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Forensic Science, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) with a concentration in forensic biology

Special requirements

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 minimum grade of C in all CHEM/CHEZ courses is required for enrollment in all courses for which they are a prerequisite.

For the forensic biology concentration, a minimum of 7 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. Additionally, the forensic biology track requires an additional elective of a 300-, 400- or 500-level forensic science or natural science elective. 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 forensic biology concentration requires an additional 33 credits in biology, criminal justice, forensic science and elective credits beyond the core requirements and is well-suited for students interested in graduate study or careers in the forensic biology section of forensic laboratories. Students also will be prepared for work in molecular biology laboratories in both the public and private sectors. Students completing the forensic biology concentration will be eligible for a minor in chemistry. Additionally, students who complete BIOL 317 will be eligible for a minor in biology.

Degree requirements for Forensic Science, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) with a forensic biology concentration

Learning outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the laws of criminal procedure and rules of evidence
  • Demonstrate proper crime scene investigation and reconstruction
  • Demonstrate ethical and professional duties and responsibilities of the forensic scientist
  • Be able to apply basic principles and laboratory procedures of biology to forensic science
  • Demonstrate capabilities, use, potential and limitations of forensic laboratory theory and techniques
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 (71-73 credits)  
BIOL 151 Introduction to Biological Science I 3
BIOL 152 Introduction to Biological Science II 3
BIOL 218 Cell Biology 3
BIOL 310 Genetics 3
BIOZ 151 Introduction to Biology Laboratory I 1
BIOZ 152 Introduction to Biology Laboratory II 1
BIOZ 476 Biology Capstone Laboratory 2
CHEM 101 General Chemistry 3
CHEM 102 General Chemistry 3
CHEM 301 Organic Chemistry 3
CHEM 302 Organic Chemistry 3
CHEM 403 Biochemistry 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
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 385 Forensic Serology 3
FRSC 438/BIOL 438 Forensic Molecular Biology 3
FRSC 490 Professional Practices in Forensic Science 3
FRSZ 438/BIOZ 438 Forensic Molecular Biology Laboratory 1
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 (10 credits)  
BIOL/BIOZ, CHEM/CHEMZ, CRJS, FRSC/FRSZ, MATH or PHYS (200- to 500-level) 7
FRSC or natural science elective (300- to 500-level) 3
   
Open electives (0-4 credits)  
Open electives 0-4
   
Total minimum requirement 120

Click here to download a sample outline. [PDF]

 

 

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Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, Virginia
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Last update: 7/1/2013

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