Biomedical Forensics

  • GMS FS 700: Criminal Law and Ethics
    Graduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor
    An overview of legal, ethical and practical issues of forensic science, the impact of forensic science on the justice system and a discussion of traditional and emerging admissibility standards involving forensic science evidence is given. The curriculum will include a description of the roles law enforcement, attorneys and forensic scientists, professional standards for the practice of criminalistics and ethical issues in various forensic disciplines. 2 cr
  • GMS FS 701: Crime Scene Investigation
    Graduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor
    This combination hands-on and lecture-based course will provide students with an in-depth review of crime scene assessment and management. Methods of identifying, documenting, collecting and packaging physical evidence from various types of crime scenes are discussed. A hands-on component will be employed in areas such as crime scene sketching, photography and pattern evidence collection. 3 cr
  • GMS FS 702: Forensic Biology
    Graduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor
    This lecture-based course will introduce students to the biological aspects of forensic evidence including biochemical and physical attributes of blood and other body fluids. Common methods of body fluid identification utilized in forensic laboratories will be discussed at length. Other topics include guidelines for thorough evidence examination, screening, documentation and report writing. 3 cr
  • GMS FS 703: Forensic Chemistry
    Graduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor
    This lecture-based course will provide an introduction to forensic chemistry and will expose students to chemical principles and instrumental techniques associated with the field, with particular emphasis on the analysis of controlled substances and forensic toxicology. A review of organic and analytical chemistry as they relate to forensic investigations will be discussed. 3 cr
  • GMS FS 704: Forensic Biology Laboratory
    Graduate Prerequisites: GMS FS 702 Forensic Biology (pre- or co-req)
    This laboratory-based course will give students an opportunity to apply the principles of forensic biology to actual samples. Techniques utilized will include chemical screening assays, detection with ALS, methods used to confirm the presence of specific biological materials, antibody interactions, and microscopic identification of cellular material. 2 cr
  • GMS FS 706: Pattern Evidence Analysis
    Graduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor
    This combination lecture and lab-based course will provide students with overview of various types of pattern evidence with an emphasis on the systematic approaches to pattern evidence comparison and analysis. The history of fingerprint identification, fingerprint processing and comparison techniques, footwear and tire impression analysis, toolmark analysis, and the importance of photography in pattern evidence documentation will be discussed. Development of pattern evidence using mechanical, chemical and visual techniques is incorporated. 2 cr
  • GMS FS 707: Trace Evidence Analysis
    Graduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor
    This lecture-based course will provide an overview of the principles and concepts on which trace evidence analysis is based. Proper collection, preservation, identification and comparison of items such as glass, paint, hairs and fibers, using standard methods and instruments used in crime scene laboratories will be discussed. 3 cr
  • GMS FS 708: Forensic Instrumental Analysis Laboratory
    Graduate Prerequisites: GMS FS 703 Forensic Chemistry
    This laboratory course will provide an introduction to a variety of instrumentation and equipment utilized in the forensic laboratory and detail the methods used by forensic scientists for chemical analysis with a focus on forensic toxicology and drug chemistry. 2 cr
  • GMS FS 712: Forensic Pathology and Medicolegal Death Investigation
    Graduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor
    This lecture-based course will provide the student with an overview of the role of the medical examiner and the basic principles of medicolegal death investigations. Specific lectures will cover autopsy procedures in the investigation of gunshot wounds, sharp and blunt trauma, drowning, asphyxia, child deaths, motor vehicle accidents and time since death determination. A general knowledge of anatomy is recommended prior to enrollment. 3 cr., Spring sem.
