Forensic and Investigative Science

http://forensics.wvu.edu/

Degree Offered

  • Bachelor of Science

Areas of Emphasis

  • Forensic Biology
  • Forensic Chemistry
  • Forensic Examiner

Nature of Program

The Department of  Forensic and Investigative Science (FIS)  offers a bachelor of Science degree with three areas of emphasis ( forensic biology, forensic chemistry, and forensic examiner).  Each emphasis provides the student with a strong background in the physical and biological sciences associated with forensic science.  The program is fully accredited by the Forensic Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC).

Because of the unique nature of the program and forensic science employment, students are forewarned about issues that could affect their ability to obtain a background check, and complete the degree.  Department guidelines are available from the department adviser. 

Students who earn a degree in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences must complete the University requirements, the College requirements for their specific degree program, and their major requirements.

Minors

All students have the possibility of earning one or more minors; click the following for a list of all available minors and their requirements. Please note that students may not earn a minor in their major field.

Certificate of Global Engagement

Students in the Eberly College, regardless of their major, can earn a Certificate of Global Engagement. Completion of the Certificate demonstrates the student’s knowledge of diverse cultures, as well as the ability to communicate and interact effectively with people of different cultural backgrounds.  Students will be required to apply their knowledge of contemporary issues and global social contexts to their course work and their broader citizenship.  For details regarding Certificate requirements, please visit the Eberly College page.

Admission Requirements

  • First time students who qualify for placement in CHEM 110A or higher will be admitted directly into the major. Directly admitted students will be advised by FIS advisors and are eligible to participate in the Living Learning Community and other departmentally-sponsored first-year programs. 
  • Students who wish to transfer from another WVU major must be enrolled in CHEM 115 or higher and must have an overall GPA of at least 2.5.
  • Students wishing to transfer from outside of WVU must qualify for placement in CHEM 115 or higher, and have an incoming overall GPA of at least 2.5

Benchmark Expectations

During their first four semesters, students are expected to complete their math and basic science courses. These fundamentals must be completed prior to taking upper level FIS courses.  Many of these courses will satisfy the GEF 1, 2, 3, 4, and 8 requirements, as well as the College B.S. requirements. Students interested in the forensic chemistry area of emphasis must take the MATH 156/STAT 215 progression, and are strongly encouraged to take the CHEM 117 /CHEM 118 and PHYS 111/PHYS 112 series if they qualify.

Students must make acceptable progress to remain in the FIS major. Acceptable progress for the Forensic and Investigative Science major is defined as the following:

  • By the third regular semester (fall or spring) in the major students must be enrolled in CHEM 116 and maintain an overall GPA of 2.25.
     
  • By the fifth regular semester, typically the fall of their junior year, students must have fulfilled the following requirements with a C or better, maintain an overall GPA of 2.5, and declare an area of emphasis.
    These courses must be completed with a C or better
    BIOL 117Introductory Physiology4
    CHEM 233
    CHEM 235
    Organic Chemistry
    and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
    4
    PHYS 102Introductory Physics4
    or PHYS 112 General Physics
    MATH 155Calculus 14
    or MATH 154 Calculus 1b with Precalculus
    These courses must be either in progress or complete with a C or better
    CHEM 234
    CHEM 236
    Organic Chemistry
    and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
    4
    STAT 215Introduction to Probability and Statistics3
    or STAT 312 Intermediate Statistical Methods
  • Beyond the fifth semester, students must have completed all the courses listed above, maintain an overall GPA of 2.5 and declare an area of emphasis.


All majors must meet with a FIS advisor each semester. Students who do not meet their benchmarks may be removed from the major, but may be readmitted once they complete the fifth semester requirements.

General Education FOUNDATIONS

Please use this link to view a list of courses that meet each GEF requirement.

NOTE: Some major requirements will fulfill specific GEF requirements. Please see the curriculum requirements listed below for details on which GEFs you will need to select.

