Forensic Science (Graduate Group)

Kent Pinkerton, Ph.D., Chairperson of the Group

Group Office. 1909 Galileo Ct., Suite B; Davis, CA 95618; 530-747-3922; http://forensicscience.ucdavis.edu

Faculty. http://forensicscience.ucdavis.edu/administration/

Graduate Study. The Forensic Science Graduate Group offers the degree of MS in Forensic Science. This program, offering a Plan I-Thesis option, has two tracks, DNA or Criminalistics, enabling the student to take core courses emphasizing the physical or biological sciences. Each track requires the student to take eight to nine core courses, totaling 24-27 units, three units of seminar, and the appropriate number of elective/research units for a total of 54 units. Students can take courses outside their specializations, but they must complete the courses required for their own track. The FOR seminar course in the fall quarter is required for new students. The FOR spring seminar can be taken in any spring quarter before graduation. Students must also take one additional seminar course in another department or program.

Preparation. Appropriate preparation is an undergraduate degree in physical or natural sciences, engineering or a closely related field with a GPA of 3.000 or higher. Examples include Biochemistry, Chemistry, Molecular Biology, Biology, Genetics, and Engineering. Applicants must have completed at least one year each of general chemistry, organic chemistry, general physics, math through calculus and a class in statistics. Other recommended courses include general biology, biochemistry and genetics.

Graduate Advisors. Ruth Dickover (Forensic Science), You-Lo Hsieh (Division of Textiles and Clothing), Robert B. Kimsey (Entomology), Donald Land (Chemistry), Terence Murphy (Plant Biology), Ben Sacks (Population Health & Reproduction/Canid Diversity and Conservation Laboratory-Center for Veterinary Genetics), Bahram Ravani (Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering), Moshe Rosenberg (Food Science and Technology), Matt Wood (Environmental Toxicology)

