MSFS Course Description List

Master of Science, Forensic Science, Elective Course List

Justice Science Electives

Additional Electives

Unless otherwise noted, all courses are for 3 semester hours of credit. Course numbers preceded with an asterisk indicate courses that can be repeated for credit, with stated stipulations.

JS 567. Forensic Toxicology. 3 Hours.

Discussion of drugs and poisons occurring in biological evidence, including the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of drugs and poisons, evidence collection and handling, selection of the most appropriate evidence, and analytical methods of detection.

JS 670. Elements of Forensic Science. 3 Hours.
Introduction to philosophical considerations and historic landmarks in the discipline; overview of major sub-disciplines in forensic science; examination of the role of expert witnesses and their importance.

JS 671. Conventional Criminalistics. 3 Hours.
Exploration of basic methodologies and approaches for identifying, collecting, and analyzing trace and pattern evidence, including an overview of microscopy.

JS 673. Forensic Drug Analysis. 3 Hours.
Discussion of the isolation, identification, and quantification of commonly abused drugs and common poisons; interpretation of findings and correlation with legal applications.

JS 674. Biological Methods in Forensic Science. 3 Hours.
Examination of biological evidence in crime laboratory, including identification of bloodstains and semen stains, and DNA typing of blood, bloodstains, and other body fluids.

JS 675. Law, Evidence, and Procedure. 3 Hours.
Overview and examination of the legal aspects of physical evidence, including rules of evidence, procedural rules, and the role of expert witnesses.

JS 679. Seminar in Forensic Science. 6 Hours.
Review, discussion, and presentation of forensic science research and literature; forensic science in the media and public opinion.


JS 502. Introduction to Computer Forensics. 3 Hours.
Introduction to the use of analytical and investigative techniques in criminal or civil litigation to identify, collect, examine and preserve evidence/information magnetically stored or encoded.

JS 565. Cold Case Analysis. 3 Hours.
Introduction to the methods used in analyzing unsolved cases, including innovative uses of technology, 3rd party investigators, and "teams."

JS572. Molecular Genetics for Forensic Scientists. 3 Hours.
Prokaryotic and eukaryotic gene structure and function. Independent project required.

JS 650. Advanced Questioned-Death Investigation. 3 Hours.
Examination of forensic pathology as used in local medical examiners’ offices.

JS 653. Advanced Investigation of Fires and Explosions. 3 Hours.
Introduction to arson investigation including overview of specific techniques used in case investigation.

JS 672. Advanced Conventional Criminalistics. 3 Hours.
Examination of advanced methods for the analysis of trace and pattern evidence.

JS 676. Advanced Biological Methods in Forensic Science. 3 Hours.
Discussion of current issues and trends in forensic DNA analysis, including advanced analysis of biological evidence samples.

JS 677. Advanced Forensic Toxicology. 3 Hours.
Discussion of relevant analyses conducted for drugs and poisons occurring in biological evidence; examination of the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of detected substances.

JS 680. Graduate Internship in Forensic Science. 3-6 Hours. 
Field experience in a forensic science laboratory.

JS 698. Directed Research (Non-Thesis). 1-6 Hour.
Independent study in a student's substantive area of interest under the direction of a faculty member.

JS 699. Thesis Research. 1-6 Hour.
Admission to candidacy and successful defense of thesis proposal.

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Additional Elective Courses

ANTH 601. Forensic Anthropology. 4 Hours.
Forensic Approaches to Osteology. Applied human osteology, emphasizing ability to identify age, sex, and population type of skeletal material. Effects of disease and behavior on bones.

BY 531.Principles of DNA Technology. 3 Hours.
Manipulation of genes and their regulations, and techniques used in recombinant DNA technology.

BY 629 Evolution and Population Biology. 3 Hours.

