Forensic Science Program

Youngstown State University offers an undergraduate degree, the Bachelor of Science in Applied Science in Forensic Science. This is a multidisciplinary program drawing upon Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, Biological Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Sociology, and Anthropology. The program is housed in the Department of Chemical and Biological Sciences.

Forensic science can be broadly defined as the application of science to law. This program is designed to give students both a theoretical and practical background in the scientific, legal, and investigative aspects of forensic science. Graduates of the program are prepared for continued education in graduate programs or for immediate employment in forensic science-related facilities. Many careers in or related to forensic science require academic preparation beyond the undergraduate level. Students should be prepared to pursue advanced degrees within their discipline.

Admission Policy

Students wishing to transfer into the forensic science program must have and maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5. Note: individuals with a felony, drug, and/or domestic violence conviction will experience difficulty gaining employment in the fields of forensic science and/or criminal justice. Students with misdemeanor convictions or juvenile sex offense convictions should seek advice from an advisor.

Internships

YSU's Forensic Science program requires a six-semester hour internship experience which will provide students with the opportunity to integrate academic studies with the daily operations of a forensic science related facility. Each semester hour requires approximately 45 on-site hours. Internships also foster the development of networking relationships with practitioners who can assist in procuring future employment. Certain criminal convictions may prohibit students from being eligible for an internship experience.

For more information, visit the Forensic Science Program.

A Bachelor of Science in Applied Science degree in Forensic Science requires a minimum of 121 semester hours. The program is designed to be rigorous and multi-disciplinary, and allows for fewer electives in lower level courses but an increased flexibility in upper-division coursework. Students must complete the following coursework within their first 3 semesters at YSU, and must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA in order to remain in the FS program:

  • HAHS 1500- Introduction to BCHHS
  • ENGL 1550- Writing I
  • CRJS 1500- Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • FSCI 1510- Survey of Forensic Science
  • CHEM 1515- General Chemistry I 
  •  CHEM 1515L- General Chemistry I Laboratory
  • Two MATH courses, which may include MATH 1510, MATH 1510C, MATH 1511, MATH 1511C, MATH 1571, MATH 1572
     

A minor is intended to contrast with or deepen a major or General Education. Forensic Science is an interdisciplinary major. Courses that are required for, and count toward, the Forensic Science major cannot be counted toward a minor.

COURSE TITLE S.H.
FIRST YEAR REQUIREMENT -STUDENT SUCCESS
YSU 1500Success Seminar1-2
or SS 1500 Strong Start Success Seminar
or HONR 1500 Intro to Honors
General Education Requirements
ENGL 1550Writing 13-4
or ENGL 1549 Writing 1 with Support
ENGL 1551Writing 23
CMST 1545Communication Foundations3
Mathematics
MATH 1571Calculus 1 (required for major)4
Arts and Humanities (2 courses)6
Social and Personal Awareness (2 courses)6
Natural Science (2 courses; 1 with lab) met with BIOL 2601 and 2602
BIOL 2601
2601L
General Biology: Molecules and Cells
and General Biology: Molecules and Cells Laboratory (required for major)
4
BIOL 2602
2602L
General Biology: Organisms and Ecology
and General Biology: Organisms and Ecology Laboratory (required for major)
4
Social Sciences (2 courses) Met with CJFS 1500 and ANTH 1500
CRJS 1500Introduction to Criminal Justice3
ANTH 1500Introduction to Anthropology (required for major)3
Core Requirements (65 s.h.)
Chemistry
CHEM 1515
1515L
General Chemistry 1
and General Chemistry 1 Laboratory
4
CHEM 1516
1516L
General Chemistry 2
and General Chemistry 2 Laboratory
4
CHEM 3719
3719L
Organic Chemistry 1
and Organic Chemistry 1 Laboratory
4
CHEM 3720
3720L
Organic Chemistry 2
and Organic Chemistry 2 Laboratory
4
CHEM 2604
2604L
Quantitative Analysis
and Quantitative Analysis Laboratory
5
Additional Biology
BIOL 3721Genetics3
Physics
PHYS 2610
2610L
General Physics 1
and General Physics Laboratory 1
5
PHYS 2611
2611L
General Physics 2
and General Physics laboratory 2
5
Mathematics & Statistics
STAT 3717Statistical Methods4
MATH 1572Calculus 24
Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences
FSCI 1510Survey of Forensic Sciences3
CRJS 2602Criminal Courts3
FSCI 3714Forensic Science: Crime Scene Investigation2
FSCI 3716Forensic Science Evidence Analysis2
FSCI 3700Forensic Fire and Explosive Investigation3
FSCI 4850Special Topics in Forensic Sciences3
CRJS 4807Criminal Justice Internship3-12
FSCI 5814Practice and Ethics in Forensic Science3
Concentrations (Pick One -Biology, Chemistry or Anthropology)13-16
CHEMISTRY (Select at least 13 s.h.)
Inorganic Chemistry
Physical Chemistry 1
and Physical Chemistry 1 Laboratory
Physical Chemistry 2
and Physical Chemistry 2 Laboratory
Chemical Toxicology
Biochemistry 1
and Biochemistry Laboratory
Biochemistry 2
Special Topics
Chemical Instrumentation
and Chemical Instrumentation Laboratory
Intermediate Organic Chemistry
Advanced Organic Laboratory
and Advanced Organic Laboratory
BIOLOGY (Select at least 13 s.h.)
Microbiology
and Microbiology Laboratory
Clinical Immunology
and Clinical Immunology Laboratory
Introduction to Human Gross Anatomy
and Introduction to Human Gross Anatomy Laboratory
Cell Biology: Fine Structure
Molecular Microbiology 1: Nucleic Acids
Human Physiology
and Human Physiology Laboratory
Bioinformatics
and Bioinformatics Laboratory
Selected Topics in Physiology
Biochemistry 1
and Biochemistry Laboratory
Biochemistry 2
Problems in Biology
ANTHROPOLOGY (Select at least 16 s.h.)
Human Osteology
Archaeology
Biological Anthropology
Archaeological Techniques
Fieldwork in Historical and Industrial Sites Archaeology
Forensic Anthropology 1
Undergraduate Research
Forensic Anthropology 2
Case Studies in Forensic Anthropology
Advanced Topics in Biological Anthropology
Introduction to Human Gross Anatomy
and Introduction to Human Gross Anatomy Laboratory
Global Positioning Systems and GIScience
Electives to meet 120 hours1
Optional courses (not a track)
Molecular Genetics
and Molecular Genetics Laboratory
Gene Manipulation
FSCI 4850Special Topics in Forensic Sciences3
Organic Chemistry Recitation 1
Organic Chemistry Recitation 2
Drug Use and Abuse
Agents of Mass Casualty
Crisis Management in Public Health
Total Semester Hours121-135

