Forensic Science Courses (FS)

504 General Principles of Pharmacology This lecture based course provides a general overview of pharmacology as applied to forensic issues.  The course covers both Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics. In Pharmacokinetics, there is a detailed discussion of absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of drugs with an emphasis on drug transport, active metabolites and drug interactions. In Pharmacodynamics, there is a discussion of receptor—drug binding characteristics and efficacy. Various pharmacological effects will also be discussed, such as, therapeutic, toxic, idiosyncratic, hypersensitive and lethal effects, with clinical examples to illustrate the differences. There is a detailed pharmacological discussion of the various drug classes.

512 Forensic Trace Evidence Analysis This lecture/laboratory based course details the types of trace evidence found in criminal cases including the forensic analysis of hairs, fibers, glass, paint, and soil.  The use of microscopy will be complemented with other analytical methodologies for the identification and comparison of a variety of trace evidence types. 

515 Research Methods in Forensic Science This lecture based course is designed to familiarize the student with the basic methods and techniques of research and the preparation of research papers. It is designed to instill proper practices for creating an experiment and reporting those results and ideas in an appropriate manner. In this course, students will learn how to research a topic and design an experiment. The students will be asked to dissect and critique relevant scientific journal articles to understand the intent and content of each section. Finally, the students will utilize the skills learned and developed throughout class to prepare a proposal for a literature or laboratory based project.

518 Crime Scene Investigation and Reconstruction

This lecture/hands-on based course will provide students with an in-depth review of crime scene processing and evaluation.  Following an overview of documentation and collection of physical evidence from various types of crime scenes without contaminating the scene, students will be taught effective techniques for photographing the crime scene and for the collection of evidence such as latent fingerprints, shoe/tire impressions, trace evidence and biological materials. Students will be given the opportunity to reconstruct an entire crime scene for court presentation.

519 Forensic Pattern Analysis This lecture/laboratory based course will provide students with an overview of the principles and concepts on which pattern evidence analysis is based.  Methods of analysis for various types of forensic pattern evidence including fingerprints, footwear impressions, tire marks, tool marks, blood spatter analysis and fired bullets and cartridges will be discussed.   Students will use mechanical, chemical and visual techniques to develop and analyze these types of pattern evidence.   

520 Moot Court This interactive lecture based course covers strategies for the presentation of evidence in court.    The culmination of laboratory analysis of evidential material  and review of the resulting data is its presentation in court, where the scientist has the opportunity to explain the testing carried out, interpret their results and defend their validity and reliability.  This course will educate the forensic science student in the preparation and presentation of scientific information to lay audiences, and will help students understand the dynamics of the court room.  This is achieved through lectures and moot court format.  Instructors may utilize reports and projects prepared in other courses to provide the subject matter for the students’ testimony. Students will be videotaped for self-critique. 

525 Forensic Toxicology This lecture based course deals with the detection, identification and quantitation of foreign chemicals (toxins) in the body.  In order to accurately interpret toxicological findings it is essential that the toxicologist has an understanding of the pharmacology of that substance and the pathological effects it has on the body.  In this context Forensic Toxicology can be divided into two categories, post-mortem toxicology and human performance toxicology.  This course will provide the student with the skills for development of a detailed knowledge of the types of toxic substances and matrices encountered in Forensic Toxicology and the procedures by which these are tested in the laboratory.  Students will also utilize their theoretical knowledge of pharmacology in the application to Forensic Toxicology casework.

525L Forensic Toxicology Lab Laboratory practicum emphasizing current methodologies and instrumentation employed by modern forensic laboratories for the determination of drugs and toxins in biological matrices.  Techniques employed will include screening, extraction and quantitative confirmation procedures. 

530 Forensic Serology This lecture/laboratory based course covers the biochemical basis of biological fluid testing procedures and includes classical serological and electrophoretic techniques. Court testimony in the area of forensic biology is also addressed. Practical and laboratory exercises demonstrate the techniques and their applications.

531 Human Molecular Biology This lecture/laboratory based course covers the basic principles of DNA functions and chemistry, capillary electrophoresis, polymerase chain reaction, and STR multiplexing of nuclear DNA. It examines the history of forensic DNA techniques as well as surveying current trends including mitochondrial and single nucleotide DNA polymorphism techniques. Statistical analyses of data will also be covered. 