General Education Foundations
F1 - Composition & Rhetoric3-6
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research
Accelerated Academic Writing
F2A/F2B - Science & Technology4-6
F3 - Math & Quantitative Skills3-4
F4 - Society & Connections3
F5 - Human Inquiry & the Past3
F6 - The Arts & Creativity3
F7 - Global Studies & Diversity3
F8 - Focus (may be satisfied by completion of a minor, double major, or dual degree)9
Total Hours31-37

Please note that not all of the GEF courses are offered at all campuses. Students should consult with their advisor or academic department regarding the GEF course offerings available at their campus.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete WVU General Education Foundations requirements, College B.S. requirements, major requirements, and electives to total a minimum of 120 hours. For complete details on these requirements, visit the B.S. Degrees tab on the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences pages.

Departmental Requirements for the B.S. in Forensic and Investigative Science

  • Capstone Requirement: The university requires the successful completion of a Capstone course.  FIS major must complete FIS 406.

  • Writing and Communication Skills Requirement: The Forensic and Investigative Science Bachelor of Science is a SpeakWrite Certified ProgramTM. SpeakWrite Certified programs incorporate and develop students’ written, verbal, visual, and mediated communication skills across the curriculum.

  • Calculation of the GPA in the Major: To graduate with the Forensic and Investigative Science major, students must achieve a minimum overall GPA of 2.5 in all FIS courses with no grade lower than a C- in any FIS course. If a course is repeated, all attempts will be included in the calculation of the GPA unless the course is eligible for a D/F repeat.

  • Area of Emphasis: Students must earn a grade of C- or better in each course applied to their area of emphasis. The three areas of emphasis are: Forensic BiologyForensic Chemistry, and Forensic Examiner.

  • Internship Requirement: All students are required to successfully complete an internship for 6 hours of credit.

  • Benchmark Expectations: For details, go to the Forensic and Investigative Science admissions tab.

Curriculum Requirements

UNIVERSITY REQUIREMENTS16
First Year Seminar
GEF: Number of credits will vary depending on overlap
COLLEGE REQUIREMENTS *4
Global Studies & Diversity Requirement
Mathematics Requirements
Select 1 of the following:
Calculus 1a with Precalculus
and Calculus 1b with Precalculus
Calculus 1
Science Requirement
Please see the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences' Bachelor of Science (B.S.) tab.
DEPARTMENTAL REQUIREMENTS
General Requirement3
Effective Public Speaking
Biology Requirement8
Principles of Biology
Introductory Physiology
Chemistry Requirement16
Fundamentals of Chemistry
and Fundamentals of Chemistry
Principles of Chemistry
and Principles of Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Mathematics and Statistics Requirement6
Select one of the following pairs:
Calculus 2
and Introduction to Probability and Statistics
Elementary Statistical Inference
and Intermediate Statistical Methods
Physics Requirement8
Select one of the following pairs:
Introductory Physics
and Introductory Physics
General Physics
and General Physics
Forensic Investigation Science Requirement21
Introduction to Forensic Identification
Crime Scene Investigation 1
Crime Scene Investigation 1 Laboratory (Crime Scene Investigation Laboratory)
Introduction to Microscopy
Forensic Identification Internship
Law and Evidence
Forensic Quality Assurance
Area of Emphasis35
Number of credits depends on area of emphasis, please see below
Capstone Experience3
Court Testimony
General Electives
Number of elective may vary depending on overlap and area of emphasis
Total Hours120

AREAS OF EMPHASIS

All students must complete an area of emphasis in order to graduate from the Forensic and Investigative Science Major.

  • Forensic Biology: The forensic biology area of emphasis is intended for students interested in  DNA analysis or serology, or as a preparation for professional training in pathology.

  • Forensic Chemistry: The forensic chemistry area of emphasis is intended for students interested in analytical identification of evidence, including seized drugs, fire and arson residues, toxicology, and  trace evidence analysis.
     
  • Forensic Examiner: The forensic examinter area of emphasis is intended for students interested in crime scene investigation and analysis, latent fingerprint examination, forensic photography, physical evidence analysis, and law enforcement agency work.


