The Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science degree is designed for students who are interested in analyzing, collecting and processing biological evidence related to various types of legal and other investigations. Individuals who earn this degree may be interested in pursuing a career in crime scene investigation, DNA analysis, forensics, criminal investigation or as a lab technician.
With the rapid advances in biology, and because of the precision of the science, courts are allocating greater weight to forensic evidence. Employment growth in state and local government should be driven by the increasing application of forensic science techniques—such as DNA analysis—to examine, help solve and prevent crime. This has created a critical need for personnel with specialized training in the field.
Individuals who earn a forensic science bachelor‛s degree may seek employment in various private or public forensic science and conventional analytical laboratories. Students with sufficient work experience could eventually qualify for positions as laboratory supervisors, managers or directors. Graduates will also find the program very useful in pursuing a future forensic science degree at the master‛s or Ph.D. level.
The forensic science degree builds on a solid foundation of biology and chemistry, and provides additional training in criminal investigation, forensic biology, forensic human pathology, serology and forensic DNA analysis. The program provides excellent preparation for graduate work in specialized areas of forensic science.
Forensic science students receive extensive training in the collection and analysis of biological evidence in both lab and field settings. In addition, students learn how to evaluate mock crime scenes and how to document, collect and analyze the biological evidence to establish the time and cause of death.
General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University‛s General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.
|Competency||Requirements||GCU Course Options||Total Credits|
|University Foundations||Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community. Students with fewer than 24 credits will fulfill the University Foundations requirement with a specified lower-division course. An upper-division selection will be made available to students that enter the university with more than 24 credits.||UNV-103/303, University Success: 4 credits
UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4 credits
|Effective Communication||Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.||UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4 credits
ENG-105, English Composition I: 4 credits
ENG-106, English Composition II: 4 credits
|Christian Worldview||Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV 101.||CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4 credits||4 credits|
|Critical Thinking||Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.||PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4 credits
MAT-134, Applications of Algebra: 4 credits
BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4 credits
|Global Awareness, Perspective and Ethics||Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, crosscultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.).||HIS-221, Themes in U. S. History: 4 credits
PSY-100, Psychology in Everyday Life: 4 credits
SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4 credits
If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.
|Course #||Course Title||Course Description||Credits|
|ENG-105||English Composition I||This is a course in writing academic prose, including various types of essays, arguments, and constructions. A writing-intensive course.||4|
|COM-210||Public Speaking||This basic course in oral communication uses focused content to practice the principles of effective oral presentation. The lectures, speaking assignments, and all written work will acquaint the student with the theory, practice, and necessary technological literacy required for effective message building and presentation.||4|
|MAT-274||Probability and Statistics||This course provides an introduction to the study of basic probability, descriptive and inferential statistics, and decision making. Emphasis is placed on measures of central tendency and dispersion, correlation, regression, discrete and continuous probability distributions, quality control, population parameter estimation, and hypothesis testing. Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in MAT 134 or 1 year of high school algebra with a grade of C or better.||4|
