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Forensic Science Technology

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BS Degree - Code #2023

Wayne Bensley, Department Chair and Program Director
Email address: benslewd@alfredstate.edu

The forensic science technology major is a technically rigorous four-year program culminating in a Bachelor of Science degree. Students in this laboratory-based on-campus program will complete classwork focusing on three areas of physical evidence analysis:

  • Biological applications within forensics, e.g., DNA technologies, genetic analysis, and microbiology.
  • Chemical practicalities, notably: physicochemical analysis and identification of drugs, poisons, and fire debris.
  • Microscopic-based examinations, including the analysis of fingerprints, firearms evidence, and trace evidence.

The forensic science technology program is fully accredited by FEPAC (Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission).

Mission Statement

The mission of the forensic science technology program at Alfred State is to provide our students with a strong foundation in the natural and physical sciences.  This includes not only theoretical didactic delivery but also a wealth of hands-on laboratory-based forensic analytical techniques.  Graduates of the program will be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to obtain entry-level positions as laboratory technicians, scientists, or examiners in a variety of governmental, institutional, and industrial settings, or with the background necessary for successful transfer into graduate-level programs in the forensic, biological, and chemical sciences or related subjects.

Vision Statement

Through a rigorous hands-on curriculum rooted in the natural and physical sciences, the forensic science technology program at Alfred State strives to produce graduates prepared to be active contributors in a variety of career and educational options.

Advantages

The forensic science technology program is fully accredited by FEPAC (Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission).

  • All students in the program are required to take a core course load that includes preparation in chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics as well as more advanced training in organic chemistry, genetics, biochemistry, instrumental methods, analytical chemistry, microbiology, biotechniques, evidentiary law, public speaking, and technical writing.
  • Students are trained in the usage and theory of modern instrumental techniques that are utilized by employees in crime laboratories nationwide.
  • Students have the opportunity to broaden and deepen their training by selecting from a list of approved technical elective coursework.
  • All students in the program are required to complete either an off-campus internship or on-campus directed research experience. Students selecting the internship option will be exposed to a workplace setting and may complete this course at a multitude of off-campus locations offering laboratory testing services.
  • Students selecting the directed research option will receive preparatory training for future graduate and/or professional school options. In addition, these students will have the opportunity to present their research at both on and off-campus conferences and/or showcases.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

  • Apply the scientific principles of chemistry, biology, and physics to specific applications in forensic science.
  • Explain and show competency in basic chemical and biological lab procedures, including the identification of and the synthesis of various compounds and the forensic analysis of DNA.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the capabilities, use, potential, and limitations of various laboratory instrumental techniques widely utilized in forensic science.
  • Recognize and use appropriate professional and ethical behavior as defined by the forensic science community.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the scientific principles of crime scene investigation and reconstruction, including evidence collection, preservation, and documentation.
  • Summarize the criminal justice system and explain the role of the forensic scientist and physical evidence within the criminal justice system.
  • Evaluate scientific literature to distinguish fact from opinion, develop informed and reasonable conclusions, apply knowledge and understanding to problems, develop rational and reasonable interpretations, suspend beliefs and remain open to new information and methods, and assimilate information learned into knowledge base.
  • Use technological resources effectively and appropriately to communicate, collaborate, and retrieve information; determine when technology is useful and select the appropriate tool(s) and technology resources to address a variety of tasks and problems.
  • Apply written communication skills to the construction documents of record that are well organized and contain appropriate format, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and spelling in accordance with established professional guidelines.
  • Apply oral communication skills to the explanation of ideas, scientific terminology, and results of scientific examinations in a competent and confident manner.

Occupational Opportunities

  • Government crime laboratories and medical examiner's offices
  • Private forensic testing laboratories
  • Industrial laboratories employing chemical or biological technologists
  • Quality control/quality assurance positions in testing laboratories
     Examples of locations where our graduates have obtained employment include:          
  • New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
  • New York Police Department Crime Laboratory
  • National Security Agency
  • United States Army Criminal Investigations Division
  • Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office
  • Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office
 

Future Educational Opportunities

  • Graduate-Level Forensic Science Programs
  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Pharmacy
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
Graduates of the program have been accepted into master's or doctorate level programs from several universities including:
  • Syracuse University
  • Cedar Crest College
  • University of Buffalo
  • University of Albany
  • George Washington University
  • Pace University
  • Pittsburgh University
  • Marshall University
 

Employment Statistics

Employment and continuing education rate of 100 percent – 77 percent are employed; 23 continued their education.

