Courses & Programs

Forensic Science

The Forensic Science Transfer Option is for those who are interested in forensic science, and plan to either find employment as a technician in the field or transfer to a four-year school.

Elizabeth Butin

Faculty, Forensic Science

Science, Engineering & Math

Frost 174

413.552.2305 (Tel)


What will you learn?

The Forensic Science degree is for those who are interested in forensic science and plan to either find employment as a technician in the field or transfer to a four-year school.

PROGRAM OUTCOMES

Upon completion of this degree students will be able to:

  • Practice good laboratory techniques ensuring safety, quality control, and quality assurance.
  • Create well-organized, informed, and effective written reports and scientific articles.
  • Supply informed, concise, and unbiased expert witness testimony.
  • Properly collect, preserve, and process evidence using various scientific techniques.
  • Explain the methods and procedures applied to identify and characterize DNA from biological samples.

Careers in the field can include crime scene processing, criminalistics, forensic biology, and forensic chemistry. Students selecting this major should be advised that employers in Forensic Science related occupational fields conduct both CORI (Criminal Offense Record Act) and SORI (Sex Offender Registry Informational) checks pursuant to Chapter 6, Sections 172-178 of the Massachusetts General Laws related regulations.

What will you do?

Continue your education at a four-year college or university, or enter the workforce!  Careers for forensic scientists include:

  • Criminalistics
  • Toxicology
  • Document Analysis
  • Odontology
  • Pathology
  • Forensic Psychiatry

Learn more at HCC's Advising, Career and Transfer Center and at What Can I Do With This Major?

61 total credits

21 credits General Education Requirements + 28 credits Program Requirements

Depending on course selection, 50% can be completed on line.


General Education Requirements

21 CREDITS
This course is the first half of the college composition sequence and focuses on close reading, critical thinking, beginning research skills, and the writing process. Students will read, analyze, and cite a range of nonfiction texts. Students will produce several formal essays totaling approximately 3000 words. Prerequisite: Appropriate scores on English placement tests or C- or higher in ENG 095.
This course is the second half of the first-year composition sequence and focuses on close reading, critical thinking, academic writing, research, and the writing process. Students will locate and evaluate both primary and secondary sources, and will gain skill in summarizing and synthesizing source material while employing MLA documentation. Texts will include a range of nonfiction (articles, essays, scholarly sources) and literary works. Students will produce at least 3000 words of formal written work, including a documented essay of at least 1250 words. Prerequisite: ENG 101 with a grade of C-or higher.
Select from the following courses: ANT 101, ANT 103, ANT 110, ANT 114, ANT 120, ANT 130, ANT 150, ANT 250, COM 212, CRJ 110, CRJ 117, CRJ 200, CRJ 208, CRJ 209, CRJ 210, CRJ 217, ECN 100, ECN 101, ECN 102, ECN 104, ECN 105, ECN 120, ECN150, ECN 250, GEO 110, GRT 110, HON 206, HSV 120, HSV 205, HSV 208, HSV 212, HSV 226, HSV 230, LAW 215, POL 101, POL 110, POL 120, POL 125, POL 126, POL 140, POL 150, POL 230, PSY 110, PSY 202, PSY 203, PSY 210, PSY 215, PSY 216, PSY 217, PSY 218, PSY 220, PSY 222, PSY 224, PSY 225, PSY 226, PSY 230, PSY 233, PSY 240, PSY 242, PSY 250, PSY 260, PSY 265, PSY 270, SOC 110, SOC 130, SOC 150, SOC 204, SOC 208, SOC 213, SOC 214, SOC 215, SOC 216, SOC 220, SOC 240, SOC250, SSN 120, SSN 230, WST 100, WST 215, WST 217
A course designed for students who are interested in exploring the field of forensic science. A study of fundamental forensic science techniques and procedures. Lecture topics include techniques used to evaluate types of physical, chemical, and biological evidence, as well as the legal system and forensic science, crime scenes and various forensic specialties. Laboratories afford students the opportunity to identify, examine, and assess forensic evidence using modern chemical and biological techniques. NOTE: Students cannot receive credit for both FRS 100 and FRS 101.
Functions, limits, continuity, the derivative, applications, the integral, the fundamental theorem of calculus.NOTE: MTH 162 Applied Calculus is not a substitute for MTH 113 and cannot be used as a prerequisite for MTH 114.Prerequisite: MTH 108 or adequate score on the Mathematics Placement Exam

