Forensic Science

Apply scientific principles and procedures to the law as we reveal the fascinating world of forensic science.

Forensic science draws on many scientific disciplines in order to answer real world questions. We participate in making society a safer place for us all.

The mission of the Department of Forensic science at Laurentian University is to provide our students with an excellent scientific education within a legal context from forensic faculty who are practitioners and researchers in their respective areas of expertise and to prepare our students for careers either in forensic science or enable them to go on to further education in other scientific specialties or law.

The Department of Forensic Science at Laurentian University emphasizes on a ‘hands-on’ experience in the theory and practice of forensic science. Our students benefit from our new state of the art forensic teaching laboratory, crime scene apartment, and new outdoor facility for staging crime scenes for investigation.

 

Academic Advisor

Dr. James Watterson

Telephone: 705.675.1151 ext 4285

Email: JWatterson@laurentian.ca

Office: F-325, Science II Building

How to Apply
Laurentian University aerial view
By land area, Greater Sudbury is the largest city in Ontario and as such, the great outdoors beckon with its vast expanse of lakes and waterways, varied terrain, forests and comprehensive network of trails.
Delivery Method: On campus
Program Language: English

Visit our Department Site: https://laurentian.ca/dept/forensic-science

Program Highlights:

  • We offer a curriculum that has been accredited by the Forensic Education Program Accreditation Commission (FEPAC). Employers of forensic labs now look for job candidates who have come out of FEPAC accredited programs prior to looking at other candidates. This gives our students a competitive advantage over other students.
  • The core science curriculum in the Laurentian University forensic science programs is complemented by comprehensive coursework in law and ethics, as they pertain to the forensic scientist.
  • Small class sizes (the largest forensic class is usually around 25 students).
  • Fourth-year thesis or internship; internships have been conducted with the following organization:
    • Ontario Provincial Police, Forensic Identification Services
    • South Porcupine Detachment
    • Sault Ste. Marie Detachment
    • North Bay Detachment
    • London Detachment
    • City of Greater Sudbury Police Service, Forensic Identification Services.
    • Royal St. Lucian Constabulary, Forensic Identification Branch, St. Lucia.
    • Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario.
    • Regional Supervising Coroner, North Eastern Ontario
    • Regional Supervising Coroner, Northern Ontario
    • Chief Coroner of Ontario
  • The most common fields that students pursue after graduation from our programs are:
    • Graduate Study/Research: Biology, Chemistry, Anthropology, Forensic science
    • Medicine/Nursing
    • Dentistry
    • Education
    • Law
    • Policing In recent years
  • Students of the program have their own club known as the Laurentian Association of Forensic Scientists.

Program Accreditation

The Forensic Education Program Accreditation Commission (FEPAC)

FEPAC is a standing committee of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) . The mission of the FEPAC is to maintain and enhance the quality of forensic science education through a formal evaluation and recognition of college (or University) level academic programs. The primary function of FEPAC is to develop and maintain standards and administer an accreditation program that recognizes and distinguishes high quality undergraduate and graduate forensic science programs.

Laurentian University is pleased to announce that the Department of Forensic Science is the first in Canada to be granted full accreditation of its Forensic Science degrees through the American Academy of Forensic Sciences’ (AAFS) Forensic Education Program Accreditation Commission (FEPAC).

More information on FEPAC accreditation can be found here.

Ontario High School Applicants

1 grade 12 English U/M course

1 grade 12 4U Advanced Functions

1 grade 12 U Chemistry

1 grade 12 U Biology

2 other grade 12 U/M courses (Calculus and vectors and Physics are strongly advised)

A minimum overall average of 80% in the 6 best grade 12 U/M courses


Additional information for applicants who have completed Advanced Placement courses.

Additional information for applicants who have completed the International Baccalaureate.

 

Applicants from outside an Ontario High School 

International Students

Canadian High School Applicants from outside Ontario

Applicants from Colleges

Applicants from other Universities

Mature Students

 

For Current Students

The degree options listed below are for the upcoming academic year, not the current academic year. If you are a current student looking for which courses to take in order to complete your degree options from a previous academic year's curriculum, please consult with an academic advisor.