|MAT-351||Calculus for Biomedical Sciences||This course is intended for health science majors and develops the concepts of calculus through a wide variety of biological and medical applications. Topics include an in-depth study of limits, continuity, the derivative and its applications, integrals, techniques of integration and applications of integration. These concepts are examined through algebraic and transcendental functions of a single variable. An introduction to algebraic functions of several variables and a qualitative analysis of solutions of first-order differential equations is also provided. Application areas include mathematical physiology, pharmacology, cell biology, and population biology. Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in MAT 250 or college algebra.||4|
|BIO-181||General Biology I - Lecture||This course is a study of biological concepts emphasizing the interplay of structure and function, particularly at the molecular and cellular levels of organization. Cell components and their duties are investigated, as well as the locations of cellular functions within the cell. The importance of the membrane is studied, particularly its roles in controlling movement of ions and molecules and in energy production. The effect of genetic information on the cell is followed through the pathway from DNA to RNA to protein. Co-requisite: BIO 181L.||3|
|BIO-181L||General Biology I - Lab||This lab course is designed to reinforce principles learned in BIO 181 through experiments and activities which complement and enhance understanding of macromolecules, cell membrane properties, cellular components, and their contribution to cell structure and function. Assignments are designed to relate cellular processes such as metabolism, cell division, and the flow of genetic information to cell structure. Co-requisite: BIO 181.||1|
|JUS-230||Fundamentals of Criminal Law||This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of criminal liability with an emphasis on the elements of a crime and governmental sanctions of individual conduct as formulated by the legislature and the court system.||4|
|BIO-201||Human Anatomy and Physiology I - Lecture||This course is the first of a two-course sequence examining the structure and function of the human body and mechanisms for maintaining homeostasis within it. This portion includes the study of cells; tissues; genetics; and the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. Prerequisites: One of the following: 1) BIO 181 or satisfactory placement exam results. Does not substitute for BIO 360 or BIO 474; or 2) BIO 181. Co requisite: BIO 201L.||3|
|BIO-201L||Human Anatomy and Physiology I - Lab||This course involves a study of the gross anatomy and functions of the skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. This experiential lab involves gaining basic knowledge of the use of human cadavers, and computer-assisted instruction. Prerequisite: One of the following: 1) None. Does not substitute for BIO 474; or 2) BIO 181L. Co requisite: BIO 201.||1|
|BIO-202||Human Anatomy and Physiology II - Lecture||This course is the second of a two-course sequence examining the structure and function of the human body and mechanisms for maintaining homeostasis within it. This portion includes the study of immunity; metabolism; energetics; fluid, electrolyte and acid-base balance; and the endocrine, hematologic, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems. Prerequisite: BIO 201. Co-requisite: BIO 202L.||3|
|BIO-202L||Human Anatomy and Physiology II - Lab||This course is a study of the gross anatomy and functions of the endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, renal, and reproductive systems. The experiential lab involves an advanced exploration of concepts using human cadavers, animal demonstrations, and computer-assisted instruction. Prerequisite: One of the following: 1) none; or 2) BIO 201L. Co-requisite: BIO 202.||1|
|BIO-457||Genetics||This course provides a comprehensive examination of the principles of heredity and variation, including Mendelian, molecular, and population genetics. Students explore topics such as gene mapping, DNA structure and replication, population genetics, and molecular change. Prerequisite: BIO 181.||4|
|BIO-440||Body Fluid and DNA Analysis||The content of this course is designed to equip learners with a strong background in molecular biology as it applies to serology and forensic DNA analysis. Theories, methods, and techniques used in the analysis and study of gene function, structure, and organization are addressed. The identification of body fluids pertinent to forensics, including saliva, blood, and semen, is introduced. DNA profiling of these fluids and other tissues of forensic interest is included. Key components of QC/QA are featured with reference to FBI, ASCLD, and ISO guidelines. Prerequisites: BIO-457 and completion of concurrent enrollment of the following combinations: 1) CHM-365 and CHM-365L or 2) CHM-465 and CHM-465L.||4|
|BIO-460||Toxicology||The content of this course is designed to equip learners with general principles of toxicology, forensic toxicology, and drug metabolism. Topics include chemistry and biological activities, as well as types and effects of drugs of forensic interest in biological material. Key components of QC/QA are featured with reference to FBI, ASCLD, and ISO guidelines. Prerequisites: CHM 465 and CHM 465L.||4|