 

Forensic Biology Area of Emphasis REquirements

Biology/Biochemistry Requirement18
Introductory Biochemistry
The Living Cell
Advanced Cellular/Molecular Biology
Molecular Genetics
and Molecular Genetics Laboratory
Forensic Biology
and Forensic Biology Laboratory
Area of Emphasis Electives 17
Select 17 credits in the following list; 6 credits must be in FIS. Only 3 combined credits of FIS 491, 492, 495, and 497 may count toward this requirement.
Cell and Molecular Biology Methods
Introduction to Recombinant DNA
Epigenetics
Genomics
Bioinformatics
Comparative Anatomy
Vertebrate Microanatomy
Population and Quantitative Genetics
Introductory Analytical Chemistry
Instrumental Analysis
Instrumental Analysis Laboratory
Methods of Structure Determination
Physical Chemistry: Brief Course
Experimental Physical Chemistry
Physical Chemistry
Physical Chemistry Laboratory
Physical Chemistry
Physical Chemistry Laboratory
Forensic Chemistry
Biochemistry 2
Forensic Chemistry Lab
Biochemistry 2 Laboratory
Science/Technology of Fingerprint Identification
Biological Evidence for Forensic Examiners
Forensic Photography
FIS 393
Special Topics
Professional Forensic Communication
Crime Scene Investigation 2
Latent Fingerprint
Blood Stain Pattern Analysis
Advanced Forensic Photography
Computational Forensics
Professional Ethics in Forensic Science
Professional Field Experience
Directed Study
Special Topics
Independent Study
Research
Medical Terminology
Basic Medical Laboratory Science
Introduction to Pathology
Drugs and Behavior
Forensic Psychology
Forensic Statistics
Total Hours35

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
WVUE 1911ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3 
BIOL 115 (B.S. First Area 1; GEF 2)4BIOL 117 (GEF 8; B.S. First Area 2)4 
CHEM 115 (GEF 8; B.S. Second Area 1)4CHEM 116 (GEF 8; B.S. Second Area 2)4 
FIS 2013Math and Stat Requirement Course 13 
MATH 155 (B.S. Math Requirement, GEF 3)4  
 16 14
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
CHEM 233
CHEM 235
4ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3 
CSAD 270 (GEF 4)3CHEM 234
CHEM 236
4 
PHYS 101 (B.S. Third Area 1)4FIS 302
FIS 303
4 
Math and Stat Requirement Course 23PHYS 102 (B.S. Third Area 2)4 
 14 15
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
BIOL 2194GEF 53FIS 3866
FIS 4043BIOL 324
BIOL 325
4 
FIS 4802BIOL 432
BIOL 434
4 
Area of Emphasis FIS Upper-Div. Course 13Area of Emphasis FIS Upper-Div. Course 23 
 12 14 6
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
GEF 63ECAS Global Studies & Diversity Requirement (GEF 7)3 
BIOL 3103AGBI 4103 
FIS 3143Area of Emphasis Elective 24 
FIS 406 (Capstone)3Area of Emphasis Elective 34 
Area of Emphasis Elective 13  
 15 14
Total credit hours: 120


 

