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School of Health Sciences

Forensic Science

Forensic Science

Forensic Science

Forensic Science is the application of science to law. The mission of the Lasell University Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science degree program is to immerse students in a FEPAC accreditation-based curriculum that prepares students for careers in crime scene investigations, crime laboratories, trace evidence examination, and commercial laboratories.

Students take a wide range of courses in both the traditional sciences and criminal justice. Applied coursework is focused on conducting criminal investigations, quality assurance, collection and preservation of evidence, and analysis of evidence.


Program Features

The program features many extracurricular opportunities to give students leadership/team experience and portfolio material. These experiences include:

  • Coursework involves the use of case studies, field experiences, and mock crime scene scenarios as a means of using our connected learning philosophy to reinforce theory and concepts learned in the classroom.
  • Students work with Fiona, New England's first SynDaver, a synthetic human made from the world's most sophisticated tissues and body parts, which mimics a live patient in our clinical classroom setting. Forensic Science is the application of science to the law.
  • Lasell's Forensic Science degree program prepares students for careers in crime scene investigations, law enforcement crime laboratories, trace evidence examination, and commercial laboratories.

What You'll Learn

From your first day, you’ll take courses in your major and advance towards graduation with a yearly plan. Not sure what classes to take? We’ll help you create the perfect plan. 

Forensic Science

The following goals and learning outcomes delineate what we strive for students to achieve when they complete the major program of study in Forensic Science:

  • Interact professionally and educate clients, peers, colleagues and law enforcement personnel
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive level of knowledge in the area of forensic biology, forensic chemistry, crime scene investigations, and forensic DNA analysis
  • Demonstrate the use of instrumentation commonly encountered in forensic analysis and techniques used in processing crime scenes, including documentation, and collection and preservation of physical evidence
  • Use independent decision making and critical thinking to determine the best procedures for the analysis of diverse physical evidence items

For a complete list of courses and learning outcomes, view the Academic Catalog >>


Accelerated Master's Program

Save time and money — earn your graduate degree in just 1 year with the Accelerated Master's program. Learn more and how to apply >>

Career Success in the Forensic Science Industry

Forensic Science majors learn a broad range of transferable skills and gain strong competence in critical thinking and hands-on experience. There is a wide variety of Connected Learning opportunities for Forensic Science students.

Our students have interened with:

  • Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab as a serology intern
  • Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab as a DNA intern 
  • Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab as a quality assurance intern 
  • Massachusetts State Fire Marshall’s Office 
  • Newton Police Department 
  • Watertown Police Department 
  • Vermont State Police 

Our alumni work for:

  • Forensic DNA Analyst at Bode Technology
  • Medical Examiner Assistant at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
  • Harvard Teaching Fellow
  • Law Enforcement Officer

 

 

 

 

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BIO101 - Principles of Biology I (KP)

This is an introductory lecture and laboratory course in biology to develop an appreciation for the patterns and functions that characterize living organisms. Emphasis is placed on cellular biology. Topics include: the chemistry of life, cell structure, and cell metabolism (respiration, photosynthesis, protein synthesis.) Co-requisites: BIO101L.

BIO209 - Molecular Biology

This lecture and laboratory will present the basic principles of molecular biology. Topics include nucleic acid-protein interactions, the Central Dogma, gene regulation, and genetic evolution. The laboratory experiments are designed to introduce the methodology and research used in molecular biology, including nucleic acid extraction, PCR, Western Blot, and gel electrophoresis. Prerequisite: BIO101 Corequisite: BIO209L

BIO211 - Microbiology

This lecture and laboratory introduces the microbial world and the laboratory techniques required for its study. Topics include the basic characteristics of fungi, algae, bacteria, and viruses. Topics and applications that relate to humans are emphasized. Prerequisite: BIO101. Corequisite: BIO211L

BIO310 - Genetics

This lecture and laboratory will focus on principles related to the inheritance of traits regulated by genes. The chemical and physical nature of chromosomes and genes and gene expression and regulation will be covered. Systems in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms exemplifying Mendelian and modern molecular genetic principles will be discussed. Prerequisite: BIO101. Corequisite: BIO310L

CHEM203 - General Chemistry I (KP)

The course begins with a study of measurement and matter. An introduction to atomic theory follows. Mass relationships in chemical reactions are introduced, followed by the study of chemical reactions in aqueous solutions. The gas laws are then covered, followed by an introduction to thermodynamics. Concepts of chemical bonding are studied along with periodic relationships among the elements. Quantum theory is used to explain the electronic structure of atoms. Laboratory experiments complement the material covered in lecture. The laboratory experiments are designed to introduce methods, materials, and equipment of chemistry as well as to illustrate important chemical principles. Prerequisite: MATH203 or higher. Corequisite: CHEM203L and CHEM203R.