|BIO-483||Pathophysiology||This course is designed to bridge the gap between basic preclinical science courses and the clinical requirements of health care/life science professionals. Systematic studies focus on the etiology, pathogenesis, morphology, and clinical manifestations associated with various altered health states and diseases. Material is presented using clinically relevant terminology that increases accurate and effective communication through extensive vocabulary expansion. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to correctly discuss a variety of disease states with health care professionals and patients while addressing the following questions: What is actually happening at the physiological level that causes the signs and symptoms of a given condition or disease? How does a change in normal physiology cause the signs and symptoms of a given condition or disease? How do these physiological effects correlate to mechanisms of accurate diagnoses? Why is one treatment method chosen over another? How do different systems intricately interrelate to cause a clinical picture and complications? Prerequisites: BIO 201 and BIO 202 or BIO 360.||4|
|CHM-113||General Chemistry I - Lecture||This is the first course of a two-semester introduction to chemistry intended for undergraduates pursuing careers in the health professions and others desiring a firm foundation in chemistry. The course assumes no prior knowledge of chemistry and begins with basic concepts. Topics include an introduction to the scientific method, dimensional analysis, atomic structure, nomenclature, stoichiometry and chemical reactions, the gas laws, thermodynamics, chemical bonding, and properties of solutions. Prerequisites: MAT 250 or college algebra. Co-requisite: CHM 113L.||3|
|CHM-113L||General Chemistry I - Lab||The laboratory section of CHM 113 reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture course. Experiments include determination of density, classification of chemical reactions, the gas laws, determination of enthalpy change using calorimetry, and determination of empirical formula. Prerequisite: MAT 250 or college algebra. Co-requisite: CHM 113.||1|
|CHM-115||General Chemistry II - Lecture||This is the second course of a two-semester introduction to chemistry intended for undergraduates pursuing careers in the health professions and others desiring a firm foundation in chemistry. Upon successful completion of this course, students demonstrate knowledge and/or skill in solving problems involving the principles of chemical kinetics, chemical equilibrium, and thermodynamics; understanding chemical reactions using kinetics, equilibrium, and thermodynamics; comparing and contrasting the principal theories of acids and bases; solving equilibrium involving acids, bases, and buffers; describing solubility equilibrium; describing terms associated with electrochemistry and solving problems associated with electrochemistry; and describing fundamentals and applications of nuclear chemistry and organic chemistry. Prerequisite: CHM 113. Co-requisite: CHM 115L.||3|
|CHM-115L||General Chemistry II - Lab||The laboratory section of CHM 115 reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture course. Experiments include determination of rate law, examples of Le Chatelier‛s principle, the use of pH indicators, buffer preparation, experimental determination of thermodynamic quantities, the use of electrochemical cells, and qualitative and quantitative analysis. Prerequisite: 1) CHM 113L; or 2) none. Co-requisites: CHM 115.||1|
|CHM-231||Organic Chemistry I||This course is the first of two organic chemistry courses. The first half of this course develops the vocabulary and concepts of chemical bonding, chemical structure, acid-base principles, and nomenclature needed to understand properties and reactions of organic compounds. The second half of this course discusses chemical reactions, including radical reactions, substitution and elimination reactions, and synthesis and reactions of alkenes. Students learn how to predict reaction products and draw reaction mechanisms. Organic synthesis and structural determination are also covered. Instruction includes lecture and in-class problem solving. Prerequisites: CHM 115 and CHM 115L. Co-requisite: CHM 231L.||3|
|CHM-231L||Organic Chemistry I Lab||The laboratory section of CHM 231 reinforces principles learned in the lecture course through various techniques that organic chemists use to synthesize compounds. Students use these techniques throughout the semester. These techniques include determination of melting point, determination of solubility, thin layer chromatography, recrystallization, and distillation. Structural determination using theories discussed in CHM 231 is applied to unknown compounds. Prerequisites: CHM 115 and CHM 115L. Co-requisite: CHM 231.||1|
