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Biology/Forensic Biology Concentration
Why Choose Forensic Biology?
You've seen them on T.V. gathering evidence at a crime scene or testing DNA samples in a lab. They are forensics experts, scientific detectives who search for clues that answer the "who, what and when" questions of a legal investigation. If you have an inquiring mind and like biology and chemistry, you may be interested in Ferris State's Forensic Biology degree.
Forensic biology is the application of biological knowledge and laboratory techniques to criminal and civil investigations as well as to the identification of unknown individuals. The forensic biology degree builds on a solid foundation of biology and chemistry, with unique core courses in forensic biology, forensic chemistry, forensic human pathology and forensic DNA analysis. The degree is designed for the student who is interested in analyzing biological evidence as it relates to legal and other investigations, or collecting and processing evidence at a crime scene or in a laboratory. It is also excellent preparation for graduate work in specialized areas of forensics.
Students receive extensive training in the collection and analysis of biological evidence in both lab and field settings. Students learn how to evaluate mock crime scenes that include decomposition of animal remains in the field. They also learn how to document, collect and analyze the insects, plants and other biological evidence to determine the time of death. Students learn to identify skeletal remains, and evaluate trauma.
Forensic biology is in the midst of a revolution, and the need for well-trained forensic biologists is growing at a rapid pace. The demand for qualified forensic biologists is increasing due to the technological advances in the last five years in genetics and molecular biology.
Graduates with this degree would be eligible for entry-level positions in forensic laboratories, medical examiners offices and law enforcement agencies. It should be stressed, however, that further graduate-level education might be required for you to become employable in your chosen career. To fully prepare for any career you should understand the necessary qualifications. In the area of forensic biology, one good source of current job openings and the background required can be found at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences website (www.aafs.org).
First year student admission is open to high school graduates (or equivalent) who demonstrate academic preparedness, maturity and seriousness of purpose with educational backgrounds that include high school courses in science and chemistry. High school courses and grade point average, ACT/SAT16 composite score, and ACT/SAT16 reading and mathematics sub scores will be considered in the admission and placement process. Transfer students must have at least 12 credits at the time of application with a minimum 2.5 overall GPA including an English and methematics course or they will be considered as first year students.
General Education Requirements
All University General Education requirements can be found here: http://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/academics/general-education/requirements/BA-BS.htm
Please consult this link for a complete listing of General Education Electives: http://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/academics/general-education/courses/index.htm
Consult the official checksheet or program advisor for program specific General Education requirements.
The Forensic Biology program leads to a Bachelor of Science degree. Graduation requires a minimum 2.0 GPA overall and a minimum of 121 credits including completion of all general education requirements as outlined on the General Education website. No grade lower than a 'C-' is acceptable in courses that apply to the major, supporting sciences, and application area of the program. At least 50% of the semester credits applying toward the Biology major must be completed at FSU with a minimum of 30 FSU credits overall. Students may earn only one B.S. degree in Biology from Ferris State University.
LEAD ADVISOR: Dr. Chris Westerkamp
PROFESSIONAL ADVISOR: Kim Ducat
PROFESSIONAL ADVISOR: Jenice Winowiecki
Department of Biological Sciences
Ferris State University
820 Campus Drive/ASC 2004
Big Rapids, MI 49307
Forensic Biology - Minimum 121 Credits
Major - 37 Credits
300 Level or above