Forensic Science Course Descriptions

Core Curriculum

Forensic Science Seminar (FRSC 201)   1 credit hour
This course involves presentation and discussion of general and special issues in forensic science; extension and application of background knowledge to unusual topics and cases.

Introduction to Forensic Science (FRSC 210)  3 credit hours
This course is an introductory look at the various fields of study and how they are used in modern law enforcement; a brief history of forensic science in Europe and the United States; use of Geology, Anthropology, Dentistry, Pathology, and Psychiatry in Investigation.

Introduction to Law (FRSC 220)   3 credit hours
This course includes examination of criminal liability, crimes against person, property and society; the criminal process; constitutional and legal problems associated with criminal procedures; and the due process of law.

Forensic Biology (FRSC 230)   3 credit hours
This course provides a comprehensive study of the structure and function of the immune system, and in particular, antigen-antibody reactions with applications to forensic science. Presentation of the general principles and methodologies used in forensic biology and feasibility for DNA analysis are key aspects of this course. Identification, analysis and interpretation of biological evidence, including blood, semen, saliva, urine, and fecal material in forensic contexts. FRSC 210, BIOL 124/124L, and BIOL 125/125L

Forensic Biology Laboratory (FRSC 230L)   1 credit hour
This laboratory will provide hands-on experience performing forensic serological testing of all body fluids commonly encountered in crime scenes, including blood, semen, and saliva. Laboratory exercises enhance lecture component.

Forensic DNA Analysis (FRSC 240)   3 credit hours
This course provides a study of DNA analysis when applied to criminal forensics. The course will cover basics of DNA structure and function, development of DNA profiling methods, current DNA typing techniques, forensic DNA and paternity related issues. Interpretation of analytical data and limitations of DNA typing will be discussed. Statistical basis for matching and CODIS database will be explored. New developments in the field of forensic DNA analysis will also be examined. Prerequisites: FRSC 230, 230L

Forensic DNA Laboratory (FRSC 240L)   1 credit hour
This laboratory will expose students to the various components of forensic DNA analysis including methods for extraction, quantitation, amplification, and capillary electrophoresis. The course will also provide students with hands-on experience operating instrumentation commonly used in forensic DNA laboratories. Laboratory exercises enhance lecture component.

Evidence Collection and Processing (FRSC 301) 3 credit hours 
Theory and Practice in evidence protection and collection: biological and medical evidence and controls to be collected, injuries to be photographed, legal and scientific requirements of packaging and storage, writing medical report and assisting the coroner, rules of evidence and expert witness. Laboratory exercises and report enhance lecture. Prerequisites: FRSC 210, FRSC 220.

Forensic Evidence Collection and Processing Laboratory (FRSC 301L)   1 credit hour
This laboratory course is intended to introduce students to the methods and techniques used at crime scenes and in a criminalistics laboratory to document, collect, and analyze all types of physical evidence. Emphasis will be placed on the skills needed to recognize and characterize physical evidence, including trace evidence, firearms and toolmark evidence, controlled substances, fingerprints, fire debris, questioned documents, biological evidence, and physical pattern evidence. Laboratory exercises with mock evidence will allow hands on instruction.

Expert Witness Testimony (FRSC 305)  3 credit hours 
Consideration of place of experts in dispute resolution, cases that require expert testimony, pre-trial preparations, rules of evidence, admissibility issues, articles and exhibits, courtroom demeanor, participation at criminal mock trials and offer expert testimony.

Forensic Drugs and Toxicology (FRSC 410)   3 credit hours
This is a study of the chemistry, biochemical activity, isolation and identification of drugs of forensic interest in biological materials. Aspects of drug chemistry relevant to understanding of the properties, physiological effects, and techniques used for the separation, analysis, and identification of drugs will be discussed. Emphasis on controlled substances. The course also introduces techniques and instrumentation used for the chemical separation and analysis of drugs in both solid dosage and toxicological samples.

Forensic Drugs and Toxicology Laboratory (FRSC 410L) 1 credit hour
Laboratory study of the chemistry, biochemical activity, isolation and identification of drugs of forensic interest in biological materials with an emphasis on controlled substances. Laboratory exercises will introduce techniques and instrumentation used for the chemical separation and analysis of drugs in both solid dosage and toxicological samples. Relevant laboratory exercises enhance lecture component.

Forensic Science Internships (FRSC 420)  3 credit hours 
A 10-week internship at a local, state or federal crime laboratory is required for this degree. The internship provides the student with a real-life crime laboratory atmosphere and also provides the crime laboratory with the ability to recruit the student for future employment into the laboratory.

Forensic Microscopy (FRSC 430) 3 credit hours 
Light Microscopy of trace evidence including, contrast, resolving power and illumination; interference, phase and fluorescence microscopy; microscopy with polarized light, birefringence and crystal structure; dispersion staining; photomicrography; fibers, minerals and residues. Lecture with lab exercises. Prerequisite: FRSC 210

Forensic Microscopy Laboratory (FRSC 430L)   1 credit hour 
Light Microscopy of trace evidence including, contrast, resolving power and illumination; interference, phase and fluorescence microscopy; microscopy with polarized light, birefringence and crystal structure; dispersion staining; photomicrography; fibers, minerals and residues. Laboratory exercises will enhance lecture component.

Professional Practice in Forensic Science (FRSC 440)   3 credit hours 
This course emphasizes professional practices and expectations for the forensic scientist. Professional organizations, certification, ethics, QA/QC, accreditation, technical writing, data treatment and interpretation, and standards of ASCLD/LAB and FBI are discussed.

Senior Comprehensive (FRSC 460)  0 credit hours
All majors are required to pass a comprehensive examination. Students must register for the course IN THE SEMESTER PRIOR TO THE ONE IN WHICH THEY PLAN TO GRADUATE.

Students will also choose TWO of the following Electives:
• Biochemistry (BIOL 306/306L)
• Molecular biology (BIOL 325/325L)
• Genetics (BIOL 302/302L)
• Inorganic chemistry (CHEM 251)
• Analytical/quantitative chemistry (CHEM 351/351L)
• Instrumental analysis (CHEM 362/362L)
• Cell biology (BIOL 324/324L)
• Pharmacology (BIOL 304/304L)
• Microbiology (BIOL 217/217L)


DID YOU KNOW?

The late Dr. Louis Westerfield, J.D. ('71) was the first African-American dean of both the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and the University of Mississippi School of Law.