Forensic Chemistry Area of Emphasis Requirements

Chemistry Requirement20
Introductory Analytical Chemistry
Instrumental Analysis
Instrumental Analysis Laboratory
Methods of Structure Determination
Physical Chemistry: Brief Course
and Experimental Physical Chemistry
Physical Chemistry
and Physical Chemistry Laboratory
Forensic Chemistry
Forensic Chemistry Lab
Area of Emphasis Electives:15
Select 15 credits from the list; a minimum of 6 credits must be from FIS 300 or 400 level courses. No more than 3 combined hours of FIS 491, 492, 495, or 497 may count towards this requirement.
Introductory Biochemistry
Introductory Biochemistry Laboratory
Introduction to Biochemistry Wet Laboratory
The Living Cell
Cell and Molecular Biology Methods
Introduction to Recombinant DNA
Epigenetics
Genomics
Bioinformatics
Forensic Biology
Forensic Biology Laboratory (Forensic Biology Lab)
General Animal Physiology
Vertebrate Microanatomy
Population and Quantitative Genetics
Intermediate Analytical Chemistry
Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry
Inorganic Synthesis Laboratory
Biochemistry 2
Biochemistry 2 Laboratory
Science/Technology of Fingerprint Identification
Biological Evidence for Forensic Examiners
Forensic Photography
FIS 393
Special Topics
Professional Forensic Communication
Crime Scene Investigation 2
Latent Fingerprint (Latent Fingerprint Development)
Blood Stain Pattern Analysis
Advanced Forensic Photography
Computational Forensics (Computational Forensics)
Professional Ethics in Forensic Science
Professional Field Experience No more than 3 combined hours will count toward Area of Emphasis requirement
Directed Study
Special Topics
Independent Study
Research
Medical Terminology
Basic Medical Laboratory Science
Basic Pathology
Drugs and Behavior
Forensic Psychology
Forensic Statistics
Total Hours35

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
WVUE 1911ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3 
BIOL 115 (GEF 2; B.S. First Area 1)4BIOL 117 (B.S. First Area 2; GEF 8)4 
CHEM 115 (B.S. Second Area 1; GEF 8)4CHEM 116 (B.S. Second Area 2; GEF 8)4 
FIS 2013Math and Stat Requirement Course 13 
MATH 155 (B.S. Math Requirement; GEF 3)4  
 16 14
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
CHEM 233
CHEM 235
4ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3 
CSAD 270 (GEF 4)3CHEM 234
CHEM 236
4 
Math and Stat Requirement Course 23FIS 302
FIS 303
4 
PHYS 101 (B.S. Third Area 1)4PHYS 102 (B.S. Third Area 2)4 
 14 15
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
CHEM 2154GEF 53FIS 3866
FIS 4043CHEM 3103 
FIS 4802CHEM 341
CHEM 342
4 
Area of Emphasis FIS Upper-Div. Elective 13CHEM 460
CHEM 463
4 
Area of Emphasis FIS Upper-Div. Elective 23  
 15 14 6
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
GEF 63ECAS Global Studies & Diversity Requirement (GEF 7)  
CHEM 3131FIS 3143 
CHEM 3354Area of Emphasis Elective 23 
FIS 406 (Capstone)3Area of Emphasis Elective 33 
Area of Emphasis Elective 13General Elective3 
 14 12
Total credit hours: 120

Forensic Examiner area of emphasis requirements

Forensic Investigative Science Requirement9
Science/Technology of Fingerprint Identification
Forensic Photography
Crime Scene Investigation 2
Advanced Science Requirement8
Complete 8 credits, with at least one credit of laboratory.
Introductory Biochemistry
Introductory Biochemistry Laboratory
Introduction to Biochemistry Wet Laboratory
The Living Cell
Advanced Cellular/Molecular Biology
Advanced Cellular/Molecular Biology-Laboratory
Molecular Genetics
Molecular Genetics Laboratory
Introductory Analytical Chemistry
Physical Chemistry: Brief Course
Experimental Physical Chemistry
Physical Chemistry
Physical Chemistry Laboratory
Physical Chemistry
Physical Chemistry Laboratory
Area of Emphasis Elective:18
Select 18 credits from the following list; a minimum of 12 credits must be from FIS 300 or 400-level courses. No more than 3 combined credits of FIS 491, 492, 495, or 497 can count towards this requirement.
Cell and Molecular Biology Methods
Introduction to Recombinant DNA
Epigenetics
Genomics
Bioinformatics
Forensic Biology
Forensic Biology Laboratory
General Animal Physiology
Comparative Anatomy
Vertebrate Microanatomy
Population and Quantitative Genetics
Instrumental Analysis
Instrumental Analysis Laboratory
Methods of Structure Determination
Organic Syntheses
Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry
Inorganic Synthesis Laboratory
Forensic Chemistry
Biochemistry 2
Forensic Chemistry Lab
Biochemistry 2 Laboratory
Biological Evidence for Forensic Examiners
FIS 393
Special Topics
Professional Forensic Communication
Latent Fingerprint
Blood Stain Pattern Analysis
Advanced Forensic Photography
Computational Forensics
Professional Ethics in Forensic Science
Professional Field Experience
Directed Study
Special Topics (Each course A-Z counted independently)
Independent Study
Research
Medical Terminology
Basic Medical Laboratory Science
Introduction to Pathology
Drugs and Behavior
Forensic Psychology
Total Hours35