There may be other courses that qualify for upper division electives, but you must discuss these options with an academic advisor and get pre-approved.

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
FallS.H.
YSU 1500 Success Seminar 1
ENGL 1550
Writing 1
or Writing 1 with Support
3-4
FSCI 1510 Survey of Forensic Sciences 3
CRJS 1500 Introduction to Criminal Justice 3
CHEM 1515
1515L
General Chemistry 1
and General Chemistry 1 Laboratory
4
Arts and Humanities Elective 3
 Semester Hours17-18
Spring
ENGL 1551 Writing 2 3
CRJS 2602 Criminal Courts 3
ANTH 1500 Introduction to Anthropology 3
CHEM 1516
1516L
General Chemistry 2
and General Chemistry 2 Laboratory
4
Social and Personal Awareness 3
 Semester Hours16
Year 2
Fall
CMST 1545 Communication Foundations 3
FSCI 3714 Forensic Science: Crime Scene Investigation 2
FSCI 3714L Forensic Science: Crime Scene Investigation Lab 1
MATH 1571 Calculus 1 4
CHEM 3719
3719L
Organic Chemistry 1
and Organic Chemistry 1 Laboratory
4
 Semester Hours14
Spring
FSCI 3700 Forensic Fire and Explosive Investigation 3
FSCI 3716 Forensic Science Evidence Analysis 2
FSCI 3716L Forensic Science Evidence Analysis Laboratory 1
MATH 1572 Calculus 2 4
CHEM 3720
3720L
Organic Chemistry 2
and Organic Chemistry 2 Laboratory
4
 Semester Hours14
Year 3
Fall
BIOL 2601
2601L
General Biology: Molecules and Cells
and General Biology: Molecules and Cells Laboratory
4
FSCI 4850 Special Topics in Forensic Sciences 3
STAT 3717 Statistical Methods 4
Elective 3700-Level 5
 Semester Hours16
Spring
BIOL 2602
2602L
General Biology: Organisms and Ecology
and General Biology: Organisms and Ecology Laboratory
4
CHEM 2604
2604L
Quantitative Analysis
and Quantitative Analysis Laboratory
5
Arts and Humanities 3
Elective 3700-Level 4
 Semester Hours16
Year 4
Fall
CRJS 4807 Criminal Justice Internship 3-12
PHYS 2610 General Physics 1 4
PHYS 2610L General Physics Laboratory 1 1
Social and Personal Awareness 3
Elective 3700-Level 2
 Semester Hours13-22
Spring
FSCI 5814 Practice and Ethics in Forensic Science 3
PHYS 2611 General Physics 2 4
PHYS 2611L General Physics laboratory 2 1
BIOL 3721 Genetics 3
Elective 3700-Level 2
 Semester Hours13
 Total Semester Hours119-129

