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Forensics online course curriculum

Designed by practicing professionals, our forensics online course curriculum provides students with an understanding of how to identify, collect, and analyze forensic evidence, such as DNA, fingerprints, trace elements, and more. With a strong foundational knowledge of the justice system and scientific techniques used in the field, you’ll graduate with the expertise to solve crimes with forensics.

Lesson Group 1: Orientation: Ashworth College Career Program

Lesson: Learning at Ashworth  

The goals and values of Ashworth College; time management; creating a realistic weekly and monthly study schedule; the nature and purpose of assessments; how to study effectively to prepare for and take an online examination; developing the skill sets necessary for success in the twenty-first century.

Lesson: Introduction to Legal and Criminal Justice Careers  

Students will learn about federal and state laws and federal and state court systems. Students will also learn about types of crimes, the civil litigation and criminal justice processes, and careers in the legal and criminal justice fields.

Lesson Group 2—Foundations of Forensic Science

Lesson: Introduction to Forensic Science  

Students will learn about the history and development of forensic science, important contributors to the field, and the proper procedures taken when processing a crime scene. Students will also learn about crime laboratories, common types of physical evidence, and the significance of physical evidence.

Lesson: Crime Scene Reconstruction: Bloodstain Pattern Analysis  

This lesson introduces students to the fundamentals of crime-scene reconstruction. Students will learn about personnel involved in crime-scene reconstruction, bloodstain formation features and patterns, and documenting bloodstain pattern evidence.

Lesson: Death Investigation  

Students will learn about the roles of the forensic pathologist, anthropologist, and entomologist in death investigations. Students will also learn about the different phases of an autopsy, common causes of death, and the chemical and physical changes that help estimate the time of death.

Lesson: Fingerprints and the Microscope  

This lesson will introduce students to the history of fingerprinting, the principles of fingerprinting, and the differences among the three classes of fingerprints, including loops, whorls, and arches. Students will learn about the automated fingerprint identification system, different methods of detecting fingerprints, preservation of developed prints, and the process of creating and analyzing digital images. Students will also learn about the different types of microscopes, including the compound and comparison microscopes, and their functions.

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Program Description

The Forensic Science program shows students how to identify, collect, and analyze forensic evidence for use in capturing criminal perpetrators. Program topics include the history and development of forensic science, common types of physical evidence, legal considerations at the crime scene, forensic toxicology, arson and explosives, and the history of fingerprinting.

Program Objectives

After completing the Forensic Science program, students will be able to:

  1. Explain the career opportunities available to forensic investigators and describe the characteristics of professionals in the field.
  2. Describe what the term criminalistics encompasses and the significance of individual and class characteristics in the context of criminal investigations.
  3. Explain the purpose of securing, documenting, and processing the crime scene and outline the considerations involved in the collection of physical evidence, including legal and safety precautions.
  4. Describe typical procedures followed in the crime lab and in areas such as microscopy, fingerprint development, drug screening, serology, firearms investigations, trace evidence analysis, DNA profiling, and crime scene reconstruction.
  5. Describe common tools, processes, and evolving technologies in areas such as microscopy, fingerprint development, drug screening, serology, firearms investigations, trace evidence analysis, DNA profiling, and crime scene reconstruction.
  6. Explain how forensic scientists use the scientific method during evidence examination and analysis, and describe the factors that influence the selection and use of various analytical techniques.

Pursue a career in forensic science

Forensic science has become a crucial part of the judicial process. With specialized knowledge and the skills needed to identify, collect, and analyze evidence, you may be called on to provide an expert opinion in court. After you earn your diploma, our exclusive Career Tools can provide one-on-one guidance to help you present well and develop the strong interview skills you need to land a job.

Ready to get started?

Advance your career in our online API Program Name program. Call 1-800-957-5412