Minor - Forensic Studies


The non-science Forensic Studies minor offers a credential in crime scene investigation without the chemistry and biology course load of the forensic science major. Its purpose is to provide formal instruction in the evaluation, documentation, and preservation of physical evidence; the requirements of the forensic laboratory; forensic analytical process and methods; limitations of physical evidence; scientific thinking; and probative value of evidence in court.

Students who are interested in working in a crime lab should MAJOR in Forensic Science


Benefits of the Forensic Studies Minor

The Minor in Forensic Studies has practical applications in areas such as law enforcement, law, engineering, computer science, accounting, chemistry, biology, nursing, medicine, psychology, anthropology, and photography. Providing a potentially useful credential for students pursuing careers or scholarship in these fields. For example, 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 or court rooms; Nursing majors could use the credential in the fairly modern field of forensic nursing, in which nurses in hospitals play a major role documenting injuries and collecting forensic evidence. 


Curriculum Requirements (15 units)


FS 011 Survey of Forensic Science  3 units
FS 161 Crime Scene Investigation   3 units
FS 162 Forensic Science Applications    3 units
  Plus 2 Electives (see list below)       6 units
  Total  15 units

When selecting substantive elective courses in the minor, students are encouraged to choose courses that also fulfill other university requirements. Students are responsible for meeting (or getting waived by instructor) any pre-requisite courses. Proper planning and advising will ensure that students graduate when intended. Students are highly encouraged to meet with an advisor in the Justice Studies Department to get advising during posted office hours.


Substantive Electives

ANTH 157 Forensic Anthropology 3 units
FS 160 Special Topics 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 Law and Justice   3 units

*Special topic must be forensic science related, and approved by the FS Minor Coordinator.


JS 161  Introduction to Cybercrime 3 units
PHIL 133 Ethics in Science (Area V) 1-5 units
PHIL 160 Philosophy of Science (Area R) 3 units
PHOTO 110 Black and White Photography 3 units
PSYC 110 Abnormal Psychology 3 units
PSYC 153 Psychology in the Courtroom 3 units

As is the case for all minors at SJSU, students must make sure that at least 12 units of their minor coursework is unique from their substantive major coursework. Please see your major and minor advisor regularly to make sure that your program(s) are completed in the most efficient manner possible.


Contact Information

If you are interested in declaring a Minor in Forensic Studies, or if you have any questions, you may contact the minor coordinator, Professor Mary Juno, or Dr. Shawna Bolton.


How to Declare the Forensic Studies Minor

Students should declare the minor as soon as they know they are interested. Download and fill out the Forensic Studies Minor Form, and the appropriate Change of Major/Minor Form 
(<90 or >90 units), along with other documentation requested on that form. Take them with you to see an advisor.


How to Apply for Graduation with the Forensic Studies Minor

Fill out the Forensic Studies Minor Form and take it with you to see an advisor. Generally, students should complete this process at the same time they apply for graduation with their major. The major advisor is the primary advisor for graduation purposes, but the minor form must be approved at the Department of Justice Studies.