Specialization in Forensic Science (FEPAC Accredited)

Total 120 credits

First Year

BIOL 1506E     Biology I

BIOL 1507E     Biology II

CHMI 1006E     General Chemistry I*

CHMI 1007E     General Chemistry II

FORS 1006E     Introduction to Canadian Criminal Law and Trial Process

MATH 1036E     Calculus I

MATH 1057E     Linear Algebra I

PHYS 1006E     Introductory Physics I  OR  PHYS 1206E     Physics for the Life Science I

PHYS 1007E     Introductory Physics II  OR  PHYS 1207E     Physics for the Life Science II

3 elective credits

 

*  Students lacking grade 12 4U Chemistry or equivalent must first complete CHMI 1041.

Note: Students can take any first year or upper year courses in English or in French, when available

 

Second Year

BIOL 2105E     Human Anatomy and Physiology

BIOL 2356E     Principles of Ecology

CHMI 2227E     Biochemistry I

CHMI 2426E     Organic Chemistry I

CHMI 2427E     Organic Chemistry II

FORS 2106E     Introduction to Forensic Biology

FORS 2107E     Introduction to Forensic Science

STAT 2246E     Statistics for Scientists

3 credit elective in FORS or FOID

 

Third Year

BIOL 2007E     Genetics

BIOL 3327E     Experimental Methods in Biology

CHMI 3226E     Biochemistry II

FORS 3006E     Evidence and Ethics for the Expert Witness

FORS 3016E     Seminars in Forensic Biology

FORS 3017E     Seminars in Forensic Science

FORS 3146E     Introduction to Forensic DNA Analysis

9 elective credits from among Forensic Science, Anthropology, Archaeology, Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mathematics and Computer Science, Earth Science, Environmental Science, Physics, or Psychology chosen in consultation with the Department of Forensic Science (INTE 3107E may also be taken as part of this requirement)

 

Fourth Year

FORS 4017E     Investigative Techniques for Forensic Scientists

21 elective credits from among Forensic Science, Anthropology, Archaeology, Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mathematics and Computer Science, Earth Science, Environmental Science, Physics, or Psychology chosen in consultation with the Department of Forensic Science (INTE 3107E may also be taken as part of this requirement)

 6 elective credits

 

Note:    Students may not exceed 48 credits at the 1000 or 9100 level in their degree program.

 

Combined Specialization in Forensic Science & Chemistry (FEPAC Accredited)

Total 120 credits

First Year

BIOL 1506E     Biology I

BIOL 1507E     Biology II

CHMI 1006E     General Chemistry I*

CHMI 1007E     General Chemistry II

FORS 1006E     Introduction to Canadian Criminal Law and Trial Process

MATH 1036E     Calculus I

MATH 1037E     Calculus II

PHYS 1006E     Introductory Physics I  OR  PHYS 1206E     Physics for the Life Science I

PHYS 1007E     Introductory Physics II  OR  PHYS 1207E     Physics for the Life Science II

3 elective credits

*  Students lacking grade 12 4U Chemistry or equivalent must first complete CHMI 1041.

Note : Students can take any first year or upper year courses in English or in French, when available

 

Second Year

CHMI 2117E     Introductory Quantitative Analysis

CHMI 2227E     Biochemistry I

CHMI 2316E     Inorganic Chemistry I

CHMI 2426E     Organic Chemistry I

CHMI 2427E     Organic Chemistry II

CHMI 2516E     Introductory Physical Chemistry I  OR  CHMI 2526E     Introductory Physical Chemistry I

FORS 2106E     Introduction to Forensic Biology

FORS 2107E     Introduction to Forensic Science

STAT 2246E     Statistics for Scientists

3 credit elective in FORS or FOID

 

Third Year

CHMI 3116E     Instrumental Techniques in Chemical, Biochemical and Environmental Sciences

CHMI 3226E     Biochemistry II

CHMI 3416E     Intermediate Organic Chemistry

FORS 3006E     Evidence and Ethics for the Expert Witness

FORS 3016E     Seminars in Forensic Biology

FORS 3017E     Seminars in Forensic Science

FORS 3106E     Chemical Principles in Forensic Science

FORS 3146E     Introduction to Forensic DNA Analysis

6 elective credits from among Forensic Science, Anthropology, Archaeology, Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mathematics and Computer Science, Earth Science, Environmental Science, Physics, or Psychology chosen in consultation with the Department of Forensic Science (INTE 3107E may also be taken as part of this requirement)

 

Fourth Year

FORS 4017E     Investigative Techniques for Forensic Scientists

6 credits from among:

     CHMI 2317E     Inorganic Chemistry II

     CHMI 2517E     Introductory Physical Chemistry II  OR  CHMI 2527E     Introductory Physical Chemistry II

