Loyola University Maryland

Forensic Studies

Major

Student holding and viewing test tube

The forensic studies major provides a solid foundation in the natural sciences and is 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.

Curriculum

Example of a Typical Program

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 Volcanoes, 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 235 Philosophical Perspectives: Philosophy and Science
  • 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 371 Sociology of Serial and Mass Murder
  • SC 430 Seminar: Gender and Justice
  • SC 434 Seminar: Women and Deviance
  • SC 435 Seminar: Forensic Sociology
  • ST 381 Probability and Statistics

Advising Considerations*

  • *Students considering a career in forensic science/studies are encouraged to seek an internship to fulfill the capstone requirement.
  • *At least one forensic studies 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
Christopher Thompson
Faculty

Christopher Thompson, Ph.D.

Dr. Thompson sees the combination of service-based learning and Jesuit values at Loyola preparing students to be leaders of change

Biology
Students measure drops of blood for a lab assignment.
Course Snapshot

Exploring Biology 101: Introduction to Forensic Science

Learn about the field of forensics and acquire the lab techniques needed to conduct crime scene investigations.