Courses in FOR:
FOR 200Fundamental Concepts in Forensic Science (3) Active
Lecture—2 hour(s); Fieldwork—0.2 hour(s); Lecture/Lab—0.2 hour(s); Seminar—0.5 hour(s). Restricted to students enrolled in the M.S. in Forensic Science Program. Overview of Forensic Science. Problem definition, strategies for problem solving, analytical tools, and professional and ethical considerations. (Letter.) Effective: 2003 Winter Quarter.
FOR 201AForensic Science Fundamentals-A (3) Active
Lecture—3 hour(s). Prerequisite(s): Consent of Instructor. Enrolled in the Forensic Science Graduate Program. Open to Forensic Science Graduate Program students only. Professional responsibilities and ethics, physical evidence concepts, drug chemistry and toxicology, controlled substances and analytical chemistry and instrumentation as practiced in the forensic sciences. First of three courses that, in part, covers the curriculum requirements of the Forensic Education Program Accreditation Committee (FEPAC). (Letter.) Effective: 2018 Spring Quarter.
FOR 201BForensic Science Fundamentals-B (3) Active
Lecture—3 hour(s). Prerequisite(s): Consent of Instructor. Enrolled in the Forensic Science Graduate Program. Open to Forensic Science Graduate Program students only. Forensic biology and DNA, microscopy and materials analysis and pattern evidence as practiced in the forensic sciences. Second in a series of three courses which covers the curriculum requirements of the Forensic Education Program Accreditation Committee (FEPAC). (Letter.) Effective: 2018 Spring Quarter.
FOR 201CForensic Science Fundamentals-C (3) Active
Lecture—3 hour(s). Prerequisite(s): Consent of Instructor. Enrolled in the Forensic Science Graduate Program. Arson and explosives, quality assurance and accreditation, the law and science interface and court testimony as practiced in the forensic sciences. This course is the third in a series of three courses that covers the curriculum requirements of the Forensic Education Program Accreditation Committee (FEPAC). (Letter.) Effective: 2018 Spring Quarter.
FOR 205Microscopy and Microanalytical Methods in Forensic Science (3) Active
Lecture—2 hour(s); Laboratory—1 hour(s). Prerequisite(s): Consent of Instructor. Restricted to students enrolled in the M.S. in Forensic Science Program; a minimum, year each of the following chemistry, organic chemistry, calculus, & physics. Introduction to optical and electron microscopy. Transmission, diffraction, reflection and absorption; polarized light and polarizing crystals; phase contrast. Radiography; image recording, SEM analysis of gunshot residues, paints, glass. EDS, XRF analysis, signal-to-noise ratios, minimum detectable levels and homogeneity. (Letter.) Effective: 2006 Spring Quarter.
FOR 207Advanced Spectroscopy Methods in Forensic Science (3) Active
Lecture—3 hour(s). Restricted to Forensic Science Graduate program or consent of instructor. Discuss, evaluate and interpret advanced molecular spectra/structure, Infrared Spectroscopy, such as chemical applications of spectroscopic methods, vibrational, rotational spectra; electronic spectra, photoelectron spectroscopy generated by various analytical instruments used in forensic science community. (Letter.) Effective: 2014 Fall Quarter.
FOR 208Forensic Toxicology (3) Active
Lecture—3 hour(s). Forensic toxicology as related to driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) investigations, detection, and evaluation through the use of standardized field sobriety tests and drug recognition protocols. (Letter.) Effective: 2018 Spring Semester.
FOR 209Forensic Alcohol (3) Active
Lecture—3 hour(s). Prerequisite(s): FOR 220 (can be concurrent); and Consent of Instructor. Analytical methods used in the determination and quantitation of ethanol in biological matrices commonly encountered in cases involving operating a motor vehicle. (Letter.) Effective: 2018 Fall Quarter.
FOR 210Personal Identification Methods In Forensic Science (3) Active
Lecture—3 hour(s). Restricted to students enrolled in the M.S. in Forensic Science Program or by consent of instructor. Methods for identifying individuals from evidence collected at crime scenes, suspects or victims, crime scene examination and analytical methods used to support such investigations. Topics include forensic anthropology and odontology; latent prints; shoe prints; facial reconstruction/recognition; eyewitness identifications; biometric systems. (Letter.) Effective: 2003 Spring Quarter.
FOR 212Scientific Evidence and Courtroom Testimony (3) Active
Lecture—2 hour(s); Discussion—1 hour(s). Restricted to graduate students enrolled in the MS Forensic Science program or by the consent of the instructor. Explores the relationship between science and the criminal justice system. Admissibility of scientific testimony and documentary proof during the trial, concepts of relevancy, hearsay and opinion rule, examination of expert witnesses, impact of Kelley-Fry and Daubert decisions & court testimony. (Letter.) Effective: 2007 Fall Quarter.