CHEM204 - General Chemistry II

This second half of this two-semester sequence explores areas of solution chemistry, acid/base chemistry, chemical kinetics and physical chemistry, nuclear, and organic chemistry. Physical properties of solutions are explained including vapor pressure lowering, boiling point elevation, freezing point depression and osmotic pressure. The effects of chemical kinetics on reactions are covered. Chemical equilibrium, acid and base equilibrium, and solubility equilibrium are introduced. Laboratory experiments complement the material covered in lecture. The laboratory experiments are designed to introduce methods, materials, and equipment of chemistry as well as to illustrate important chemical principles. Prerequisite: MATH106 with a grade of C or better & CHEM203. Corequisite: CHEM204L and CHEM204R.

CHEM301 - Biochemistry

This course is an in-depth study of biochemical substances and their reaction in the body with major emphasis placed on metabolism at the cellular level and examined in the tissues of the various organs where these reactions occur. Correlation of biochemical processes underlying pathologic conditions are made whenever practical. Prerequisite: CHEM 204

CHEM303 - Organic Chemistry

This course is focused on the structure and chemistry of organic compounds. Topics include thermodynamics, resonance, reaction mechanisms of organic functional groups and stereochemistry. The course meets for three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory each week. Prerequisite: C- or better in CHEM204. Corequisite CHEM303L

CHEM304 - Organic Chemistry II

The second half of a two-semester sequence. Topics include synthetic applications of organic reactions, delocalization and aromaticity. Principles and application of instrumental methods for organic structure determination will be studied in the laboratory. Prerequisite: C- or better in CHEM303. Corequisite CHEM304L

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.

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.

FSCI205 - Forensic Science I

This course is in introductory course in forensic science focusing on the methodologies of proper recognition, documentation, and collection of physical evidence. Topics also include practical analysis of evidence such as fingerprints, ballistics, hair, drugs, serology, and DNA. Prerequisite: CJ101 or LS101.

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.

FSCI407 - Field Experience

This is an off-campus experience in an appropriate Forensics Science work-setting that offers students an opportunity to apply concepts, theories, and practices learned in the classroom in a supervised setting. Students must successfully complete a minimum of 150 hours of field experience in addition to course assignments. Prerequisite: Permission of Program Chair, Junior standing, FSCI309

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.

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.

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.

FSCI480 - Capstone in Applied Forensic Science

This course provides students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge that they have acquired in the program and to demonstrate their level of skill. The senior capstone projects are applied research projects that include requirements of research literature, study of cases/or forensic science, a written report and an oral presentation of the project. The focus of this course is to provide students with realistic case experiences while being mentored by a faculty member. Prerequisite: Senior standing in Applied Forensic Science Program.

MATH203 - Precalculus

This course prepares students for the study of calculus, physics and other courses requiring precalculus skills. Included is solving systems of equations, the analysis and graphing of linear, quadratic, polynomial, exponential, logarithmic, rational functions, the unit circle, and triangle (right and non-right) trigonometry. Prerequisite: MATH 106 with a grade of C or better or demonstrated competency through placement testing. Restrictions: not open to students who have completed 205, 206, or any 300 level mathematics course successfully.

MATH205 - Calculus I

This course is an introduction to limits, continuity, and methods of differentiation. Application to problems in business management and physical science is emphasized. Prerequisite: MATH 203 with a grade of C or better or demonstrated competency through placement testing. Restrictions: not open to students who have completed MATH 206, or any 300 level mathematics courses.

MATH208 - Statistics

This is an introductory course in descriptive and inferential statistics. Topics include: data analysis, and graphical methods of describing data, measures of central tendency and variability, probability, the normal distribution, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, correlation, and regression analysis. Prerequisites: MATH 106 with a grade of C or better or demonstrated competency through placement testing and ENG 102.

PHYS111 - General Physics I (KP)

This is the first semester of a one-year course that surveys the field of physics at a non-calcu­lus level. Topics include motion in one and two dimensions, force, uniform circular motion, work and energy, and statics of rigid bodies. The laws of thermodynamics are introduced. Laboratory experiments are conducted to complement the material covered in lecture. Prerequisite: MATH 203 or equivalent with a grade of C or better. Corequisite: PHYS111L, PHYS111R.

PHYS112 - General Physics II (KP)

This is a continuation of PHYS111. Topics include waves motion, electric potential, electric current, resistance, capacitance, and magnetism. Geometrical and wave optics are introduced. Atomic and quantum theory are also included. Laboratory experiments are conducted to com­plement the material covered in lecture. Prerequisite: PHYS 111 with a C or better. Corequisite: PHYS112L, PHYS112R.