Forensic and Investigative Sciences - BS, Pre-Law Emphasis

Forensic and Investigative Sciences, an accredited program by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC), is a major offered by the Department of Entomology and is a growing area of interest for students seeking to gain entry into careers that deal with the collection, preservation, processing and use of evidentiary information to solve problems. A life sciences-based education, which develops skills in problem solving and critical thinking, is essential for career opportunities in this field. Forensic and investigative scientists rely upon state-of-the-art scientific discoveries and technologies as tools to seek answers to critical questions in a variety of settings. Molecular, organismal, environmental, and ecological sources of information are often analyzed and interpreted in industrial, regulatory, legal, medical and associated professions. Graduates will be competitive for employment opportunities in quality assurance laboratories, homeland security and investigative services at local, state and national levels. Graduates will also be well prepared for opportunities to enter post-graduate studies or professional schools including medicine, law, and veterinary medicine.

Interactions with and among plants, animals and microbes occur regularly. These interactions impact public and environmental health and require life science-based forensic and investigative science to improve the quality of life. Homeland security, criminal investigation, environmental quality, agricultural and public health offer careers for students with forensic and investigative skills. Students can also pursue avenues to forensic careers through degree programs in specialty areas such as chemistry, anthropology, physics, computer science and business.

Forensic and investigative sciences also operate at the crossroads of science and the legal profession, and provide opportunities for students to consider pre-law preparation. There are growing demands for attorneys with knowledge and understanding of science and research to address legal issues and cases where the interpretation of science and/or scientific data and analyses are pivotal. Law schools often seek candidates with diverse backgrounds and interests, and they look closely at curricula that stress analytical and problem-solving skills, critical reading abilities, writing skills, oral communication and listening abilities, general research skills, and task organization and management skills. The Forensic and Investigative Sciences program provides students with opportunities to build these essential skills and knowledge areas through a combination of required and elective courses.

Law Emphasis

This track provides pre‐law students with a solid scientific foundation while also preparing them for success in law school. Ultimately, our goal is to empower students to more effectively practice law in arenas where science will play a critical role in the judicial process. We aim to educate and train Texas A&M students as the next generation of lawyers, judges, and policy makers that are best able to critically evaluate scientific research and apply these concepts to the evaluation of evidence, in order to improve the application of justice for all. Students in this major have successfully completed their Juris Doctor (JD) degrees at top law schools. 

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallSemester Credit Hours
AGLS 101
Modern Agricultural Systems and Renewable Natural Resources
or Introduction to Academic Success in Forensic and Investigative Sciences
1
BIOL 111 Introductory Biology I 4
CHEM 119 Fundamentals of Chemistry I 4
FIVS 205 Introduction to Forensic and Investigative Sciences 3
MATH 140 Mathematics for Business and Social Sciences 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring
BIOL 112 Introductory Biology II 4
CHEM 120 Fundamentals of Chemistry II 4
MATH 142
Business Calculus
or Introduction to Logic
3
Communication 3
 Semester Credit Hours14
Second Year
Fall
CHEM 222 Elements of Organic and Biological Chemistry 3
PHYS 201 College Physics 4
Communication 3
Language, philosophy and culture 3
Directed elective 1 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring
PHYS 202 College Physics 4
American history 3
Creative arts 3
Social and behavioral sciences 3
General elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Third Year
Fall
FIVS 308 Forensic Implications of Inheritance 4
FIVS 482 Occupational and Professional Development 2
STAT 303 Statistical Methods 3
American history 3
Directed elective 1 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring
BICH 303 Elements of Biological Chemistry 3
FIVS 422 Crime Scene Investigation 2
FIVS 481 Seminar 2 1
Government/Political science 3
Directed elective 1 3
Directed elective 1 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Fourth Year
Fall
FIVS 316 Biotechnology and Forensics 4
FIVS 401/SCSC 401 Forensic Soil Science 3
FIVS 484
Professional Internship
or Research
2
Government/Political science 3
Directed Elective 1 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring
FIVS 415 Practice and Principles of Science and Law 3
FIVS 431/ENTO 431
FIVS 432/ENTO 432
The Science of Forensic Entomology
and Applied Forensic Entomology
4
FIVS 435 Case Studies in Problem Solving 2 3
Directed Elective 1 4
 Semester Credit Hours14
 Total Semester Credit Hours120

The Forensic and Investigative Sciences program requires students to earn a grade of C or better in all courses within the program curriculum.

University Graduation Requirements:

  • Foreign Language (two years of the same language in high school OR one year/ two semester sequence in college)
  • Writing Intensive courses (two courses designated W in major or one W and one C course in major)
  • International and Cultural Diversity courses (three credit hours)
  • Cultural Discourse course (three credit hours)