What is Forensic Science?
Forensic science (also called “criminalistics”) is defined as the application of physical sciences to legal matters or legal questions. Forensic science includes many sub-disciplines such as anthropology, biology, botany, chemistry, entomology, engineering, genetics, latent fingerprints, information technology, medicine/pathology, psychology, odontology, serology, toxicology, and others. All of these are considered specializations within forensic science.
The job of a forensic scientist is to analyze physical evidence, using various laboratory instruments and techniques, for use in criminal cases. A forensic scientist also interprets test results, writes reports, and testifies in court, typically as an expert witness.
About the Program
The Forensic Science program at San Jose State University is housed within the Department of Justice Studies, and aims to produce professional forensic scientists, with adaptable scientific skills accompanied by a thorough grounding in theory and practice. We offer students hands-on training in crime laboratory methodologies and crime scene investigation techniques to prepare them for a career in federal or state police services, national and international forensic institutions, government laboratories, and private organizations. Students can obtain a Bachelor of Science with a concentration in biology, chemistry, or digital evidence.
We value student engagement in the program, with other students, faculty, and community organizations. We have a robust Forensic Science Students organization, which can provide plenty of information on navigating the forensic science program, finding internships, and preparing for your career. Our forensic science faculty routinely provide opportunities to students to participate in research conducted within our lab. Through the internship, students gain first-hand experience in the day-to-day working of forensic laboratories with our faculty or with one of our many community partners, including the Santa Clara County District Attorney Crime Lab, Coroner’s Office, or local law enforcement.
Forensic Science Resources
- Forensic Science Students (FSS)
- Research experiences
- International experience
- Professional organizations
- Specialized Courses (or whatever)
- Listing ‘Experimental FS 160 courses, International Experiences, Internships, Job Opportunities/Listings