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Forensic Chemistry @ TCNJ


The concentration in Forensic Chemistry is a program available for undergraduate Chemistry majors, which began in the fall of 2004. Graduates of the program will be well-rounded Forensic Chemists with a Bachelor of Science degree, who, in addition to having studied many of the traditional methods of forensic science, will also have been exposed to some of the legal and ethical dimensions of Forensics. These students will have the unique insights into current usage of traditional methods and be able to envision new possibilities as a result of their understanding of Forensic Chemistry at both the molecular and social levels.

The goal of the Forensic Chemistry Concentration is not to graduate students with B.S. degrees in Forensic Science. There are a number of undergraduate Forensic Science programs available at other schools where students learn about chemistry, biology, legal issues, investigative methods, social science issues, etc. – such that students graduating know a little about a lot of things, but too little in any one area to be an effective employee. The Forensic Chemistry Concentration builds on a complete B.S. degree in Chemistry, so completing the Concentration leads to B.S. Chemists who can still pursue a wide range or careers/educations but also have insights into chemical aspects of the field of Forensic Science. The goal of the program is not to convert Chemists into Forensic Scientists, but to enable them to remain Chemists who, by using their skills and background, will introduce a higher level of science into their work as Forensic Scientists.

A total of three Forensic Chemistry courses are being developed, covering chemical and instrumental methods as well as the analysis of biomolecules, including DNA and proteins. These activities will be supported by and will compliment offerings within the Department of Criminology & Justice Studies, which approcahes the field from a very different but crucial perspective; and by the establishment of a student internship program with the NJ State Police Crime Laboratory.

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Continuing Goals of the Program

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Concentration Requirements

To complete the Forensic Chemistry Concentration, which compliments the full B.S. degree program in Chemistry, students must take the following:

Concentration Revisions C

Several changes have been made.  First, while it seemed reasonable to call it a Concentration 4 years ago, the word now has other meanings on campus, so it will henceforth be known as a Specialization in the Chemistry Department.  Second, the Criminology and Justice Studies Department no longer offers CRJ 415; it now is CRJ 203.  Third, when we first began, the NJ State Police Lab was eager to establish and fund our summer internship program for TCNJ students.  Now, they’re faced with substantial budget cuts and had to delete this program, so the research/internship requirement will now be “highly recommended.”  There will also be a change in the program planner.  Some CFOR students have also chosen to minor in CRJ.  Since one can double count a single required course, our students were not able to apply their 2 CRJ courses towards their minor.  We now list the CRJ courses as correlate courses to the Concentration/Specialization and you can double count as many of those as you need to. (Tricky eh?)

The **NEW** Forensic Chemistry Specialization (CFOR)

1.2 CRJ Courses ( CRJ 200 and 203 or CRJ 201 and 203)

2.CHEM 360

3.CHEM 471 or 472

4.Research or internship strongly suggested


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