Forensic Biology

The Forensic Biology 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.


The Forensic Biology degree offers coursework including

  • a survey of forensic science
  • introduction to law and criminal justice
  • courtroom procedure and expert testimony
  • quality assurance
  • ethics and professional practice

Additionally, this program offers advanced coursework

  • forensic biology
  • forensic chemistry
  • forensic microscopy and trace evidence
  • forensics methods validation

Forensic Biology Internships and Real-world 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 significant research projects.

Our forensic biology students are often invited to attend professional conferences of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists, and other professional training and networking events.


Jilian Conte,
Assistant Professor Forensic Biology

  • 570-945-8408
  • Email
  • Location: Capwell Science Hall


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

“Keystone is big enough to meet new people but small enough to be personal.”

“Everyone treats me like I belong here. Even though I transferred from another college I feel like started here from the beginning”.

Natalie Daley

Class of 2019

Major: Forensic Biology

forensic biology degree Faculty are experts in the field

Forensics expert in the field for National Geographic.

Jillian Conte, 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 forensic scientists in private, state and federal crime laboratories. Because this program has a core natural science foundation, it is also an appropriate major 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

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 Career Services 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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