2024-2025 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 24, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Course Catalog

Forensic Science, BA

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Arts and Sciences

Integrated Learning Major In Forensic Science


Deepika Das, ddas06@syr.edu, 315-443-1036
Assistant Teaching Professor
Director of Curricular Programs for the Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute at Syracuse University

Core Faculty

Kathleen Corrado, James Crill, Deepika Das, James Hewett, Michael Marciano, Natalie Novotna, Maria Pettolina, Robert Silver, James T. Spencer, Michael B. Sponsler


Professionals in technically demanding fields are commonly asked to apply their expertise to other seemingly unrelated disciplines. As a result, they must have a comprehensive understanding of not only their own field, but also secondary knowledge of another broadly based, often interdisciplinary, field of study. A chemist might lend his or her expertise to a matter of legal or ethical importance. A curator might evaluate scientific and historical evidence about a painting’s authenticity. A journalist might research a story involving science, medicine, and technology.

Forensic Science is a 25- to 26-credit Integrated Learning Major (ILM) that can complement a variety of other majors, including Anthropology, Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Linguistics, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, and Sociology. Other majors will be considered based on student proposals that include appropriate connection courses and with the approval of the director.

This ILM is designed to provide a broad exposure to the field, increasing employability in a variety of settings related to Forensic Science. Like all ILMs, Forensic Science includes a capstone project where students make contacts with practitioners in their field, complete a research project, and present their findings.

This Integrative Learning Major is intended to provide a broad exposure to the field of forensic science, increasing employability in a variety of careers that relate to forensic science. However, this major will not generally be sufficient to prepare students for forensic laboratory positions unless it is paired with a chemistry, biochemistry, or biology major.  Additionally, students interested in a job in the forensic DNA field should be aware that certain undergraduate coursework is required for laboratory positions in the US including courses that cover the subjects of molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, and statistics.

This ILM may be combined with any other undergraduate major with approval by the program director. While certain majors typically serve as the base major for this ILM, students are encouraged to meet with their forensic science advisor to determine their best choice of a base major. Dually enrolled students must have a base major within Arts and Sciences|Maxwell.

Dual Enrollments:

Students dually enrolled in Newhouse* and Arts and Sciences|Maxwell will complete a minimum of 122 credits, with at least 90 credits in Arts and Sciences|Maxwell coursework and an Arts and Sciences|Maxwell major.

*Students dually enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences|Maxwell as first year students must complete the Liberal Arts Core. Students who transfer to the dual program after their first year as singly enrolled students in the Newhouse School will satisfy general requirements for the dual degree program by completing the Newhouse Core Requirements.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE AND PRINCIPLES - (a) Explain the scientific foundational principles of forensic science and how they relate to area of major. (b) Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between forensic science and the legal system. 
  2. RESEARCH AND CRITICAL THINKING - Demonstrate the ability to use a rationale-based approach in problem solving and/or to evaluate and analyze forensic practices as related to the reliability, accuracy, and limitations of forensic science.
  3. ETHICS and QUALITY - Become oriented in the ethical standards, integrity, professionalism, and quality assurance protocols and standards in the field of forensic science.
  4. PRACTICAL IMPLEMENTATION - Contact an expert and use their feedback to design and conduct a research project.
  5. COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION - Effectively communicate scientific principles, research question and project investigation with objectivity and transparency to stakeholders including scientists and non-scientists.


GPA of at least 2.0; and complete all the requirements of one of the following majors: Anthropology, Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Linguistics, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, and Sociology. Other majors will be considered based on student proposals that include appropriate connection courses and with the approval of the program director.


Three courses; any FSC course may be used even if not listed; courses used for other requirements cannot be also counted as electives

Total Credits 25 or 26

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Arts and Sciences