BS in Biological Science (Forensic Biology)

Units required for Major: 73-85, includes units of study in chosen concentration (see below).

Program Description

The curriculum in Forensic Biology is designed to prepare students for careers as criminalist specializing in the analysis and interpretation of serological and DNA evidence. This curriculum meets the educational requirements for entry level career positions with city, county, and federal agencies. Students selecting this concentration are urged to pursue internship opportunities (BIO 195), such as those available through the Sacramento County Coroner's Office, and/or directed research (BIO 199A or BIO 199B) with a faculty member in Biological Sciences or Chemistry who utilizes molecular biology techniques and instrumentation. Students completing the requirements for a concentration in Forensic Biology also fulfill the requirements for a minor in Chemistry.

Pre-Major Requirements

The Biological Sciences program at Sacramento State is one of the most highly sought after programs in Northern California. Due to the large number of applications, the program is now officially impacted. Students wishing to become Biological Science majors must complete a series of required lower division and then must apply for admission to the program. Check the department website for requirements, and it is highly recommended that interested students speak with an advisor at the Natural Sciences Advising Center (NSAC) as soon as possible.

Freshmen interested in the major are admitted as pre-Biological Science majors.

To change to the Biological Sciences major, pre-major students are required to complete the following courses and grade requirements and submit a Declaration of Major form to the Biological Science Department Office along with transcript copies.

  1. Completion of the following lower division "pre-major" courses with a minimum "C" or better. Only first or second attempt will be considered:
BIO 1Biodiversity, Evolution and Ecology5
BIO 2Cells, Molecules and Genes5
CHEM 1AGeneral Chemistry I5
STAT 1Introduction to Statistics3
ENGL 5Accelerated Academic Literacies3
  1. Overall GPA of 2.5 based on the pre-major courses listed above.
  2. Minimum of 30 units completed at the college level.

Program Requirements

Required Lower Division Core Courses (37-41 Units)
BIO 1Biodiversity, Evolution and Ecology5
BIO 2Cells, Molecules and Genes5
CHEM 1AGeneral Chemistry I5
CHEM 1BGeneral Chemistry II5
Select one of the following:3 - 6
Organic Chemistry Lecture--Brief Course 1
Organic Chemistry Lecture I
Organic Chemistry Lecture II
Select one of the following:3 - 4
Calculus I for the Social and Life Sciences
Calculus I
PHYS 5AGeneral Physics: Mechanics, Heat, Sound4
PHYS 5BGeneral Physics: Light, Electricity and Magnetism, Modern Physics4
STAT 1Introduction to Statistics3
Required Upper Division Core Courses (6 Units)
BIO 100Introduction to Scientific Analysis2
BIO 184General Genetics4
Concentration (30-38 Units)
Select from the following concentrations:30 - 38
General Biology
Biomedical Sciences
Cell and Molecular Biology
Clinical Laboratory Sciences
Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation
Forensic Biology
Microbiology
Total Units73-85
1

CHEM 24 and CHEM 124 may be taken in lieu of CHEM 20. (CHEM 124 is not counted toward the 36 upper division unit requirement in the major except in the Biomedical Sciences Concentration.)

Notes:

  • Pre-Health Professional students should take the Chemistry and Math requirements as stated in the Pre-Health Professional Program section of this catalog.
  • With approval, up to six units of upper division coursework from related fields may be applied as electives in the major.
  • No more than 2 units from the following combined can be applied to the Biological Sciences upper division major requirement.
    BIO 195Biological Internship1 - 2
    BIO 197ALaboratory Teaching Assistant1 - 2
    BIO 197BLaboratory Techniques1 - 2
    BIO 197CCo-curricular Activities in Biology1 - 2
    BIO 199AIntroductory Undergraduate Research1 - 2
    BIO 199BDirected Readings1 - 2

Concentration in Forensic Biology (38 units)

Required Courses (32 Units)
BIO 121Molecular Cell Biology3
BIO 150Forensic Biology3
BIO 151Advanced Laboratory Techniques in Forensic Biology2
BIO 180Advanced Molecular Biology4
CHEM 20LIntroductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory1
CHEM 31Quantitative Analysis4
CHEM 161General Biochemistry 13
CHEM 162General Biochemistry Laboratory 23
CRJ 4General Investigative Techniques3
CRJ 154Introduction to Physical Evidence3
Select one of the following:3
Gangs and Threat Groups in America
Sexual Offenses and Offenders
Drug Abuse and Criminal Behavior
Elective Courses (6 Units)
Select one of the following Structure and Function electives:3
Physiology of Human Reproduction
Advanced Human Anatomy
Neuroanatomy
Comparative Vertebrate Morphology
Developmental Biology
Plant Anatomy and Physiology
Histology
Systemic Physiology
Neurophysiology
Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Renal Physiology
Select one of the following Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity electives:3
Part A: Biodiversity Electives
Plants and Civilization
Plant Taxonomy
The Diversity of Microorganisms
Human Parasitology
General Entomology
Ichthyology: The Study of Fishes
Amphibians and Reptiles: An Introduction to Herpetology
Ornithology
Mammalogy
Part B: Ecology and Evolution Electives
Evolution and Speciation in Flowering Plants
Natural Resource Conservation
General Ecology
Animal Behavior
Principles of Fisheries Biology
Conservation Biology & Wildlife Management
Ecological and Environmental Issues Seminar
Evolution
Total Units38
1

CHEM 160A and CHEM 160B may be taken in lieu of CHEM 161. Only three units of the package may be counted toward the upper division requirement.

2

CHEM 162 can be included in the 36 upper division unit requirement for this concentration.

Note: Students with a declared concentration in Forensic Biology do not need to take CRJ 1, CRJ 2 or CRJ 102 as prerequisites for the CRJ courses required in this concentration.