     CHMI 3317E     Inorganic Chemistry III

     CHMI 3427E     Introductory Medicinal Chemistry

     FORS 4107E     Principles of Forensic Toxicology

12 upper year CHMI credits

6 elective credits from among Forensic Science, Anthropology, Archaeology, Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mathematics and Computer Science, Earth Science, Environmental Science, Physics, or Psychology chosen in consultation with the Department of Forensic Science (INTE 3107E may also be taken as part of this requirement)

3 elective credits

 

Some suggested electives are as follows:

BIOL 2026E     Introduction to Microbiology

BIOL 2126E     Cell Biology

BIOL 2306E     Diversity of Plants

BIOL 2726E     Diversity of Animals

BIOL 3026E     Applied and Environmental Microbiology

BIOL 3306E     Vascular Plant Systematics

BIOL 3317E     Plant Ecophysiology

BIOL 3336E     Plant Ecology

BIOL 3706E     General Entomology

BIOL 3726E     Animal Histology

BIOL 3746E     Animal Ecology

BIOL 3756E     Vertebrate Physiology

BIOL 4066E     Quantitative Ecology

BIOL 4736E     Developmental Biology

BIOL 4756E     Freshwater Biology

BIOL 4797E     Environmental Physiology

BIOL 4807F     Advanced Genetics

CHMI 2117E     Introductory Quantitative Analysis

CHMI 3116E     Instrumental Techniques in Chemical, Biochemical and Environmental Sciences

CHMI 3416E     Intermediate Organic Chemistry

CHMI 3427E     Introductory Medicinal Chemistry

CHMI 4217E      Biomembranes, Structure and Function

CHMI 4226E     Recombinant DNA Technology

CHMI 4227E     Recombinant DNA Technology II

CHMI 4237E     Special Topics in Biochemistry

CHMI 4287E     Biochemical Toxicology

FORS 3036E     Forensic Anatomy of the Human Skeleton

FORS 4095E     Thesis*

FORS 4106E     Forensic Analysis of the Human Skeleton

FORS 4107E     Principles of Forensic Toxicology

FORS 4205E     Internship and Report**

* Topics must be approved by the Department of Forensic Science; this course is highly recommended for students wishing to pursue graduate studies.

** Only open to students in the summer prior to their fourth year; the number of placements is limited and will therefore require students to apply to the Forensic Internship Coordinator; placements are based on students’ overall average of the previous three years, their resume, and finding a suitable placement.

 

Note:    Students may not exceed 48 credits at the 1000 or 9100 level in their degree program.

 

Combined Specialization in Forensic Science & Biology

Students must take the Required Forensic Sciences Courses and the courses listed below in their chosen second area of specialization.

 

Required Forensic Science Courses (54 credits)

FORS 1006E     Introduction to Canadian Criminal Law and Trial Process

BIOL 1506E/F     Biology I*

BIOL 1507E/F     Biology II

CHMI 1006E/F     General Chemistry I*

CHMI 1007E/F     General Chemistry II

MATH 1036E/F     Calculus I

MATH 1057E/F     Linear Algebra I

PHYS 1006E/F     Introductory Physics I  OR  PHYS 1206E/F     Physics for the Life Science I

PHYS 1007E/F     Introductory Physics II  OR  PHYS 1207E/F     Physics for the Life Science II

FORS 2106E     Introduction to Forensic Biology

FORS 2107E     Introduction to Forensic Science

CHMI 2426E/F     Organic Chemistry I

CHMI 2427E/F     Organic Chemistry II

STAT 2246E/F     Statistics for Scientists

FORS 3006E     Evidence and Ethics for the Expert Witness

FORS 3016E     Seminars in Forensic Biology

FORS 3017E     Seminars in Forensic Science

FORS 4017E     Investigative Techniques for Forensic Scientists

 

Biology Specialization (60 credits)

BIOL 2007E/F     Genetica

BIOL 2126E/F     Cell Biology

BIOL 2105E/F     Human Anatomy and Physiology

BIOL 2356E/F     Principles of Ecology

CHMI 2227E/F     Biochemistry I

CHMI 3226E/F     Biochemistry II

BIOL 3327E     Experimental Methods

FORS 3146E     Introduction to Forensic DNA Analysis

FORS 4206E     Population Genetics

6 credits from among:

     BIOL 2026E/F     Introduction to Microbiology

     BIOL 3706E/F     General Entomology

     BIOL 3807E/F     Applied Entomology

     BIOL 4807E/F     Advanced Genetics

     CHMI 3217E     Biochemistry of the Nucleic Acids

6 credits in upper-year BIOL courses

18 credits in electives from among Forensic Science, Anthropology, Archaeology, Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mathematics and Computer Science, Earth Science, Environmental Science, Physics*, and Psychology. Students may also take INTE 3107E to satisfy this requirement. All f these course choices must be approved by the Department of Forensic Science. *PHYS 2006E/F Introduction to Electricity and Electronics is high recommended.

