Loyola University Maryland

Forensic Studies


Student holding and viewing test tube

The Forensic Studies major provides a solid foundation in the natural sciences and applied through courses in biology, chemistry, and physics, complemented by rigorous focus on biological and chemical concepts and analytical thinking through coursework in biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematical sciences, physics, and statistics. 

Students will also experience and receive training in multi-disciplinary approaches to forensic studies; analyses applied to criminal and civil investigations; matters of administrative law; exploration of factors and events that influence individuals and groups to engage in criminal activity or commit acts of violence; and examination of issues that threaten national security and the tactics to counter such threats. 

Loyola's Forensic Studies program will develop and promote the skills needed for multiple career paths in the field of forensics, including excellent oral and written communication skills, intellectual curiosity, use of interdisciplinary approaches, critical and analytical thinking skills, and commitment to lifelong learning. Additionally, the Forensic Studies curriculum emphasizes the development of strong moral and ethical character, essential traits for success and leadership in the field. 


Forensic Studies Required Courses:

  • BL 101 Introduction to Forensic Science w/ Lab
  • BL 118/119 Intro to Cell and Molecular Biology w/lab
  • BL 121/126 Organismal Biology w/lab
  • BL 355 Forensic Biology w/ Lab
  • PY 101 Introduction to Psychology
  • PY 202 Psychopathology
  • SC 101 Self and Society
  • SC 260 Introduction to Criminal Justice                                                                           
  • WR 326 Technical Writing
  • Statistics* ST110 or ST 210 or ST 265
  • Capstone* (Internship, Research Experience, or Independent Study)

Forensic Studies Electives* (Choose 5 courses)

  • BL 276 Human Health and the Environment
  • BL 322 Synthetic Biology w/lab
  • BL 341 Molecular Genetics w/lab
  • BL 351 Forensic Entomology w/lab
  • BL 428 Bioterrorism
  • BL 431 Biochemistry I
  • BL 433 Biochemistry Lab I
  • BL 432 Biochemistry II
  • BL 434 Biochemistry Lab II
  • BL 473 Special Topics in Forensic Biology
  • CH 201 Quantitative Analysis w/ Lab
  • CH 410 Instrumental Methods
  • CH 411 Instrumental Methods Lab
  • CH 431 Biochemistry I
  • CH 432 Biochemistry Lab I
  • CH 432 Biochemistry II
  • CH 434 Biochemistry Lab II
  • CL 327 Volcanoes, Fire and Flood: Disasters of Ancient Rome
  • CS 115 Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics
  • CS 151 Computer Science through Programming
  • CS 212 Object-Oriented Data Structures
  • CS 301 Data Structures and Algorithms I
  • CS 312 Object-Oriented Software Design
  • EC 220 Business Statistics
  • EC 320 The Political Economy of War
  • EC 330 Law and Economics
  • EG 381 Engineering Probability and Statistics
  • FO 230 Introduction to Criminalistics
  • FO 300 Crime Scene Investigations
  • FO 310 Introduction to Fingerprints
  • FO 330 Biological and Forensic Science Quality Assurance
  • HN 221 Poe, Holmes, and the Evolution of Forensic Science
  • HS 327 Volcanos, Fire, and Flood: Disasters of Ancient Rome
  • HS 382 Crime and Punishment in Latin America
  • IS 358 Business Intelligence and Data Mining
  • LW 103 Law and the City: Planning, Politics and Justice
  • LW 104 Criminal Law and Society
  • LW 109 Business, Law and Society: Special Topics
  • MA 251 Calculus I
  • MA 252 Calculus II
  • PH 383 Physics of Medicine and the Human Body
  • PH 384 Waves and the Physics of Medicine
  • PL 317 The Experience of Evil
  • PL 332 Security Ethics
  • PL 333 Philosophy of Law
  • PL 335 Political Philosophy: Justice and Mass Incarceration
  • PS 322 Mock Trial
  • PS 337 Analytical and Legal Reasoning
  • PS 338 Constitutional Law I
  • PS 339 Constitutional Law II
  • PS 343 Crime, the Individual, and Society
  • PT 270 Basic Digital Photography
  • PT 361 Digital Image
  • PY 253 Multicultural Issues in Psychology
  • PY 421 Forensic Psychology
  • SC 107 Social Problems
  • SC 331 Deviance and Social Control
  • SC 332 Sociology of Crime and Criminals
  • SC 333 Juvenile Delinquency
  • SC 334 Sociology of Policing
  • SC 347 Special Topics in Criminology
  • SC 430 Seminar: Gender and Justice
  • SC 434 Seminar: Women and Deviance
  • SC 435 Seminar: Forensic Sociology
  • ST 381 Probability and Statistics

Example of a Typical Program

Year 1


BL118 Intro to Cell and Molecular Biology
BL 119 Intro to Cell and Molecular Biology lab
PY 101 Intro to Psychology
SC 101 Self and Society
WR 100 Effective Writing
Language Core

ST 110 or ST 210 or ST 265 Statistics Course
PY 202 Psychopathology
BL 121 Organismal Biology
BL 126 Organismal Biology lab
HS 100 level course
Non-departmental elective
Year 2

BL 101 Introduction to Forensic Science w/ lab
SC 260 Intro to Criminal Justice or
             Forensic Studies Elective
EN 101 Understanding Literature
PL 201 Foundations of Philosophy or
TH 201 Intro to Theology
Non-departmental Elective
BL 351 Forensic Entomology w/lab
SC 260 Intro to Criminal Justice or
Forensic Studies Elective
Literature Core
PL 200-level Philosophical Perspectives or 
TH 200-level Theology Core
Fine Arts Core       
Year 3


BL 355 Forensic Biology w/lab
PL 201 Foundations of Philosophy or
TH 201 Intro to Theology
Forensic Studies Elective
Forensic Studies Elective or Elective

WR 326 Technical Writing
PL 200-level Philosophical Perspectives or 
TH 200-level Theology Core
HS 300-level History Core
Forensic Studies Elective
Non-departmental Elective
Year 4


Ethics Core PL 300-PL 319 or TH 300-TH 319
Forensic Studies Elective
Forensic Studies Capstone* or Elective
Forensic Studies Elective
Forensic Studies Capstone* or Elective
Forensic Studies Elective or Elective

Advising Considerations*:

* Students considering a career in forensic science/studies are encouraged to seek an internship to fulfill the capstone requirement.
*At least one FS elective must be from a different academic division (e.g., Business, Humanities, Natural and Applied Sciences, or Social Sciences) than the other four electives.
*The level of statistics to complete is dependent on career aspirations.
*Students may count courses in the forensic studies major and another major or minor, consistent with the double course counting policy of the university and/or academic program.

Other Options:

The forensic studies major is interdisciplinary and flexible in design. This combination lends itself to students electing a minor or even a double major with forensic studies. Opportunities for double majors with forensic studies include:

  • Biology
  • Biology/Chemistry
  • Biology/Psychology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Other majors

Barbara Vann

Barbara Vann, Ph.D.

Her passion for sociology led Barbara Vann, Ph.D., to research and teaching on the intersection of race, class, gender, sexuality, and disability

Student and forensics professor reviewing an experiment

Forensic Studies major

Demand for professionals with forensic training has never been greater, and Loyola’s Forensic Studies program is unique in that it encompasses 16 departments of academic focus—the most of any program in the country.