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
WVUE 1911ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3 
BIOL 115 (GEF 2; B.S. First Area 1)4BIOL 117 (GEF 8; B.S. First Area 2)4 
CHEM 115 (GEF 8; B.S. Second Area 1)4CHEM 116 (GEF 8, B.S. Second Area 2)4 
FIS 2013MATH and STAT Requirement Course 13 
MATH 155 (GEF 3, B.S. Math Requirement)4  
 16 14
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
CHEM 233
CHEM 235
4ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3 
CSAD 270 (GEF 4)3CHEM 234
CHEM 236
4 
MATH and STAT Requirement Course 23PHYS 102 (B.S. Third Area 2)4 
PHYS 101 (B.S. Third Area 1)4Adv Science Elective 14 
 14 15
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
GEF 53FIS 302
FIS 303
4FIS 3866
FIS 3013FIS 3143 
FIS 3353Area of Emphasis FIS Upper-Div. Course 23 
Advanced Science Elective 24Area of Emphasis FIS Upper-Div. Course 33 
Area of Emphasis FIS Upper-Div. Course 13  
 16 13 6
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
GEF 63ECAS Global Studies & Diversity Requirement (GEF 7)3 
FIS 4023FIS 406 (Capstone)3 
FIS 4043Area of Emphasis Elective 13 
FIS 4802Area of Emphasis Elective 23 
Area of Emphasis FIS Upper-Div. Course 43  
 14 12
Total credit hours: 120

Major Learning Goals

forensic and investigative science

Upon successful completion of the B.S. degree, Forensic and Investigative Science majors will be able to:

  1. Take data generated during a forensic investigation and prepare for trial.
  2. Demonstrate competency in the collection, processing, analyses, and evaluation of evidence.    
  3. Demonstrate knowledge, skills and abilities to be competitive in the forensic job market, through the visual display of a portfolio of evidence on activities and accomplishments such as certification forms, research and other relevant learning experiences.
  4. Demonstrate application of skills and knowledge in a professional environment, acquired through an internship experience.

Minor Code - u123

Any student admitted to a degree program at West Virginia University may complete a minor in Forensic & Investigative Science.

Course Requirements:

A student must earn a C- or better in each course counted toward the minor.
Core Courses:9
Introduction to Forensic Identification
Crime Scene Investigation Overview
Professional Ethics in Forensic Science
Upper-Division Electives:6
Select two courses:
Biological Evidence for Forensic Examiners
Expert Testimony Perspectives
Principles of Forensic Photography
Social Relations of Forensic and Law Professionals
Law and Evidence
Forensic Quality Assurance
Total Hours15

FIS 194. Professional Field Experience. 1-18 Hours.

PR: Consent. (May be repeated up to a maximum of 18 hours.) Prearranged experiential learning program, to be planned, supervised, and evaluated for credit by faculty and field supervisors. Involves temporary placement with public or private enterprise for professional competence development.

FIS 201. Introduction to Forensic Identification. 3 Hours.

A survey course in forensic science including overview of the history and components of fingerprint classification systems crime scene analysis, and death investigation. This course is open to non-majors.

FIS 202. Crime Scene Investigation Overview. 3 Hours.

PR:FIS 201. An overview of the crime scene investigation process for the non-examiner. Course topics include: safety, evidence collection, processing, and documentation. Virtual scenarios will serve as teaching aids.

