Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
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2019-2020

Forensic Science

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
Forensic Chemistry
Program description

The Department of Forensic Science offers programs leading to bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The Bachelor of Science is for students who plan a career or graduate study in the forensic sciences. The forensic science program provides students with fundamental learning in forensic laboratory analyses and crime scene investigation, with academic emphasis in biology, chemistry and criminal justice. The program offers three concentrations: forensic biology, forensic chemistry and physical evidence. Students will select one of the three concentrations prior to the second semester of their sophomore year. The B.S. in Forensic Science supplies students with the necessary skills for professional careers in forensic laboratories, public and private, basic research laboratories, clinical laboratories, and/or to pursue graduate studies. Students also will be prepared to pursue advanced degrees in the physical sciences, biological sciences, forensic science, law, allied health and medicine, to name a few. The forensic biology concentration requires an additional 33 credits in biology, forensic science and elective credits beyond the core requirements and is well-suited for students interested in graduate study or careers in the forensic biology section of forensic laboratories. Students also will be prepared for work in molecular biology laboratories in both the public and private sectors. Students completing the forensic biology concentration will be eligible for a minor in chemistry. Additionally, students who complete BIOL 317 or BIOL 318 will be eligible for a minor in biology.

Career opportunities
Students will be prepared for graduate study or careers in the chemical analysis of forensic evidence, including areas of drug analysis, toxicology, and trace evidence analysis. Students will also be prepared for work in private analytical laboratories.

Bachelor-level job titles
  • Chemical Equipment Operator and Technician
  • Chemical Technician
  • Fire Investigator
  • Food Science Technician
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Quality Control Systems Manager
  • Secondary School Teacher
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Chemist
  • Forensic Toxicologist
  • Medical Examiner
  • Psychiatrist
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 201 or higher
  • STAT 314
Science required
  • 5+ additional science courses
Foreign language requirements
  • Yes
Additional tuition/fees
  • Yes
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.0
Department name:
Department of Forensic Science
Building/room location:
Grace E. Harris Hall - South 1015 Floyd Avenue, Room 2015
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 828-8420
Email:
fos@vcu.edu

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Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to review your CSI self-report, start goal planning, and to discuss tutoring, electives, & degree progression.
  • Take a tour to learn about library spaces, services, & how to get research help.
  • Map out a 4-year course plan in Degree Works' Student Educational Planner.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.  
  • Complete MATH 200, CHEM/Z 101, CHEM/Z 102, and BIOL/Z 151. Forensic Biology complete BIOL/Z 152.
  • Attend all supplemental instruction sessions.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
  • Complete CHEM/Z 301, CHEM/Z 302, FRSC 300.. Forensic Biology complete BIOL 310.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Consider short-term, semester and year-long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Get to know other VCU students and meet new friends from all over the world at a monthly Global Café.
  • Join a cultural or identity-related organization.
  • Get to know other VCU students from all over the world at a monthly Global Café.
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Join LinkedIn groups about specific careers or topics of interest in Forensic Science.
  • Gain practical experience related to career goals through internships, shadowing, part-time work, or independent skill building.
  • Create an ePortfolio to document academic/professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and other professional development events. 
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides.
  • Forensic Biology complete FRSC 385, BIOZ 476 and CHEM 403. Physical Evidence complete CHEM/Z 309, FRSC 309 and 365. Forensic Chemistry complete CHEM/Z 309 and CHEM/Z 303.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Actively develop your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Apply to be a Diversity Ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
  • Richmond is known for hosting a wide array of festivals! Learn about new cultures, food, and music by attending one of these events.
  • Develop exceptional communication and interpersonal skills for multidisciplinary teamwork.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and career services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least 1 year in advance of deadlines. Study for and complete any exams the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met. 
  • Physical Evidence complete FRSC 410, FRSC 412. Forensic Chemistry complete CHEM/Z 409 and FRSC/Z 400.
  • All FRSC concentrations complete FRSC 490.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
  • Attend Office of Multicultural Student Affairs I Love Diversity Week.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for after graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services. 
  • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2019-2020

Forensic Science

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
Forensic Biology | Forensic Chemistry | Physical evidence
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE GET REAL EXPERIENCE PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
Explore Year 1
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to review your CSI self-report, start goal planning, and to discuss tutoring, electives, & degree progression.
  • Take a tour to learn about library spaces, services, & how to get research help.
  • Map out a 4-year course plan in Degree Works' Student Educational Planner.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.  
  • Complete MATH 200, CHEM/Z 101, CHEM/Z 102, and BIOL/Z 151. Forensic Biology complete BIOL/Z 152.
  • Attend all supplemental instruction sessions.
Experience Year 2
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
  • Complete CHEM/Z 301, CHEM/Z 302, FRSC 300.. Forensic Biology complete BIOL 310.
  • Consider short-term, semester and year-long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Get to know other VCU students and meet new friends from all over the world at a monthly Global Café.
  • Join a cultural or identity-related organization.
  • Get to know other VCU students from all over the world at a monthly Global Café.
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference.
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Join LinkedIn groups about specific careers or topics of interest in Forensic Science.
  • Gain practical experience related to career goals through internships, shadowing, part-time work, or independent skill building.
  • Create an ePortfolio to document academic/professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and other professional development events. 
  • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
Year 3
  • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides.
  • Forensic Biology complete FRSC 385, BIOZ 476 and CHEM 403. Physical Evidence complete CHEM/Z 309, FRSC 309 and 365. Forensic Chemistry complete CHEM/Z 309 and CHEM/Z 303.
  • Actively develop your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Apply to be a Diversity Ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
  • Richmond is known for hosting a wide array of festivals! Learn about new cultures, food, and music by attending one of these events.
  • Develop exceptional communication and interpersonal skills for multidisciplinary teamwork.
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and career services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least 1 year in advance of deadlines. Study for and complete any exams the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
Excel Year 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met. 
  • Physical Evidence complete FRSC 410, FRSC 412. Forensic Chemistry complete CHEM/Z 409 and FRSC/Z 400.
  • All FRSC concentrations complete FRSC 490.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
  • Attend Office of Multicultural Student Affairs I Love Diversity Week.
  • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
  • Complete exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for after graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services. 
  • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.