Essential Practices of Forensic Science

Forensic science encompasses many scientific areas which, if used properly, can make invaluable contributions to the resolution of social and legal disputes. In this course, students will learn the essential practices of forensic science and criminalistics and review practices of forensic science including documentation, microscopy, communication of results, and integration of concepts from other sciences, mathematics, and statistics. The necessity of an objective, rigorous, scientific approach in a forensic investigation will be stressed. This course will prepare students to understand the foundation of forensic science practice including the basic knowledge required to understand the nature and origin of physical evidence, preservation of the physical evidence record, forensic microscopy, and communication of results. It is important to note that this course uses an intensive, problem-solving style and through practical exercises, students will be introduced to documentation techniques, basic and forensic microscopy, the verbal and written communication of forensic findings. The primary aims of the course are to introduce students to scientific philosophy, integrity, forensic science, criminalistics, basic practices of forensic science/criminalistics, and the role of the criminalist as they relate to a forensic investigation as well as prepare students for advanced 400-level courses in forensic science and criminalistics.