Curriculum

The Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science degree consists of 123 to 126 credits. Students must complete the forensic science core, any additional required courses, the concentration requirements (for either forensic chemistry, forensic biology, or physical evidence) and the College of Humanities and Sciences general education requirements to complete the total number of credits required for graduation. All three concentrations are fully accredited by the Forensic Science Educational Program Accreditation Commission (FEPAC).

Forensic science majors in either the forensic chemistry or the forensic biology concentration can double major in either chemistry or biology with the addition of specific coursework and minimal impact to their expected graduation date. All Forensic Science majors complete the required coursework for a Chemistry minor**.

The current bulletin is available online. For a listing of forensic science undergraduate course descriptions, refer to VCU's online course database.

Forensic Science Core +

All students take the courses within the Forensic Science Core:

FRSC 309 - Scientific Crime Scene Investigation (3 credits)

FRSC 300 - Survey of Forensic Science (3 credits)

FRSC 365 - Forensic Microscopy (4 credits)

FRSC 375 - Forensic Evidence, Law & Criminal Procedure (3 credits)

FRSC 490 - Professional Practices in Forensic Science (3 credits)

BIOL 151 - Introduction to Biological Sciences I (3 credits)

BIOZ 151 - Introduction to Biological Sciences Laboratory I (1 credit)

CHEM 101 - General Chemistry I (3 credits)

CHEZ 101 - General Chemistry Laboratory I (1 credit)

CHEM 102 - General Chemistry II (3 credits)

CHEZ 102 - General Chemistry Laboratory II (1 credit)

CHEM 301 -  Organic Chemistry I (3 credits)

CHEZ 301 - Organic Chemistry Laboratory I (2 credits)

CHEM 302 - Organic Chemistry II (3 credits)

CHEZ 302 - Organic Chemistry II Laboratory (2 credits)

STAT 314 - Applications of Statistics (4 credits)

PHYS 201 & 202 - General Physics I (4 credits) & General Physics II (4 credits) OR

PHYS 207 & 208 - University Physics I (5 credits) & University Physics II (5 credits)

Advanced Credits in BIOL/Z, CHEM/Z, CRJS, FRSC/Z, MATH, or PHYS 2XX-3XX-4XX-5XX

For minimum grade requirements, please visit the current VCU Bulletin and Course Description pages.

Questions can be directed to frscadvising@vcu.edu.

Forensic Biology Concentration +

The forensic biology concentration prepares students for graduate studies as well as for careers in the biology section of forensic laboratories. Graduates of this program will be prepared to work in molecular biology laboratories in both the public and private sectors. This concentration also encompasses much of the requirements for many pre-health programs (pre-nursing, pre-clinical laboratory sciences, pre-clinical radiation sciences, pre-dental hygiene) and pre-professional health programs (medicine, pharmacy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, veterinary, optometry, or physician assistant).

In addition to the core forensic science courses, students in the forensic biology concentration will take the following:

BIOL 152 - Introduction to Biological Science II (3 credits)

BIOZ 152 - Introduction to Biology II Laboratory (1 credit)

BIOL 300 - Cellular & Molecular Biology (3 credits)

BIOZ 476 - Biology Capstone Laboratory (2 credits)

BIOL 310 - Genetics (3 credits)

FRSC 385 - Forensic Serology (3 credits)

CHEM 403 - Biochemistry (3 credits)

FRSC/BIOL 438 - Forensic Molecular Biology (3 credits)

FRSZ/BIOZ 438 - Forensic Molecular Biology Laboratory (2 credits)

Elective Credits - Elective Credits (3) in FRSC/Z, BIOL/Z, CHEM/Z, PHYS/Z or MATH

Forensic Chemistry Concentration +

The forensic chemistry concentration prepares students for graduate studies as well as for careers in toxicology and chemistry sections of forensic laboratories.

In addition to the core forensic science courses, students in the chemistry concentration will take the following:

CHEM 303 - Physical Chemistry I (3 credits)

CHEZ 303 - Physical Chemistry I Laboratory (2 credits)

CHEM 309 - Quantitative Analysis (3 credits)

CHEZ 309 - Quantitative Analysis Laboratory (2 credits)

FRSC 400 - Forensic Chemistry (3 credits)

FRSZ 400 - Forensic Chemistry Laboratory (2 credits)

CHEM 409 - Instrumental Analysis (3 credits)

CHEZ 409 - Instrumental Analysis Laboratory (2 credits)

MATH 201 - Calculus with Analytic Geometry (4 credits)

Physical Evidence Concentration +

The Physical Evidence Concentration prepares students for graduate studies as well as for careers in the physical evidence specialties, not only within forensic laboratories, but also in the broader law enforcement laboratory facilities. Graduates of this program will be prepared to work in the specialties of Fingerprint Analysis, Firearms & Toolmark Analysis, Impressions, and other specialties in which physical comparisons are made.

In addition to the core forensic science courses, students in the physical evidence concentration will take the following:

CHEM 320 - Inorganic Chemistry I (3 credits)

CHEM 309 - Quantitative Analysis (3 credits)

CHEZ 309 - Quantitative Analysis Laboratory (1 credit)

FRSC 385 - Forensic Serology (3 credits)

FRSC 410 - Forensic Pattern Evidence (3 credits)

FRSC 412 - Forensic Firearms & Toolmark Analysis (3 credits)

FRSC 566 - Advanced Crime Scene Investigation (3 credits)

5 Elective Credits - Elective Credits in FRSC/Z, BIOL/Z, CHEM/Z, PHYS/Z or MATH (minimum of one laboratory course)

3 Elective Credits - Elective Credits (3) in FRSC/Z, BIOL/Z, CHEM/Z, PHYS/Z or MATH