May 19, 2024  
Fall 2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
Fall 2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology, Specialization in Forensic Biology, B.S.

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Forensic biology is a rapidly growing sub-discipline of biological sciences dealing with the analyses of biological/genetic properties of evidence in legal matters. Forensic biology draws from many areas of biology including genetics, cell biology, microbiology, medicine, molecular biology, entomology, botany, biochemistry, and wildlife biology. Forensic biologists may work as laboratory scientists receiving evidence including body parts and fluids, DNA, and microbial and soil samples for analyses. While learning concepts and analytical techniques, students will be encouraged to participate in internship opportunities with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation located in the BGSU campus.

The Forensic Biology specialization (FB) requires completing of a suite of core courses in basic biology, genetics, microbiology, biological statistics, and cell biology. Elective courses in diverse areas such as evolution, ecology and behavior (Group A) organismal biology (Group B) and cell, molecular and regulatory biology (Group C) provide more specialized training in focus areas. Applied technical training through analytical laboratories, advanced statistics, remote sensing, scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy, forensics in botany and wildlife provide technical expertise essential to the discipline. The required courses in criminal justice gives forensic biology students important knowledge about data handling, evidence chain of custody procedures, and legal experiences in forensics. Independent research, service learning, or internships are also integrated into the program and are critical for career placement.


In addition to the Learning Outcomes for the major in Biological Sciences, upon completion of this specialization, undergraduates will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the basic principles of biology and understand the concepts central to forensic biology, including genetics, cellular processes, and microbiology.
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically examine forensic biology data and scientific literature, design effective experiments, collect appropriate data, and interpret the results of forensic studies;
  • Demonstrate understanding of how to apply the approaches, technology, and quantitative analyses essential to chain of custody and appropriate legal handling of samples and data.
  • Demonstrate the ability to present forensic biology data to scientists and legal personnel through both oral and written formats.

BG Perspective (BGP) Requirements

Must complete at least 1 course in each of the following:

   English Composition and Oral Communication
   _____________________________    ________

   Quantitative Literacy
   _____________________________    ________

Must Complete at least 2 courses in each of the following:

   Humanities and the Arts
   _____________________________    ________ 
   _____________________________    ________    

   Natural Sciences - at least one Lab Science required
   _____________________________    ________ 
   _____________________________    ________                                                                                      

   Social and Behavioral Sciences
   _____________________________    ________ 
   _____________________________    ________                                                                        

Complete total required BGP credit hours by selecting courses from any of the above categories:

   _____________________________    ________ 
   _____________________________    ________ 
   _____________________________    ________ 
   _____________________________    ________                                                                                    

University Requirements

Designated courses in Humanities and the Arts and the Social and Behavioral Sciences domains may be used to fulfill both the BGP requirement and one of the following university requirements:

Cultural Diversity in the US    ____________
International Perspective       ____________

Composition Requirement:
WRIT 1120                              

Total BGP Credits: Must be at least 36                      

Arts & Sciences Requirements

World Languages and Cultures (_____ yrs of HS_______) 

Consult the Undergraduate Catalog or the Arts and Sciences Student Handbook regarding approved course options in the different language and culture areas. 
​   ________1010_________________    ________ 
​   ________1020_________________    ________ 
​   _____________________________    ________ 
   _____________________________    ________ 

Lab Science  

   _____________________________    ________ 

Multidisciplinary Component

Select from approved offerings, in consultation with an advisor and a faculty mentor. Four courses total, each with a different subject prefix. At least two courses at 3000/4000 level. Courses applied to the Arts & Sciences MDC may not be used to fulfill other Arts and Sciences degree requirements, nor may they be used to fulfill major, minor, BGP or other program requirements.   
   _____________________________    ________ 
   _____________________________    ________ 
   _____________________________    ________ 
   _____________________________    ________  

Major Requirements

Core Courses in Biology

(16 Credits)

Complete courses required for the Specialization and Biology electives. Ensure that you have at least 10 hours of courses at the 4000 level.

Forensic Biology Specialization

Electives - Complete at Least 3 Credit Hhrs in Each of the 4 Groups, A-D

Total Hours: 38

Forensic Biology Required Courses: Chem/Physics/Criminal Justice

A maximum of 5 credit hours from the following courses may be included in the required 10 credit hours of 4000-level Biology required for the major: BIOL 4010, BIOL 4890 . These courses may be repeated.

Biology Electives:

These courses do not meet group requirements, but do count toward the 10 hours of required courses at the 4000 level: BIOL 4700, BIOL 4900 

Minor Requirements:

A “general science” minor is offered to students in place of a conventional minor. Consult your Faculty Advisor. (A conventional minor may also be chosen, usually 20 hours, no Biology courses can be used.)

For Graduation You Will Need:

  1. 122 credit hours minimum.
  2. Minimum GPA 2.00.
  3. At least 30 credit hours of BGSU course work.
  4. 40 credit hours at the 3000/4000 level.
  5. Completion of all degree requirements, including the BG Perspective Core.
  6. A major, and if required, a minor, specialization or emphasis.

Any substitution or waiver of courses required for your major or minor program must originate in the department/school offering the major or minor and must be approved by the College Office.

To ensure a timely graduation, see a College Advisor during the semester prior to your intended graduation.

Remember to complete an Application for Graduation by the end of the second week of classes during the fall semester or spring regular session, or by the end of the first week of the summer semester. For the specific dates, check your DARS. You may log onto MyBGSU to complete the online application. After the deadlines, you will need to complete an application in person in the College Office.

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