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Forensic Studies - Natural Science

  • Minor

The goal of this minor is to provide students with a broad-based understanding of the scientific aspect of forensics.  The forensic studies- natural science minor is not meant to provide students with all of the skills necessary to perform the job of a forensic scientist. Rather, the goal is to provide students with a working understanding of the integration of each of this discipline with the criminal law so that the students may, if they wish, pursue those specializations in other undergraduate or future graduate study.

Curriculum Requirements

  • Requirements

    Requirements for a Minor in Forensic Studies - Natural Science

    Required classes: (18-19 credits)

    The following courses are required:
    CLS 205 Criminal Trial Evidence - 3 credits
    CLS 227 Criminal Law and Process - 3 credits
    NSCI 300* Criminalistics - 3 credits
    Choose 3 credits (selected course may not count for major or core):
    CLS 230 Constitutional Criminal Procedures - 3 credits
    CLS 305 Violence and Victimology - 3 credits
    CLS 340 Principles of Homeland Security - 3 credits
    CLS 377 Addiction and Crime - 3 credits
    Choose 6 or 7 credits from the following: (selected courses may not count for major or core; one lecture/lab combination required; NSCI courses are not recommended for physics, chemistry, biologyor biochemistry majors):
    NSCI 130/131 Introduction to Physics and Lab - 4 credits
    NSCI 210/211 Chemistry of Crime and Lab - 4 credits
    NSCI 200 All About Drugs - 4 credits
    NSCI 260 Biotechnology: How Do They Do It? - 4 credits
    NSCI 235/236 Human Biology and Laboratory - 4 credits
    NSCI 230/231 Genes, Cells and Computers and Lab - 4 credits
    BL 214/215** Molecular Genetics and Lab - 4 credits
    CH 252/253 Nuclei Acids and Membranes and Lab - 4 credits
    CH 216/218** Quantitative Analysis and Lab - 4 credits
    BL 216/217** Biotechnology and Lab - 4 credits
    BL 150/151 General Biology I and Lab - 4 credits
    ES 220 Introduction to GIS - 3 credits
    CH 245** Chemical and Forensic Analysis - 3 credits

    * Does not count toward core.
    ** These courses have prerequisites that are not part of the minor.

Student Learning Outcomes

The field of forensics is a growing and dynamic one that has far outstripped its initial boundaries as a discipline only pertinent to the gathering of data at crime scenes. Today, a vast array of natural sciences has been brought to the field of criminal investigations and prosecutions. Within the next 15 years, natural scientists will be having much more interaction with the legal system and the agents and attorneys within that system will need to carry on meaningful conversations with those forensic experts in the effort to do justice in each case. 

The goal of this minor is to provide students with a broad-based understanding of the scientific aspect of forensics.  The forensic studies- natural science minor is not meant to provide students with all of the skills necessary to perform the job of a forensic scientist. Rather, the goal is to provide students with a working understanding of the integration of each of this discipline with the criminal law so that the students may, if they wish, pursue those specializations in other undergraduate or future graduate study.