FOR 215Forensic Fire and Arson Investigation (3) Active
Lecture—3 hour(s). Restricted to students enrolled in the M.S. Forensic Science program or by consent of the Forensic Science Program Director Principles and techniques of scientific investigation of fires and related crimes; offer peer-reviewed protocols for processing fire and explosion scenes; discuss recognition, collection, analysis of physical evidence, and describe the scientific method for decision-making in fire/arson investigation. (Letter.) Effective: 2007 Fall Quarter.
FOR 218Technical Writing in Forensic Science (3) Active
Lecture—2 hour(s); Extensive Writing/Discussion—1 hour(s). Prerequisite(s): Consent of the instructor required for all students not enrolled in the Forensic Science program. Restricted to graduate standing in the Forensic Science program. How to write clear, credible forensic science reports and scientific articles, that (a) serve the ends of the justice system, (b) meet their readers’ varying needs and (c) reflect well on the author. (Letter.) Effective: 2011 Fall Quarter.
FOR 220Analysis of Toxicants (3) Active
Lecture—3 hour(s). Prerequisite(s): Coursework in organic chemistry. Principles of microanalysis of toxicants. Theoretical considerations regarding separation, detection and quantitative determination of toxicants using chemical and instrumental techniques. (Same course as ETX 220.) (Letter.) Effective: 2006 Winter Quarter.
FOR 221LForensic Science Analytical Instrumentation (2) Active
Discussion/Laboratory—1 hour(s); Laboratory—3 hour(s). Enrollment limited to students accepted in the Forensic Science Graduate program or subject to the approval of the instructor if the student has the appropriate chemistry, calculus and physics courses required of students in the graduate forensic science program. Methodology and instruments used for the analysis of substances of interest in the discipline of Forensic Science. Practical experience with modern instrumental techniques & methodologies used in the advanced forensic science laboratory. (Letter.) Effective: 2007 Fall Quarter.
FOR 240Homicide Crime Scene Investigation (3) Active
Lecture—2 hour(s); Laboratory—3 hour(s). Restricted to Forensic Science Masters Program Students; enrollment is limited to 15 students per class. Processing and evaluating complex homicide scenes. Functions and activities of police agencies. Recognition, documentation, identification, and collection of evidence. Event sequence reconstruction. Evidence collection, preservation, report writing. Courtroom presentation. (Letter.) Effective: 2004 Winter Quarter.
FOR 263Forensic Computer Science Investigations (3) Active
Lecture—3 hour(s). Prerequisite(s): Consent of Instructor. Graduate student. Restricted to students in the Forensic Science Graduate program unless approved by instructor. Discuss the threats to the security of any kind of evidence that is captured, transmitted, or stored digitally and develop critical thinking and basic knowledge of computer forensic science issues in the evaluation of digital evidence. (Letter.) Effective: 2013 Fall Quarter.
FOR 268Statistics in Forensic Science (3) Active
Lecture—3 hour(s). Restricted to students enrolled in the M.S. in Forensic Science Program or by consent of forensic program director. Statistics that are used by the forensic scientist, their limitations/applications in presenting evidential results in such areas as DNA-STR results, trace evidence correlation, fingerprint statistics, population sampling and the Bayes method. (Letter.) Effective: 2006 Spring Quarter.
FOR 276Population Genetics (3) Active
Lecture—3 hour(s). Prerequisite(s): FOR 280; FOR 281; or Consent of Instructor. Open only to majors in Forensic Science Program unless by consent of the Chair Forensic Science Graduate group. Principles, theories, and models of population genetics as they apply to forensic science. (Letter.) Effective: 2018 Fall Quarter.
FOR 277Forensic Genetics; Next Generation Techniques and Applications (3) Active
Lecture—3 hour(s). Prerequisite(s): Undergraduate courses in fundamental and applied principles of: genetics, biochemistry, and molecular biology, or consent of instructor. Restricted to Forensic Science Graduate students (GFOR) or consent of instructor. Review organization/function of the human genome, recent developments, next generation sequencing techniques including the preparation of DNA samples, principles of the new generation sequencing assay formats and biochemical reactions. Will include quality control parameter, and bioinformatic approaches. (Letter.) Effective: 2013 Fall Quarter.
FOR 278Molecular Techniques (3) Active
Lecture—3 hour(s). Prerequisite(s): Graduate standing or consent of instructor. Recombinant DNA technology and its applications. (Same course as ETX 278.) (Letter.) Effective: 2002 Spring Quarter.
FOR 280Forensic DNA Analysis (3) Active
