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Decker School of Nursing

Minors and Certificate

The Decker School offers the following, additional options open to undergraduate students in any school at Binghamton University:

Health and wellness studies minor

The Department of Health and Wellness Studies, part of the Decker School, offers a health and wellness studies (HWS) minor open to all Binghamton undergraduate students. 

The minor requires a total of 24 credits and consists of four core courses and 10 elective HWS credits. No more than two courses can be designated as a "B" General Education requirement.

Get complete program details on the Health and Wellness Studies minor webpage.

Forensic health minor

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

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

The minor requires 24 credit hours — seven core courses (16 credits) 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 take all seven)
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 455: Correctional Health 3 spring
NURS 370: Disaster Preparedness 3 fall (and spring 2018)
Core courses total 16  
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 (choose two)
Credits
PSYC 111: Introduction to Psychology 4
PSYC 220: Developmental Psychology 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 heath minor course are not eligible for the minor. Do not apply until you meet the minimum GPA and credit requirements.

Application Procedures
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.

Download the forensic health minor application.

Forensic health certificate

Students interested in pursuing a certificate in forensic health from the Decker School must be at least sophomore status.

The program requires the successful completion of the undergraduate courses in forensic health as listed in the options below for a total of 6–8 credits, depending on the certificate selected for completion (four options are available).

Courses may be completed in any order; students may also take individual courses if not interested in a certificate. Course descriptions are below.

Option 1: Certificate in Forensic Health: Focus on Adults

  • NURS 335: Forensic Health Essentials
  • NURS 335B: Forensic Health of Victims
  • NURS 335C: Forensic Health of Offenders

Option 2: Certificate in Forensic Health: Focus on Children

  • NURS 335B: Forensic Health of Victims
  • NURS 335C: Forensic Health of Offenders
  • NURS 335D: Forensic Pediatrics

Option 3: Certificate in Forensic Health Across the Lifespan

  • NURS 335: Forensic Health Essentials
  • NURS 335B: Forensic Health of Victims
  • NURS 335C: Forensic Health of Offenders
  • NURS 335D: Forensic Pediatrics

Option 4: Certificate in Forensic Health and Medicolegal Death Investigation

  • NURS 335B: Forensic Health of Victims
  • NURS 335F: Medicolegal Death Investigation

and one of the following

  • NURS 335: Forensic Health Essentials
  • NURS 370: Disaster Preparedness

Students interesting in pursing an undergraduate certificate in forensic health should contact Mary Muscari, program coordinator, at 607–777–5411 or mmuscari@binghamton.edu. Be sure to contact Muscari in the semester in which you complete the requirements for the certificate, so she can ensure the certificate is awarded.

NOTE: The completion certificate will not be reflected on your official transcript; however, it can be noted on your résumé. 

Course descriptions for forensic health minor and certificate programs

NOTE: Always check the schedule of classes for the most up-to-date course descriptions.

NURS 335: FORENSIC HEALTH ESSENTIALS: Overview of forensic disciplines, forensic assessment, the collection and preservation of evidence, death investigation, terrorism, DMORT, developing a forensic practice and basic civil issues such as malpractice, child custody, elder law and personal injury. 

NURS 335B: FORENSIC HEALTH OF VICTIMS: Forensic health issues as they relate to victims of violent crimes such as intrafamilial violence, sexual violence, stalking, workplace violence, homicide and hate crimes. Content also includes victim needs and rights; responses to trauma; victim's resources; victimization of children, women, men, elders and persons with disabilities. 

NURS 335C: FORENSIC HEALTH OF OFFENDERS: Overview of forensic health issues as they relate to perpetrators of violent crimes, including intrafamilial violence, sexual violence, stalking, workplace violence, homicide and terrorism, as well as crime classifications, relationship between animal cruelty and human violence, offender needs and rights, female offenders, juvenile offenders and correctional health. 

NURS 335D: FORENSIC PEDIATRICS: 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: MEDICOLEGAL 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. 

NURS 370: DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: 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 community health nurses have in planning for and responding to natural, manmade 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, manmade or Na-Tech disaster. 

NURS 455: CORRECTIONAL HEALTH: This course provides a comprehensive overview of correctional health and 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.

Last Updated: 3/27/18