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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):

Required Courses (3 courses, 9 credit hours):

FIS 201 Introduction to Forensic Identification
Can be taken on campus or online. Examines the relationship between media, culture and society, with emphasis on the history, structure, and organization of the mass media.

FIS 202 Crime Scene Investigation Overview
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.

Prerequisites: FIS 201

FIS 485 Professional Ethics in Forensic Science
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.

Electives (Select 2 courses, 6 credit hours):

FIS 305 Biological Evidence
The course focuses on the collection and testing of body fluids as well as death scene investigation procedures.

Prerequisites: FIS 202 or 302

FIS 306 Expert Testimony Perspectives
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.

Prerequisites: FIS 201

FIS 330 Principles of Forensic Photography
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.

Prerequisites: FIS 201

FIS 380 Social Relations-Forensic/Law
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.

Prerequisites: FIS 201

FIS 404 Law and Evidence
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.

Prerequisites: FIS 201

FIS 480 Forensic Quality Assurance
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.

Prerequisites: FIS 201

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 or call (304) 293-6214.

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