Forensic and Investigative Science Minor


Forensic and Investigative Science

The Eberly College of Arts and Sciences is offering a forensic and investigative science (FIS) minor. The minor will provide students with a broad-based understanding of the fundamentals of forensic science. The minor recognizes the growing national interest in forensic science by introducing students to the technical and legal aspects of the field. The convenience of online classes makes it easy for the working professional or students attending divisional campuses, while traditional classes cater to students on the main campus.

The minor adds perspective and edge that can open the door to many careers. Students will have the opportunity to experience basic issues and applications within the context of forensic science.

The forensic and investigative science minor can benefit students in a variety of academic disciplines, including criminal justice, political science, psychology, sociology and history.


The Forensic and Investigative Science Minor requires the 5 courses (15 credit hours):
 
1. Required Courses (3 courses, 9 credit hours):
 
FIS 201. Introduction to Forensic Identification
3 credit 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 all students.
FIS 202. Crime Scene Investigation Overview
3 credit 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 305: Biological Evidence
3 credit hours
PR: FIS 202 or 302

The course focuses on the collection and testing of body fluids as well as death scene investigation procedures.
FIS 485. Professional Ethics in Forensic Science
3 credit 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 boundaries of practice.
2. Electives (Select 2 courses, 6 credit hours):
 
FIS 306. Expert Testimony Perspectives
3 credit 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 expert witness capabilities.
FIS 330. Principles of Forensic Photography
3 credit hours
PR: FIS 201

Introduces basic principles of forensic photography for the non-investigator. Includes the history of photography, theories behind photography, and photographing various types of crime scenes and evidence.
FIS 380. Social Relations-Forensic/Law
3 credit 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 404. Law and Evidence
3 credit hours
PR: FIS 201

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 480. Forensic Quality Assurance
3 credit 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 493K. Biology of the Grave
3 credit hours
PR: FIS 201

Biology of the Grave is an introduction to the mechanisms of terrestrial carrion decomposition and to the means of locating, excavating and recovering human remains deposits. This course also covers the identification of carrion-associated insects and their use in determining minimum postmortem interval.

To earn a minor in forensic and investigative science, a student must earn a C or better in the courses counted toward the minor.


For additional information contact Robin Bowen at Robin.Bowen@mail.wvu.edu or call (304) 293-6214.