Jul 13, 2024  
BC3 Academic Catalog: 2023-2024 
BC3 Academic Catalog: 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

CHEM 125 - Forensic Science

4 Credits: (3 lecture, 2 lab)

Course Description
This course for non-science majors introduces the student to the basic scientific theory and techniques used in criminal investigation. Topics include crime scene processing; forensic medicine; toxicology and chemistry; and analysis of bodily fluids/DNA, trace/contact evidence, and firearms-related evidence.  This course meets the General Education competency of Scientific Reasoning (SR).


Houck, M. M., & Siegel, J. A. (2015).Fundamentals of forensic science (3rd ed.). Boston, MA : Elsevier, Academic Press.

The student will be able to:

A. Apply the scientific method. (SR)

B. Define the basic role, techniques, limitations, and tools of forensic science.

C. Identify and demonstrate techniques of crime scene processing and recovery of physical evidence.

D. Classify and categorize fingerprint patterns, various tool marks, and other impressions.

E. Explain how blood spatters, hair and fiber samples, and other recoverable evidence are analyzed.

F. Describe how DNA, blood, semen, and other bodily fluids are analyzed.

G. Explain how drugs and their metabolites are chemically analyzed.

H. Identify and interpret forensic medical evidence, including changes that may occur to the body after death.

I. Describe how firearms, fires, and explosions are physically and chemically analyzed.

J. Utilize basic laboratory equipment appropriate to the discipline. (SR)

A. Crime scene processing

B. Analysis of recoverable materials

C. Analysis of impressions and marks

D. Analysis of bodily fluids and DNA

E. Forensic toxicology

F. Forensic medicine and taphonomy

G. Analysis of firearms

H. Analysis of fires and explosions

I. Analysis of documents

Student Evaluation
Objectives A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, and J will be evaluated via a combination of examinations, quizzes, lab activities, and assignments.