The Forensics interdisciplinary minor is a 16-credit minor designed for students who are interested in how physical and psychological evidence resolve issues involving criminal behavior, crime scenes and criminal investigations. This highly popular field spans across many disciplines, drawing from psychology, sociology, criminology, political science, chemistry, biology, and philosophy.

Students are required to take the Forensic Psychology course and an introductory Science course with a forensics component (4 credits). Students can then select the remaining 9 credits from a broad array of elective courses in multiple disciplines.

In order to fulfill the minor, students are required to take no more than 3 credits of their Elective courses in any single discipline.

Required Courses (7 credits)

  • PSYC 3317 Psychology and the Law
  • BIOL 1202  Molecules, Cells, and Genes (includes DNA analysis information and forensic science laboratory exercise)
    BIOL 1005 Current Topics in Biology (includes forensics component)

Elective Courses (9 credits)

Select 3 courses from the following courses, with no more than 3 credits within a single discipline

Course Descriptions

  • BIOL1005 Explores current issues in biology that are of interest to informed citizens; topics include, but not limited to, emerging infectious disease, bioterrorism, cloning and stem cell research.

  • BIOL1202 Includes a study of modern biological principles and processes relating to multicellular plants and animals, ecology and behavior. Laboratory exercises include physiology, anatomy, ecology and behavior.

  • BIOL1205 Integrated structural and functional systemic study of the human body; cells, tissues and organ systems, including homeostasis and disorders with health and clinical applications. Prerequisites: permission of the allied health administrative officer or course instructor and department chairperson.

  • BIOL1206 Integrated structural and functional systemic study of the human body; cells, tissues and organ systems, including homeostasis and disorders, with health and clinical applications. Prerequisites: permission of the allied health administrative officer or course instructor and department chairperson.

  • BIOL2003 Structure and function of cells as the basic unit of life. of life. Required in the biology and marine biol- ogy curricula.

  • BIOL3009 The fundamental principles of microbiology and the interrelations among animals, microorganisms, plants and man.

  • BIOL3256 A study of the laws of heredity and transmission of genes. The genetic material is analyzed in regard to structure, change, function and expression in development of the individual organism, and its distribution and course in populations.

  • BIOL3332 Introduction to the immune system and its application to biological research using the viruses as a model parasitic system in the laboratory.

  • CHEM1201 The fundamental laws, theories and principles of chemistry, with emphasis on atomic structure, chemical bonding, periodic classification of the elements, solutions, equilibrium, reaction kinetics and the theory and practice of the qualitative chemistry of the common ions.

  • CHEM2221 Principles of modern quantitative methods in chemistry, including the study of chemical equilibria, reaction kinetics, acidity and complex formation. The laboratory work involves practical applications of inorganic and organic biochemical analysis using volumetric, gravimetric, chromatographic and instrumental techniques.

  • CHEM3281 Chemistry of substances of biological significance, with particular emphasis on proteins, enzymes, nucleic acids, sugars, lipids, hormones and vitamins.

  • CMLGY1306 This course provides an understanding of crime and criminal justice. Students will examine theories of crime, individual and group criminal behavior and aspects of criminal justice systems from American and global perspectives.

  • CMLGY2300 The course will examine the criminal justice system through the prism of cases in which an innocent person was convicted. It will examine the causes of proposed remedies for wrongful conviction and consider its implications for the criminal justice system as a whole. Topics will include mistaken eyewitness identification, forensic science, false confessions, prosecutorial misconduct, ineffective assistance, snitch testimony, and the death penalty. The class will explore the current debate regarding the significance of the number of wrongfully convicted people who have recently been exonerated.

  • CMLGY2307 What is considered deviant behavior and how do certain behaviors become deviant in the eyes of society? This class will examine the social construction of deviance and the different theoretical perspectives that explain deviance. Certain forms of deviance will be examined critically, including drug use, sexual deviance and suicide.

