Forensic and Investigative Sciences - BS, Science 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.

Science Emphasis

The Science Emphasis develops skills in problem solving and critical thinking. 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. Students will be prepared for opportunities to enter post‐graduate studies or professional schools including medicine, law, and veterinary medicine.

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 3
Communication 3
 Semester Credit Hours14
Second Year
Fall
CHEM 227
CHEM 237
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
4
PHYS 201 College Physics 4
American history 3
Communication 3
 Semester Credit Hours14
Spring
CHEM 228
CHEM 238
Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
4
PHYS 202 College Physics 4
American history 3
Language, philosophy and culture 3
 Semester Credit Hours14
Third Year
Fall
BICH 410 Comprehensive Biochemistry I 3
BICH 412 Biochemistry Laboratory I 1
CHEM 316 Quantitative Analysis 2
CHEM 318 Quantitative Analysis Laboratory 1
FIVS 308 Forensic Implications of Inheritance 4
FIVS 482 Occupational and Professional Development 2
Directed elective 1 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring
BICH 411 Comprehensive Biochemistry II 3
FIVS 422 Crime Scene Investigation 2
FIVS 431/ENTO 431
FIVS 432/ENTO 432
The Science of Forensic Entomology
and Applied Forensic Entomology
4
FIVS 481 Seminar 2 1
Creative arts 3
Government/Political science 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
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 4
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring
FIVS 415 Practice and Principles of Science and Law 3
FIVS 435 Case Studies in Problem Solving 2 3
STAT 302 Statistical Methods 3
Social and behavioral sciences 3
General elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
 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)