Forensic Health Minor

Forensic health is the application of health science to legal issues. 

Who Should Take this Minor

Open to any undergraduate at Binghamton University, the forensic health minor is particularly well suited for students majoring in fields with forensic applications (nursing, biology, chemistry, anthropology, psychology, sociology, engineering, pubic health) who are considering careers in healthcare, forensic sciences or the law.

Requirements

The minor requires 24 credit hours — 16 credits of core courses and two adjunct courses (8 credits). To graduate with the minor, a student must have a grade of C- or higher in all courses taken for the minor; repeating coursework is not permitted. Course descriptions are below.

Core courses (must complete 16 credits)
Credits
When offered
NURS 335: Forensic Health Essentials 2 spring and summer II
NURS 335B: Forensic Health of Victims 2 fall
NURS 335C: Forensic Health of Offenders 2 spring
NURS 335D: Forensic Pediatrics 2 fall
NURS 335F: Medicolegal Death Investigation 2 spring and summer I
NURS 337: Forensic Health: Sexual Offending and Victimization 2–3 summer II
NURS 455: Correctional Health 3 fall
NURS 370: Disaster Preparedness 3 fall and spring
The Nursing Honors Program may be substituted as an alternate for N335D, N335F, N455 or N370 if focused on a topic that is integral to forensic health and approved by the forensic health coordinator.
Adjunct courses (must complete 8 credits)
Credits
PSYC 111: Introduction to Psychology 4
PSYC 220: Developmental Psychology 4
PSYC 330: Drugs and Behavior 4
HDEV 200: Introduction to Human Development 4
HDEV 400: Social Justice 4
HWS 340: Substance Abuse in Contemporary Society 4
Adjunct courses subtotal 8
TOTAL CREDITS REQUIRED FOR MINOR 24

Application Criteria

Applicants must have 60 completed college-level credits to be considered. Admission is competitive and students must demonstrate academic strength. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on 4.0 scale) at the time of application is required for consideration (and for conferral of the minor). Applicants with a grade of D or less in a core forensic health minor course are not eligible for the minor. 

Students should not apply until they meet the minimum GPA and credit requirements. Those who don't meet the criteria will not be accepted into the minor; no exceptions will be made. Students may take required courses before they apply for the minor.

Application Procedures

Forensic health minor applications are reviewed for fall and spring semesters. Applications are due by March 15 for fall enrollment, and October 15 for spring enrollment. Applicants will receive a decision within 30 days of application due date.

Be advised that the forensic courses fill rapidly. Students enrolled in the minor must register during their assigned registration time. Failure to register in a timely manner may result in the applicant not being able to attend the course and possibly not being able to complete the minor requirements. If a student enrolled in the minor is unable to register during his/her assigned registration time (e.g., due to credit overload), that student should contact Mary Muscari (mmuscari@binghamton.edu), program coordinator, immediately to reserve a seat.

Course Descriptions 

NOTE: These are the course content descriptions. For full, official course descriptions, go to the University's Shedule of Classes.

  • NURS 335: Forensic Health Essentials

    Overview of forensic disciplines, forensic assessment, the collection and preservation of evidence, death investigation, terrorism, DMORT, crime prevention, developing a forensic practice and basic civil issues, such as malpractice, child custody, elder law and personal injury. Open to all students, sophomore status and above. Some sections may be restricted to Decker School of Nursing students. 

  • NURS 335B: Forensic Health of Victims

    Forensic health issues as they relate to victims of violent crimes, such as child abuse, intimate partner violence, elder abuse, sexual violence, human trafficking, stalking, workplace violence, hate crimes and homicide. Content also includes victim needs and rights; the victim role in the criminal justice system; responses to trauma; crisis intervention; order of protection; victim's resources; and ictimization of children, women, men, elders and persons with disabilities. 

  • NURS 335C: Forensic Health of Offenders

    This course provides an overview of forensic health issues as they relate to perpetrators of violent crimes, including intrafamilial violence, sexual violence, stalking, workplace violence, hate crimes and homicide. Content also includes forensic roles, crime classifications, relationship between animal cruelty and human violence, offender needs and rights, and issues related to juvenile and female offenders.

  • NURS 335D: Forensic Pediatrics

    This course explores the intricacies of forensic pediatrics, where children and adolescents are victims and/or offenders of violence. Topics include: the effects of violence on youth, interviewing and assessing children/adolescents, evidence, expert witness testimony, compassion fatigue and vicarious victimization, children of incarcerated parents, child abuse, shaken baby syndrome, Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, sexual assault and exploitation, the juvenile justice system, delinquency, child delinquents, female delinquents, animal cruelty, arson, gangs, bullying and child death investigation.

  • NURS 335F: Medico-Legal Death Investigation

    This course provides an overview of forensic and medicolegal issues as they relate to the investigation of an individual's death. Content includes how deaths are investigated in the U.S., postmortem changes, common injury patterns and findings, cause and manner of death, special types of death investigations, and working with families. Open to all students, sophomore status and above. Some sections may be restricted to Decker School of Nursing students. 

  • NURS 337: Sexual Offending and Victimization

    This course provides a practical examination of sexual offending and victimization. While it is open to all upper-division students, it is designed for students who may work with these populations during their careers. Topics include: underlying framework, types of sexual assault, sexual exploitation and human trafficking, victim populations and the effects of sexual assault on victims, evaluation of sexual assault victims, interventions for sexual assault victims, perpetrators of sexual violence, offender populations, offender assessment, treatment and supervision of sex offenders. 

  • NURS 370: Disaster Preparedness

    This online course prepares community health nurse to take a leadership role in community disaster preparedness and disaster management. Nature of disasters, their effect on the health of people and communities and the implications for public health are appraised in relation to the role that community health nurses have in planning for and responding to natural, man-made and Na-Tech disasters. Particular emphasis on identification of vulnerable and at-risk populations, the coordination of resources and agency responses, the management of emergency shelters, and community intervention for recovery.

    Students formulate a community disaster plan in response to a selected natural, man-made or Na-Tech disaster. Basic nursing roles, responsibilities in disaster planning and management, and issues related to disaster response will be explored. Students will have an opportunity to participate in a simulated exercise that requires them to apply disaster-management concepts to a real-life scenario. Other assignments will require the student to use web-based materials and resources that will fulfill the requirements for National Incident Management System (NIMS 700) and Incident Command System (ICS 100). The major focus of this course will be to provide the student with the core competencies expected of a nurse in disaster response.

  • NURS 455: Correctional Health

    This course provides a comprehensive overview of correctional health for those students who may want to consider this career path. The course includes: an overview of the U.S. corrections and correctional health systems and roles; legal, ethical and cultural issues; physical health concerns; mental health problems; treatment and programming; sex offender management; violence in correctional facilities; elder, female and juvenile inmates; and re-entry.