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). 

Course descriptions are given in the Fairmont State University 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 

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) Physics for science majors (2 courses)
CHEM 1105 Chemical Principles I (5) General Chemistry for science majors (2 courses)
CHEM 2200 Foundational Biochemistry (4) General Chemistry for science majors (2 courses)
CHEM 2201 Organic Chemistry I (4) Organic Chemistry for science majors (2 courses)
CHEM 2202 Organic Chemistry II (4) Organic Chemistry for science majors (2 courses)
MATH 2501 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 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 hours of the lab are an internship or independent study/research course.

  • FORS 2201 Intro to Forensic Science (4)
  • FORS 2225 Trace Analysis and Microscopy (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 

  • FORS 3301 Human Osteology (4)
  • FORS 3305 Forensic Anthropology (4)
  • FORS 3310 Forensic Toxicology (4)
  • FORS 3225 Forensic Taphonomy (2)
  • FORS 3215 Fingerprint Analysis (2)
  • CHEM 3301 Physical Chemistry I (4)
  • CHEM 3304 Inorganic Chemistry I (4)
  • CHEM 4402 Physical Chemistry II (4)
  • CHEM 4404 Synthetic Methods and Materials (4)

Subtotal hours: 8