Forensic Program Courses
505. Fundamentals of Crime Scene Investigation
This course introduces the participant to forensic science paradigms, crime scene investigation and evidence recognition. Collection, documentation and processing of evidence are addressed. The course will include an introduction to crime scene photography. Students will be oriented in professional values, concepts, and ethics.
506. Fundamentals of Evidence Processing
This course introduces the participant to forensic science paradigms regarding evidence processing, including lab practices, statistical evaluation of evidence, and scene reconstruction.
507. Criminal Law and the Law of Evidence
In this course, the elements of violent crimes will be reviewed, as well as criminal procedures, constitutional and statutory limitations of criminal investigation, and the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments, and writing search warrants and affidavits. The requirements of conviction, or burden of proof (criminal vs. civil standards) and rules and policies pertaining to evidence will be studied.
508. Medicolegal Death Investigation
This course provides an overview of death investigation. The specialties of forensic pathology, forensic odontology, forensic anthropology, and forensic entomology are introduced and the expectations of the death investigator regarding the specialist outlined. Forensic science techniques related to identifying the victim(s), establishing time of death, cause and manner of death, postmortem interval, and presumptive and confirmed identifications are presented.
509. Cold Case Practicum
In this course, the participants will develop a summary of salient facts in a case investigation reconstruction. The summary will include a time line of the crime event and subsequent investigation, an index of physical evidence with results of forensic analyses citing potential for additional testing due to new technology, a listing of witnesses, suspects and persons of interest with suggestions for further interviews and new investigative leads.
510. Research Methods & Statistics For Forensic Science
The course includes differences between experimental, quasi-experimental, and concomitant measurement studies. Statistics covered include analysis ofvariance and multiple linear regression. Emphasis is on hypothesis testing, data analysis, and the communication of findings.
515. Advanced Crime Scene Investigation
This course focuses on recognizing, protecting and preserving all prospective physical evidence at a crime scene. Crime scene reconstruction, involving the use of the scientific method and classical logic, will be discussed. Students will learn about crime scene photography methods, making impressions from imprints, collecting fingerprints and trace evidence, and analyzing and interpreting blood spatter evidence through lectures and hands-on experiences.
516. Crime Scene House Practical
This course is designed to present the students with a real life crime to work from beginning to end. Students will be assigned to groups that include representatives from the behavioral science, biology/chemistry, and investigative sciences tracks. Each investigative team will be assigned a case to work for the duration of the course. Working the case will include processing the scene, processing and evaluating evidence, developing victim and offender profiles, following up leads, and seeing the case through to completion in either a grand jury or court room simulation.
523. Document Analysis
It has been said that over 90% of crimes involve some kind of document evidence. This course addresses handwriting analysis, paper and ink identification, and handwriting authentication and the use of documenting evidence as evidence.
524. Basic Principles of Friction Ridge Identification
This course covers the basic concepts of friction ridge identification through lectures and practical exercises designed to provide students with the fundamental knowledge of the friction ridge detail individualization. Aspects of friction skin examination will be explored and the challenges associated with the science will be discussed. Students will gain knowledge of the basic fingerprint pattern recognition, three levels of detail and the ACE–V methodology as the basis of the examination process. Aspects of the individualization of friction ridges, and how the concepts and methods apply to other impression evidence will also be discussed.
525. Advanced Investigatory Techniques (This course is pending approval)
This final lecture-course in the investigatory track bring together into a cohesive whole the various techniques already studied in earlier classes. Where necessary it adds or amplifies a number of specialized techniques and topics such as palynology, consequences if invertebrate presence, animal scavenging, and physical detection of buried remains. The principles suggested by the 2009 National Research Council Report on Forensics are applied to emphasize the principles of scientific investigation and ethical considerations that will govern good investigations of the discovery of human remains.
530. Forensic Psychology
Forensic psychology is a growing and popular field of inquiry. Forensic psychology is the application of psychological insights, concepts and skills to the understanding and functioning of the legal and criminal justice system. Students examine the interaction among theories and applications of psychology and the practice of civil and criminal law. Insanity, malpractice, competency, civil commitment, violence, jury selection and expert-witness testimony will be discussed.
532. Serial Offenders and Personality
This course focuses on the repeat offender, most notably the serial murderer. This course includes an examination of a variety of violent and nonviolent repeat offender crimes (i.e. serial rape, stalking, "peepers"). And concentrates on the nature of the repeat offender and the personality characteristics that tend to be associated with this type of criminal.
533. Criminal Investigation Analysis
Behavior profiling is part of a larger discipline called Criminal Investigation Analysis (CIA). This course provides students with a theoretical and practical approach to CIA. Various aspects of CIA are discussed, such as victimology, equivocal death analysis, personality assessments, offender development and others.
534. Threat Assessment & Management
This course will provide the student with an introduction to the discipline of threat assessment. This will be accomplished through exposure to the principles of threat assessment, numerous categories of threatening behavior and by studying examples of threatening incidents. This course will briefly cover a broad spectrum of topics in the threat assessment and management field. Topics to be covered include threat assessment theory, behavioral assessment, stalking, workplace violence, school violence, incident intervention, interviewing and threat management.
540. Advanced Instrumental Analysis (This course is pending approval)
This course will explore the place of analytical chemical concepts and Instrumentation in the robust and dependable identification and quantification of those biological and chemical compounds that are of interest for forensic investigations. The use of statistical techniques, including Bayesian statistics, are examined in the forensic context. Forensic evidence collection and chain-of-custody requirements are examined. Laboratory exercises include familiarization with chromatographic and mass-spectrometric techniques and instruments.
541. Advanced Forensic Biology
Forensic serology has remained one of the most important areas in the crime laboratory because of the significant information which the analysis of blood and body fluids can provide in examining what has happened at a crime scene. Course content includes the biology and biochemistry of blood and other body fluids, as well as various presumptive and confirmatory laboratory testing methods. The broader context of collection of trace evidence and the analysis of such evidence is also provided. Laboratory exercises provide experience in evidence collection, packaging, laboratory analyses, interpretation, and testimony.
Prerequisite(s): Forensic Science 540, with grades of “B-” or better, or permission of the instructor
542. Forensic DNA
In recent years deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) technology has become important to individualize crime scene evidence. This course explores the structure of DNA and RNA, the technology of DNA profiling, testing of forensic DNA samples, and understanding the results and discerning the relevant information in a forensic context. The statistical examination of profiling results is combined with a study of human genetics. Laboratory exercises provide experience in handling of evidence under chain-of-custody rules, search for and analysis of bodily fluids on evidentiary items, DNA-profiling of the evidence, calculation of statistical significance, and finally - testimony.
Prerequisite(s): Forensic Science 540 and 541, with grades of “B-” or better; Genetics, Molecular Biology, and Biochemistry, or permission of the instructor
547. Advanced Forensic Chemistry
This course will explore the use of modern chemical techniques in the identification and quantification of chemical compounds of interest, in or on objects of forensic importance. These include the classified groups of substances as defined in the Controlled Substance Act, various deadly substances, and substances appearing at fire and arson scenes. Techniques for the investigation of illegal clandestine laboratories will be studied. In laboratory exercises students will be introduced to presumptive and confirmatory tests, utilizing laboratory techniques from simple color tests to chromatographic and mass spectrometric analyses.
Prerequisite(s): Forensic Science 540 and 541, or permission of the instructor.