 

6 credits in general electives

 

Note: Students can take any first year or upper year courses in English or in French, when available.

 

Some suggested electives are as follows:

BIOL 2026E     Introduction to Microbiology

BIOL 2126E     Cell Biology

BIOL 2306E     Diversity of Plants

BIOL 2726E     Diversity of Animals

BIOL 3026E     Applied and Environmental Microbiology

BIOL 3117E     Plant Ecophysiology

BIOL 3306E     Vascular Plant Systematics

BIOL 3316E     Plant Form and Function

BIOL 3317E     Plant Ecophysiology

BIOL 3336E     Plant Ecology

BIOL 3706E     General Entomology

BIOL 3726E     Animal Histology

BIOL 3746E     Animal Ecology

BIOL 3756E     Vertebrate Physiology

BIOL 3807E     Applied Entomology

BIOL 4066E     Quantitative Ecology

BIOL 4736E     Developmental Biology

BIOL 4756E     Freshwater Biology

BIOL 4797E     Environmental Physiology

BIOL 4807F     Advanced Genetics

BIOL 4987F     Immunologie médicale

CHMI 2117E     Introductory Quantitative Analysis

CHMI 3116E     Instrumental Techniques in Chemical, Biochemical and Environmental Sciences

CHMI 3416E     Intermediate Organic Chemistry

CHMI 3427E     Introductory Medicinal Chemistry

CHMI 4217E     Biomembranes, Structure and Function

CHMI 4226E     Recombinant DNA Technology

CHMI 4227E     Recombinant DNA Technology II

CHMI 4237E     Special Topics in Biochemistry

CHMI 4287E     Biochemical Toxicology

CHMI 4486E     Advanced Medicinal Chemistry

FORS 3036E     Forensic Anatomy of the Human Skeleton

FORS 3106E     Chemical Principles in Forensic Science

FORS 4095E     Thesis*

FORS 4106E     Forensic Analysis of the Human Skeleton

FORS 4107E     Principles of Forensic Toxicology

FORS 4205E     Internship and Report**

GEOL 3397E     Introductory Soil Science

PSYC 2606E     Brain and Behaviour

PSYC 2706E     Emotion

PSYC 2707E     Motivation

PSYC 3506E     Neuropharmacology

PSYC 3605E     Psychopathology

PSYC 4026E     Forensic Psychology

Please note: It is the responsibility of students to check that they have completed all the degree requirements as listed above.  Any deviation from this list may delay graduation.

 

Minor in Forensic Science

Note : Only students who have been in the Hons. B.Sc. in Forensic Science, or Forensic Science and Biology, or Forensic Science and Chemistry are eligible for the minor.

FORS 1006E     Introduction to Canadian Criminal Law and Trial Process
FORS 2106E     Introduction to Forensic Biology
FORS 2107E     Introduction to Forensic Science
FORS 3006E     Evidence and Ethics for the Expert Witness

FORS 3016E     Seminars in Forensic Biology

FORS 3017E     Seminars in Forensic Science
6 credits from any combination of FOID course at the 2000 or 3000 level

 

Certificate in Forensic Identification for the Honours Bachelor of Forensic Science

Admission Requirements:

Students enrolled in the Honours Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science, Single Specialization or the Honours Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science and Biology may enroll in this certificate.

Prerequisite:
 Must be a student in good standing within either the Honours Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science, Single Specialization or Honours Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science and Biology.

