BIO 548 Research Design and Statistics – 3 credits
This course deals with fundamental and advanced concepts in probability, statistical methods, and hypothesis testing. Topics include, but are not limited to, fundamentals of probability; summary statistics; basic hypothesis testing; analysis of frequency data; analysis of variance; regression and correlation; factor analysis and principal components analysis; discriminant analysis; and other multivariate methods. Nonparametric approaches will also be covered. Statistical power will be discussed in the context of research design.
FSC 500 Thesis Prospectus – 2 credits
An introduction to scholarly and research manuscript writing, forensic science literature, and documentation styles and techniques. Discussion will center on current research trends within the forensic science community. Each student will write a thesis proposal by the end of the semester and select a thesis committee.
FSC 501 Forensic Science Research I – 3 credits
First half of laboratory research in forensic science subject areas. Data generated from research will form the basis of a master’s thesis needed for degree completion.
Prerequisites: FSC 500
FSC 502 Forensic Science Research I – 3 credits
Second half of laboratory research in forensic science subject areas. Data generated from research will form the basis of a master’s thesis needed for degree completion.
Prerequisites: FSC 500 and FSC 501
FSC 503 Professional Communication – 2 credits
The course discusses all aspects of professional communication, oral and written, and evaluates a student’s ability to effectively communicate in the professional world. Students will participate in mock job interviews with professionals.
FSC 504 Graduate Seminar – 2 credits
A lecture series involving presentations from students on their master’s thesis research in a one-hour seminar format. Select presentations from invited speakers.
Prerequisites: FSC 503
FSC 505 Separations Chemistry – 2 credits
An advanced study of the various types of separation methods used in chemistry with attention to specific types of applications to forensic evidence and modern methods of forensic chemical analysis. This course will challenge and advance the student’s understanding of the analytical separation methods and analyses of forensic science from a fundamental, chemical perspective. Students will learn from a scientific analytical perspective the theoretical and practical aspects in the concepts of separating analytes in forensic evidence. Topics will be presented to include modern separation methods, concepts, and techniques such as sample preparation techniques, extraction methods such as liquid-liquid, solid-phase, and micro-extraction, precipitation separations, ion-exchange separations, electrochemical and gravimetric separation methods, and chromatographic separations such as gas chromatography, liquid chromatography, supercritical fluid and capillary electrophoresis.
FSC 506 Analytical Spectroscopy – 2 credits
In this course the student will study various types of modern chemical spectroscopic techniques. From a fundamental, chemical perspective the course will challenge and advance the student’s understanding of these analytical methods used in forensic science. The focus of study will be the theoretical and practical spectroscopic concepts of analyzing forensic evidence. Topics will include molecular spectroscopy, ultraviolet spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, mass spectrometry (MS), atomic X-Ray spectrometry, inductively coupled plasma (ICP), ICP/MS, Raman spectroscopy, and surface characterization by spectroscopy.
FSC 507 Forensic Chemistry – 3 credits
A study of the chemistry of certain types of forensic evidence and modern methods of forensic chemical analysis. This course will challenge and advance the student’s understanding of the analytical methods and analyses of forensic science from a fundamental, chemical perspective. Students will learn from a scientific analytical perspective the analysis of materials such as drugs, glass, paints and plastics, fire debris, explosives, fibers and other types of physical evidence. The student will learn the meaning and significance of analytical data from a fundamental approach. Topics will be presented to include modern reactions, concepts, techniques and instrumentation such as chromatography, infrared spectroscopy, and ultraviolet spectroscopy.
Prerequisites: FSC 505 and FSC 506
FSC 508 Forensic Pharmacology and Toxicology – 3 credits
The course will introduce students to principles and methods in the areas of forensic pharmacology and toxicology. The course will introduce pharmacological and toxicological principles as they pertain to commonly encountered abused and toxic substances. Discussions will focus on the drugs, their mechanism of action, post-mortem characteristics, methods of collection and methods of preservation and analysis. The course will review basic concepts of analytical chemistry as it applies to drug and body fluid analyses. Specific methods for the analysis of alcohol, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, opioids, cocaine, marijuana, amphetamines, and hallucinogens will be presented.
Prerequisites: Completion of a biochemistry course.