531L Human Molecular Biology Lab Laboratory practicum emphasizing techniques and methods utilized in modern forensic laboratories for case investigation requiring DNA analysis including DNA extraction, quantification, amplification and detection techniques as well as data analysis and statistical interpretation

532 Forensic Microscopy This lecture based course will provide students with detailed knowledge of optical microscopes (ex. Compound and stereo microscopes) and electron microscopes (ex. SEM and TEM) as well as methods that can be interfaced with microscopes (ex. micro-FTIR, X-ray diffraction and microspectrophotometry) and their use in forensic science.

532L Forensic Microscopy Lab

533 Quality Management in Forensic Science This lecture based course will evaluate theoretical and practical applications of forensic science laboratory management.  Expectations for the professional practice of forensic science are changing, driven by developing technology, legal precedent and government regulation.   Professional organizations also play a role in governing the qualifications of people practicing in the field, and setting standards for ensuring that valid science is practiced and admitted to court.  This course will emphasize various quality measures, including quality control and quality assurance, proficiency testing, professional certification and laboratory accreditation standards.  Issues related to bias, error and uncertainty will also be explored.  The class will review critiques of the forensic sciences that are the basis for development of scientific working groups (SWG’s) in various disciplines, proposed areas for improvement in forensic science including research, education, validation, and management of laboratories.

535 Forensic Chemistry This lecture/laboratory based course is designed to provide the student with a in-depth knowledge of the theories, techniques and vocabulary of the unique field of forensic chemistry. This course covers forensic chemistry techniques and principles relating to controlled substances, ignitable liquids/fire debris and explosives. A review of organic and analytical chemistry as they relate to forensic chemistry will be discussed. 

535L Forensic Chemistry Lab Laboratory practicum emphasizing current methodologies and instrumentation employed by modern forensic laboratories for the detection and identification of chemicals of forensic interest including controlled substances, accelerants and explosives. 

536 Advanced Forensic Chemistry This lecture/laboratory based course is designed to build on those topics covered in Forensic Chemistry. This course covers forensic chemistry analytical techniques and principles relating to controlled substances, fire debris, and ignitable liquids.

540 Statistical Analysis and Biostatistics Advanced study of the theory and application of statistical analysis techniques on data sets from a variety of biological and physical sciences. Emphasis placed on the collection and presentation of data, probability, hypothesis testing, descriptive and inferential statistics. Students learn to apply common computer statistical modules. Three class hours. Prerequisites: Equivalent of statistics; or permission of instructor.

561A/B Forensic Science Symposium Wide-ranging introduction to key areas and “hot topics” in forensic science, as presented by a series of guest lectures by leading practitioners in the field.

562A Forensic Science Communications I
Discussion based course covering all major areas of emphasis in the MSFS program designed to enhance oral communication skills and prepare students for oral exams and job interviews. This course culminates in the oral board portion of the capstone experience.

562B Forensic Science Communications II Discussion based course designed to enhance oral communication skills through a lecture series as presented by students on their master’s forensic research.

570 Criminal Law and Ethics
This lecture based course will provide the student with an introduction to the American criminal justice system. Through discussion and analysis of the U.S. Constitution, the Pennsylvania Constitution, Federal (and State) Rules of Criminal Procedure, and Federal (and State) Rules of Evidence with particular emphasis on case law, students will develop a practical understanding of modern criminal jurisprudence. Special emphasis and consideration will be given to the ethical obligations of criminal justice practitioners, including judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement officers and expert witnesses.

583 Graduate Internship in Forensic Science A supervised external full-time internship at a pre-approved facility. Students are exposed to forensic analysis in an operational forensic laboratory and are evaluated by the forensic science program external internship committee and the sponsoring forensic laboratory. Credit will depend on number of hours in the internship, with a minimum of 300 hours (6 credits) required to a maximum of 600 hours (12 credits). Other numbers of hours will be prorated accordingly.

