopy 4
FSCI450 SPT in Applied Forensic Science 3
PSYC307 Forensic Psychology 3

Credit Requirements for minor: 17-18 credits

CJ101 - Introduction to Criminal Justice (KP)

This course is an overview of the history, philosophy, ethics, and legal issues related to the criminal justice system. The course provides an overview of the criminal justice system, focusing on critical decisions with an emphasis on contemporary issues, controversies, and trends.

CJ205 - Forensics

This course provides an introduction to the modern methods used in the detection, investigation, and solution of crimes. Practical analysis of evidence such as: fingerprints and other impressions, ballistics, glass, hair, handwriting and document examination, and drug analysis are studied. Prerequisite: CJ 101 or LS 101.

FSCI309 - Forensic Science II

This lecture and laboratory will introduce various methodologies and applications used in forensic science. Topics include organic and inorganic chemical analyses of physical evidence, principles of serology and DNA analysis, an introduction to quality assurance and quality control concepts, principles and techniques for forensic toxicology, fire debris and explosive examinations. Techniques for the analysis of inks, dyes, polymers and colors will be introduced. Prerequisites: CJ205, CHEM304. Corequisite: FSCI309L.

FSCI413 - Forensic DNA Analysis

This lecture and laboratory introduces the evaluation of biological evidence using forensic DNA methodologies to aid criminal investigations. Topics include the isolation of DNA from cells, techniques for DNA quantitation, electrophoretic separation, data analysis, statistical analysis, and report writing. Pre-requisites: BIO209 and BIO211. Corequisite: FSCI413L.

CJ201 - Criminology

In this course, contemporary criminological theories are analyzed and evaluated with an emphasis on the social construction of crime, criminal offending, and victimization. Theories of crime are distinguished from theories of criminality. Assessments of theoretical advances, including theory integration and general theories of crime are examined. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisite: CJ 101, LS 101, PSYC 101, or SOC 101

CJ207 - Criminal Investigations

This course examines the fundamentals of criminal investigation including scientific aids, interviews, interrogations, collection and preservation of evidence, methods of surveillance, follow-up and case preparation. Prerequisite: CJ 101 or LS 101.

CJ316 - Criminal Procedure

Criminal procedure refers to the process whereby the criminal law is enforced. Major topics to be covered in this course include: the exclusionary rule, search and seizure, identification, interrogation, trial rights, sentencing, and due process. Special emphasis is placed upon how the rules of procedure affect the components of the criminal justice system. Prerequisite: CJ 101 or LS 101.

FSCI411 - Trace Evidence and Microscopy

This lecture and laboratory introduces students to the field of forensic microscopy and the various types of microscopes in forensic analysis such as compound, comparison, and polarizing light microscopes. Trace evidence, including hair, soil, glass, paint, and gunshot residue will be analyzed. Additional topics include the preparation of case files to develop an understanding of evidence control, experimental protocols, reporting results, and drawing conclusions. Pre-requisites: BIO101, FSCI205, and CHEM 204. Corequisite: FSCI411L.

FSCI450 - SPT in Applied Forensic Science

This course provides specialized topics in forensic science in order to address current disciplinary trends including evidence identification and processing, quality assurance, courtroom testimony, ethics, and professional practice. Using a problem-based learning model, students will engage in collaborative work, facilitated by faculty, to review cases based on current issues. Prerequisite: Senior standing in Forensic Science Program.

PSYC307 - Forensic Psychology

This course deals with the application of psychological knowledge to the judicial process and the criminal justice system. Topics covered include effects of defendant, juror and case characteristics on verdicts, variables affecting eyewitness accuracy, identification and testimony, and the role of forensic psychologists in competency and criminal responsibility assessments as well as criminal profiling. Prerequisite: CJ 201 or PSYC 101.