Forensic Studies Minor


The Forensic Studies Minor is a non-science minor offered by the Justice Studies Department and the Forensic Science Program. The Minor is primarily designed for students interested in crime scene investigation, and its purpose is to provide formal academic training in this area.

Topics include:

  • evaluation, documentation, and preservation of physical evidence
  • the requirements of the forensic laboratory
  • forensic analytical processes and methods
  • limitations of physical evidence
  • scientific thinking
  • probative value of evidence in court

The Forensic Studies Minor allows students to take Forensic Science courses without the heavy chemistry and biology course load of the major.

Students are responsible for meeting (or getting waived by instructor) any prerequisite courses. Proper planning and advising will ensure that students graduate when intended. Students are highly encouraged to meet with a department advisor during posted office hours.

Curriculum and Requirements

Required Lower Division Coursework

Students must have completed their lower division coursework to enroll in many of the courses in the Forensic Studies Minor. There may also be prerequisites that must be taken before students will be able to enroll in substantive elective courses.

Students interested in the minor should register for FS 11, complete their lower division coursework, and complete their major's 100W requirement. 

Advantages to the Minor

The Forensic Studies Minor has practical applications in areas such as:

  • accounting
  • anthropology
  • biology
  • chemistry
  • computer science
  • engineering
  • law (enforcement)
  • medicine
  • nursing
  • photography
  • psychology

Providing a potentially useful credential for students pursuing careers or scholarship in these fields. For example, anthropology majors could use their forensic studies training when excavating clandestine gravesites and documenting human remains; Justice Studies majors could apply their Forensic Studies training when evaluating physical evidence in police work or court rooms; Nursing majors could use the credential in the fairly modern field of forensic nursing, in which nurses in hospitals play a major role documenting injuries and collecting forensic evidence.

Careers Related to the Minor

  • Biotechnology, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries
  • Crime scene investigation
  • Forensic science/Criminalistics
  • Law and related fields
  • Teaching/Research

Steps to Complete the Minor

  1. Declare the Forensic Studies Minor
    • Submit the appropriate Request for Addition/Change of Major or Minor petition form (less than 90 units or more than 90 units) to a Forensic Science advisor, along with other required documentation listed on the form. Visit the Office of Registrar website to download the petition form.
  2. Take the Classes
    • Enroll in courses as specified by the Forensic Studies Minor Form [pdf] and log course completions on form. 
    • When selecting substantive elective courses in the minor, we encourage students to choose courses that also fulfill other university requirements.
  3. Apply for Graduation

Meet with an Advisor

The Forensic Studies Minor Coordinator, Professor Mary Juno, is the Department of Justice Studies' designee to lead advising for the minor. She helps students find opportunities that suit the students' interests in Forensic Studies.

Contact Professor Mary Juno if you are interested in declaring the Forensic Studies Minor or if you have additional questions.