586 Graduate Practicum in Forensic Biology
A supervised internal full-time practicum at the Fredric Rieders Family Renaissance Foundation (FRFRF). Principles of the forensic analysis of blood and other biological materials as well as the procedures involved in DNA profiling of evidence (including DNA extraction, quantitation, amplification and detection) will be used to process casework samples, conduct analyses, interpret results, write reports, and participate in moot court experiences. Students have multiple hands-on casework samples, laboratory experiences, and the assistance of forensic practitioners in the preparation and execution of appropriate reports, analyses, and court testimonies.

587 Graduate Practicum in Forensic Chemistry
A supervised internal full-time practicum at the Fredric Rieders Family Renaissance Foundation (FRFRF). Principles and techniques of the forensic identification of chemicals including the weighing/ sampling of evidence as well as presumptive and confirmatory identification will be used to process casework samples, conduct analyses, interpret results, write reports, and participate in moot court experiences. Students have multiple hands-on casework samples, laboratory experiences, and the assistance of forensic practitioners in the preparation and execution of appropriate reports, analyses, and court testimonies. Students also learn those analytical techniques used for the forensic analysis of trace evidence.

588 Graduate Practicum in Forensic Toxicology
A supervised internal full-time practicum at the Fredric Rieders Family Renaissance Foundation (FRFRF). Principles and procedures used in the forensic analysis of drugs and toxins, including their detection, extraction and purification from biological matrices, and quantitation will be used to process casework samples, conduct analyses, interpret results, write reports, and participate in moot court experiences. Students have multiple hands-on casework samples, experiences with screening procedures and analytical methodologies and the assistance of forensic practitioners in the preparation and execution of appropriate reports and court testimonies.

589 Independent Research This course is designed for the student to independently integrate their graduate coursework studies and to incorporate their learning, research and/or internship experiences into a formal presentation. Their presentations should demonstrate a comprehensive and detailed understanding of their area of specialization.

596 Research Project in Forensic Science
This course consists of original laboratory-based research in some aspect of forensic chemistry, biology or toxicology, comparing existing testing modalities or experimenting with novel techniques. Projects involve all stages of a research task—proposal, experimental design, data collection, analysis— and will be supervised by a member of the regular Arcadia University teaching faculty, another member of the Forensic Science teaching faculty, and a forensic practitioner or someone with specialized knowledge. The culmination of this research should result in students meeting together to compare projects and prepare their capstone presentations.

597 Research Project in Forensic Chemistry
This course consists of original laboratory-based research in some aspect of forensic chemistry that can be taken repeatedly for credit with approval of the sponsoring professor and program director. Projects involve all stages of a research task—proposal, experimental design, data collection, analysis— and will be supervised by a member of the regular Arcadia University teaching faculty, another member of the Forensic Science teaching faculty, and a forensic practitioner or someone with specialized knowledge. The culmination of this research should result in students meeting together to compare projects and prepare their capstone presentations.

598 Research Project in Forensic Biology
This course consists of original laboratory-based research in some aspect of forensic biology that can be taken repeatedly for credit with approval of the sponsoring professor and program director. Projects involve all stages of a research task—proposal, experimental design, data collection, analysis— and will be supervised by a member of the regular Arcadia University teaching faculty, another member of the Forensic Science teaching faculty, and a forensic practitioner or someone with specialized knowledge. The culmination of this research should result in students meeting together to compare projects and prepare their capstone presentations.

Biology Courses (BI)

404 Genetics Study of the classical and modern views of the nature of the gene, its transmission and its function. Includes microbial and population genetics. Three class hours and three laboratory hours weekly. Prerequisites:  BI 101 and 102; or permission of the instructor. 

440 Biochemistry This course introduces students to the basic concepts in biochemistry through lecture and problem sets. A biomedical perspective is used throughout. Students learn the basic principles governing the structure and function of biochemical systems. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

Chemistry Courses (CH)

203 Equilibrium and Analysis Examination of the principles and theory of chemical equilibrium in the context of quantitative chemical analysis. Includes selected traditional analytical laboratory techniques frequently applied to analyses of systems of biological and environmental interest. Also introduces instrumental techniques of analysis. Prerequisite: CH102; or permission of the chairperson.

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