Course Descriptions

FORENSIC SCIENCES (FS)

FS 230 Forensic Sciences (3)

Survey of scientific methods applied to the collection, analysis and preservation of physical evidence as it is used from the crime scene to the courtroom; quality assurance, ethics, professional practice.

English 102 and Communication 101 are prerequisites for all upper division courses.

FS 333L Physical Forensic Sciences Laboratory (1)

Laboratory exercises to analyze various forms of physical evidence. Explores the underlying theory, protocols, and relevance for the examination and interpretation of physical evidence. Prerequisites: FS 230 or CJ 220.

FS 340 Crime Scene Investigation (3)

Introduction to techniques of crime scene investigation. Emphasis will be on search techniques, scene diagramming, photography, proper documentation, recover and preservation of different categories of evidence. Aspects of chain of custody of materials collected and other problems related to admissibility of evidence will be discussed. Prerequisites: FS 333 or FS 333L. Concurrent registration in FS 340L is required.

FS 340L Crime Scene Investigation Laboratory (1)

Laboratory and field exercises to provide experience in crime scene search and processing, recognition, collection and preservation of different categories of evidence. Applications of photography to scene documentation. Use of proper personal safety precautions while at crime scene. Prerequisites: FS 333 or FS 333L. Concurrent registration in FS 340 is required. Materials intensive fee applies.

FS 430 Forensic Chemistry (3)

This course introduces the application of analytical chemistry to forensic science. A focus will be placed on obtaining analytical results through sample preparation, instrumental analysis, data quality, and data interpretation in various forensic chemistry applications. Prerequisites: CH 324/L and CH 334/L. Concurrent registration in FS 430L required.

FS 430L Forensic Chemistry Laboratory (1)

Laboratory exercises will concentrate on techniques and forensic methodologies for qualitative and quantitative analysis of chemical evidence. Prerequisites: CH 324/L and CH 334/L. Concurrent registration in FS 430 required.

FS 450 Forensic Anthropology (3)

This course is an introduction to the techniques of anthropology, archaeology, osteology and anthropometry as applied to forensic problems. Techniques covered will include those involved in determination of the individual’s age at death, sex, height and detection of antemortem/perimortem trauma. Prerequisites: FS 230 or CJ 220.

FS 455 Medicolegal Death Investigation (3)

Covers the operations of medicolegal death investigation including field and morgue duties, relationships with law enforcement, hospitals, emergency services, and health systems. Students will be responsible for learning medical terminology, common medicines, medical procedures (particularly emergency medical intervention), decomposition, and the recognition and documentation of medical paraphernalia related to procedures. Also covered will be scene interview techniques, evidence recovery, photography, and postmortem fingerprinting. Prerequisites: FS 340/L.

FS 460 Forensic Taphonomy (3)

Processes associated with the decomposition and preservation of organic materials with an emphasis placed on human remains. Prerequisites: CH 323/L. Concurrent registration in FS 460L required.

FS 460L Forensic Taphonomy Laboratory (1)

Quantitative and qualitative methods for investigating decomposition and its application in medicolegal death investigation. Concurrent registration in FS 460 required. Materials intensive fee applies.

FS 487 Internship (3 to 6)

Field work experience in an approved criminal justice agency. A minimum of 45 clock hours of work experience per credit hour is required. In addition to the field work, the student will be required to write a paper, be evaluated by the agency, and complete an oral interview with a faculty member. Departmental approval is required prior to enrollment. A minimum of three and a maximum of six credit hours. Prerequisites: FS 340/L.

FS 490 Senior Seminar (1)

Discussion and presentation of current issues in forensic science. One oral presentation by each participant required. Prerequisites: FS 340/L.

FS 491 Professional Skills for Forensic Scientists (3)

Introduces professional practices and expectations for the forensic scientist. Includes discussion of employment preparation, leadership, professional organization, ethics, certification, accreditation, and research skills including data generation, analysis, and interpretation. Prerequisites: Senior Standing.

THE FOLLOWING COURSE DESCRIPTIONS APPLY ONLY TO THE MSCJA FORENSIC LABORATORY MANAGEMENT TRACK:

FS 600 FORENSIC SCIENCES I (3)

A survey of the forensic sciences focusing on the legal system, professional and ethical conduct, pattern evidence, crime scene investigation, and medicolegal death investigation. Includes the management of human, technological and informational resources.

FS 601 FORENSIC SCIENCES II (3)

A survey of the forensic sciences focusing on biological and chemical evidence. Includes the management of human, technological, and informational resources.

FS 620 LABORATORY MANAGEMENT (3)

Examines organization and role of the manager, leadership and communications, problem solving, decision-making and time management. Also includes manager’s function in training, research and development, case prioritization, evaluation, budgeting, planning and laboratory design. Laboratory security and safety stressed. Explores employee concerns including motivation, morale, stress management, discipline, complaints, grievances, hiring, job descriptions, and laboratory protocols.

FS 650 FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGY (3)

This course will provide students with the skills to develop a biological profile on examination of human remains. The biological profile includes age at death, ancestry, sex, stature, trauma, dental and skeletal x-rays, basics of bone remodeling (healing), mtDNA, osteometrics, and personal identification from bones and teeth. Other topics of discussion include human variation, testifying as an expert witness, buried and surface scattered remains, evidence handling, taphonomy, and introduction to archaeology. A portion of the semester will be devoted to students examining remains, writing reports of findings, and presenting their findings to the class each week.

FS 675 MANAGEMENT OF CHEMICAL INSTRUMENTATION AND ANALYSIS (3)

Introduction to the application of analytical instruments commonly employed in forensic science and criminalistics with a focus on managing instrument performance, quality assurance, data collection and treatment, calibration methods, and sample preparation techniques. Forensic science ethical issues will be integrated into lecture and discussions.