FSC 509 Advanced Crime Scene Reconstruction – 3 credits
There are various analyses that a forensic scientist might perform when reconstructing a crime scene. Each crime scene is different and the circumstances of a particular scene will suggest the type of analysis that will be needed in a particular case. It is incumbent upon the scene investigators, ideally forensic scientists, to make the decisions on how to address the physical evidence problems. Defining the scientific problem must be done at the scene because no amount of laboratory testing can overcome an ineffective scene examination. This course will begin with an introduction to basic crime scene investigation methods followed by an in-depth study of specialized techniques such as bloodstain pattern analysis, toolmark analysis and bullet path measurements. Students will then use this knowledge in hands-on exercises dealing with these topics including crime scene photography and sketching. Laboratory included.
FSC 510 Recent Advances in Forensic Biology – 4 credits
An advanced forensic biology course that will deal primarily with newer techniques used in body fluid stain identification, DNA extraction, DNA quantitation, PCR, and genotyping. Emphasis will be placed on state-of-the-art technologies and their application to common forensic biological issues such as degradation, sensitivity, specificity, and variation in sample type. Advanced DNA topics including SNPs, microbial DNA, Y-STRs, mitochondrial DNA, and plant DNA will also be discussed. The course will also focus on population statistics used in forensic DNA analysis with an emphasis on statistical interpretation of mixtures and also sequence interpretation for mitochondrial DNA analysis. Laboratory included.
Prerequisites: Concurrent with FSC 511 and either completion or concurrent with a genetics course.
FSC 511 Molecular Biology – 3 credits
The course begins with an examination of basic molecular biology including the structure of DNA, methodology of DNA replication, regulation of gene expression, and consequences of DNA mutations. The use of recombinant DNA and its applications in the study of human genetics will be explored as well as the impact of biotechnology on society.
Prerequisites: Concurrent with or completion of a genetics course.
FSC 512 Forensic Science Administration – 2 credits
This course will focus on the practical application of forensic science laboratory management. Scenarios of actual issues confronted by forensic science laboratory managers will be discussed as well as economic and business considerations in the administration of a forensic science laboratory. Discussion will also include current issues, prioritizing resource allocation, management of personnel, ethics, forensic science laboratory facilities, building relationships with outside agencies, leadership in a crime laboratory, and crisis response.
FSC 513 Advanced Microscopy - 3 credits
Lecture and practical instruction in the theory and forensic application of microscopy methods. This course will focus on light microscopy, polarized light microscopy, fluorescent microscopy, phase contrast microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and spectroscopic methods that can be interfaced with the microscope (such as micro-FTIR, microspectrophotometry and x-ray microanalysis). Additional emphasis will be placed on sample preparation, chemical microscopy, and photomicrography. Laboratory included.
FSC 514 Legal and Ethical Issues in the Forensic Sciences – 2 credits
The role that a forensic scientist plays in the litigation process will be discussed. Students will learn the appropriate guidelines for professionalism and conduct in expert witnessing. All students will participate in a moot court exercise. The course will also address standards of reliability and relevance of scientific evidence in court and the distinction between good science, bad science and junk science. Legal rules such as discovery, quality assurance in forensic science laboratories, and the development and application of professional codes of ethics will also be discussed.
FSC 515 Advanced Forensic Pattern Analysis – 3 credits
Study in the comparative analysis of pattern evidence typically encountered as forensic evidence. The course will focus on the analysis and interpretation of common forms of pattern evidence such as fingerprints, footwear impressions, and projectiles and casings from firearms. Laboratory included.
FSC 516 Forensic Chemistry and Toxicology Laboratory – 2 credits
Laboratory course designed for students to gain experience in some of the common analytical techniques utilized in forensic chemistry and toxicology.
Prerequisites: FSC 505 and 506
FSC 548 Research Design and Statistics- 3 credits
This course deals with fundamental and advanced concepts in probability, statistical methods, and hypothesis testing. Topics include, but are not limited to, fundamentals of probability; summary statistics; basic hypothesis testing; analysis of frequency data; analysis of variance; regression and correlation; factor analysis and principal components analysis of variance; regression and correlation; factor analysis and principal components analysis; discriminant analysis; and other multivariate methods. Nonparametric approaches will also be covered. Statistical power will be discussed in the context of research design.
FSC 599 Continuing Research – 1 credit each semester until completion of thesis
Continuation of summer thesis research into the academic year.
Prerequisites: FSC 500, 501 and 502