CH 550/550L. Instrumental Analysis for Graduate Study. 4 Hours.
Focus on modern analytical chemistry instrumentation including chemical separations, spectroscopies (atomic absorption, infrared, UV-visible, fluorescence), nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, mass spectroscopy, and thermal analysis. Concurrent enrollment in CH 550L Instumental Analysis Laboratory is required and correlated with lecture material. Prerequisites: Quantitative Analysis Techniques.

CH 555/555L. Quantitative Analysis for Graduate Study. 4 Hours.
Principles of analytical measurements, gravimetric analysis, spectrophotometric analysis, and chromatography, with emphasis on equilibrium and applications. Lecture and laboratory. Concurrent enrollment in CH 555L Quantitative Quantitative Analysis Lab required.

CH 560. Fundamentals of Biochemistry. 3 Hours.
Overview of biochemical principles; chemistry of aqueous solutions, biochemical building blocks including amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleotides; structure and function of proteins, membranes and nucleic acids; enzyme kinetics. Catabolic and anabolic metabolism in biomolecules, regulation of metabolic processes.

CH 580. Polymer Chemistry I. 3 Hours.
Basic chemical principles of polymers with the focus on synthesis, characterization, and applications of synthetic and biological macromolecules. Includes laboratory. Prerequisites: undergraduate organic chemistry and permission of instructor and concurrent enrollment in CH 580L.

CH 600 Foundations of Physical and Analytical Chemistry. 3 Hours.
Molecular thermodynamics and molecular reaction dynamics, chemical equilibrium and solubility in aqueous/organic solutions, and ligand binding to macromolecules in aqueous solution.

CH 650. Chemometrics. 3 Hours.
Introduction to basic data analysis techniques that include testing hypotheses, establishing tendencies and correlations, experimental design, etc. The course is designed to provide a support to a research chemist in effectively solving everyday problems associated with production and interpretation of experimental data.

CH 656. Analytical Separations. 3 Hours.
Advanced treatment of distillation, extraction, gas chromatography, HPLC, TLC, and GC-MS.

MSE 565/565L. Characterization of Materials. 4 Hours.
Theory and practice of materials characterization, with emphasis on optical metallography, quantitative metallography, scanning electron microscopy, crystallography, and x-ray diffraction. Specific application in metals and ceramics considered.

CLS 690 Biological & Chemical Weapons
Awareness of biological, chemical and social sciences concepts related to biological and chemical weapons. Identification of health care practitioners and researchers competencies required to detect and minimize harm to the public's health caused by biological and chemical weapons.

BST 611 Intermediate Statistical Analysis I
Students will gain a thorough understanding of basic analysis methods, elementary concepts, statistical models and applications of probability, commonly used sampling distributions, parametric and non-parametric one and two sample tests, confidence intervals, applications of analysis of two-way contingency table data, simple linear regression, and simple analysis of variance. Students are taught to conduct the relevant analysis using current software such as the Statistical Analysis System (SAS).

BST 675 Introduction to Statistical Genetics
This class will introduce students to population genetics, genetic epidemiology, microarray and proteomics analysis, Mendelian laws, inheritance, heritability, test cross linkage analysis, QTL analysis, human linkage and human association methods for discrete and quantitative traits. Prereq: BST 611

EPI 730. Introduction to Human Population Genetics Theory. 3 Hours.
Basic concepts, theory and mathematical principles underlying population genetics, i.e., mechanisms affecting distribution of genes in populations. Note: Requires permission of instructor.

PHR 701 Graduate Pharmacology I: Introduction to Graduate Pharmacology
Introduction to graduate pharmacology. Dose-response relationships, drug absorption, disposition and metabolism, drug receptors, agonists and antagonists, enzyme receptor binding kinetics, pharmacokinetics, biostatistics.

PHR 702 Graduate Pharmacology II: Neuropharmacology
Drug modulation of neurotransmission; drugs used in diseases of the nervous system; sympathetic agonists and antagonists; cholinergic agents; CNS pharmacology.

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