|CHM-232||Organic Chemistry II||This course is the first of two organic chemistry courses. The first half of this course develops the vocabulary and concepts of chemical bonding, chemical structure, acid-base principles, and nomenclature needed to understand properties and reactions of organic compounds. The second half of this course discusses chemical reactions, including radical reactions, substitution and elimination reactions, and synthesis and reactions of alkenes. Students learn how to predict reaction products and draw reaction mechanisms. Organic synthesis and structural determination are also covered. Instruction includes lecture and in-class problem solving. Prerequisites: CHM 115 and CHM 115L. Co-requisite: CHM 231L.||3|
|CHM-232L||Organic Chemistry II Lab||The laboratory section of CHM-232 supports and extends principles learned in the lecture course. Students carry out various organic syntheses using techniques taught in CHM-231. The experiments include preparation of an alkene from an alcohol, a Grignard reaction, preparation of cinnamaldehyde, nitration of methyl benzoate, synthesis of N-Methyl Prozac, an Aldol reaction, Benzimidizole synthesis, and a Diazonium coupling reaction. Prerequisites: CHM-231 and CHM-231L. Co-requisite: CHM-232.||1|
|CHM-360||Principles of Biochemistry - Lecture||The course objective is to survey basic biochemical principles, including the composition, structure, and function of proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, and carbohydrates. Important biochemical principles include structure-function correlation, chemical reactivity, kinetics and equilibrium, thermodynamics, membrane structure and function, and metabolic energy pathways. The application of biochemical concepts in the medical field is emphasized. Prerequisites: CHM-115, CHM-115L, BIO-181, and BIO-181L. Co-requisite: CHM-360L.||3|
|CHM-360L||Principles of Biochemistry - Lab||This laboratory course covers modern biochemical laboratory techniques and their theoretical foundations. Topics include methods for protein, nucleic acid, and lipid isolation and characterization; enzyme assays; chromatography; electrophoresis; and representing and manipulating proteins and nucleic acids. Experiments are designed for hands-on experimentation and students acquire practical techniques currently used in biochemistry laboratories. Prerequisites: CHM-115, CHM-115L, BIO-181, and BIO-181L. Co-requisite: CHM-360.||1|
|CHM-365||Instrumental Analysis||This course introduces students to the quantitative, qualitative, and instrumental analysis of various sample types. Methods for selecting proper techniques to answer various questions are discussed. Analytical methods for the qualitative and quantitative analyses of sample by gas chromatography, mass spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, capillary and gel electrophoresis, and ultraviolet and visible spectroscopy are also covered. Other techniques, such as high-pressure liquid chromatography and thin layer chromatography, are discussed as well. Prerequisites: CHM-360 and CHM-360L and one of the following combinations: 1) CHM-231 and CHM-231L, or 2) CHM-331 and CHM-331L. Co-requisite: CHM-365L.||3|
|CHM-365L||Instrumental Analysis Lab||The laboratory section of CHM-365 reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture course. This course allows students to apply quantitative, qualitative, and instrumental analysis of various sample types. Focus is on the validity of results. Analytical methods for the qualitative and quantitative analyses of sample by gas chromatography, mass spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, capillary and gel are also covered. Prerequisites: CHM-360 and CHM-360L and one of the following combinations: 1) CHM-231 and CHM-231L, or 2) CHM-331 and CHM-331L. Co-requisite: CHM-365.||1|
|JUS-255||Crime Scene Processing||This course focuses on the logic and critical analysis of assessing and reconstructing crime scenes. Topics covered include the use of techniques such as photography, rough sketch, refined sketch, CAD programs, evidence-based crime scene reconstruction, and thorough report writing. Topics such as evidence processing, maintaining chain of custody, court testimony, and the ethical considerations in forensic work are also covered. Co-requisite: JUS 255L.||3|
|JUS-255L||Crime Scene Processing Lab||Students use critical/ logical thinking skills to reconstruct a variety of crime scenes and then record the crime scene using a variety of methods. Accurate presentations of crime scenes are evaluated as a measure of quality assurance and are required for successful completion of the course. Students must refine a crime scene rough sketch to a detailed (refined) sketch and produce a written report of the crime scene processing that occurred. Co-requisite: JUS 255.||1|
