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 easily opt to double major in either chemistry or biology with the curriculum offered. All Forensic Science majors are automatically eligible for a Chemistry minor**.

The current bulletin is available on VCU Bulletins. 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 (min 7 credit hours) in BIOL/Z, CHEM/Z, CRJS, FRSC/Z, MATH, or PHYS 2XX-3XX-4XX-5XX

*A grade of “C” or better is required to remain in the program for ALL FRSC and FRSZ courses, plus those indicated with an "*".
+A grade of “C” or better is required to advance to the second course in the sequence.
**restrictions apply

Forensic Biology Concentration +

The forensic biology track 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 track also encompasses much of the requirements for most pre-professional programs (Pre-Med, Pre-Vet, Pre-Dental, etc.)

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

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

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

BIOL 218 - Cell 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 438L - Forensic Molecular Biology Laboratory (2 credits)

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

Forensic Chemistry Concentration +

The forensic chemistry track 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 track 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 (1 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