Forensic Science Curriculum Requirements

Forensic Science Curriculum (new in 2007)

As of Feb. 13, 2007, the Faculty Senate of Fairmont State University approved the following revised curriculum for the forensic science major. The new curriculum was designed by the Forensic Science Coordinating Committee in consultation with the Forensic Science Advisory Board to strengthen the degree and to align it with the requirements of the FEPAC (Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Committee). This curriculum will be in effect for students entering in the fall of 2007, and students in the pipeline will also be encouraged to use the new curriculum requirements.

Course descriptions are given in the FSU Catalog and collected on a forensic science course requirements web page for convenient reference.

Summary Table: Mapping of our overall curriculum to the FEPAC requirements


Course Category Hours required by FEPAC Hours in FSU curriculum
1. Natural Science Core 34 37
2. Specialized Science Courses 12 12
3. Forensic Science Courses 15 15
4. Additional Specialization Courses 19 19
5. Prerequisites not required by FEPAC   3
Total required 80 86


1. Natural Science Core Courses (FEPAC minimum 34 sem. hrs; our courses total 37 sem. hrs. because some of our introductory courses have more hours than the minimum)


FSU course requirement FEPAC requirement
BIOL 1106 Biological Principles II (4) Biology for science majors (1 course)
PHYS 1101 or 1105 Intro Physics I (4-5) Physics for science majors (2 courses)
PHYS 1102 or 1106 Intro Physics II (4-5)  
CHEM 1105 Chemical Principles I (5) General Chemistry for science majors (2 courses)
CHEM 1106 Chemical Principles II (4)  
CHEM 2201 Organic Chemistry I (4) Organic Chemistry for science majors (2 courses)
CHEM 2202 Organic Chemistry II (4)  
MATH 1185 or 1190 Calculus I (4) Differential and integral calculus (1 course)
MATH 1113 Applied Statistics Statistics (1 course)
Subtotal FSU hours: 37 Minimum FEPAC required hours: 34


2. Specialized Science Courses: 12 hours of additional semester hours more advanced coursework in chemistry or biology with at least 2 of the classes including laboratory training.

  • BIOL 3360 Biochemistry (4)
  • CHEM 2205 Analytical (4)
  • CHEM 2215 Intermediate Instrumental Analysis (4)

Subtotal hours: 12

3. Forensic Science courses: 15 semester hours covering topics specified. Of these 15 hours, 9 semester hours are courses in forensic chemistry, forensic biology, physical methods or microscopy with a lab component. Up to 6 semester ours of the lab are an internship or independent study/research course.

  • CHEM 2225 Forensic Microscopy and Spectroscopy (3)
  • CRJU 2236 Criminal Investigation (3)
  • CRJU 3300 Criminalistics (3) (see co-requisite lab directly below)
  • INTR 3300 Forensic Criminalistics Laboratory (1)
  • INTR 4401 Capstone Seminar in Forensic Science (3)
  • INTR 4411 Forensic Internship (2)

Subtotal hours: 15

4. Additional specialization courses. A minimum of 19 additional semester hours in courses that provide greater depth in the student’s area of specialization. An undergraduate degree in forensic science should be an interdisciplinary degree that includes substantial laboratory work and an emphasis on advanced (upper level) coursework in either chemistry or biology. Students can use these additional courses to begin to specialize along a forensic science discipline track, such as forensic biology or forensic chemistry.


A. Specialization courses required for all students in our curriculum:

  • BIOL 3380 (4) Genetics
  • BIOL 3390 (4) Molecular Biotechnology
  • CHEM 4403 or BIO 4495 (2) Research/Problems courses

Subtotal hours: 10

B. Specialization choices from which students choose at least 9 additional hours (no more than 6 hours may be CRJU courses)

  • BIOL 2224 (4) Microbiology
  • CHEM 3301 (4) Physical Chemistry I
  • CHEM 3302 (4) Physical Chemistry II
  • CHEM 4405 (1-2) Advanced Integrated Laboratory
  • CRJU 2226 (3) Crime Scene Investigation
  • CRJU 2256 (3) Homicide Investigation
  • CRJU 3320 (3) Criminology
  • CRJU 2246 (3) Criminal Evidence

Subtotal hours: 9

5. Courses required in our curriculum because of prerequisite requirements that do not fit anywhere in the FEPAC specifications:

  • CRJU 1100 (3) Introduction to Criminal Justice

Subtotal hours: 3