Requirements (30 credits):
FORS 2106E     Introduction to Forensic Biology
FORS 2107E     Introduction to Forensic Science
FORS 3036E     Forensic Anatomy of the Human Skeleton
FORS 3146E     Introduction to Forensic DNA Analysis
FORS 4017E     Investigative Techniques for Forensic Scientists

5 of the courses below:

     FOID 1006E     Introduction to Scientific Inquiry and Crime Scene Investigation
     FOID 2206E     Detection, Development and Photography of Fingerprint Evidence
     FOID 2216E     Forensic Aspects of Firearm and Tool Mark Evidence

     FOID 2306E     The Law and Fire Scene Management

     FOID 2506E     Bloodstain Pattern Analysis

     FOID 3006E     Concepts in Human Decomposition
     FOID 3016E     Forensic Applications of DNA [Practicum]
     FOID 3026E     Diagnosis, Sequential Fingerprint Processing and Photography of Crime Scenes and Exhibits 
     FOID 3036E     Fire Scene Investigation
     FOID 3046E     Essentials of Footwear Impression Evidence
 

 

Academic Regulations

For all Forensic Science Undergraduate Degree Programs

A student is considered to be in good standing in any of the Forensic Science Programs when all of the following criteria are met:

1. Has satisfied all conditions of admission;
2. Achieves a sessional GPA of at least 5.5
3. Achieves a minimum grade of C in all FORS courses;
4. Has not failed more than 6 of the previous 30 credits;
5. Has not failed more than 15 credits out of 120 required credits for the degree;

A student will be placed on probation for any of the following reasons:

1. Obtains a sessional GPA of less than 5.5 on a minimum of 18 credits;
2. Receives a grade of less than C in any FORS course;
3. Fails more than 6 credits in the previous 30 credits

A student is permitted to continue in the program on probation for no more than one academic year.

A student will be required to withdraw from the Forensic Science Programs if he/she fails to meet any of the following:

1. Fails to satisfy all conditions of admission after one academic year on probation
2. Fails (achieves less than C) after two attempts at any FORS course;
3. Fails more than 15 credits out of the 120 credits required for the degree;
4. Has not achieved good academic standing in two consecutive years.

Additional requirements:

1. Students may be required to undergo in depth security checks as a condition of placement with a forensic agency for the purposes of fulfilling the requirements of any course work in the program.

2. Student with a criminal record are advised that employment in Forensics is unlikely, and that they will also be precluded from placements with forensic agencies during their program.

 

Courses only available to Students enrolled in the Forensic Science Program

Year:

FORS-1006EL - Canadian Constitutional Doctrine for Forensic Science FORS-2006EL - Essential Elements of Canadian Criminal Law FORS-2106EL - Introduction to Forensic Biology FORS-2107EL - Introduction to Forensic Science FORS-3006EL - Concepts of Evidence and the Expert Witness FORS-3016EL - Seminars in Forensic Biology FORS-3017EL - Seminars in Forensic Science FORS-3036EL - Forensic Anatomy of the Human Skeleton FORS-3106EL - Chemical Principles in Forensic Science
FORS-3146EL - Introduction to Forensic DNA Analysis FORS-4016EL - Contemporary Ethical Issues in Forensic Science FORS-4017EL - Investigative Techniques for Forensic Scientists FORS-4095EL - Thesis FORS-4106EL - Forensic Analysis of the Human Skeleton FORS-4107EL - Principles of Forensic Toxicology FORS-4136EL - Forensic Botany FORS-4205EL - Internship and Report FORS-4206EL - Population Genetics

Sessional Faculty

Gerard Courtin

Lindsey Santerre

Danielle Vincent

 

Frequent Lecturers

  • Dr. Peter Clark, Regional Supervising Coroner, Northeast Region.

  • Mr. Tony Tessarolo, Hair and Fibres, Centre of Forensic Sciences, Toronto.

  • Dr. Martin Queen, Forensic Pathologist, Sudbury Regional Hospital.

  • Det. Sgt. Jim Van Allen, Behavioural Science Section, Ontario Provincial Police.

  • Dr. Gerard Courtin, Prof. Emeritus, Department of Forensic Science Laurentian University, Forensic Botany.

  • Tracy Oost, Forensic Entomology, Forensic Scientist & Continuity Officer, Forensic Osteology Laboratory.

  • Mr. Jim Goodwin, Finger Prints Comparison, Instructor, Forensic Identification Training Branch, Ontario Police College.

  • Mr. Pat Laturnus, Blood Spatter Interpretation, Instructor, Forensic Identification Training Branch, Ontario Police College.

  • Ms. Rhonda Reimer, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, Sudbury Regional Hospital, Emergency Department.

  • Ms. Tania Burrows, Forensic Biology Unit, Northern Regional Forensic Laboratory, Centre of Forensic Sciences, Sault Ste. Marie.

Michele Bobyn

Michele Bobyn

Department of Forensic Science
Brian Donohue

Brian Donohue

Department of Forensic Science
Scott Fairgrieve

Scott Fairgrieve

Department of Forensic Science
James Watterson

James Watterson

Department of Forensic Science