Forensic Science Curriculum Requirements

Forensic Science Curriculum

As of May 2015, 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 2015, 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 18
5. Prerequisites not required by FEPAC   3
Total required 80 85


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 2200 Foundational Biochemistry (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 (3) 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 3315 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.

  • FORS 2201 Intro to Forensic Science (4)
  • FORS 2225 Forensic Microscopy and Spectroscopy (3)
  • FORS 3201 Forensic Biology (4)
  • FORS 4401 Capstone Seminar in Forensic Science (3)
  • FORS 4411 Forensic Internship (2)

Subtotal hours: 16

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 Genetics (4)
  • BIOL 3390 Molecular Biotechnology (4)
  • FORS 4485 Research in Forensic Science (3)

Subtotal hours: 11

B. Specialization choices from which students choose at least 8 additional hours 

  • BIOL 2224 Microbiology  (4)
  • BIOL 4420 Developmental Biology (4)
  • CHEM 3301 Physical Chemistry I (4)
  • CHEM 3304 Inorganic Chemistry I (4)
  • CHEM 4402 Physical Chemistry II (4)
  • CHEM 4404 Sythetic Methods and Materials (4)

Subtotal hours: 8