|JUS-265||Physical Evidence I||Students explore the fundamental applications of forensic science essentials for recovering evidence at the crime scene, methods for analysis of evidence at the scene and in the crime laboratory, maintaining a chain of custody, and quality assurance with an emphasis on comparative analysis. Prerequisite: JUS 255. Co-requisite: JUS 265L.||3|
|JUS-265L||Physical Evidence I Lab||The laboratory section of JUS 265 reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture course. The laboratory focuses on collection and analysis of trace evidence, arson and explosive evidence, firearms, and fingerprints. Prerequisite: JUS 255L. Co-requisite: JUS 265.||1|
|JUS-275||Physical Evidence II||This course continues the exploration of evidentiary recovery of materials at crime scenes, methods for analysis of evidence at the scene and in the crime laboratory, maintaining a chain of custody, and quality assurance with an emphasis on analytical analysis. Prerequisite: JUS 265. Co-requisite: JUS 275L.||3|
|JUS-275L||Physical Evidence II Lab||The laboratory section of JUS 275 reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture course. The laboratory exercise focuses on collection and analysis of tool-mark evidence, impression evidence, questioned documentary evidence, blood spatter, odontology, entomology, DNA, and toxicology evidence. Prerequisite: JUS 265L. Co-requisite: JUS 275.||1|
|PHY-111||General Physics I - Lecture||This course is a study of basic concepts of physics, including motion; forces; energy; the properties of solids, liquids, and gases; and heat and thermodynamics. The mathematics used includes algebra, trigonometry, and vector analysis. A primary course goal is to build a functional knowledge that allows students to more fully understand the physical world and to apply that understanding to other areas of the natural and mathematical sciences. Conceptual, visual, graphical, and mathematical models of physical phenomena are stressed. Students build critical thinking skills by engaging in individual and group problem-solving sessions. Prerequisites: MAT 250 or college algebra. Co-requisite: PHY 111L.||3|
|PHY-111L||General Physics I - Lab||This course utilizes lab experimentation to practice concepts of physical principles introduced in the PHY 111 lecture course. Learners are able to perform the proper analysis and calculations to arrive at the correct quantifiable result when confronted with equations involving gravity, sound, energy, and motion. Prerequisite: MAT 250 or college algebra. Co-requisite: PHY 111||1|
|PHY-112L||General Physics II - Lab||This course utilizes lab experimentation to practice concepts of physical principles introduced in the PHY 112 lecture course. Some of the topics learners understand and analyze involve the relationship between electric charges and insulators/conductors, magnetism in physics, energy transformations in electric circuits, the relationship between magnetism and electricity, and how they relate to the medical industry. Prerequisites: PHY-111 and PHY-111L. Co-requisite: PHY-112L.||1|
|PHY-112||General Physics II - Lecture||This course is the second in a 1-year introductory physics sequence. In this course, the basics of three areas in physics are covered, including electricity and magnetism, optics, and modern physics. The sequence of topics includes an introduction to electric and magnetic fields. This is followed by the nature of light as an electromagnetic wave and topics associated with geometric optics. The final topic discussed in the course is quantum mechanics. Prerequisites: PHY-111 and PHY-111L. Co-requisite: PHY-112L.||3|
|SCI-498||Senior Capstone in Forensic Science||The capstone course provides an opportunity for students to make contact with practitioners, investigate special topics or specific areas of interest in forensic science, and potentially participate in hands-on application through research or internship experiences. Students are expected to address a critical issue in evidence and forensic science. Skills in critical thinking, analysis, and application of learned material are key to success in this course. As part of the final process, students must prepare a written report and orally present their findings in an end-of-course seminar that is open to the public. Prerequisite: Senior status.||4|
|Required Course Total Credit:||96|
|General Education Requirements:||34 - 40 credits|
|Open Elective Credits:||8 - 14 credits|
|Total Degree Requirements:||120 credits|
This program is offered in the following formats or locations:
Enjoy Grand Canyon University's traditional campus experience. Nestled on over 90 acres in the heart of Phoenix, over 6,500 students live and attend class on the GCU campus. New modern classrooms, suite style dorms and a focus on creating a rich student life make GCU a top choice for high school graduates.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.