Bachelor of Science in Applied Science in Forensic Science

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.


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 120 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:

  • STEM 1520 or YSU 1500
  • ENGL 1550
  • CRJS 1500
  • FSCI 1510
  • CHEM 1515
  •  CHEM 1515L
  • Two MATH courses, if applicable (may include MATH 1510, MATH 1510C, MATH 1511, MATH 1511C, MATH 1513, MATH 1570, MATH 1571)


Susan Ann Clutter, M.F.S., Associate Professor

Robert E. Wardle III, M.S., Associate Professor

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.

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
MATH 1571Calculus 1 (required for major)4
or MATH 1570 Applied Calculus 1
Arts and Humanities (Select 2 courses)6
Social and Personal Awareness (Select 2 courses)6
Natural Science (2 courses; 1 with lab) met with BIOL 2601 and 2602
BIOL 2601General Biology 1: Molecules and Cells (required for major)3
BIOL 2601LGeneral Biology I: Molecules and Cells Laboratory1
BIOL 2602General Biology 2: Organisms and Ecology (required for major)3
BIOL 2602LGeneral Biology: Organisms and Ecology Laboratory1
Social Sciences (2 courses below required for major)
CRJS 1500Introduction to Criminal Justice3
ANTH 1500Introduction to Anthropology (required for major)3
Core Requirements (64 s.h.)
CHEM 1515General Chemistry 13
CHEM 1515LGeneral Chemistry 1 Laboratory1
CHEM 1516General Chemistry 23
CHEM 1516LGeneral Chemistry 2 Laboratory1
CHEM 3719Organic Chemistry 13
CHEM 3719LOrganic Chemistry 1 Laboratory1
CHEM 3720Organic Chemistry 23
CHEM 3720LOrganic Chemistry 2 Laboratory1
CHEM 2604Quantitative Analysis5
CHEM 2604LQuantitative Analysis Laboratory0
Additional Biology
BIOL 3721Genetics3
PHYS 1501
Fundamentals of Physics 1
and Fundamentals of Physics Laboratory 1
or PHYS 2610
General Physics 1
and General Physics Laboratory 1
PHYS 1502
Fundamentals of Physics 2
and Fundamentals of Physics Laboratory 2
STAT 3717Statistical Methods4
Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences
FSCI 1510Survey of Forensic Science3
CRJS 2602Criminal Courts3
FSCI 3714Forensic Science: Crime Scene Investigation2
FSCI 3714LForensic Science CSI Lab1
FSCI 3716Forensic Science Evidence Analysis2
FSCI 3716LForensic Science Evidence Analysis Laboratory1
FSCI 3720Forensic Fire and Explosive Investigation3
FSCI 4852Trace Evidence3
or FSCI 4853 Forensic Firearms Examination
or FSCI 4854 Death Investigation
CRJS 4807Criminal Justice Internship6
or STEM 4890 STEM Internship
FSCI 5814Practice and Ethics in Forensic Science3
Concentrations (Pick One -Biology, Chemistry, Anthropology, or Flexible Option)16
CHEMISTRY (Select at least 16 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 16 s.h.)
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
Human Physiology
and Human Physiology Laboratory
and Bioinformatics Laboratory
Selected Topics in Physiology
Biochemistry 1
and Biochemistry Laboratory
Biochemistry 2
Problems in Biology
Molecular Genetics
and Molecular Genetics Laboratory
Gene Manipulation
ANTHROPOLOGY (Select at least 16 s.h.)
Human Osteology
Biological Anthropology
Archaeological Techniques
Fieldwork in Historical and Industrial Sites Archaeology
Forensic Anthropology 1
Forensic Anthropology 2
Introduction to Human Gross Anatomy
and Introduction to Human Gross Anatomy Laboratory
Optional courses to meet 120 hours (16 hours). Students may take a flexible option of any 3700 or higher level courses to meet the degree requirements.
Special Topics in Forensic Sciences
Forensic Firearms Examination
Death Investigation
Organic Chemistry Recitation 1
Organic Chemistry Recitation 2
Drug Use and Abuse
Agents of Mass Casualty
Crisis Management in Public Health
Environmental Chemistry
and Environmental Chemistry Lab
Air Quality
Water Quality Analysis
and Water Quality Analysis Lab
Soil Quality and Analysis
Environmental Sampling Methods
Total Semester Hours120-122