FIS 293A. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

FIS 301. Science/Technology of Fingerprint Identification. 1-3 Hours.

PR: FIS 201. Introduces basics of fingerprint analysis and comparisons. Focuses on basis patterns used in fingerprint comparisons and classifications of each fingerprint type, including Henry, National Crime Information Center, Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System pattern classification codes.

FIS 302. Crime Scene Investigation 1. 3 Hours.

PR: FIS 201. An introductory course providing basic competencies required for crime scene examiners. The course will focus on developing a consistent approach to the processing of a crime scene with a major focus on recovery/processing evidence.

FIS 303. Crime Scene Investigation 1 Laboratory. 1 Hour.

PR or CONC: FIS 302; Must have declared FIS major. The laboratory extension of an introductory course in crime scene investigation, covering skills from initial scene assessment through debriefing and clean-up. Scientific and practical methods of securing, collecting and analyzing this evidence will be taught and practiced.

FIS 305. Biological Evidence for Forensic Examiners. 3 Hours.

PR: FIS 302. This is an elective course for Examiner Track students in the Forensic Investigative Science major. The course focuses on the collection and testing of body fluids as well as death scene investigation procedures.

FIS 306. Expert Testimony Perspectives. 3 Hours.

PR: FIS 201. A comprehensive review of expert testimony that broadens perspectives of the role of the scientist in the courtroom as well as improving exprt witness capabilities.

FIS 314. Introduction to Microscopy. 3 Hours.

PR: CHEM 116 and PHYS 102 or PHYS 112. Laboratory-based introduction to theory and practice of light microscopy, polarizing light microscopy, imaging, particle manipulation, comparison microscopy, and simple microscopy. Open to non-FIDP majors and pre-admits on space available basis. (3 hr. lab.).

FIS 330. Principles of Forensic Photography. 3 Hours.

PR: FIS 201. Introduces basic principles of forensic photography for the non-investigator. Includes the history of photography, theories behing photography, and techniques for photographing type of crime scenes and evidence.

FIS 335. Forensic Photography. 3 Hours.

PR: FIS 201. Students focus on the fundamentals of photography, how to handle a camera, and expose film correctly. Include unique forensic environments encountered in forensic work includes fingerprints, crime scenes, and disaster scenes.

FIS 380. Social Relations of Forensic and Law Professionals. 3 Hours.

PR: FIS 201. Introduction to the relationships among attorneys, experts, and law enforcement professionals: how individuals work together for the investigative process from the initial investigation to the courtroom.

FIS 386. Forensic Identification Internship. 6-9 Hours.

PR: FIS 201 and must have consent of department. A full time supervised field experience providing a setting for students to increase their professional effectiveness as a forensic identification examiner while dealing with relevant issues and concerns while functioning within an ethical framework.

FIS 393A. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

FIS 401. Professional Forensic Communication. 3 Hours.

PR: ENGL 103 or (ENGL 101 and ENGL 102) and FIS 201. Familiarizes students with forensic literature, literature searching techniques, bibliographic software; and provides students with the writing and presentation skills essential to forensic professionals.

FIS 402. Crime Scene Investigation 2. 3 Hours.

PR: FIS 302. An extension of FIS 302. This course will outline procedures for collection of biological and trace evidence using scientific and practical methods of securing, collecting, analyzing this evidence, in accordance with known standards.

FIS 404. Law and Evidence. 3 Hours.

PR: FIS 201. This course presents a comprehensive review of criminal law relating to evidence in court cases and the student's ability to relate legal precedents to procedures in collecting, processing, and securing evidence used in criminal cases.

FIS 405. Latent Fingerprint. 3 Hours.

PR: FIS 301 and in the major. A course designed to teach identification techniques used in fingerprint development for processing crime scenes and evidence for latent prints, focusing on latent print development and preservation, including crime scene processing and blood prints.

FIS 406. Court Testimony. 3 Hours.