Request a Graduation Evaluation after you have completed 80-85 s.h. from the BCHHS Advising/Deans Office, 2104 Cushwa Hall, 330-941-3221.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate knowledge on the influence of the CJ system at the subsystem levels (policing, courts, and corrections).
  2. Students can analyze scientific situations, and apply the scientific method within the CJ judicial system.
  3. Students can explain biology principles and how they relate to forensic science.
  4. Students can explain chemistry principles and how they relate to forensic science.
  5. Students can explain basic physics and math principles, and how they relate to forensic science.

FSCI 1510    Survey of Forensic Sciences    3 s.h.

Overview of history, evolution, and current status. Discussion of training, education, certification, accreditation, and legal issues. Designed to be accessible to students without a science background and provide an introduction to forensic science for those considering further studies.

FSCI 3700    Forensic Fire and Explosive Investigation    3 s.h.

Principles of fire science including fire detection, suppression, and investigation of both fire and explosion scenes. Special emphasis on concepts of fire progression, cause and origin determinations, arson investigation, and bombings.
Prereq.: CRJS 1500 or FSCI 1510.

FSCI 3714    Forensic Science: Crime Scene Investigation    2 s.h.

An introduction to the legal and practical aspects of crime scene investigation. Emphasis on the value of physical evidence and the skills and tools needed to recognize, collect and preserve physical evidence found at a crime scene.
Prereq.: FSCI 1510 and sophomore standing.
Concurrent with: FSCI 3714L.

FSCI 3714L    Forensic Science: Crime Scene Investigation Lab    1 s.h.

Laboratory section designed to teach the practical skills employed by criminalists collecting evidence at a crime scene. Students will gain experience using tools, techniques and procedures required to recognize and collect evidence by completing practical exercises.
Prereq.: FSCI 1510 and sophomore standing.
Concurrent with: FSCI 3714.

FSCI 3716    Forensic Science Evidence Analysis    2 s.h.

Serves as an introduction to the techniques, instrumentation and procedures used in the examination and analysis of physical evidence in a forensic laboratory setting and the legal aspects regarding the use of laboratory reports in the investigation process.
Prereq.: FSCI 3714, FSCI 3714L.
Concurrent with: FSCI 3716L.

FSCI 3716L    Forensic Science Evidence Analysis Laboratory    1 s.h.

Laboratory section designed to familiarize students with instrumentation that is commonly used in the examination and analysis of physical evidence. Students will gain experience with the tools, techniques and procedures used for examining physical evidence through practical exercises.
Prereq.: FSCI 3714, FSCI 3714L.
Concurrent with: FSCI 3716.

FSCI 4850    Special Topics in Forensic Sciences    3 s.h.

Contemporary issues in criminal justice. Topics are announced prior to enrollment.
Prereq.: Senior standing or permission of instructor.

FSCI 4850C    Special Topics in Criminal Justice Death Investigation    3 s.h.

Contemporary issues in criminal justice. Topics are announced prior to enrollment.
Prereq.: Senior standing or permission of instructor.

FSCI 4852    Trace Evidence    3 s.h.

Teaches search methods, recovery procedures, and laboratory analysis for hairs, fibers, and other types of trace evidence in criminal investigations and prosecutions. Emphasis is on major cases that hinged on trace evidence, and the legal and ethical future of trace evidence. Some laboratory exercises with microscopes are included.
Prereq.: FSCI 3714 or concurrent or permission from Chairperson.

FSCI 4853    Forensic Firearms Examination    3 s.h.

This course features both lecture and laboratory work on the forensic science involved in firearms examination, to include gun manufacturing, the physics of ballistics, gunpowder and gun primer residue analysis, serial number restoration, and shooting reconstruction. Legislation concerning handguns and other weapons in the US will also be covered.
Prereq.: FSCI 3714 or concurrent or permission from Chairperson.

FSCI 5814    Practice and Ethics in Forensic Science    3 s.h.

Overview of the forensic science discipline as it relates to the criminal justice system including discussion of legal aspects, constitutional considerations, expert testimony, the role of the expert witness, and ethical standards and dilemmas. Also includes discussion of current events and the evolution and future of the forensic sciences.
Prereq.: FSCI 3714 and FSCI 3714L.