This minor is designed to meet the needs of students interested in exploring the social science options in forensic science but who are not in a lab-based major, such as chemistry, biology, or computer science. Scientific inquiry will be a component, however the emphasis of the minor is the application of social and behavioral sciences in forensics – such as death investigation, written/oral medico-legal reports, field/crime scene techniques and documentation, identification and evidence collection.
This minor is interdisciplinary and integrates knowledge from several fields of study, particularly focusing on Anthropology, Criminology & Criminal Justice, but also offers perspectives from a number of other areas depending upon student interest. Students completing the minor will be better positioned to make informed decisions on areas of expertise in which they may wish to continue their education in specialized forensic programs or graduate studies if they choose. The Social Science Forensics minor is designed to give students the advantage of social science field skills and background knowledge to be able to qualify for entry level work. The Social Science Forensics minor on student transcripts will also enhance their employment pursuits.
A minor is earned in conjunction with a bachelor's degree.
To receive a minor (18 to 24 units) at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject matter areas with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0. At least 12 units of the minor must be unique to that minor and not applied to any other minor.
In addition to University Requirements:
Please note that you may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.
No more than 50% of the units used to satisfy minor requirements may be used to satisfy major requirements.
|Minimum Units for Completion||18|
“Forensic science” is the application of a wide spectrum of sciences and techniques that aid in detecting and solving crime, identifying individuals (victims and offenders) involved in crime, reconstructing events before, during and after the crime, and service to the courts and legal system. In the Social Sciences Forensic Minor, students develop an understanding of the social, cultural, historical and political differences in the United States and globally, impacting forensic science development and its application in theory and method in criminology, criminal justice and law enforcement systems. These include issues of gender, ethnicity, social inequality, and changing cultural dynamics and values affixed to human life, civil rights and criminal justice. Students who complete the minor are also expected to write and communicate effectively in medico-legal terminology for entry level work in crime investigation and to document evidence according to accepted protocols that preserve evidentiary integrity and ensure acceptability in court, to work effectively in teams as found in forensic investigative units, and have working familiarity with the interdisciplinary nature of forensic science such that they can identify relevant fields that contribute to an investigation. Students will have an understanding of various technical field skills relevant to crime scene investigation. Students who complete the Social Science Forensic minor will have knowledge of career options and be more competitive and well-rounded for entry level, non-lab based forensic work such as death investigation, law enforcement, or victim/offender identification.
The focus of the minor is on the social, cultural, political, legal, historical and global contexts that contribute to forensic knowledge and technical field skills. Students will have opportunities to learn experientially with simulated investigation strategies designed to teach hands-on field methods in a controlled environment. Students will engage in project-based course work that imitates real life scenarios and emphasizes team work concomitant with real crime scene investigation and a variety of applied techniques at the introductory level. The Social Science Forensics minor can prepare students in the application of medico-legal writing, imagery (including photography), composite sketching, forensic archaeology, forensic anthropology, death investigation work (often done for medical examiner’s reports), crime investigation, criminal law procedure, and gender and ethnicity issues influencing law enforcement and forensic work – all of which reflect important issues of our day.
Student Learning Outcomes
Students will be able to:
Take the following 18 with a Grade of "C" or better in each course:
Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.