PR or CONC: FIS 404. A skills intensive course that combines in-class instruction with practical experience in the area of court testimony, legal writing presentation, and creation and presentation of exhibits in an actual court setting.

FIS 409. Blood Stain Pattern Analysis. 3 Hours.

PR: FIS 402. Scientific analysis of blood patterns at crime scene investigations and their applications in solving crimes.

FIS 410. Forensic Capstone. 3 Hours.

An inquiry based experience facilitating the transition from student to professional. Students will review and integrate all aspects of forensic science including professional ethics and will take written and proficiency tests modeled on professional certifications.

FIS 435. Advanced Forensic Photography. 3 Hours.

PR: FIS 335. A more in-depth photography course for students who wish to pursue forensic photography as a possible employment option upon graduation.

FIS 450. Computational Forensics. 3 Hours.

PR: MATH 155 or consent. An introductory-level course exposing students to non-traditional and technology driven approaches to forensic analysis, with specific emphasis on forensic imaging, analytical modeling, and computer programming.

FIS 451. Arson and Explosives Analysis. 3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Examines the chemistry of combustion and the chemical analysis of ignitable liquids, explosives and post-combustion residues. The course relies heavily on instrumental methods of analysis, including various forms of chromatography and mass spectrometry. A laboratory component provides hands-on experience with interpreting data involving ignitable liquid residues and explosives.

FIS 480. Forensic Quality Assurance. 2 Hours.

PR: FIS 201. Quality assurance in a laboratory setting to include quality control/assurance, management, and application of statics. ASCLD-LAB and ISO accreditation and professional certification procedures.

FIS 485. Professional Ethics in Forensic Science. 3 Hours.

Foundational ethical concepts as they relate to forensic science and other associated professional cultures. Applied case-study examples are used to analyze ethical and moral boundries of practice.

FIS 490. Teaching Practicum. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Teaching practice as a tutor or assistant.

FIS 491. Professional Field Experience. 1-18 Hours.

PR: Consent. (May be repeated up to a maximum of 18 hours.) Prearranged experiential learning program, to be planned, supervised, and evaluated for credit by faculty and field supervisors. Involves temporary placement with public or private enterprise for professional competence development.

FIS 492. Directed Study. 1-3 Hours.

Directed Study, reading, and/or research.

FIS 493. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

FIS 494A. Seminar. 1-3 Hours.

PR:Consent. Presentation and discussion of topics of mutual concern to students and faculty.

FIS 495. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

FIS 497. Research. 1-6 Hours.

Independent research projects.


Faculty

Chair

  • Gerald E. Lang - Ph.D. (Rutgers University)

Professors

  • Suzanne Bell - Ph.D. (New Mexico State University)
    Forensic Chemistry
  • Glen Jackson - Ph.D. (West Virginia University)
    Ming Hsieh Distinguished Professor, Forensic Chemistry

Associate Professors

  • Keith Morris - Ph.D. (University of Port Elizabeth)
    Ming Hsieh Distinguished Professor, Impression Evidence, Evidence Interpretation

Assistant professors

  • Luis Arroyo - Ph.D. (Florida International University)
    Toxicology, Environmental Forensics
  • Tina Moroose - M.S. (Marshall University)
    Graduate Studies Coordinator, Forensic Biology
  • Robert O'Brien - M.S. (St. Joseph College)
    Ballistics, Trace Evidence
  • Jacqueline Speir - Ph.D. (Rochester Institute of Technology)
    Forensic Informatics
  • Tatiana Trejos - Ph.D. (Florida International University)
    Trace Evidence, Elemental Analysis
  • Casper Venter - M.S. (North West University)
    Facilities Coordinator, Forensic Drug Chemistry

Instructors

  • Kelly Ayers - M.S. (West Virginia University)
    Continuing Forensic Education
  • Robin Bowen - M.A. (West Virginia University)
    Ethics, Evidence Interpretation, Continuing Education and Training
  • Rachel Mohr - Ph.D. (Texas A&M University)
    Forensic Entomology