Forensic Science

Why study forensic science?

While forensic science classes are often required for students interested in law enforcement, these fascinating and engaging classes are also of interest to students who want to sharpen their analytical skills and enjoy solving a mystery. Students with a background in forensic science may find career opportunities in diverse fields such as crime scene analysis, law enforcement, government security agencies, education, art, and entertainment industries. When taken together, Parkland's two forensic science classes fulfill both the Physical and Life Science (with lab) General Education requirements.

At Parkland, you'll have the advantage of small class sizes, taught by master faculty—never teaching assistants. Your success is our priority.

Forensic students studying bones


Essentials of Forensic Science (SCI 108): an introduction to the application of science to criminal and civil cases, including an overview of forensic chemistry, forensic biochemistry, and other sub-disciplines in forensics. Special emphasis will be placed on the techniques of sampling a crime scene and the use of physical evidence to help solve cases. Learn about evidence, what it is, where it can be found, where it comes from, how to analyze it, and how valuable it is in a criminal case.

Forensic Science II: Death Analysis (SCI 208): is designed to give students an appreciation of the underlying science associated with certain aspects of a forensic investigation. It can be taken independently of or concurrently with SCI 108; SCI 108 is not a prerequisite for taking SCI 208. Following a brief introductory presentation of the basics of human anatomy and physiology, SCI 208 covers the following major topics: firearms and ballistics, explosives, forensic osteology, forensic odontology, bloodstain pattern analysis, forensic radiography, traumatic death and pathology, mass disaster (airline crash), and MVAs (motor vehicle accidents). There are two underlying themes in the course:  ‘What kills people?,’ and ‘What happens to a body after death?’ (e.g., decomposition, mummification, cremation). The labs are associated with several of the major topics, with heavy emphasis on analysis of human skeletal remains and bloodstain pattern analysis. Real specimens are used in many cases, including the lab involving the external examination of a human body (cadaver) as a preface to autopsy.


Will my classes transfer?

SCI 108 and SCI 208 may be taken together to fulfill the Interdisciplinary Physical and Life Sciences general education requirement at Illinois public universities. Parkland College classes with an even middle digit (such as ENG 101, MAT 128, and BIO 141) are accepted for transfer as general education classes, major courses, or electives as determined by the transfer institution. 

For more information about transferring, speak with an academic advisor and visit the Parkland Course Matrix.


Find out more information about how these courses fit into:

Forensic Science

Associate in Science (A.S.)
Course Sequence

Apply Now

Parkland Science Scholars

Students pursuing science degrees who are from low-income families are encouraged to apply to Parkland Science Scholars. This program provides financial support, mentoring, and opportunities to gain experience and create networks in science careers. For more information visit