close up of a student wearing gloves in a lab

Gain Insight into Forensic Biology and Criminal Investigations

The Forensic Biosciences Minor offers you the chance to focus on applied biology courses designed to prepare you for entry into the workforce or admission into graduate programs in forensic biology. Through this minor, students in criminology, pre-law, anthropology, biochemistry, biology, and healthcare fields can expand their understanding of applied biological concepts in forensics.

 

You’ll gain an understanding of the basic issues within the context of forensic biology (though this minor is not designed to train you in the laboratory methods and measures of forensics). You’ll also study how these techniques influence forensic investigations and the criminal justice system.

Students in this minor will learn about how biological evidence relates to legal and other investigations and how evidence is collected and processed at a crime scene or in a laboratory. They’ll also learn about how specialists in this area work in a team environment with other investigators and scientists.

All of the courses in this minor are distance education courses. Offering it completely online makes it more available to traditional and other students, including those across the State System schools.

Imagine Your Future

Students pursuing careers related to criminology, pre-law, anthropology, biochemistry, biology, and health-care fields can use this minor to expand their understanding of applied biological concepts in forensics.

This minor also serves as an important component to pursuing a career as a forensic science technician, when accompanied by the successful completion of a related bachelor’s degree.

Forensic Science Technicians

Nationally

$61,930

Median Pay, 2021

In Pennsylvania

$41,990 to $53,330

Median Pay, 2021

Classes and Requirements

All of the courses in this minor are distance education courses. The foundational courses in biological forensics are team taught by faculty from the Biology and Anthropology departments.

Students learn how to isolate, purify, and amplify DNA to determine relevance to the investigation. Students learn how to evaluate mock crime scenes that include the decomposition of animal remains in the field. They also learn how to document, collect, and analyze the insects, plants, and other biological evidence associated with an investigation to determine the time of death and to be able to answer other forensic questions.

In addition, students learn the fundamental approaches to characterizing skeletal remains and evaluating trauma. Though the minor is not designed to provide expertise in laboratory methods and measures of forensics, students will gain an understanding of the basic issues and application of those methods within the context of crime scene investigations and the criminal justice system.

Full Academic Catalog Listing

The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this degree.

  • Loading...