Minor in Forensic Studies



The Forensic Studies Minor is a new, non-science minor offered by the Justice Studies Department and the Forensic Science Major. The Minor is primarily designed for students interested in crime scene investigation, and its purpose is to provide formal training for students wishing to enter the profession. Topics include evaluation, documentation, and preservation of physical evidence; the requirements of the forensic laboratory; forensic analytical processes and methods; limitations of physical evidence; scientific thinking; and probative value of evidence in court. The Minor allows students to take courses in their area of interest (Forensic Science) without the heavy chemistry and biology course load of the major.

Note: Students interested in working in a crime lab should MAJOR in FORENSIC SCIENCE.


Forensic Science is an applied science, and as such has broad application in many fields. The Minor in Forensic Studies has practical applications in the areas of law, law enforcement, engineering, computer science, accounting, chemistry, biology, nursing, medicine, psychology, anthropology, and photography. The Minor provides a potentially useful credential for students pursuing careers or scholarship in all of these fields. A few examples: Anthropology majors could use their Forensic Studies training when excavating clandestine gravesites and documenting human remains; Justice Studies majors could apply their Forensic Studies training when evaluating physical evidence in police work and court rooms; and Nursing majors with a Minor in Forensic Studies could use the credential in the fairly modern field of Forensic Nursing, in which nurses play a major role documenting injuries and collecting forensic evidence in hospitals.


FS 11 Survey of Forensic Science                 3 units
FS 161 Crime Scene Investigation    3 units
2 Substantive Elective Courses (see list) 6 units 
FS 162 Forensic Science Applications 3 units 
 Total 15 units 

In selecting substantive electives, students are encouraged to select courses that also fulfill other university requirements. Students are responsible for meeting or getting waived (by instructor) any necessary pre-requisites for each substantive elective course. The Minor should not delay graduation. Proper planning and advising will ensure that students graduate when intended. Students are highly encouraged to see the Minor Coordinator for advising during posted office hours.


  • FS 160: Special Topics in Forensic Science, 1-5 UNITS
  • FS 163: Fingerprint Science, 3 UNITS
  • FS 164: Crime Scene and Evidence Photography, 3 UNITS
  • FS 165: Forensic Biometrics, 3 UNITS
  • JS 143: Criminal Evidence and Procedure, 3 UNITS
  • *JS 185: Special Topics in Justice Studies, 3 UNITS
  • PHIL 133: Ethics in Science, 3 UNITS (GE:V)
  • PHIL 160: Philosophy of Science, 3 UNITS (GE: R)
  • PHOT 110: Black and White Photography, 3 UNITS
  • ENT 106: Forensic Entomology, 3 UNITS
  • ANTH 157: Forensic Anthropology, 3 UNITS
  • PSYC 110: Abnormal Psychology, 3 UNITS
  • PSYC 129: Neuroscience, 3 UNITS
  • PSYC 153: Psychology in the Courtroom, 3 UNITS
* Pre-approval of special topic is required.


If you are interested in declaring a Minor in Forensic Studies or if you have any questions, contact Minor Coordinator Mary Juno mary.juno@sjsu.edu, MacQuarrie Hall 511.

To Declare the Minor

Fill out the appropriate change of minor form (<90 or >90 units) and turn that in with supporting documents to the Minor Coordinator. 

To Apply for Graduation with the FS Minor

Fill out the FS Minor Grad form and turn it in to the Minor Coordinator.