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Forensic Biology

Forensic Biology

Forensic Biology is the application of concepts and procedures used in the biological sciences, typically in a legal context. Forensic biologists analyze cellular and tissue samples, as well as physiological fluids that are relevant to a legal investigation. These techniques are also definitive in the identification of paternity/kinship relationships.

Major Requirements

For information about major requirements, view the Biology and Chemistry section of the Catalog.

Class Experiences

At Chestnut Hill College, a degree in forensic biology includes an appropriate track of courses that will permit placement of graduates into reputable graduate and pre-professional schools, pursuing their higher education in biology, molecular biology, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, optometry, nursing, emergency medicine, and other elated health care professions. Recent students have gone on to earn M.S., M.D., V.M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at several of the nation's top universities including entry into competitive programs at Yale and Vanderbilt among others after completing their BS in Forensic Biology at CHC. 

 

Students electing to major in forensic biology are encouraged and assisted in finding an apprenticeship with experts in the field or if they so choose, are to be directed towards gainful employment at institutions that heavily rely on the expertise of a forensic biologist. A degree in this field is not limited to any career path within the biology and bio-medical disciplines for students who excel in the program.

The faculty members at Chestnut Hill are skilled in critical sub-disciplines in forensic biology including but not limited to organismal biology, molecular biology, recombinant DNA technology, biotechnology and Human Genome Research. The class sizes are small, affording individualized and close interaction with faculty members of the department. Along with classroom instruction from these highly qualified and experienced professors, students receive a well-rounded liberal arts education, complete with the skills to help each individual succeed in his/her future endeavors.

In addition, Chestnut Hill College sponsors a very successful annual Bio-medical Seminar Series, inviting prominent speakers in cutting-edge fields of basic and medical research. The series, which celebrated 20 years of distinguished speakers in 2013, provides a forum to review and discuss recent advances in bio-medical research and fosters meaningful interactions with our neighboring major basic and medical research institutions.

Internships

Our programs provide forensic biology majors with diverse opportunities to integrate rigorous academic study with practical experience. Internships and guided independent studies place students under the direction of a science department member or qualified scientist/mentor or physician at external graduate/medical schools and major research centers that have focused research relating to forensic biology and where the department of biology can assist in the identification of mentors for apprentice opportunities post-graduation.

 In fact, it has not been uncommon for our students' internships to turn into full-time employment.

Some of these internship placements include:

  • Temple University School of Medicine
  • Thomas Jefferson University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Fox Chase Cancer Center
After Graduation

Jobs for forensic science technologies have increased in measure due in large part to the expanded use of DNA technologies and analysis, used to examine, solve and prevent crime. Most forensic biologists work closely with law enforcement and other forensic personnel, including forensic chemists, to link a suspect to a crime or match suspects to crime scene evidence. Other forensic biology work includes involvement with wild animal trafficking, movement of rare and exotic species and poaching issues.

 

Forensic scientists are employed by regional, state, and local forensic laboratories, district attorneys' offices, private firms, colleges and universities, the military, and federal agencies including the DEA, Customs, FBI and the Postal Service. Employment for forensic biologists can also include research positions in academic centers, as well as pharmaceutical or biotech companies.

Contact Information

If you are interested in becoming a forensic biology major at Chestnut Hill College, please contact Joseph Kulkosky, Chairperson of the Biology and Division of Natural Sciences Dept (KulkoskyJ@chc.edu).
 

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