Forensic Science

Program Type: Major
Program Level: Undergraduate
Department: Natural Sciences

YOU’RE A PROBLEM SOLVER—ASKING QUESTIONS AND FIGURING OUT HOW THINGS WORK. YOU’RE METHODICAL AND HIGHLY SCIENTIFIC, YET YOU ALSO HAVE A KNACK FOR EXPLAINING COMPLICATED INFORMATION IN A WAY THAT JUST ABOUT ANYONE CAN UNDERSTAND.

Explore the fascinating world of forensic science and discover how you can help solve crimes within our criminal justice system.

 

APPLYING SCIENCE TO LAW

With a bachelor’s degree in forensic science, you’ll play a vital role in solving crimes within our criminal justice system. You’ll use scientific methods to analyze physical evidence from crime scenes. During an investigation, evidence is collected at a crime scene, analyzed in a crime lab, and then the results are presented in court. That’s where you come in. With a forensic science degree from Mount Marty, you’ll be prepared to work in a crime laboratory or to do further research and graduate study. You’ll learn how to analyze DNA, fiber, hair, and fingerprints using molecular technology. You’ll become an expert in analytical technology, using techniques such as chromatography and spectroscopy. And you’ll understand the physical nature of wounds and body positions, providing clues about circumstances that lead to death.

 

A WELL-ROUNDED DEGREE

In our program, we focus on forensic biology and chemistry (the specialty that uses biology and chemistry to explore criminal activity). But we also make sure you have a strong background in criminal justice, learning how our justice system works and delving into criminal investigations. In fact, you’ll have an advisor in both forensic science and criminal justice. Classes in psychology and human services will also help you draw insights from human behavior—skills you need as a forensic scientist.

 

FEATURES

  • Hands-on learning in the lab. You’ll spend a big chunk of your time completing coursework in the lab, including specialized training for your area of interest—ranging from controlled substances, toxicology, trace evidence, biological evidence (including DNA), firearms, fingerprints, impressioned/patterned evidence and questioned documents.
  • Network with professionals in the field. Forensic science majors can get involved with the Criminal Justice Club and attend lectures where you’ll network with judges, police officers, attorneys, probation officers, and state agents. You’ll also visit local jails, prisons, boot camps, police and sheriff agencies, and the South Dakota Supreme Court.
  • One-on-one attention. At Mount Marty, you’ll be part of a close family both in and out of the classroom. Faculty will get to know you and help you grow as a professional and as a person.
  • Research activities. In our program, you’ll complete a research project, have the chance to present it at state meetings—and maybe even have your work published by the South Dakota Academy of Science.

At Mount Marty, you’ll have lots of opportunities for community service, internships and mentoring, giving you real-world experience to help you stand out from the rest when applying for a job. You’ll cap your experience with a clinical internship with local or state law enforcement, the court system, a counseling facility, or other related organizations. 

Dr. Tamara K. Pease
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Phone: 605-668-1530
Building: Avera Science Center 
Room: ASNC-152

EMAIL

 

Dr. Dana C. DeWitt
Professor of Criminal Justice
Phone: 605-668-1465
Building: Bede Hall 
Room: BEDE-460

EMAIL

Major Course Requirements

  • FSC 420 Forensic Science Technology
  • FSC 436 Criminalistics
  • FSC 490 Seminar
  • FSC 498 Forensic Science Applications/Research (6 credits)

 

Related Course Requirements

  • BIO 103 Principles of Biology
  • CHM 111 General Chemistry I
  • CHM 112 General Chemistry II
  • CHM 231 Organic Chemistry I
  • CHM 232 Organic Chemistry II
  • CJU 133 Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • CJU 336 Criminal Investigation
  • CJU 460 Criminal Law
  • PHY 221 Physics I
  • PHY 222 Physics II
  • MTH 209 Calculus
  • MTH 219 Elementary Statistics
  • PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology
  • SOC 225 Foundation of Human Relations

 

Choose 16 credits from the following:

  • BIO 203 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BIO 204 Human Anatomy and Physiology II
  • BIO 302 Immunology
  • BIO 320 Microbiology
  • BIO 330 Genetics
  • BIO 364 Cell and Molecular Biology
  • CHM 341 Analytical Chemistry
  • CHM 342 Instrumental Analysis
  • CHM 353 Physical Chemistry
  • CHM 364 Biochemistry
  • CHM 370 Inorganic Chemistry

Students here at MMC often take on a second major while studying forensic science in order to have a more thorough knowledge of the sciences, or even to have a better understanding of how to handle the different challenges they might come across in their field. Popular second majors include criminal justice, biology, chemistry, and even psychology! 

Forensic science students have the opportunity to be a member of the Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Club and participate in activities that the club is involved with and sponsors. Students also have the chance to be a part of MMC's BioChem Club!

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