Forensic Investigation (FORENSIC)

For up-to-date information on when online courses from the Distance Learning Campus are typically offered, see https://www.uwplatt.edu/department/professional-program-support/course-offerings.

FORENSIC 1320 Introduction to Crime Scene Investigation 3 Credits

This course delves into various types of technology, techniques and equipment used in crime laboratories, and various types of technology, techniques and equipment used by crime scene technicians at a crime scene. Course also provides an overview for the career of crime scene technicians.
Components: Class
Typically Offered: Fall/Spring

FORENSIC 2320 Fingerprint Analysis and Other Biometrics 3 Credits

This course centers on fingerprint classification, development, and identification. Students learn to classify fingerprints using different classification types. The course teaches students how to properly identify fingerprint pattern types and to make fingerprint identifications. Developing latent fingerprints from numerous surface types in laboratory and crime scene settings is another essential area covered in this course. The course also includes proper techniques for rolling fingerprints for 10-print identification purposes. This course will focus on biometric areas that include fingerprint recognition using the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), facial recognition systems, and iris recognition systems. Finally, a critical approach to the use of biometrics will be take, with a close study of case, which utilized biometric techniques.
Components: Class
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: FORENSIC 1320
Typically Offered: Fall/Spring

FORENSIC 2420 Evidence Collection and Preservation 3 Credits

This course covers theory and methodology related to the collection and preservation of physical evidence from its original deposition at a scene to its final release from custody. Foundational concepts, including the chain-of-custody, evidence management, and the organization and maintenance of property rooms will be emphasized. Specific requirements for the documentation, collection, and preservation of hairs, fibers, fingerprints, footwear impressions, and biological evidence will be covered. Ethical considerations related to evidence collection, the chain of custody, and evidence management will also be discussed.
Components: Class
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: FORENSIC 1320
Typically Offered: Fall/Spring

FORENSIC 2620 Crime Scene Documentation 3 Credits

This course familiarizes students with theory and methodology pertaining to crime scene documentation with an emphasis on notes, photographs, and sketches/diagrams. Lectures and hands-on exercises will be used to develop the basic skills required to prepare true and accurate crime scene documentation. Management, processing, and storage of data and records, as well as their use in scene reconstruction and legal proceedings will be discussed. Supplemental forms of documentation including, videography, aerial photography, and three-dimensional scanning will be introduced. Students will demonstrate the ability to successfully document a scene using multiple modalities in a manner that ensures the integrity of the evidence.
Components: Class
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: FORENSIC 1320
Typically Offered: Spring

FORENSIC 2750 Issues in Forensic Investigation 1-3 Credits

Current issues and trends in forensic investigation which may not warrant a permanent course. Course content will be announced each time the course is presented.
Components: Class
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: CRIMLJUS 1130 or FORENSIC 1320 with a grade of C- or higher.
Typically Offered: Occasional

FORENSIC 2820 Forensic Anthropology 3 Credits

This course is a broad introduction to the field of forensic anthropology, which includes forensic archaeology (search, recovery, and interpretation of outdoor scenes) and forensic osteology (laboratory analysis of human remains). Lectures, readings, and hands-on activities will be used to present the history, key theoretical issues, and methods of each topic area. The interactions between forensic anthropology, law enforcement, the medicolegal system, and related forensic specialties will be emphasized. Students who successfully complete this course will have a solid foundation for advanced coursework and hands-on training in the investigation of outdoor scenes and human remains.
Components: Field Studies, Class, Laboratory
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: FORENSIC 1320
Typically Offered: Occasional

FORENSIC 3020 Forensic Criminology 3 Credits

This required course for the Forensic Investigation major and minor centers on the theory and historical context behind the scientific study of crime and criminals for the purposes of addressing investigative and legal issues. The course introduces students to the beginnings of scientific criminology and the forensic investigation in the context of Enlightenment thinking (also knows as the scientific revolution) and later post-Enlightenment historical developments. The epistemology of investigation as a philosophy of science, methods of reasoning (induction deduction, or a combination thereof), the weighing of evidence in the search for truth or a truth, the relationship of the truth to factual and legal guilt and innocence, how individual cases represent or don't represent aggregate trends in the sociology of criminal behavior, and ethical issues associated with forensic investigation are explored. The course challenges students to think critically about forensic examination as a dominant mode of uncovering, investigating, and prosecuting criminal behavior.
Components: Class
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: FORENSIC 1320 and sophomore standing
Typically Offered: Fall/Spring

FORENSIC 3040 Crime Scene Processing Techniques 4 Credits

Crime Scene Processing Techniques is a course crafted to familiarize the student with the methodologies and techniques associated with scientific crime scene processing. The student will be expected to achieve a basic knowledge of how to document, collect, preserve, and defend the credibility of evidence. The student will take part in lecture and laboratory components to ensure theoretical understanding and technical application of the material presented.
Components: Class, Laboratory
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: FORENSIC 1320 and FORENSIC 2420
Typically Offered: Fall/Spring

