Forensic Studies Minor


The Forensic Studies Minor is a non-science minor offered by the Justice Studies Department and the Forensic Science Program. The Minor is primarily designed for students interested in crime scene investigation, and its purpose is to provide formal academic training in this area.

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
  • probative value of evidence in court

The Forensic Studies Minor allows students to take Forensic Science courses without the heavy chemistry and biology course load of the major.

Proper planning and advising will ensure that students graduate when intended. Students are highly encouraged to meet with a the Minor Coordinator or their advisor during posted office hours.

Curriculum and Requirements


FS 11 is the prerequisite for all other FS courses, so it must be taken first. This course is offered in spring and fall semesters, and usually in summer and winter sessions as well. Check the course schedule for offerings. There may also be prerequisites for some of the substantive elective courses. Students must meet those or have them waived by the instructor. 

Advantages to the Minor

The Forensic Studies Minor has practical applications in areas such as:

  • accounting
  • anthropology
  • biology
  • chemistry
  • computer science
  • engineering
  • law and law enforcement
  • medicine
  • nursing
  • photography
  • psychology

The FS minor provides a potentially useful credential for students pursuing careers or scholarship in the fields listed above. 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 field of forensic nursing, in which nurses in hospitals play a major role documenting injuries and collecting forensic evidence.

Careers Related to the Minor

  • Biotechnology, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries
  • Crime scene investigation
  • Forensic science/Criminalistics
  • Law and related fields
  • Teaching/Research

Steps to Complete the Minor

  1. Declare the Forensic Studies Minor
    • If you have earned fewer than 90 units, you can declare the minor by emailing the Minor Coordinator your student ID number and stating your interest.
    • If you have earned more than 90 units, you must meet with the Minor Coordinator in office hours
  2. Take the Classes
    • You can take FS 11 before declaring the minor, but must be an officially delcared minor in order to take FS 161, FS 162, and any other upper division FS course.
    • When selecting electives in the minor, we encourage students to seek guidance from the Minor Coordinator or a Forensic Science advisor, and/or to choose courses that also fulfill other university requirements.
    • One course (3 units) may be double-counted in the minor and major. 
  3. Apply to Graduate
    • Check your myprogress to make sure you have completed all requirements in the minor.

Meet with an Advisor

The Forensic Studies Minor Coordinator, Professor Mary Juno, is the Department of Justice Studies' designee to lead advising for the minor. She helps students find opportunities that suit the students' interests in Forensic Studies.

Contact Professor Mary Juno if you are interested in declaring the Forensic Studies Minor or if you have additional questions.