Crime Scene Investigation Classes
Getting a quality education in criminal justice or forensic science is your first step to joining the ranks of skilled crime scene investigators. There are several CSI schools in the United States that offer crime scene investigation classes and degree programs. A two-year associate’s degree program in CSI provides a general education for future crime scene investigators, while a four-year bachelor’s degree program provides students with a larger volume of courses, allowing students to specialize and refine their studies even further in crime scene investigation.
The CSI curriculum may vary from one school to another, but many have similar crime scene investigation courses that aim to prepare students for specific tasks common to processing crime scenes, protocols, elements to a crime scene, and a variety of specializations. When you enroll in a crime scene investigation degree, the following are some common courses you will encounter:
Principles of Criminalistics – Learn how to utilize different disciplines of physical and natural sciences to accurately recognize, identify, process and analyze crime scene evidence. This course provides a foundation from theoretical and practical perspectives to build upon.
Latent Processing – This course focuses on fingerprint patterns and classification; including procedures in dusting, lifting and packaging latent prints as well as developing and verifying fingerprints. Some programs offer in-depth latent print examiner training and procedural knowledge.
Forensic Ballistics – As one of the common crime scene investigation classes and overlaps with traditional forensic science programs, this course teaches you how to analyze bullets found on a crime scene as well as bullet impacts to determine the type of firearm(s) used in a crime scene.
Blood Pattern Analysis & Fluid Collection – How to analyze blood patterns, shapes, location and distribution so you can accurately recreate a crime scene. For you to grasp the techniques in the course, your professor will re-introduce several scientific disciplines such as mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics.
Trace Evidence Analysis – Always included among CSI courses, this area of study allows you to delve into different objects usually found on a crime scene such as fibers, glass, hairs, gunshot residue, soil, etc. You will also study different tell-tale marks of objects like tire impressions of a vehicle, which is helpful in recreating a crime scene and linking a crime to a suspect.
Crime Scene and Evidence Photography Course – Often noted as one of the top CSI skills. The first few classes will concentrate on the use of a digital SLR camera; from the basic setting to more complex techniques in order for you to properly collect images all parts of a crime scene. In addition, you will also learn special photographic techniques to document latent fingerprints and other types of evidence. At the end of the course, you should master the features of your SLR camera as well as the different techniques to capture evidence. Many CSI programs will allow you the ability to take elective courses in areas where your skills and talents may intersect with crime scene processing. If you have a knack for photography, this course will teach you how to use those skills in the service of a crime scene.
In a criminal justice degree program, students who are on the crime scene investigation track often take these crime scene investigation classes:
Introduction to Crime Scene Investigation – This course will teach you the nuts and bolts of crime scene evidence gathering, documentation, processing and other basic methods in criminal investigations.
Situational Crime Scene Investigations – Explore different crimes and crime scenes you may encounter when you work as a CSI; including vehicle theft, arson, murder, bank robbery, terrorism acts, and many others.
These are just some of the crime scene investigation classes that you need to take to finish a degree in crime scene investigation. As you progress in your studies, you will learn fascinating information about criminal justice and forensic science, including some forensic psychology courses. It’s no wonder, CSI has become a highly sought profession given the fascinating concepts and work to be done.