BIOL2040 Introduction to Forensic Science

This course will familiarize students with the history and theory of forensic science and the function of crime laboratories. Students will explore ethical considerations and legal responsibilities of forensic scientists. They will apply the scientific method in observing, documenting, collecting, preserving, analyzing, and reporting evidence through case studies and hands-on biomedical lab activities. This course covers the characteristics of hazardous waste and the necessary safe handling, storage, and disposal.




Qualifying score on reading assessment test OR ENGL0921 and Qualifying score on math assessment test OR MATH0950. Basic computer and Internet skills are strongly recommended.

Course Requirements and Evaluation

Refer to Course Syllabus for detailed information regarding the requirements and evaluation standards for this course. The Course Syllabus will be distributed the first week of the course.

Learning Outcomes

The following outcomes will be addressed in the course:
Define forensic science and identify some of its sub-disciplines
Discuss the historic development of forensic science and its current role in crime scene investigations
Describe the process of the scientific method and its limitations
Describe the role and activities of crime laboratories
Explain the ethical and legal responsibilities of crime lab personnel
Identify the types of evidence that are typically analyzed in crime laboratories
Describe proper collection and preservation procedures of physical and biological evidence
Perform basic lab procedures used to characterize various type of biomedical, pattern, and impression evidence
Appropriately handle, store, and dispose of hazardous material
Discuss forensic case studies

Text and References

A list of textbooks required for this course is available at the bookstore.

Course Scheduling

The scheduled hours of instruction include sixteen hours for each lecture credit, thirty two hours for each lab credit and forty hours for each credit of supervised occupational experience (SOE).  Lecture credit may include formal or impromptu lectures, demonstrations or discussions with the entire class or with small groups or individuals.  Refer to the Course Credits section of this course outline for the credit breakdown.

Accommodations Statement

Disability Services assists students with disabilities who need accommodations to access programs, services and college activities.  If this applies to you, please contact the DS Office on your campus to initiate the accommodations process. 
Brooklyn Park Campus - 763-488-2477
Eden Prairie Campus – 952-995-1544


Brooklyn Park Campus and Eden Prairie Campus: 952-995-1300

Credit Details





MnTC Goal Areas:

2, 3, & 9