2019-2020 Undergraduate Bulletin

Forensic Science, Bachelor of Science

The major in Forensic Science is designed to provide academic and professional training for students seeking to work in forensic science laboratories, or who are planning to pursue careers as research scientists, teachers or medical professionals. The major draws primarily from chemistry (organic, analytical and physical) with courses in biology, physics and law. Students may specialize in one of three tracks: Criminalistics, Molecular Biology, or Toxicology.

Learning outcomes. Students will: 

  • Draw appropriate scientific conclusions from evidence and experimental data. 
  • Understand the role of creativity in problem solving. 
  • Apply scientific principles in gathering and interpreting scientific data. 
  • Acquire broad fundamental concepts, theories, and principles in physical and biological sciences. 
  • Use the primary scientific literature effectively in their own research. 
  • Describe the scientific progress that has led to their research project. 
  • Accrue hands-on laboratory and practical research skills, including emphasizing the role of quality assurance and objectivity in scientific data collection and how these relate to the system of professional ethics in science. 
  • Develop competence in oral and written forms of scientific communication. 


Admission Requirements.
  Ideally, candidates for John Jay College  science majors will meet the following criteria: 

1. At least an 81 CAA (High School Academic Average); AND
2. 3 years of High School Math; AND
3. 3 years of High School Science; AND
4. Have taken High School Chemistry Regents OR High School Chemistry course.

Students who wish to transfer into the Forensic Science major must have earned at least 30 credits, have an overall GPA of at least 2.5, and a Math/Science GPA of 2.5 or higher in science major courses to be admitted. In addition, students must have taken Chemistry and Biology courses appropriate to their class standing upon transferring.  Students who transfer with less than 30 credits must meet the admissions standards listed above.


Credits Required.
Forensic Science Major 70-76
General Education 42
Electives 2-8
Total Credits Required for B.S. Degree 120

Coordinator. Professor Jennifer Rosati , Department of Sciences (212.393.6868, jrosati@jjay.cuny.edu)

Advisor. Professor Sandra Swenson, Department of Sciences (212.237.8820, sswenson@jjay.cuny.edu)

Science Internship Directors. Professor Linda Rourke for forensic science laboratory internships (646.557.4501, lrourke@jjay.cuny.edu), Edgardo Sanabria-Valentin for research internships (212.393.6489, esanabriavalentin@jjay.cuny.edu)

Advising information. Major Advising resources (including Sample Four Year Advising Plans)..  

Additional information. An internship is required for the forensic science degree. This can be fulfilled by either FOS 401 or FOS 402. The internship requirement is to be completed after the junior year in the Forensic Science major progression. Consult the course descriptions in this bulletin or the designated coordinator for proper program planning. Please note that certain courses have specific prerequisites that must be taken for timely progression through the major. The chemistry or biology taken in the freshman year of the Forensic Science major fulfills the science component of the general education requirements.

Students who enrolled for the first time at the College or changed to this major in September 2017 or thereafter must complete the major in the form presented here. Students who enrolled prior to that date may choose either the form shown here or the earlier version of the major. A copy of the earlier version may be obtained in the 2016-2017 Undergraduate Bulletin.  

Course information. Placement into beginning Biology and Chemistry courses is determined by students' math preparation AND majoring in Forensic Science.. 

Academic Standards/GPA Requirement. Students must maintain a GPA of 2.0 or better in the science and mathematics courses of the major to qualify for progression to the sophomore- and junior-level courses in the major. Students not maintaining the necessary GPA will be dropped from the major. Students may appeal this decision to the department chairperson.

Honors in the Major: Students must have completed FOS 401 Forensic Science Laboratory Internship or FOS 402 Undergraduate Research Internship with a grade of B+ or higher, completed all requirements for the major and have earned at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA in courses above the 100-level in the major. Credit for courses required as prerequisites for major courses and transfer credits applied to the major will not be calculated into the major cumulative GPA. Students must also have earned at least a 3.2 overall cumulative GPA. This honor will be noted on the student’s transcript

Please note: The majority of courses required for the degree in Forensic Science are not available in the evening.

Experiential learning opportunities. During their senior year students in the Forensic Science program can participate in a variety of experiential learning opportunities. Students may enroll in the undergraduate research course, FOS 402, and participate in a faculty-sponsored laboratory research project. Students present their original research at a poster session open to the public and may have the opportunity to present at meetings and conferences.  Students who do not choose the research option, enroll in FOS 401 and do an internship in a crime laboratory as their senior experience to complete the major.  

Foundational Courses

May be required depending on math placement

MAT 141Pre-Calculus

3

Advisors recommendation: MAT 141 fulfills the Required Core: Math and Quantitative Reasoning area of the Gen Ed Program depending on individual student’s placement.

Total Credit Hours: 0-3

Part One. Science and Math Requirements

Freshman year

Required

BIO 103Modern Biology I

5

BIO 104Modern Biology II

4

CHE 103General Chemistry I

5

CHE 104General Chemistry II

4

MAT 241Calculus I

3

MAT 242Calculus II

3

Total Credit Hours:15-18

BIO 101 + BIO 102 may be taken in place of BIO 103
CHE 101 + CHE 102 may be taken in place of CHE 103


General education info: Students are required to take BIO 103 for the Required Core: Life and Physical Science Gen Ed requirement. Three credits count toward general education; the two additional credits for the STEM variant are counted toward the major. Students are required to take BIO 104 OR CHE 103 for the Flexible Core: Scientific World Gen Ed requirement. Three credits count toward general education; the additional credits are counted toward the major.

MAT 241 is required for the major if not taken for the Required Core: Math and Quantitative Reasoning Gen Ed requirement.

Note: This program has received a waiver to specify particular courses students must take in some areas of the Common Core. If students take different courses in these areas, they will be certified as having completed the Common Core areas, but it may not be possible for them to finish their degree program within the regular number of credits.


Sophomore year

Required

CHE 201Organic Chemistry I

4

CHE 202Organic Chemistry II

4

CHE 220Quantitative Analysis

4

LAW 202Law and Evidence

3

PHY 203General Physics I

4

PHY 204General Physics II

4

Total Credit Hours:23

Junior year

Required
CHE 302Physical Chemistry II

3

CHE 315Biochemistry

4

CHE 320Instrumental Analysis I

4

CHE 321Instrumental Analysis II

4

MAT 301Probability & Mathematical Statistics I

3

Total Credit Hours:18

Total Credit Hours: 56-59

Part Two. Specializations

Criminalistics Track

Junior year

FOS 313An Introduction to Criminalistics for Forensic Science Majors

3

Senior year

FOS 401Forensic Science Laboratory Internship

3

or

FOS 402Undergraduate Research Internship

3

FOS 415Forensic Science Laboratory I

4

FOS 416Forensic Science Laboratory II

4

Total Credit Hours:14

Toxicology Track

Junior year

TOX 313Toxicology of Environmental and Industrial Agents

3

Senior year

FOS 401Forensic Science Laboratory Internship

3

or

FOS 402Undergraduate Research Internship

3

TOX 415Forensic Pharmacology

4

TOX 416Analytical Toxicology

4

Total Credit Hours:14

Molecular Biology Track

Junior year

BIO 315Genetics

3

Senior year

BIO 412Molecular Biology

4

BIO 413Forensic DNA Analysis and Interpretation

4

FOS 401Forensic Science Laboratory Internship

3

or

FOS 402Undergraduate Research Internship

3

Total Credit Hours:14

Total Credit Hours: 70-76