Program Requirements

28 CREDITS
Historical and philosophical background and critical evaluation of the criminal justice system. A study of the United States Constitution and its impact on modern criminal justice. The relationship of crime to the police, prosecution, the courts, probation, parole, corrections, and the general functions of each. Exploration of the field of criminal justice and professional career opportunities in it. Prerequisite: English 095 eligibility
This course studies the history and development of criminal law as a form of social control, the evolution of criminal law from civil law, and the relationship between common and statutory criminal law. The criminal process from investigation through indictment, arrest, arraignment, trial, and sentencing will be reviewed. Through analytic case studies, emphasis will be given to substantive aspects of criminal law and current constitutional constraints established by the United States Supreme Court on law enforcement procedures occurring during arrests, searches and seizures, interrogations, electronic surveillances, and other investigative practices. Prerequisite: CRJ 100
Graphical description of data, measures of central tendency and variability, probability and probability distributions, central limit theorem, estimation of parameters, testing hypotheses, regression and correlation, analysis of variance, and other topics in statistical inference. Prerequisite: MTH 085 or MTH 099 with a grade of C- or better; or SM12, or adequate score on the Mathematics Placement Examination.
Humanities [C] Electives ART 101, ART 110, ART 121, ART 122, ART 123, ART 124, ART 131, ART 132, ART 140, ART 141, ART 276 (formerly 142), ART 145, ART 147, ART 148, ART 150, ART 151, ART 222, ART 272 (formerly 156), ART 231, ART 232, ART 235, ART 241, ART 242, ART 250, ART 253, ART 254, ART 255, ART 261, ART 262, ART 273, ART 274, ART 275, ASL 201, ASL 202, ASL 291, ASL 292, COM 121, COM 131, COM 150, COM 205, COM 214, COM 235, EMS 111, EMS 112, EMS 118, EMS 124, EMS 125, EMS 225, DFS 101, DFS 104, DFS 108 (formerly 106), DFS 205, ENG 201, ENG 202, ENG 203, ENG 211, ENG 212, ENG 214, ENG 215, ENG 216, ENG 217, ENG 218, ENG 223, ENG 224, ENG 226, ENG 227, ENG 230, ENG 231, ENG 232, ENG 235, ENG 237, ENG 245, ENG 250, FRH 201, FRH 202, FRH 205, FRH 206, GER 205, HIS 101, HIS 102, HIS 103, HIS 104, HIS 105, HIS 107, HIS 109, HIS 108, HIS 111, HIS 112, HIS 121, HIS 130, HIS 150, HIS 162, HIS 220, HIS 225, HIS 250, HIS 260, HON 206, HUM 206, MUS 100, MUS 105, MUS 106, MUS 107, MUS 110, MUS 126, MUS 140, MUS 150, MUS 208, MUS 209, MUS 250, MUS 259, MUS 260, PHI 100, PHI 101, PHI 103, PHI 110, PHI 120, PHI 130, PHI 140, PHI 230, SPA 201, SPA 202, SPA 203, SPA 204, SPA 205, SPA 206, SPA 110, SPA 210, SPA 211, SPA 212, SPA 214, THE 100, THE 110, THE 124, THE 125, THE 212, THE 213, THE 227, THE 235, THE 237
Humanities [C] Electives ART 101, ART 110, ART 121, ART 122, ART 123, ART 124, ART 131, ART 132, ART 140, ART 141, ART 276 (formerly 142), ART 145, ART 147, ART 148, ART 150, ART 151, ART 222, ART 272 (formerly 156), ART 231, ART 232, ART 235, ART 241, ART 242, ART 250, ART 253, ART 254, ART 255, ART 261, ART 262, ART 273, ART 274, ART 275, ASL 201, ASL 202, ASL 291, ASL 292, COM 121, COM 131, COM 150, COM 205, COM 214, COM 235, EMS 111, EMS 112, EMS 118, EMS 124, EMS 125, EMS 225, DFS 101, DFS 104, DFS 108 (formerly 106), DFS 205, ENG 201, ENG 202, ENG 203, ENG 211, ENG 212, ENG 214, ENG 215, ENG 216, ENG 217, ENG 218, ENG 223, ENG 224, ENG 226, ENG 227, ENG 230, ENG 231, ENG 232, ENG 235, ENG 237, ENG 245, ENG 250, FRH 201, FRH 202, FRH 205, FRH 206, GER 205, HIS 101, HIS 102, HIS 103, HIS 104, HIS 105, HIS 107, HIS 109, HIS 108, HIS 111, HIS 112, HIS 121, HIS 130, HIS 150, HIS 162, HIS 220, HIS 225, HIS 250, HIS 260, HON 206, HUM 206, MUS 100, MUS 105, MUS 106, MUS 107, MUS 110, MUS 126, MUS 140, MUS 150, MUS 208, MUS 209, MUS 250, MUS 259, MUS 260, PHI 100, PHI 101, PHI 103, PHI 110, PHI 120, PHI 130, PHI 140, PHI 230, SPA 201, SPA 202, SPA 203, SPA 204, SPA 205, SPA 206, SPA 110, SPA 210, SPA 211, SPA 212, SPA 214, THE 100, THE 110, THE 124, THE 125, THE 212, THE 213, THE 227, THE 235, THE 237
