The forensic science program requires a minimum of 120 credits including completion of the College of Humanities and Sciences general education requirements, 49-51 forensic science core program credits and 33 (forensic biology), 30 (forensic chemistry) or 31 (physical evidence) concentration-specific credits.
Students in the forensic science program must receive a minimum grade of C in all FRSC and FRSZ courses, as well as CHEM 101-102, CHEZ 101-102, CHEM 301, BIOL 151-152, BIOZ 151-152 and PHYS 201 or PHYS 207. Additionally, a grade of C grade or better in all CHEM/CHEZ courses is required for enrollment in all courses for which they are a prerequisite.
For the physical evidence concentration, a minimum of 10 additional credit hours of advanced study (200- to 500-level) in an area of specialization must be taken. It is recommended that these credits be CRJS, BIOL, PHYS, MATH or CHEM courses. FRSC 202 is not applicable for the major.
The major in forensic science leads to a Bachelor of Science degree and is for students who plan a career or graduate study in the forensic sciences. This specialization features a prescribed curriculum with academic emphasis in biology, chemistry and criminal justice.
The forensic science program provides students with fundamental learning in forensic laboratory analyses and crime scene investigation. The program offers three concentrations: forensic biology, forensic chemistry and physical evidence. Students will select one of the three concentrations prior to the second semester of their sophomore year.
The physical evidence concentration requires an additional 31 credits in chemistry, criminal justice, forensic science and elective credits beyond the core requirements and is offered for those students who are interested in graduate study or careers in latent fingerprint examination, the analysis of impression evidence, as well as firearm and toolmark analyses. Students also will be prepared for work in private analytical laboratories.
Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:
|General Education requirements (32-46 credits)||Credits|
|University Core Education Curriculum (minimum 21 credits)|
|UNIV 111 Focused Inquiry I||3|
|UNIV 112 Focused Inquiry II||3|
|UNIV 200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument||3|
|Approved humanities/fine arts||3|
|Approved natural/physical sciences||3-4|
|Approved quantitative literacy||3-4|
|Approved social/behavioral sciences||3-4|
|Additional College of Humanities and Sciences requirements (11-23 credits)|
|HUMS 202 Choices in a Consumer Society||1|
|Approved H&S diverse and global communities||3|
|Approved H&S general education electives||6-8|
|Approved H&S human, social and political behavior (fulfills University Core social/behavioral sciences)|
|Approved H&S literature and civilization (fulfills University Core humanities/fine arts)|
|Approved H&S science and technology (fulfills University Core natural/physical sciences)|
|Experiential fine arts (course offered by the School of the Arts)||1-3|
|Foreign language through the 102 level (by course or placement)||0-8|
|Collateral requirements (3 credits)|
|MATH 200 Calculus with Analytical Geometry (fulfills University Core quantitative literacy)|
|PHIL 201 Critical Thinking About Moral Problems (fulfills H&S literature and civilization)|
|STAT 210 Basic Practice of Statistics||3|
|Major requirements (65-67 credits)|
|BIOL 151 Introduction to Biological Science I||3|
|BIOZ 151 Introduction to Biology Laboratory I||1|
|CHEM 101 General Chemistry||3|
|CHEM 102 General Chemistry||3|
|CHEM 301 Organic Chemistry||3|
|CHEM 302 Organic Chemistry||3|
|CHEM 309 Quantitative Analysis||3|
|CHEM 320 Inorganic Chemistry I||3|
|CHEZ 101 General Chemistry Laboratory I||1|
|CHEZ 102 General Chemistry Laboratory II||1|
|CHEZ 301 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I||2|
|CHEZ 302 Organic Chemistry Laboratory II||2|
|CHEZ 309 Quantitative Analysis Laboratory||1|
|CRJS 181 Introduction to Criminal Justice||3|
|FRSC 300 Survey of Forensic Science||3|
|FRSC 309 Scientific Crime Scene Investigation||3|
|FRSC 365 Forensic Microscopy||4|
|FRSC 375 Forensic Evidence, Law and Criminal Procedure||3|
|FRSC 410 Forensic Pattern Evidence||3|
|FRSC 412 Forensic Analysis of Firearms and Toolmarks||3|
|FRSC 490 Professional Practices in Forensic Science||3|
|FRSC 566 Advanced Crime Scene Investigation||3|
|PHYS 201 General Physics or PHYS 207 University Physics I||4-5|
|PHYS 202 General Physics or PHYS 208 University Physics II||4-5|
|Concentration electives (15 credits)|
|FRSC or natural science elective (300- to 500-level)||5|
|BIOL/BIOZ, CHEM/CHEZ, CRJS, FRSC/FRSZ, MATH or PHYS (200- 500-level)||10|
|Open electives (0-5 credits)|
|Total minimum requirement||120|
Last update: 4/30/2014
The VCU Bulletin is in transition! As we move from this first iteration of our online Bulletin to a new product and process, what you find on this website is information for the 2014-15 academic year.
While much of the curricular information remains the same, changes that were approved with the effective date of fall 2015 will not be reflected on this website. Prospective students may wish to contact the school or department that administers their program of interest in order to discuss the most current curriculum and concentration options.
Enrolled students who are completing their studies under an effective Bulletin may continue to access the archives at http://www.pubapps.vcu.edu/Bulletins/archives.aspx, where past Bulletins are available to reference or download.
Our anticipated launch of the new VCU Bulletin is July 2015. To follow our progress, visit the new Bulletin blog.