Forensic Science (BS)

The word “forensic” relates the application of scientific methods and techniques to the investigation of a crime. Plymouth State’s forensic program is geared to both science and non-science students who love investigation and problem-solving. Plymouth State Forensic is the first baccalaureate degree program from a public university in New Hampshire.

The collaborative and project-based emphasis of Plymouth State’s Cluster Learning model combined with core program studies in Criminal Justice and Chemistry along with specialized course work from Psychology, Computer Science, Biology, and Anthropology gives our students unmatched opportunity to excel in this field.  Professionals and distinguished faculty from each field will be involved in training our students. The BS in forensic science is a STEM-orientated program that emphasizes a solid theoretical foundation and laboratory skills while cultivating a critical, detail-oriented approach to investigations. The curriculum features modern laboratory setups and instrumentation.  An important consideration is given the huge surge in interest in careers that are experiencing exponential occupational growth, including forensic laboratory specialty, forensic psychology, and computer information security.

As a Forensic scientist, you can work in laboratories or at crime scenes. You may work as a private investigator, insurance officer, a cyber security analyst. You may choose to work for private and public offices or laboratories.

The curriculum is adaptable enough for students to obtain additional specialties and/or minors in Chemistry, Psychology, Criminal Justice, and Biology with few additional courses using their free electives.

Course Title Credits
Major Requirements
FS 1200Majoring and Working in Forensic Science1
CJ 1020Criminal Justice in Action4
CH 1050Laboratory Safety1
CJ 2045Criminal Procedure4
CH 2255Techniques in Laboratory3
CH 2335General Chemistry I (QRCO)4
CJ 3005Criminal Investigation4
CJ 3025Forensic Science4
CH 3550Instrumental Analysis (TECO,WRCO)4
FS 4000Forensic Science Capstone Project2
Math Foundation Skills
Take one of the following:3-4
Statistics I (QRCO)
Precalculus (QRCO)
Calculus I (QRCO)
Interdisciplinary Focus Areas
Take three lower-level (1000/2000) courses and take five upper-level (3000/4000) courses 1,224-32
===Forensic Lab Analysis Specialty===
Biological Science I (TECO)
Biological Science II
Invertebrate Zoology
General Chemistry II
Soils and Environmental Change
Organic Chemistry I
Organic Chemistry II
Physical Chemistry: Thermodynamics and Kinetics (WRCO)
Forensic Anthropology
===Digital Forensic Specialty===
Computing Fundamentals (TECO)
Calculus I (QRCO)
Calculus II (QRCO)
Introduction to Cybersecurity
Topics in Computer Science and Technology
Computer Security
===Forensic Psychology Specialty===
Cognitive Psychology Laboratory
Introduction to General Psychology
Life-Span Developmental Psychology
Social Psychology
Research Methods and Statistics I (QRCO,TECO)
Research Methods and Statistics II (WRCO)
Cognitive Psychology
Abnormal Psychology
Psychology and Law
Internship in Psychology
Independent Research in Psychology
General Education Requirements
EN 1400Composition4
IS 1115Tackling a Wicked Problem4
CTDICreative Thought Direction3-4
PPDIPast and Present Direction3-4
SIDIScientific Inquiry Direction3-4
SSDISelf and Society Direction3-4
Directions (choose from CTDI, PPDI, SIDI, SSDI) 34-8
DICODiversity Connection3-4
WECOWellness Connection3-4
INCPIntegrated Capstone4
GACOGlobal Awareness Connection3-4
Total Credits120

To enhance career opportunities students may choose one or two interdisciplinary specialties as long as they take two lower-level and five upper-level courses. One thing students must be aware of is the courses in some specialties may have lower-level prerequisites associated with the same specialty. Students may use their free electives to choose additional courses to get a minor or a second major.


The courses from the Interdisciplinary Specialty can be applied towards one or more minor requirements. Possible minors of interest: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Mathematics, Psychology. 


Directions should total 20 credits (unless the major has a waiver for a specific Direction).

Plan of Study Grid
Year OneCredits
IS 1115 Tackling a Wicked Problem 4
EN 1400 Composition 4
FS 1200 Majoring and Working in Forensic Science 1
CH 2010 The Literature and Ethics of Chemistry 0.5
CH 1050 Laboratory Safety 1
CJ 1020 Criminal Justice in Action 4
CH 2255 Techniques in Laboratory 3
MA 2300 Statistics I (QRCO) 3
PPDIPast and Present Direction 3-4
SIDIScientific Inquiry Direction 3-4
One 1000/2000 level specialty course 4
Year Two
CJ 2045 Criminal Procedure 4
MA 2130 Precalculus (QRCO) 4
Two 1000/2000 level specialty course 8
CTDICreative Thought Direction 3-4
SSDISelf and Society Direction 3-4
Directions (choose from CTDI, PPDI, SIDI, SSDI) 4-8
Electives 3-4
Year Three
CJ 3005 Criminal Investigation 4
CJ 3025 Forensic Science 4
GACOGlobal Awareness Connection 3-4
Three 3000/4000 level specialty course 12
Electives 6-8
Year Four
FS 4000 Forensic Science Capstone Project 2
CH 3550 Instrumental Analysis (TECO,WRCO) 4
Two 3000/4000 level specialty courses
WECOWellness Connection 3-4
DICODiversity Connection 3-4
Electives 6-8
 Total Credits120
  • Detail-oriented approach and ability to Validate sources and origins of error in crime investigations
  • Purposeful communication: Demonstrate ability to interpret evidence and communicate results in both written and oral format.
  • Integrated perspective: Work collaboratively with members of a team with diverse backgrounds.
  • Professionalism: Even during a violent crime or chaotic conditions maintain composure and objectivity.
  • Math and science skills: Forensic science technicians need a solid understanding of statistics and natural sciences to be able to analyze crime scene evidence.

As a Forensic scientist, you can work in laboratories or at crime scenes. You may work as a private investigator, insurance officer, a cyber security analyst. You may choose to work for private and public offices or laboratories. Careers in Forensic Science: Cybersecurity Analyst, Forensic Life Scientist, Information Security Specialist, Insurance Officer, Private Investigator.