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Electives and Focus Areas

Forensic Science

Forensic science has been defined simply as the application of science to the law. Forensic science is an umbrella term for many distinct disciplines that may be used in a legal investigation. While forensic science is multidisciplinary, most practitioners work in a particular field, and often a particular specialty in that field.

A laboratory science is a valuable background. In a recent survey of qualifications that they preferred, crime lab directors gave a B.S. degree in chemistry as their first preference, followed by biology and then by forensic science degrees with significant chemistry components (J. Forensic Sci., 1999; 44(1); 128).

B.S. chemists can become laboratory analysts or crime scene investigators (contrary to popular TV impressions, the same person generally does not do both) and can use the chemistry B.S as an entry to a graduate program in forensic science to further their careers.

The degree is also a good basis for further study leading to an M.D. degree, which is necessary for work as a pathologist or medical examiner. Elective courses in biology, microscopy and statistics are additionally helpful technical courses for a career in this field, and remain useful for jobs in other areas as well.

Some elective suggestions are:

BIOL-4290 Human Physiological Systems
BIOL-4620 Molecular Biology
BIOL-4710 Biochemistry Laboratory
BIOL-4740 Molecular Biology Laboratory
MATP-4600 Probability Theory and Applications

Other pertinent elective can be taken through cross-registration for courses offered in the forensic science program at nearby Russell Sage College . Examples are:

CHM-340 - Introduction to Forensic Science and CRM-353 - Evidence
Environmental Chemistry | Materials Chemistry | Polymer Chemistry | Medicinal Chemistry | Pre-Medical and Pre-Dental Studies | Pre-Law | Management | Engineering Chemistry | Forensic Science | Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science | Cheminformatics

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