Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
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2018-2019

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 chemistry concentration requires an additional 30 credits in chemistry, calculus, forensic science and elective credits beyond the core requirements and is offered for those students who are interested in graduate study or careers in the chemical analysis of forensic evidence, including the areas of drug analysis, toxicology and trace evidence analysis. Students also will be prepared for work in private analytical laboratories. Students completing the forensic chemistry concentration will be eligible for a minor in chemistry.

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
  • Chemist
  • Fire Investigator
  • Food Science Technician
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Quality Control Systems Manager
  • Secondary School Teacher
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 each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Complete MATH 200, CHEM/Z 101, CHEM/Z 102, and BIOL/Z 151. Forensic Biology complete BIOL/Z 152.
  • Attend all supplemental instruction sessions.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience. 
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Register to vote in Virginia and explore Richmond, including its museums, parks, festivals, and cultural events!
  • Apply to live in the ASPiRE, Globe, INNOVATE, or LEAD Living & Learning Programs.
  • Get involved with VCU Student Government or one of over 450 clubs and organizations on campus.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Learn about your study abroad options by visiting a study abroad fair and attending a First Advising Session in the Global Education Office.
  • Review the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs(OMSA) website for programs, events, and resources.
  • Join a living-learning program such as VCU Globe.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” to learn about employers/ job titles in your field of study.
  • Complete your Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists to learn about opportunities.
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Attend a Pre-Professional Health Interest Workshop, if you are considering a professional health program (medicine, pharmacy, etc.). 
  • Practice independent living skills (such as money management, self-care, time management, and personal responsibility). 

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses and your plan to complete the Forensic core and collateral coursework.
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes in your major, and strategies for success in your degree program.
  • Complete CHEM/Z 301, CHEM/Z 302, FRSC 300.. Forensic Biology complete BIOL 310.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Take service-learning classes or volunteer to address a social issue (ConnectVA & HandsOnRVA).
  • Meet with your faculty mentor to discuss your interests and opportunities to align with those.
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities or apply for I-LEAD Connect, Alternative Spring Break.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Get to know other VCU students from all over the world at a monthly Global Café.
  • Join a cultural organization.
  • Consider short-term, semester and year long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Create a draft of your resume and go to drop-ins at VCU Career Services to have it reviewed.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and career events throughout the year.
  • Join groups on LinkedIn reflecting specific careers or topics of interest in Forensic Science.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Conduct numerous informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Using LinkedIn, connect to at least 10 people. Check out the VCU alumni page in My Network.
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your advisor each semester to discuss degree progression and plans for elective coursework.
  • 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.
  • Conduct independent undergraduate research. Consider attending a scientific meeting and presenting a poster with your research advisor.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Create and complete a science related community-engaged research project.
  • Attend civic meetings, such as school board, neighborhood associations, city council, or state legislative sessions.
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the department.
  • Attend a program through the Wellness Resource Center.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Develop exceptional communication and interpersonal skills for multidisciplinary teamwork.
  • Consider becoming a diversity ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
  • Apply for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship program through VCU’s National Scholarship Office.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete internships, shadowing experiences and informational interviews.
  • Apply for summer research funding: UROP.
  • Attend a Forensic Science Graduate Thesis Defense.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Talk to your advisers and faculty about whether graduate school or a job will be the best step for you after graduation.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least one year in advance of application deadlines. Complete admissions exams the summer before your senior year (GRE, MCAT, DAT, etc.).

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
  • Serve in a leadership role or as a board member of a local community organization.
  • Consider applying for a year-long service opportunity after graduation through programs like VCU AmeriCorps, Literacy Lab, Peace Corps, Fulbright Student Scholars, Teach for America and City Year.
  • Be familiar with licensure and proficiency examinations in your discipline area.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in STEM.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations. Schedule a mock interview with VCU Career Services.
  • Attend Office of Multicultural Student Affairs I Love Diversity Week.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other discipline- specific conference.
  • Gain practical experience related to your career goal through internships, externships and skill building.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete necessary exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for next steps beyond graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have your personal statement or cover letter reviewed, and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

Forensic Science

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
Forensic Biology | Physical evidence | Forensic Chemistry
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 each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Complete MATH 200, CHEM/Z 101, CHEM/Z 102, and BIOL/Z 151. Forensic Biology complete BIOL/Z 152.
  • Attend all supplemental instruction sessions.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience. 
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” to learn about employers/ job titles in your field of study.
  • Complete your Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists to learn about opportunities.
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Attend a Pre-Professional Health Interest Workshop, if you are considering a professional health program (medicine, pharmacy, etc.). 
  • Practice independent living skills (such as money management, self-care, time management, and personal responsibility). 
Experience Year 2
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses and your plan to complete the Forensic core and collateral coursework.
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes in your major, and strategies for success in your degree program.
  • Complete CHEM/Z 301, CHEM/Z 302, FRSC 300.. Forensic Biology complete BIOL 310.
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week
  • Get to know other VCU students from all over the world at a monthly Global Café
  • Join a cultural organization.
  • Consider short-term, semester and year long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference.
  • Conduct numerous informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Using LinkedIn, connect to at least 10 people. Check out the VCU alumni page in My Network.
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.
Year 3
  • See your advisor each semester to discuss degree progression and plans for elective coursework.
  • 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.
  • Conduct independent undergraduate research. Consider attending a scientific meeting and presenting a poster with your research advisor.
  • Complete internships, shadowing experiences and informational interviews.
  • Apply for summer research funding: UROP
  • Attend a Forensic Science Graduate Thesis Defense.
  • Talk to your advisers and faculty about whether graduate school or a job will be the best step for you after graduation.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least one year in advance of application deadlines. Complete admissions exams the summer before your senior year (GRE, MCAT, DAT, etc.).
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 STEM.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations. Schedule a mock interview with VCU Career Services
  • Attend Office of Multicultural Student Affairs I Love Diversity Week.
  • Complete necessary exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for next steps beyond graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have your personal statement or cover letter reviewed, and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services