Required Courses (19 hours)
This introductory course will provide a broad overview of the areas in forensic science covered in higher level courses. Topics include the recognition, identification, individualization and evaluation of various types of physical evidence, forensic science and the law, and ethics in forensic science. The relationship of forensic science to the natural sciences and the use of the scientific method in forensic science will also be explored.
A study of the methods and techniques of scientific crime scene investigation and analysis using principles from biology, chemistry, and physics to document, recognize, preserve and collect physical evidence. Topics covered include video recording, photography, sketching, and searching of crime scenes along with proper collection and preservation methods.
Designed to follow Crime Scene Investigation I, this course focuses on the specialized scene techniques needed to investigate, analyze, process and reconstruct crime scenes. Topics will include presumptive testing, enhancement reagents, special scene techniques, bloodstain pattern analysis, shooting reconstruction, pattern recognition and crime scene reconstruction.
The effectiveness of quality notes, reports and accurate documentation in the investigative process are explained and performed. Preparation of a report, chain of custody documents and other forms with proper content, mechanics, elements and format will also be explained and performed. Topics include field or bench notes, documentation of observations, factual report writing, property and evidence reports, business letters, memorandums, proper grammar, proper sentence structure and characteristics essential to quality report writing and document preparation.
Examines the case file preparation, admissibility of evidence rulings, the criminal trial process, courtroom demeanor, and direct and cross examination techniques for courtroom testimony. Skills are performed in a mock courtroom setting by the students. Topics include fact and expert witnesses, pertinent case law, property and evidence reports, investigative and laboratory reports, preparation of the witness, witness credibility and proper courtroom appearance and demeanor.