Forensic Science is the application of science to answer questions of interest in the legal system. The major is based on a core of content in the sciences, specifically chemistry, computer science and mathematics, with additional options in biology and physics. Additional content within the major includes archaeology, criminal justice, fine arts, psychology, and sociology. The major allows students to focus their studies in the area of Forensic Science or Computer Forensics. Both take common core courses. Forensic Science students take 3 additional courses and Computer Forensic students take 4 additional courses.

Why Study Forensic Science?

  • forensics%20venn%20diagram%202.pngThe popularity of TV shows such as "Bones," "NCIS," "CSI" and "Criminal Minds" has made the study of forensic science very popular in recent years. While these shows aren't always the most accurate portrayal of the discipline, they do emphasize the wide variety of specialties that are available within the area. As a result of the diversity which exists, the Forensic Science major at Saint Anselm College is an interdisciplinary major that requires students take a broad base of courses in chemical analysis of evidence, the criminal justice system, computer forensics, data analysis, and image processing.

    The major was designed for the flexibility of students to specialize in an area of their choosing. Students may also minor in forensics, if they are more interested in the criminal justice aspects of the subject but would like to know more about the scientific analyses carried out. 

    The New England Arson Seminar, co-directed by Criminal Justice Professor Peter Cordella, is hosted every year on the Saint Anselm Campus in May. During its 38 years of existence, it has provided training 3000+public safety officials. This seminar provides an internship opportunity for students on the Saint Anselm campus to help organize, set up, and participate in the workshops. Every year, controlled burns are carried out to give hands on experience with arson investigations. This year participants got to participate in hands-on experiments focused on different fire conditions and stood in as witnesses to a fire event (below). 

    In addition to internships with the New England Arson Seminar, students have also been awarded internships with the New Hampshire State Police Major Crimes Unit, Massachusetts State Crime Lab in Lakeville, Mass., and Forensic Consulting Associates of New England. Other internship opportunities are available through consultation with the chemistry or criminal justice departments.

    Research opportunities are also available. Recently students carried out a Study of Chars Produced by Fabrics and Accelerants (PDF/489KB), and an Investigation into the Flammability of Carpet (PDF/688KB). Additional studies concerning the effect of fire on bones and the reliability of witnesses statements are on-going.

Chairperson: Carolyn K. Weinreb

Major requirements include:

Forensic Science is the application of science to answer questions of interest in the legal system. The major is based on a core of content in the sciences, specifically chemistry, computer science and mathematics, with additional options in biology and physics. Additional content within the major includes archeology, criminal justice, fine arts, psychology and sociology. The major allows students to focus their studies in the area of Forensic Science or Computer Forensics. Both take common core courses. Forensic Science students take 3 additional courses and Computer Forensic students take 4 additional courses.

Major requirements: Chemistry 130-131, 220, 406; Criminal Justice 100, 211; Computer Science 228; Math option and Fine Arts 272