Lecture—3 hour(s). Prerequisite(s): Coursework in genetics and molecular biology. Graduate standing; consent of instructor required for all students not enrolled in the MS Forensics program. Foundation in theory and practice of forensic DNA analysis; past, present, and emerging technologies; legal and quality assurance issues. DNA extraction, DNA quantitation, multiplex amplification of STR loci, capillary electrophoresis of amplified products, and analysis of STR typing data. (Same course as ETX 280.) (Letter.) Effective: 2003 Spring Quarter.
FOR 281Principles and Practice of Forensic Serology and DNA Analysis (3) Active
Lecture—2 hour(s); Discussion/Laboratory—3 hour(s). Prerequisite(s): (FOR 278 or ETX 278) or (FOR 280 or ETX 280); and Consent of Instructor. Or equivalent of FOR 280/ETX 280. Restricted to students enrolled in the M.S. in Forensic Science Program or by consent of Forensic Science Program Director. Comprehensive overview of forensic serology and DNA typing techniques and technologies. Strong emphasis on real-world applications, including preservation and tracking of biological evidence, detection and identification of bodily fluids, and methods to extract, quantify, and type human DNA. (Same course as ETX 281.) (Letter.) Effective: 2011 Spring Quarter.
FOR 283Forensic Biology (3) Active
Lecture—2 hour(s); Discussion—1 hour(s). Restricted to students enrolled in the M.S. in Forensic Science program or by consent of the Forensic Science Program Director. Overview to the foundational concepts in forensic biology: chemistry and molecular biology of biological evidence, genetic basis of biological uniqueness, evolutionary basis of species differences, patterns and dynamics of evidence deterioration, and the legal/ professional considerations associated with biological evidence. (Letter.) Effective: 2009 Fall Quarter.
FOR 284Non-Human Forensic DNA--Theory and Casework Application (2) Active
Lecture—2 hour(s). Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor required for all students not enrolled in the MS Forensics program; upper division Molecular Biology and Genetics or its equivalent. Restricted to graduate standing. Provides a comprehensive understanding of plant and animal forensic biology in terms of sample collection, preservation, analytical methods, and of the invaluable lines of inquiry these forensic evidence may permit. (Same course as ETX 284.) (Letter.) Effective: 2010 Fall Quarter.
FOR 289Survey in Forensic Science (3) Active
Lecture—3 hour(s). Restricted to students enrolled in the M.S. in Forensic Science Program. Analytical methods in contemporary forensic science. Clandestine laboratories in California, crime scene management, examination and analysis of human hair, forensic ballistics/trajectory reconstruction, shoe/tire print impressions, serial number restoration, forensic aspects of alcohol impairment, bloodstain pattern interpretation, microscopy of building materials, biological aspect of forensic science. May be repeated for credit when topics differ. (Letter.) Effective: 2002 Fall Quarter.
FOR 290Seminar in Forensic Science (1) Active
Seminar—3 hour(s). Restricted to students enrolled in the M.S. in Forensic Science Program. Students will be exposed to topical areas in Forensic Science by presentations conducted by expert guest speakers. The seminar will also serve as a medium whereby the exiting students will present the research conducted as part of their thesis requirement. May be repeated for credit when topic differs. (S/U grading only.) Effective: 2006 Spring Quarter.
FOR 290CGraduate Research Conference in Forensic Science (1) Active
Independent Study—1 hour(s). Restricted to students enrolled in the M.S. in Forensic Science Program. Individual and/or group conference on problems, progress and techniques in forensic science and research. May be repeated for credit when topic differs. (S/U grading only.) Effective: 2003 Winter Quarter.
FOR 293Forensic Science Research Methodology (2) Active
Lecture—1.5 hour(s); Extensive Writing/Discussion—0.5 hour(s). Restricted to students enrolled in the Graduate Forensic Science program or by consent of the instructor. Introduction to identification, formulation, and solution of meaningful scientific problems encountered in the Forensic Science area including experimental design and/or theoretical analysis of new and prevailing techniques, theories and hypotheses. Students will present and defend their thesis research/journal article proposals. (S/U grading only.) Effective: 2007 Fall Quarter.
FOR 298Group Study in Forensic Science (1-5) Active
Independent Study—1-5 hour(s). Restricted to students enrolled in the M.S. in Forensic Science Program. May be repeated for credit when topic differs. (P/NP grading only.) Effective: 2002 Fall Quarter.
FOR 299Research in Forensic Science (1-12) Active
Independent Study—1-12 hour(s). Prerequisite(s): Consent of Instructor. Restricted to students enrolled in the M.S. in Forensic Science Program. May be repeated for credit. (P/NP grading only.) Effective: 2002 Fall Quarter.