Related Programs

Biological Science
Criminal Justice
Environmental Technology
Health Science
s

Internship Opportunities

Students have completed internship experiences at various locations, including the New York State Police Crime Laboratories, multiple county and municipal crime laboratories both inside and outside of New York State, private testing and industrial laboratories, and hospital clinical laboratories.

Entrance Requirements/Recommendations

Required: Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2/ Trigonometry, Biology, Chemistry, SAT and/or ACT scores with a recommended combined reading/writing and math SAT score of 1080 or a composite ACT score of 21.

Recommended: Physics

Students must be able to physically lift 25 pounds and possess fine motor skills that allow them to focus a microscope with fine adjustment and use forceps.

Forensic Science Technology - BS Degree

 

TYPICAL EIGHT-SEMESTER PROGRAM

First

FRSC 1001 Intro to Fornsc Science Tech I 1
CHEM 1984 Chemical Principles I 4
BIOL 1104 General Biology I 4
COMP 1503 Freshman Composition 3
MATH 1084 Calculus I 4
      16

Second

FRSC 2001 Intro to Frnsc Science Tech II 1
CHEM 2984 Chemical Principles II 4
BIOL 2204 General Biology II 4
SPCH 1083 Effective Speaking 3
LITR xxx3   3
      15

Third

FRSC 3001 Topics in Forensic Science I 1
CHEM 3514 Organic Chemistry I 4
PHYS 1044 College Physics I 4
XXXX  xxx3 General Education Elective 3
XXXX  xxx3  General Education Elective
      15

Fourth

FRSC 4001 Topics in Forensic Science II 1
CHEM 4524 Organic Chemistry II 4
PHYS 2044 College Physics II 4
MATH 2124 Statistical Methods & Analysis 4
XXXX  xxx3 General Education Elective 3
      16

Fifth

CJUS 1003 Intro to Criminal Justice 3
CHEM 7784 Biochemistry 4
BIOL 5254 Principles of Microbiology 4
COMP 5703 Technical Writing II 3
XXXX  xxx3 Technical Elective 3-4
      17-18

Sixth

BIOL 6534 Genetics 4
CHEM 6614 Instrumental Analysis 4
CJUS 6003 Law & Criminal Evidence 3
FRSC 6214 Microscopy and Criminalistics 4
      15

Seventh

FRSC 7214 Forensic Chemistry 4
BIOL 5013 Biotechniques 3
CHEM 5414 Analytical Principles 4
XXXX xxx3 Technical Elective 3
      14

Eighth

FRSC 8213 Forensic Biology 3
FRSC 8111 Forensic Science Tech Capstone 1
FRSC 8113 Forensic Scie Tech Prof Prepar 3
FRSC 8803 Forensic Sci Tech Sr Resch Pjt 3
   OR    
FRSC 8813 Forensic Scien Tech Internship 3
XXXX  xxx3 Technical Elective 3
      13

Be advised that a prior felony conviction may impede a student's ability to participate in an internship experience.  In addition, students desiring careers within the field of forensic science should be aware that they will likely have to undergo background checks prior to being offered employment or an internship at a crime laboratory. These background checks are often similar to those required for law enforcement officers and may include questions regarding drug usage, criminal history, driving records, credit history, personal associations, and/or past work performance. In addition, they may include drug tests, polygraph examinations, and physical and medical examinations.

Approved Technical Electives:

ANTH 5333 Medical Anthropology
BIOL 1404 Anatomy & Physiology I
BIOL 2504 Anatomy & Physiology II
BIOL 2633 Histotechniques
BIOL 4403 Pathophysiology
BIOL 5003 Genomics
BIOL 6003 Molecular and Cell Biology
BIOL 6403 Advanced Pathophysiology
BIOL 7002 Experiments in Molecular and Cell Biology
BIOL 8823 Research Methods in Health Sciences
CHEM 4900 Directed Study, Chemistry
CHEM 6854 Physical Chemistry
ENGR 2001 Engineering Computer Applications
ENGR 3213 Analytical Mechanics I
ENVR 4424 Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology
FRSC 8900 Directed Study, Forensic
MATH 2094 Calculus II
MATH 6114 Differential Equations
MEDR 1132 Essentials of Pharmacology
 

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

  • Completion of above-listed courses
  • Minimum of 121 total credit hours, a minimum of 45 which must be from upper division course work
  • Completion of either a minimum 120-hour-long internship in a workplace laboratory setting OR a semester-long directed research project
  • Grade of "C" or higher in all chemistry, biology, and forensic science courses
  • Completion of a "mock trial" capstone experience