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Forensic Biology

The Forensic Biology concentration, within the Natural Sciences degree, is a multidisciplinary program focusing on the application of natural and physical scientific methods/theories pertaining to legal issues and investigations. Students receive a broad-based education covering biological, chemical, and physical science methods, including extensive laboratory work.  This core natural science foundation builds on the fundamentals of forensic science and prepares students in the recognition, collection, and analysis of physical evidence in criminal and civil law.

Coursework

The Forensic Biology concentration offers coursework including

  • a survey of forensic science
  • introduction to law and criminal justice
  • crime scene investigation, evidence identification, collection, and processing
  • courtroom procedure and expert testimony
  • quality assurance
  • ethics and professional practice

Additionally, this program offers advanced coursework

  • forensic entomology
  • forensic chemistry
  • forensic photography
  • instrumental chemistry

Other Experiences

Forensic science internships, mentoring, and research opportunities are also available to students.  In some cases, students may work under the supervision of forensic science faculty to process and analyze case evidence and/or participate in crime scene or field recovery efforts.

Minor

The forensic biology minor gives students an understanding of the basic issues and the applications of those methods within the field of forensic science.

Forensics expert in the field for National Geographic.

Jillian Fesolovich, Assistant Professor of Forensic Biology, recently served as a forensic expert for the National Geographic television program, Explorer.

Careers in Forensic Biology

Upon graduation, students may attend graduate or medical school or pursue careers in crime laboratory analysis, crime scene investigation, and medical examination.  The program is also ideal for students preparing to be laboratory technicians in private, state and federal forensic laboratories.   Because this program has a core natural science foundation, it is also an appropriate concentration for students looking to pursue careers in medicine, dentistry, education, law, and law enforcement.

The exciting careers available in the Forensic Biology field are growing at an unprecedented rate and offer numerous opportunities for advancement.

  • Career opportunities and sample salaries an include:
  • Crime Lab Analyst: $38,000
  • Fingerprint Analyst: $45,000-$60,000
  • Crime-Scene Investigation Supervisor: $47,000-$65,000
  • Chief Toxicologist: $75,000-$100,000
  • Assistant Medical Examiner: $115,000-$170,000
  • Forensic Pathologist: $136,000-$173,000
  • Chief Medical Examiner: $200,000

Real World Experiences

Keystone College Forensic Biology students are often invited to attend professional conferences of the International Association for Identification and its regional divisions, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists, and other professional training and networking events. Several of our students in these programs have been awarded academic scholarships and won awards for presenting undergraduate research at the IAI.

Curriculum Guide

Curriculum Guide for the Forensic Biology B.S. Degree

Semester 1

  • Scientific Literacy: Gen Biology I
  • Gen Chemistry I
  • College Writing I
  • First Year Seminar
  • Intro to Forensic Science I
  • Critical Reading

Semester 2

  • Gen Biology II
  • Gen Chemistry II
  • Speech Communications
  • College Writing II
  • Intro to Forensic Science II

Semester 3

  • Comparative Anatomy
  • Genetics
  • Organic Chemistry I
  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Tech Elective

Semester 4

  • General Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Organic Chemistry II
  • Gen Ed Elective: Calculus I
  • Field Biology

Semester 5

  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry I
  • General Physics I
  • Social & Cultural Elective

Semester 6

  • Molecular Biology
  • Instrumental Analysis
  • General Physics II
  • Quantitative Elective
  • Arts & Humanities Elective
  • Field Biology

Semester 7

  • Criminal Evidence & Court Procedures
  • Forensic Biology
  • Forensic Chemistry
  • Biology Seminar & Research
  • Social & Cultural Elective
  • Experiential Learning

Semester 8

  • Arts & Humanities Elective
  • Moral Elective
  • Capstone Project
  • Forensic Microscopy and Trace

Update: 10/2017

Disclaimer: The courses listed above are a sampling for marketing purposes only. Students should consult the College catalog and their academic advisor for course selection and degree progress. Students will work closely with an academic advisor to select courses and/or academic minors that fit their interests, as well as with the Career Development Center for career goals. While the academic advisor assists the student in planning his/her curriculum, the student is ultimately responsible for meeting the requirements of the curriculum selected.

College Catalog

See the official college catalog for all course descriptions and degree requirements.

Hands on Experience

Study Abroad

You can explore your academic goals in an international setting and global environment. The experience of living in a new country will build your self-confidence, add valuable skills to your tool box, and will alter how you view yourself, the world, and your own country.

Internships and Field Experiences

Not all education happens in the classroom. Internships and other field experiences give students the opportunity to learn through direct hands-on experiences outside of the classroom with a real world experience in the field.

Undergraduate Research

The process of research and discovery while working with a faculty mentor enriches the learning process and creates positive attributes which will last a lifetime. Undergraduate research encompasses both traditional research and creative endeavors.

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