Forensics and Criminal Behavior


Fall 2014, Winter 2015 and Spring 2015 quarters

Taught by

physical and inorganic chemistry
biology, genetics, microbiology
sociology, gender studies


Although there are no prerequisites for this program, proficiency in high school algebra and science is strongly recommended.

How can we think analytically and critically about crime in America? Why is crime such a central focus in modern American society? How is a crime scene analyzed? How are crimes solved? How can we prevent violent crime and murder? This program will integrate sociological and forensic science perspectives to investigate crime and societal responses to it. We will explore how social and cultural factors including race, class and gender are associated with crime and criminal behavior. In addition, we will consider criminological theories and explore how social scientists can help identify offenders through criminal profiling and forensic psychology.

Through our forensics investigations, we will examine subjects including biology, chemistry, pathology and physics. We will study evidentiary techniques for crime scene analysis, such as the examination of fingerprints, DNA, blood spatter, fibers, glass fractures and fragments, hairs, ballistics, teeth, bones and body remains. Students will learn hands-on laboratory and field approaches to the scientific methods used in crime scene investigation. Students will also learn to apply analytical, quantitative and qualitative skills to collect and interpret evidence. Students can expect seminars, labs, lectures, guest speakers and workshops, along with both individual and group project work.

This is an introductory program about science, critical thinking and the perspectives of sociology, chemistry and biology through the lens of crime analysis. Students interested in developing their skills in scientific inquiry, critical thinking and interdisciplinary studies should consider this program. Students who may not consider themselves to be "science" students are encouraged to enroll.

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

biology, chemistry, criminalistics, criminal justice, education, forensic science, general science and sociology.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day

Final Schedule and Room Assignment


Buy books for this program through The Greener Store.

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning

More information about online learning.

Required Fees

$100 in fall quarter for a murder mystery experience.


Date Revision
June 18th, 2014 This program is open to students of all class levels (Freshmen through Seniors).

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Fall); 16 (Winter); 16 (Spring)

Class standing: Freshmen–Senior; 50% of the seats are reserved for freshmen

Maximum enrollment: 60


Course Reference Numbers

Fr (16 credits): 10096
So - Sr (16 credits): 10097

Go to to register for this program.


Accepting New Students


Interested juniors and seniors should contact the faculty about the possibility of enrolling.

Course Reference Numbers

Fr (16 credits): 20059
So - Sr (16 credits): 20060

Go to to register for this program.


Enrollment Closed

Course Reference Numbers

Fr (16 credits): 30044
So - Sr (16 credits): 30045

Go to to register for this program.

Need Help Finding the Right Program?

Contact Academic Advising for help in answering your questions, planning your future and solving problems.