  • CMLGY2333 A basic introduction to criminal law in the United States. Emphasis is upon social factors, norms, values and social policy considerations that shape modern criminal law. Subject areas include issues such as the justification of punishment, the elements of just punishment, and the death penalty as well as the study of substantive laws of homicide, rape and other criminal acts. Attention is also given to the emergence of international criminal law and the punishment of war crimes.

  • CMLGY2360 This course provides an overview of the field of victimology. In this course, students will gain an understanding of the nature and extent of criminal victimization, the criminal justice system's response to crime victims, and the policy implications of victimization research. Course readings will encourage analysis of an discussion of the legal, social and political implications of criminal victimization.

  • CMLGY2701 Penology is the study or the punishment of criminal offenders. This class will examine justifications for punishment and the methods of punishment used in our society. This course will also look at approaches to sentencing, the development of prisons and the evolution of correction in the United States.

  • CMLGY3301 This course examines the major theoretical explanations of both female offending and victimization. We will analyze the sociological, cultural, and political forces that have shaped the construction of the female offender in society. Additionally, we will examine the role of gender in shaping the female experience within the criminal justice system as a whole.

  • CMLGY3308 Law as a determinate of social control and change analysis of legal systems and their administration with special emphasis on law affecting the poor.

  • CMLGY3309 Is Megan's Law a good policy? What about three strikes laws? Many criminal justice policies have been passed due to public sentiment without proper evaluation. The goal of this class is to teach students to critically analyze, evaluate and develop sound criminal justice policies.

  • CMLGY3310 This course examines the juvenile justice system in the United States, including the roles of the court, police and corrections. Current empirical evidence regarding trends in juvenile delinquency will be provided, along with a thorough examination of the theoretical causes of juvenile crime.

  • PHIL1101 Principles of correct reasoning for understanding, analyzing and criticizing a variety of deductive and inductive arguments.(This course cannot be substituted for the core requirement in philosophy).

  • POLS3304 Structure of criminal justice system; roles of police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges; proposed reforms.

  • PSYC3005 A study of the long-standing and serious forms of mental disturbance, including character disorders, brain damage, retardation and psychotic processes; central focus on classification, dynamics, symptoms and treatment, with practical experience as a companion to mental patients. Fall

  • PSYC3032 Topics include the study of the relationship between aspects of behavior and physiology, basic neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and the effects upon behavior by drugs, cortical lesions and internal secretions.

  • PSYC3302 A study of the growth and development of adolescents and adults with respect to social, emotional, intellectual and physical behavior; developmental characteristics, goals and personal and interpersonal factors of psychological self-support with respect to their implications concerning education and/or guidance. Fall, Spring

  • PSYC3310 A study of the individual's behavior and experiences under the influence of social processes and institutions; socialization, role perception and role behavior, social norms and conformity; interpersonal attraction, social power, leadership. Fall or Spring

  • PSYC3317 Application of psychological principles to legal problems. Analysis and implications of court decisions. Current controversies: insanity defense, jury selection, persuasive techniques, sentencing, competency, use of hypnosis, capital punishment, psychological testing. Conducting forensic inter- views will be incorporated.

  • PSYC3334 Study in the relationship between drugs and behavior, especially maladaptive behavior and research in human biochemical changes.

  • PSYC4291 Survey of the various philosophies and orientations of fields of psychology and their applications. Fall

  • SOCI2318 An examination of American family law with special attention to the values and social policy considerations that shape and are expressed in law. The central theme is the historical transformation of family and kinship in the U.S. and the tension between the private ordering of family relationships and state supervision of family life. Topics include the laws of marriage and divorce; child custody; visitation; marital property, alimony and child support; alternative living arrangements such as gay and lesbian partnerships; adoption and surrogacy.

  • SOCI3327 An examination of the relationship between the media and crime and criminal justice. Case studies and historical survey of news, television, censorship and crime.

  • SOCI3347 This course provides students with an opportunity to define and explore notions of individual, group and institutionalized violence in America amd other societies. Topics include: violence in media, racial/ethnic violence and gendered violence (e.g., domestic violence, rape).