Forensic Science

The Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science at St. Edward’s University goes beyond the crime scene investigations depicted on television and in movies. Our Forensic Science program includes diverse coursework that prepares students to assist in casework using practical scientific application to criminal cases. Students can now choose between two degrees. Students who prefer to focus on laboratory-based jobs such as DNA analysis, drug analysis and toxicology should choose the Laboratory Emphasis. (This emphasis also has coursework to prepare for medical school for those interested in pathology/medical examiner professions.) Students who intend to pursue careers with an emphasis in crime scene, latent prints, firearms or who want to work as investigators/detectives should choose the Field Emphasis.

As a forensic science major, you’ll work alongside faculty in the spacious, open-lab environment of the John Brooks Williams Natural Science Building at St. Edward’s. You’ll have access to instrumentation for innovative and collaborative research, and you’ll participate in “mock” crime scenes that simulate common field experiences.

Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science: Laboratory Emphasis

Overview:

The BS in Forensic Science with a Laboratory Emphasis cultivates a thorough understanding of science along with knowledge of the law sufficient to be an expert witness in criminal cases. As a forensic science major in this program, you’ll focus on upper-level science courses that will enable you to apply scientific methodologies to evidence encountered at crime scenes.

With a BS in Forensic Science, graduates are eligible for entry-level positions as laboratory technicians, or they may pursue advanced degrees in forensic science or other specialized fields. Our graduates have found rewarding careers with the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory, the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Austin Police Department.

Close interaction with forensic science faculty at St. Edward’s — and time spent in classes, labs, advising sessions and departmental events — allows you to learn more about career options.

Degree Plan:

For detailed descriptions and timing of courses, please see the Undergraduate Bulletin (course catalog).

I. FOUNDATION COURSES (21 CREDIT HOURS):
• Rhetoric and Composition I and II*
• College Mathematics (Algebra or higher)
• Computational Skills
• Oral Communication
• Modern Language

II. CULTURAL FOUNDATIONS (18 CREDIT HOURS):
• Literature and Human Experience
• Understanding and Appreciating Arts
• American Experience
• American Dilemmas*
• History and Evolution of Global Processes
• Contemporary World Issues

III. MISSION COURSES (15 CREDIT HOURS):
• The Human Experience
• Ethics
• Religious Studies/Philosophy
• Science in Perspective
• Science in Depth

IV. MAJOR CORE COURSES (75–77 CREDIT HOURS):
Forensic Science Required Courses
• Introduction to Forensic Science
• Crime Scenes Investigation I/Lab
• Crime Scenes Investigation II/Lab
• Death Investigations
• Principles of Science and Law
• Professional Practica in Forensic Science
• History and Philosophy of Science
• Senior Internship or Research Seminar

Required Core Courses
• Administration of Justice
• Genomics
• General Biology/Lab: Cells, Genetics & Organ Systems
• Molecular Biology
• General Chemistry/Lab
• Analytical Chemistry/Lab
• Organic Chemistry/Lab
• University Physics I/Lab
• University Physics II/Lab
• Applied Statistics

Required Science Supporting Courses
• Anatomy and Physiology I
• Microbiology/Lab
• Human Genetics
• Developmental Biology
• Population Biology and Ecology/Lab
• Organic Chemistry II/Lab
• Chemical Instrumentation/Lab
• Forensic Chemistry/Lab
• Biochemistry
• Calculus II
• Topics in Forensic Science

VI. CAPSTONE COURSE (3 CREDIT HOURS)

VII. GRADUATION CERTIFICATION:
You must register for this course in your graduating term to be certified for graduation.

* These courses are prerequisites for Capstone.

Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science: Field Emphasis

Overview:

The BS in Forensic Science with a Field Emphasis balances the study of science and criminal justice. This combination prepares forensic science majors for careers in law enforcement or criminal justice.

With a BS in Forensic Science (Field Emphasis), graduates are eligible for entry-level positions as crime scene technicians or fingerprint technicians, or they may pursue advanced degrees in general forensic science or other specialized fields. Our graduates have found rewarding careers with the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory, the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office, the Austin Police Department, and other jobs relating to science and the law.

Close interaction with forensic science faculty at St. Edward’s — and time spent in classes, labs, advising sessions and departmental events — allows you to learn more about career options.

Degree Plan:

For detailed descriptions and timing of courses, please see the Undergraduate Bulletin (course catalog).

I. FOUNDATION COURSES (21 CREDIT HOURS):
• Rhetoric and Composition I and II*
• College Mathematics (Algebra or higher)
• Computational Skills
• Oral Communication
• Modern Language

II. CULTURAL FOUNDATIONS (18 CREDIT HOURS):
• Literature and Human Experience
• Understanding and Appreciating Arts
• American Experience
• American Dilemmas*
• History and Evolution of Global Processes
• Contemporary World Issues

III. MISSION COURSES (15 CREDIT HOURS):
• The Human Experience
• Ethics
• Religious Studies/Philosophy
• Science in Perspective
• Science in Depth

IV. MAJOR CORE COURSES (71 CREDIT HOURS):
Forensic Science Required Courses
• Introduction to Forensic Science
• Crime Scenes Investigation I/Lab
• Crime Scenes Investigation II/Lab
• Death Investigations
• Principles and Practices of Science and Law
• Professional Practica in Forensic Science
• Senior Internship or Research Seminar

Required Core Courses
• Administration of Justice
• Criminal Evidence and Proof
• Genomics
• General Biology/Lab: Cells, Genetics & Organ Systems
• Molecular Biology
• Anatomy and Physiology
• General Chemistry/Lab
• Analytical Chemistry/Lab
• University Physics I/Lab
• Applied Statistics

Required Supporting Courses
• American Law Enforcement
• Crime Victims (Victimology)
• Criminology
• Crime Scene Photography
• Topics in Forensic Science
• Introduction to Forensic Psychology
• Violent Sex Offenders

VI. CAPSTONE COURSE (3 CREDIT HOURS)

VII. GRADUATION CERTIFICATION:
You must register for this course in your graduating term to be certified for graduation.

* These courses are prerequisites for Capstone.