  • GMS FS 713: Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
    Graduate Prerequisites: GMS FS 701 Crime Scene Investigation
    This lecture and lab-based course will provide students with fundamental knowledge in the area of bloodstain pattern analysis including the scientific principles and practical applications of bloodstain pattern analysis for forensic casework. The procedures and methods for recognition, documentation and evaluation of bloodstain patterns will be covered. Additionally, the principles of physics, blood dynamics and the geometric significance of bloodstain patterns will be explored. 2 cr
  • GMS FS 720: Molecular Biology of Forensic DNA Analysis
    Graduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor
    This lecture-based course will discuss theory and application of human genetics and molecular biology to testing of biological evidence. DNA structure and organization of the human genome and types of genetic variation occurring in humans will be covered. Other topics include the history of DNA analysis and current PCR based methods for testing of autosomal STR loci, Y chromosome STR loci and mitochondrial DNA. Lecture material will also cover commonly encountered artifacts in PCR testing, DNA profile interpretation and statistical analysis of results. 3 cr
  • GMS FS 721: Forensic DNA Analysis Laboratory
    Graduate Prerequisites: GMS FS 720 Molecular Biology of Forensic DNA Analysis (pre- or co-req)
    This lab-based course will provide theory and practice in procedures used in forensic DNA analysis. Sessions will include use of several DNA extraction techniques, clean technique for contamination prevention, real time PCR for human DNA quantitation, PCR amplification of STR loci and DNA profile analysis. 2 cr
  • GMS FS 730: Advanced Topics in Forensic DNA Analysis
    Graduate Prerequisites: GMS FS 720 and GMS FS 721
    This course will build on topics presented in the Forensic DNA Analysis course and laboratory. Students will gain experience interpreting STR data from compromised and mixed source samples, and will understand the theory behind DNA profile frequency calculations. An in-depth review of techniques and methodology used in a forensic DNA laboratory and the roles that accreditation, validation and quality assurance play will be discussed. 2 cr
  • GMS FS 740: Analysis of Controlled Substances
    Graduate Prerequisites: GMS FS 703 Forensic Chemistry
    This lecture-based course will provide information on the important methods of analysis of most commonly abused illicit substances including marijuana, cocaine, opiates, hallucinogens, amphetamines and novel psychoactive substances. Additionally, the production, distribution and history of these commonly abused drugs will be covered. Laboratory accreditation requirements will also be discussed. 2 cr
  • GMS FS 800: Criminal Law II - Mock Court
    Graduate Prerequisites: GMS FS 700 Criminal Law and Ethics
    This interactive course builds upon the material discussed in Criminal Law and Ethics regarding the criminal trial process, the role of the forensic witness and the presentation of scientific testimony and physical evidence in court. Students will actively participate in presenting testimony as well as critiquing the performance of others in a mock court setting. Instructors may utilize reports and projects prepared in other courses to provide the subject matter for the students' testimony. 2 cr
  • GMS FS 803: Advanced Topics in Forensic Chemistry
    Graduate Prerequisites: GMS FS 703 Forensic Chemistry
    This lecture-based course will provide students with an understanding of advanced analytical techniques and physical chemistry applications. Lecture topics will include: hypothesis testing, experimental design, control charts, measuring analytical uncertainty, spectral interpretations and forensic applications of thermodynamics and electrochemistry. 2 cr
  • GMS FS 806: Advanced Crime Scene Investigation
    Prereq: GMS FS 701 Crime Science Investigation. This combination hands-on and lecture-based course will cover specialized aspects of crime scene processing and reconstruction with a focus on the use of technology. Topics such as 3-D image capture, advanced UV and IR techniques, use of CAD software and mobile apps for crime scene mapping will be covered. 2 cr
  • GMS FS 830: Forensic Toxicology
    Graduate Prerequisites: GMS FS 703 Forensic Chemistry
    This lecture-based course will provide an overview of the pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and toxicology of common drugs of interest to the forensic toxicologist. An emphasis will be placed on applying the principles of pharmacokinetics to the interpretation of drug blood and urine levels, and on developing an understanding of how drugs (including ethanol) interact with the biology and physiology of the human body. Students will also acquire knowledge of the chemical structure of common drugs. 2 cr
  • GMS FS 840: Case Practicum in Forensic Biology /DNA
    Graduate Prerequisites: GMS FS 704 Forensic Biology Laboratory, GMS FS 730 Advanced Topics inForensic DNA Analysis
    This laboratory course will provide students with the opportunity to independently perform evidence assessment and testing for various types of biological evidence, as well as conduct a technical peer review in a mock forensic case setting. Advanced biological screening and DNA analysis techniques will be employed and students will become practiced in the analysis of complex DNA profiles. 2 cr
  • GMS FS 870: Directed Research and Professionalism in Biomedical Forensic Sciences
    Graduate Prerequisites: consent of program/thesis advisor
    Students will register for this course in preparation for conducting a research-based thesis project. With direction from the student's thesis research committee, the student will investigate his/her thesis topic, develop a research plan including an outline of the project, become familiar with quality control and quality assurance issues and begin data collection. As part of the course, students will be required to attend designated instructional/discussion sessions as well as professional/scientific seminars. 2 cr., Fall and Spring sem.