FORENSIC 3050 Medicolegal Investigation 3 Credits

The purpose of this Medico legal Death Investigation course is to provide students with the knowledge to perform death scene investigations for coroner's offices or medical examiner offices throughout the country; this course will provide the foundational and working knowledge of death investigation required to meet the competencies set by the ABMDI and possibly seek certification in the future. According to the ABMDI, "There has always been a nationwide shortage of forensically knowledgeable and technically skilled individuals available to collect initial death information and perform death scene investigations for medico legal jurisdictions (American Board of Medico legal Death Investigators, 2016)." This course will seek to satisfy the need for competent homicide investigators, detectives, medico legal investigators, coroners, and first resonders.
Components: Class
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: FORENSIC 1320 and junior standing
Typically Offered: Fall

FORENSIC 3140 Criminalistics 4 Credits

The function and techniques of the application of scientific methods to the evaluation of physical evidence. The course examines the various analytical systems used in the evaluation of physical evidence with a balance between the theoretical framework and practical application in the laboratory.
Components: Class, Laboratory
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: FORENSIC 1320 and sophomore standing
Typically Offered: Fall/Spring

FORENSIC 3310 Outdoor Scene Processing 3 Credits

This course focuses on the identification, documentation, recovery, and interpretation of outdoor scenes containing human remains. The roles and responsibilities of law enforcement and forensic professionals, as well as specialized considerations for different scene types, will be addressed. Topics include, but are not limited to, outdoor searches, surface scatters, water recoveries, burials, mass disasters, plane crashes, and fatal fires. Lectures, readings, discussions, and hands-on activities will cover the theory and practical skills needed to successfully function as a member of a team at such scenes. Students who successfully complete this course will have a solid foundation for advanced hands-on training and professional application of these skills in real-world settings.
Components: Class, Field Studies, Laboratory
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: FORENSIC 2820 or FORENSIC 2420 or FORENSIC 3050
Typically Offered: Spring

FORENSIC 3800 Research Methods in Forensic Investigation 3 Credits

An introduction to research methods in forensic investigation, with application to applied research. The course provides a basic conceptual framework for the understanding and interpreting of forensic investigation research to include learning how to conduct extensive literature reviews related to past and present FI techniques, applications, processes, and procedures, and then to problem-solve best practices for future crime scene investigations.
Components: Class
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: FORENSIC 1320 and sophomore standing
Typically Offered: Fall/Spring

FORENSIC 4020 Courtroom Testimony and Evidence 3 Credits

This course is intended to give the criminal justice student a fundamental understanding of the trial process including, inter alia, working with the prosecutor, establishing the chain-of-custody of evidence, qualifying as an expert, and legal requirements for specific forensic evidence. Although not a pre-law course, this course will provide the student with a working knowledge of the intricacies of trial-related issues of concern to investigators, police officers, and forensic examiners.
Components: Discussion, Class
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: CRIMLJUS 1130 or FORENSIC 1320 and junior standing
Typically Offered: Fall/Spring

FORENSIC 4120 Cybercrime Investigations 3 Credits

This course examines the history and current state of the problem of domestic and global cybercrime. The course explores various types of crimes committed with computers, the Internet, and electronic devices. Students will learn investigative techniques and the legal issues related to cybercrimes. Lastly, the course will address respective forensic investigative techniques including the recognition of digital leads, tracking cybercriminals, and the collection and preservation of digital evidence.
Components: Class
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: FORENSIC 1320 or CRIMLJUS 1130 with a C- or better; Junior standing
Typically Offered: Fall

FORENSIC 4500 Directed Individual Studies 1-3 Credits

Supervised individual study of a topic selected by the student with staff approval.
Components: Independent Study
Cross Offering: CRIMLJUS 4500
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: CRIMLJUS 1130 or FORENSIC 1320, Junior Standing, and Departmental Consent
Typically Offered: Fall/Spring/Summer

FORENSIC 4620 Current Topics in Forensic Investigation 1-3 Credits

Current issues in forensic investigation that may not warrant a permanent course. Course content will be announced each time the course is presented.
Components: Class
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: Junior standing or consent of instructor
Typically Offered: Occasional

FORENSIC 4720 Honors Research in Forensic Investigation 2-4 Credits

The practical application of research to the forensic investigation field. The student will design a complete research project within the framework of a tutorial relationship with a member of the forensic investigation or criminal justice faculty.
Components: Independent Study
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: FORENSIC 3140 with a "C-" or better and junior standing
Typically Offered: Occasional

FORENSIC 4880 Internship 1-8 Credits

Enhancement of the educational experience through placement of a student with a governmental or private agency, emphasis place on integration of criminal justice theory and practice through field observations, practical experience, and extensive report writing, including submission of daily reports, administrative reports, and case reports.
Components: Field Studies
Cross Offering: CRIMLJUS 4880
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: 60 credits plus 12 upper division criminal justice credits, a cumulative GPA of 2.50.
Typically Offered: Fall/Spring/Summer