John Jay College Of Criminal Justice | The City University of New York | Forensic Science (BS)

The major in Forensic Science is designed to provide academic and professional training for students seeking to work in forensic science laboratories, or who are planning to pursue careers as research scientists, teachers or medical professionals. The major draws primarily from chemistry (organic, analytical and physical) with courses in biology, physics and law. Students may specialize in one of three tracks: Criminalistics, Molecular Biology, or Toxicology.

Learning outcomes. Students will:

• Draw appropriate scientific conclusions from evidence and experimental data.
• Understand the role of creativity in problem solving.
• Apply scientific principles in gathering and interpreting scientific data.
• Acquire broad fundamental concepts, theories, and principles in physical and biological sciences.
• Use the primary scientific literature effectively in their own research.
• Describe the scientific progress that has led to their research project.
• Accrue hands-on laboratory and practical research skills, including emphasizing the role of quality assurance and objectivity in scientific data collection and how these relate to the system of professional ethics in science.
• Develop competence in oral and written forms of scientific communication.

Credits required: 75 or more, depending upon the completion of prerequisites (if needed).
                    Four Year Academic Plan (for students placed into MAT 105)
                    Four Year Acamemic Plan (for students placed into MAT 141)

Click here for the advisement booklet and more information about how to plan your course of study.

Click here for Forensic Science advisement.

Science Internship Directors: Peter Diaczuk for forensic science laboratory internships (212.484.1176,, Edgardo Sanabria-Valentin for research internships (212.393.6489,

Mathematics Requirement: Two semesters of calculus ( MAT 241 and MAT 242) are required as well as one semester of probability and statistics ( MAT 301). It is recommended that the MAT 241-242 sequence is completed as soon as possible since MAT 241 is a prerequisite for PHY 203 and MAT 242 is a prerequisite for PHY 204. Physics is placed in the sophomore year of the three-year common core for all Forensic Science majors. MAT 241 and MAT 242 fulfill the Required Core: Mathematics & Quantitative Reasoning area of the College's general education requirements.

Coordinator:  Professor Lawrence Kobilinsky, Department of Sciences (212.237.8884,  Referrals will be made to faculty in each of the tracks within the major.

Advisor:  Professor Sandra Swenson, Department of Sciences (212.237.8820,   

Additional information: An internship is required for the forensic science degree. This can be fulfilled by either FOS 401 or FOS 402 (see course descriptions in Chapter 2 of this bulletin). The internship requirement is to be completed after the junior year in the Forensic Science major progression.  Consult the course descriptions in the bulletin or the designated coordinator for proper program planning. Please note that certain courses have specific prerequisites that must be taken for timely progression through the major. The chemistry or biology taken in the freshman year of the Forensic Science major fulfills the science component of the general education requirements.

Students who enrolled for the first time at the College or changed to this major in September 2009 or thereafter must complete the major in the form presented here. Students who enrolled prior to that date may choose either the form shown here or the earlier version of the major. A copy of the earlier version can be obtained in the 2008-2009 Undergraduate Bulletin, available at

Prerequisite information: To be placed into BIO 103, students must have an SAT Verbal score of 520 or higher; or completion of the New York State Biology Regents with a score of at least 80%. Students who have not taken the New York State Biology Regents will need departmental permission. Students not meeting these criteria must complete the BIO 101- 102 sequence (or equivalent) in lieu of BIO 103.

To be placed into CHE 103, students must be eligible to take MAT 141 or higher; or be taking MAT 104 or MAT 105 and have earned a score of 80% or higher on the New York State Chemistry Regents. Placement will be determined by the CUNY Assessment Test in Mathematics. Students who did not take the New York State Chemistry Regents will need departmental permission. Students not meeting these criteria must complete the CHE 101- 102 sequence (or equivalent) instead of CHE 103. For physics prerequisites, see mathematics requirement noted above.

Academic Standards/GPA Requirement: Students must maintain a GPA of 2.0 or better in the science and mathematics courses of the major to qualify for progression to the sophomore- and junior- level courses in the major. Students not maintaining the necessary GPA will be dropped from the major. Students may appeal this decision to the department chairperson.

Please note: the majority of courses required for the degree in Forensic Science are not available in the evening.


Subtotal: 18 credits

Freshmen Year

BIO 103- 104 Modern Biology I and II or
BIO 101- 102 Paced Modern Biology I-A and I-B, and BIO 104 Modern Biology II
CHE 103- 104 General Chemistry I and II or
CHE 101- 102 General Chemistry I-A and I-B, and CHE 104 General Chemistry II

Sophomore Year

Subtotal: 23 credits

CHE 201- 202 Organic Chemistry I and II
CHE 220 Quantitative Analysis
LAW 202 Law and Evidence
PHY 203- 204 General Physics I and II

Junior Year

Subtotal: 20 credits

CHE 302 Physical Chemistry II
CHE 315 Biochemistry
CHE 320- 321 Instrumental Analysis I and II 
MAT 301 Probability and Mathematical Statistics I


Subtotal: 14 credits

Junior year 
FOS 313 An Introduction to Criminalistics for Forensic Science Majors

Senior year 
FOS 401 Forensic Science Laboratory Internship or 
FOS 402 Undergraduate Research Internship and
FOSÂ 415- 416 Forensic Science Laboratory I and II


Subtotal: 14 credits

Junior year
TOX 313 Toxicology of Environmental and Industrial Agents

Senior year 
FOS 401 Forensic Science Laboratory Internship or
FOS 402 Undergraduate Research Internship and
TOX 415 Forensic Pharmacology 
TOX 416 Analytical Toxicology


Subtotal: 14 credits

Junior year 
BIO 315 Genetics

Senior year
BIO 412 Molecular Biology I and II
BIO 413 Forensic DNA Analysis and Interpretation 
FOS 401 Forensic Science Laboratory Internship or 
FOS 402 Undergraduate Research Internship

Total: 75 credits

Main Links

Utility Links

Text Only Options

Top of page

Text Only Options

Open the original version of this page.

Usablenet Assistive is a UsableNet product. Usablenet Assistive Main Page.