Humanities [C] Electives ART 101, ART 110, ART 121, ART 122, ART 123, ART 124, ART 131, ART 132, ART 140, ART 141, ART 276 (formerly 142), ART 145, ART 147, ART 148, ART 150, ART 151, ART 222, ART 272 (formerly 156), ART 231, ART 232, ART 235, ART 241, ART 242, ART 250, ART 253, ART 254, ART 255, ART 261, ART 262, ART 273, ART 274, ART 275, ASL 201, ASL 202, ASL 291, ASL 292, COM 121, COM 131, COM 150, COM 205, COM 214, COM 235, EMS 111, EMS 112, EMS 118, EMS 124, EMS 125, EMS 225, DFS 101, DFS 104, DFS 108 (formerly 106), DFS 205, ENG 201, ENG 202, ENG 203, ENG 211, ENG 212, ENG 214, ENG 215, ENG 216, ENG 217, ENG 218, ENG 223, ENG 224, ENG 226, ENG 227, ENG 230, ENG 231, ENG 232, ENG 235, ENG 237, ENG 245, ENG 250, FRH 201, FRH 202, FRH 205, FRH 206, GER 205, HIS 101, HIS 102, HIS 103, HIS 104, HIS 105, HIS 107, HIS 109, HIS 108, HIS 111, HIS 112, HIS 121, HIS 130, HIS 150, HIS 162, HIS 220, HIS 225, HIS 250, HIS 260, HON 206, HUM 206, MUS 100, MUS 105, MUS 106, MUS 107, MUS 110, MUS 126, MUS 140, MUS 150, MUS 208, MUS 209, MUS 250, MUS 259, MUS 260, PHI 100, PHI 101, PHI 103, PHI 110, PHI 120, PHI 130, PHI 140, PHI 230, SPA 201, SPA 202, SPA 203, SPA 204, SPA 205, SPA 206, SPA 110, SPA 210, SPA 211, SPA 212, SPA 214, THE 100, THE 110, THE 124, THE 125, THE 212, THE 213, THE 227, THE 235, THE 237
Select from the following courses: ANT 101, ANT 103, ANT 110, ANT 114, ANT 120, ANT 130, ANT 150, ANT 250, COM 212, CRJ 110, CRJ 117, CRJ 200, CRJ 208, CRJ 209, CRJ 210, CRJ 217, ECN 100, ECN 101, ECN 102, ECN 104, ECN 105, ECN 120, ECN150, ECN 250, GEO 110, GRT 110, HON 206, HSV 120, HSV 205, HSV 208, HSV 212, HSV 226, HSV 230, LAW 215, POL 101, POL 110, POL 120, POL 125, POL 126, POL 140, POL 150, POL 230, PSY 110, PSY 202, PSY 203, PSY 210, PSY 215, PSY 216, PSY 217, PSY 218, PSY 220, PSY 222, PSY 224, PSY 225, PSY 226, PSY 230, PSY 233, PSY 240, PSY 242, PSY 250, PSY 260, PSY 265, PSY 270, SOC 110, SOC 130, SOC 150, SOC 204, SOC 208, SOC 213, SOC 214, SOC 215, SOC 216, SOC 220, SOC 240, SOC250, SSN 120, SSN 230, WST 100, WST 215, WST 217
Select from the following courses: ANT 101, ANT 103, ANT 110, ANT 114, ANT 120, ANT 130, ANT 150, ANT 250, COM 212, CRJ 110, CRJ 117, CRJ 200, CRJ 208, CRJ 209, CRJ 210, CRJ 217, ECN 100, ECN 101, ECN 102, ECN 104, ECN 105, ECN 120, ECN150, ECN 250, GEO 110, GRT 110, HON 206, HSV 120, HSV 205, HSV 208, HSV 212, HSV 226, HSV 230, LAW 215, POL 101, POL 110, POL 120, POL 125, POL 126, POL 140, POL 150, POL 230, PSY 110, PSY 202, PSY 203, PSY 210, PSY 215, PSY 216, PSY 217, PSY 218, PSY 220, PSY 222, PSY 224, PSY 225, PSY 226, PSY 230, PSY 233, PSY 240, PSY 242, PSY 250, PSY 260, PSY 265, PSY 270, SOC 110, SOC 130, SOC 150, SOC 204, SOC 208, SOC 213, SOC 214, SOC 215, SOC 216, SOC 220, SOC 240, SOC250, SSN 120, SSN 230, WST 100, WST 215, WST 217

12 Credits of Program Electives


Students will select a track to follow and complete the courses for that track.

FORENSIC BIOLOGY TRACK:
BIO 107 and BIO 108 and FRS 201

FORENSIC CHEMISTRY TRACK:
FRS 201 and CHM 221 and CHM 222

FORENSIC ENTOMOLOGY or ANTROPOLOGY TRACK:
BIO 107 or BIO 108 or FRS 110 or FRS 111


Introduction to Forensic Science, FRS 101: Degree seeking students only.

Forensic DNA Analysis, FRS 201: Contact Coordinator for information about next offering.This program qualifies for MassTransfer, which guarantees credit transfer to Massachusetts state colleges and universities. MassTransfer also will grant students automatic acceptance to certain state colleges and universities by achieving the minimum grade point average and the HCC degree.