Forensic Science Minor

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The minor in forensic science emphasizes an interdisciplinary scientific approach to the social, behavioral, and natural sciences and their application to legal contexts. The theoretical and methodological approaches of various scientific disciplines are incorporated in this program. Students will be able to familiarize with a wide range of "players" involved in the scientific analysis, interpretation, recovery, treatment, and evaluation of physical and biological evidence, and subsequent testimony. With the glamorization of forensics and its utility in solving crimes, the reality of the meticulous, often grueling nature of forensic science is commonly misunderstood. Having experienced interdisciplinary coursework and internships, forensic science minors will obtain a unique perspective, one that emphasizes critical thinking, analytical and problemsolving skills. Evaluation of forensic data for the courtroom context is an ongoing, collaborative process among forensic scientists and others dealing with evidence. Thus, the minor degree program will prepare students to work in medical-legal laboratory and field contexts such as legal, law enforcement and other related possibilities, including medical-legal careers and investigations. The interdisciplinary structure of the forensic science minor supports the College's commitment to students to emphasize the latest investigative methods and technologies, and approaches used by a variety of scientists; in turn, the applied nature of forensic science encourages students to consider information in a context beyond the classroom – that of the community, and the greater society.

Why minor in forensic science? --This minor will allow students to explore the impact of various natural and social sciences on the medico-legal system in the United States today. With the continuing refinement of technologies that are applied to crime-solving and general evidence collection, the part that the sciences play in the public forum of the court system is noticeably expanding. Media presentations of crime labs and field criminalistics bombard viewers with technical terminology and concepts on the subject. There is a measurable influence on local communities and their expectations of the medico-legal system, known to professionals who work in this field as the "CSI effect." In order for students to have a realistic and practical understanding of the endeavor of forensic science, the Department of Criminal Justice proposes the forensic science minor. The core courses offered will outline and summarize the basic terms and theories needed to understand the workings of forensic science in the laboratory and in the field, as well as the way the law in the US incorporates evidence and scientific experts in court. The electives offered will provide the student exposure to specialized disciplines of his or her choice.

Admission to the Program

Students seeking acceptance into the forensic science minor must meet the following criteria:

  • Completion of an associate's degree, or 54 credits toward a baccalaureate degree at another school, OR 24 credits at Brockport: and
  • A cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher.

Program Requirements

A. Core courses: The following courses are required:

  • CRJ 304 Investigations
  • CRJ 371 Introduction to Forensic Science
  • CRJ 375 Forensic Law

*Reflecting the diversity of specialties included in forensic science investigations, the student must choose elective courses with approval of the minor advisor. Pre-requisite requirements must be followed unless otherwise stated.

B. Electives Choose any THREE of the following courses:

  • ANT 110 Introduction to Archaeology
  • ANT 441 Archaeological Analysis
  • ANT 442/542 Archaeological Field Methods
  • ANT 456 Forensic Anthropology
  • BIO 281 Elements of Human Biology
  • BIO 302 Genetics
  • CPS 301 Issues in Criminal and Forensic Computing
  • CHM 171 Elements of Forensic Science
  • CHM 205 College Chemistry I
  • CHM 206 College Chemistry II
  • CHM 260 Chemistry for Health Professionals
  • CHM 303 Analytical Chemistry I
  • CIS 202 Fundamentals of Information Systems
  • CRJ 321 Crime Patterns
  • CRJ 323 White Collar Crime
  • CRJ 451 International Criminal Justice Systems
  • CRJ 491.02 Introduction to GIS
  • CRJ 494 Criminology
  • CSC 356 Life in the Digital Age
  • HLS 409 Introduction to Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • HLS 428 Substance Abuse and the Criminal Justice System
  • HSL 435/535 Evaluation and Assessment of Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • HLS 445/545 Psychopharmacology of Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • PHS 115 General Physics I with Lab
  • PHS 116 General Physics II with Lab
  • PHS 201 College Physics I with Lab
  • PHS 202 College Physics II with Lab
  • PSH 334 Abnormal Psychology