Contact: David B. Rivers, Professor of Biology
Office: Donnelly Science Center, Room 258
Forensic science and studies are growing fields that continue to gain relevance in all criminal and civil investigations. According to the American Academy of Forensic Science, there is an increasing demand for individuals trained in forensic science, who specifically can apply advances in science and technology to criminal investigation with the purpose of solving crimes. While an undergraduate minor in forensic studies is not sufficient to practice in the field, it does serve to allow students to explore this expanding field out of intellectual curiosity; to develop and nurture their interests in forensic studies in an applied curriculum; and to obtain the necessary background to pursue professional or graduate training in this or related fields.
The Minor in Forensic Studies is an interdisciplinary program with involvement from the Departments of Accounting, Biology, Chemistry, Classics, Computer Science, Engineering, History, Information Systems, Law and Operations, Mathematics and Statistics, Philosophy, Fine Arts, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Writing. Students are encouraged to take a range of courses from departments in the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and School of Business. Typically during the junior or senior year, students enroll in the Forensic Studies Experience, a specialized course of study emphasizing research, independent study, or internship focused on forensic studies/science.
Requirements for the Minor
Requirements for the minor are as follows:
Capstone Experience Course
- One capstone experience course, selected from the list below. The capstone experience is typically completed during the senior year, so students should secure a faculty sponsor and obtain the approval of the director of the forensic studies minor by the end of the junior year.
Note that not all research or internship experiences through PY 435 and SC 401 are appropriate for the forensic studies minor and thus need prior approval from the forensic studies director and appropriate department chair. Other experiences may fulfill the capstone requirement, but only with approval of the forensic studies director.
- Four electives, at least two of which are taken at the 300-level or above (listed below).
The following restrictions apply:
- Students majoring in biology, chemistry, psychology, or sociology may count only one departmental course in both their major and as an elective in the forensic studies minor. However, two courses may count if the capstone course is also in the major. In some instances, the departmental internship course may also fulfill the capstone requirement for the forensic studies minor for psychology and sociology students, but only with the approval of the department and director of forensic studies.
- At least one elective must be completed in each of two academic areas of study (e.g., humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, School of Business).
- No more than two courses may be completed from the same department as the student's major. BL 101 does not count as one of the two courses for biology majors.
- Only one elective course completed at another institution may count toward the minor, including study abroad, a consortium school, or a nonaffiliated institution unless the director of forensic studies gives written permission for a second off-campus course.
Permission may be granted for students to enroll in courses for which prerequisites have not been met, following consultation with the appropriate department chair and the director of the forensic studies minor. Students should also consider completing some prerequisites as part of their natural science and social science core requirements.
- BL 322 - Synthetic Biology with Lab
- BL 341 - Molecular Genetics with Lab
- BL 351 - Forensic Entomology with Lab
- BL 355 - Forensic Biology with Lab
- BL 428 - Bioterrorism
- BL 431 - Biochemistry I and
- BL 433 - Biochemistry Lab I
- BL 432 - Biochemistry II and
- BL 434 - Biochemistry Lab II
- BL 473 - Special Topics in Forensic Biology
- CH 201 - Quantitative Analysis
- CH 410 - Instrumental Methods and
- CH 411 - Instrumental Methods Lab
- CH 431 - Biochemistry I and
- CH 433 - Biochemistry Lab I
- CH 432 - Biochemistry II and
- CH 434 - Biochemistry Lab II
- CL 327 - Volcanoes, Fire, and Flood: Disasters of Ancient Rome
- CS 115 - Cyber Security and Digital Forensics
- EC 320 - The Political Economy of War
- EC 330 - Law and Economics
- EG 381 - Probability and Statistics
- HN 221 - Edgar Allan Poe, Sherlock Holmes, and the Evolution of Forensic Science
- HS 327 - Volcanoes, Fire, and Flood: Disasters of Ancient Rome
- HS 330 - Crime and Punishment in Modern Europe
- HS 382 - Crime and Punishment in Latin America
- IS 358 - Business Intelligence and Data Mining
- LW 103 - Law and the City: Planning, Politics, and Justice
- LW 104 - Criminal Law and Society
- LW 109 - Business, Law, and Society: Special Topics
- MA 251 - Calculus I
- MA 252 - Calculus II
- PH 383 - Physics of Medicine and the Human Body
- PH 384 - Waves and the Physics of Medicine
- PL 317 - The Experience of Evil
- PL 332 - Security Ethics
- PL 333 - Philosophy of Law
- PL 342 - Law, Society, and God
- PS 322 - Mock Trial
- PS 337 - Analytical and Legal Reasoning
- PS 338 - Constitutional Law I
- PS 339 - Constitutional Law II
- PS 343 - Crime, the Individual, and Society
- PT 270 - Basic Digital Photography
- PT 361 - Digital Image
- PY 253 - Multicultural Issues in Psychology
- PY 421 - Forensic Psychology
- SC 107 - Social Problems
- SC 260 - Introduction to Criminal Justice
- SC 331 - Deviance and Social Control
- SC 332 - The Sociology of Crime and Criminals
- SC 333 - Juvenile Delinquency
- SC 334 - Sociology of Policing
- SC 347 - Special Topics in Criminology
- SC 360 - Critical Analysis of Criminal Justice Outcomes
- SC 430 - Seminar: Gender and Justice
- SC 434 - Seminar: Women and Deviance
- SC 435 - Seminar: Forensic Sociology
- ST 210 - Introduction to Statistics
- ST 265 - Biostatistics
- ST 381 - Probability and Statistics
- TH 386 - Fundamental Questions of Morality
- WR 301 - Writing about Science
- WR 325 - Professional Writing
- WR 326 - Technical Writing