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

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
YSU 1500
Success Seminar
or Strong Start Success Seminar
or Intro to Honors
ENGL 1550
Writing 1
or Writing 1 with Support
FSCI 1510 Survey of Forensic Science 3
CRJS 1500 Introduction to Criminal Justice 3
CHEM 1515 General Chemistry 1 3
CHEM 1515L General Chemistry 1 Laboratory 1
 Semester Hours14-16
ENGL 1551 Writing 2 3
CRJS 2602 Criminal Courts 3
ANTH 1500 Introduction to Anthropology 3
CHEM 1516 General Chemistry 2 3
CHEM 1516L General Chemistry 2 Laboratory 1
Social and Personal Awareness 3
 Semester Hours16
Year 2
CMST 1545 Communication Foundations 3
FSCI 3714 Forensic Science: Crime Scene Investigation 2
FSCI 3714L Forensic Science CSI Lab 1
MATH 1571 Calculus 1 4
CHEM 3719 Organic Chemistry 1 3
CHEM 3719L Organic Chemistry 1 Laboratory 1
 Semester Hours14
FSCI 3716 Forensic Science Evidence Analysis 2
FSCI 3716L Forensic Science Evidence Analysis Laboratory 1
FSCI 3720 Forensic Fire and Explosive Investigation 3
CHEM 3720 Organic Chemistry 2 3
CHEM 3720L Organic Chemistry 2 Laboratory 1
Concentration Electives 4
 Semester Hours14
Year 3
BIOL 2601 General Biology 1: Molecules and Cells 3
BIOL 2601L General Biology I: Molecules and Cells Laboratory 1
FSCI 4850 Special Topics in Forensic Sciences 3
STAT 3717 Statistical Methods 4
Concentration Electives 5
 Semester Hours16
BIOL 2602 General Biology 2: Organisms and Ecology 3
BIOL 2602L General Biology: Organisms and Ecology Laboratory 1
CHEM 2604 Quantitative Analysis 5
CHEM 2604L Quantitative Analysis Laboratory 0
Arts and Humanities 3
Concentration Electives 4
 Semester Hours16
Year 4
CRJS 4807 Criminal Justice Internship 6
PHYS 1501 Fundamentals of Physics 1 4
PHYS 1501L Fundamentals of Physics Laboratory 1 1
Social and Personal Awareness 3
Concentration Electives 3
 Semester Hours17
FSCI 5814 Practice and Ethics in Forensic Science 3
BIOL 3721 Genetics 3
PHYS 1502 Fundamentals of Physics 2 3
PHYS 1502L Fundamentals of Physics Laboratory 2 1
Arts & Humanities 3
 Semester Hours13
 Total Semester Hours120-122

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 Science    3 s.h.

An overview of the history, evolution, and current state of the forensic science discipline. Discussion of the scientific method and its applicability to forensic science, a description of the various sub-disciplines and areas of specialty that contribute to the field as a whole, and a summary of training, education, certification, accreditation, legal, and constitutional issues related to the discipline. There will also be discussion of the basic application of biological, physical, chemical, medical, technological, and behavioral sciences to questions of evidence and law. This course is designed to be accessible to those without a natural science background and provide a comprehensive introduction to those considering further study within the discipline.
Gen Ed: Natural Science.

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. Concurrent with: FSCI 3714L.
Prereq.: FSCI 1510 and sophomore standing.

FSCI 3714L    Forensic Science CSI 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.
Coreq.: 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. Concurrent with: FSCI 3716L.
Prereq.: FSCI 3714, FSCI 3714L.

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

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

FSCI 3720    Forensic Fire and Explosive Investigation    3 s.h.

Forensic Fire and Explosives Investigation. Principles of fire science including fire detection and investigation of both fire and explosion scenes. Special emphasis on concepts of fire progression, origin and cause determinations, arson investigation, accidental explosions, and bombings.
Prereq.: FSCI 3714 with grade of C or higher, or junior status, or permission of forensic coordinator.

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 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 instructor.

FSCI 4853    Forensic Firearms Examination    3 s.h.

This course features discussion 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 Instructor.

FSCI 4854    Death Investigation    3 s.h.

A broad overview exploring the various facets of medicolegal death investigation including discussion of history, standard procedures, methods and techniques, safety, scene documentation, cause and manner of death determination, autopsy, toxicological analysis, and other issues related to the discipline. Course content will include graphic images, descriptions, and discussion. May include depictions of a sexual nature, nudity, the aftermath of violent actions, and/or catastrophe.
Prereq.: Junior standing or permission of instructor.

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.
Gen Ed: Capstone.