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The Certificate in Forensic Identification

Students wishing to pursue a career in one of the forensic sciences should consult advisors in anthropology, biology, or chemistry. Entry level employment in criminalistics commonly requires a major in one of the physical or natural sciences, including a year of General Chemistry and a course in Quantitative Analysis.

Graduate programs in criminalistics commonly require a major in one of the physical or natural sciences.

Prerequisites to Program:

Candidates for the certificate must have completed a Bachelor's degree or must complete the Bachelor's degree concurrently with the certificate.

Course Requirements for the Certificate: 27-38 units

The following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required of all candidates for this certificate.

Core Program: 12 units

3 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
A survey of the relationship between science and society by noting the history and nature of the role of the expert witness and the forensic scientist in aiding to resolve various legal issues. 3 hours lecture. (000511)
Prerequisites: Faculty permission.
This internship is offered in the area of physical anthropology. Work experience in the community or region is designed for each student. A maximum of 6 units of internship may be counted toward the major. 15 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 15.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (000622)

Note: ANTH 489A course must be taken for a total of 6 units.

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: ENGL 130.
A study of technical writing and presentation skills in business and scientific environments, including audience analyses, writing processes, genres of technical and business discourse, visual communication, collaboration, professional responsibility, clear and correct expression. Students write and revise several documents and give oral reports. 3 hours discussion. (003453)

Methods and Techniques: 12-23 units

These courses must be selected from outside the student's major department and chosen with the prior approval of the certificate coordinator. A specific program of courses may be required depending upon the student's major and previous preparation.

12-23 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Archaeological survey and excavation; research aims and strategies; archaeological mapping, photography, and recording. 1 hour lecture, 9 hours supervision. (000526)
Prerequisites: ANTH 111, ANTH 300, ANTH 301, or ANTH 311.
Anthropological principles and knowledge applied within the legal system. Topics include the history of the field, biological parameters determined from the skeleton, postmortem interval, and ethics. 3 hours seminar. (000557)
Prerequisites: ANTH 301.
Physical anthropological methods and techniques, such as anthropometry, dermatoglyphics, osteology, and paleopathology as applied to problems of human identification. Credit for repeating this course depends upon your taking it from a different instructor each time. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (000607)
Study of the structure of the human body, to include muscles, bones, heart, brain, ear, eye, and other systems, as well as a short look at development of the fetus. Lab work entails dissection of the cat and study of the human skeleton. 3 hours lecture, 2 hours activity. This is an approved General Education course. (001110)
Prerequisites: BIOL 103, BIOL 104, BIOL 151, or NSCI 102; CHEM 107, CHEM 108, or CHEM 111.
Introduction to structure/function, metabolism, genetics, ecological interactions and pathogenic mechanisms of microorganisms. In addition, the roles of microorganisms in sanitation and in the food and biotechnology industries will be discussed. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001132)
Prerequisites: One biological sciences course.
The inheritance, expression, and evolution of the genetic material in humans. Topics include genetic engineering, gene therapy, prenatal diagnosis, cancer, the human genome project, genetic influences on human behavior, such as homosexuality and mental illness, and the social and ethical consequences of the new technologies. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. (001140)
Prerequisites: BIOL 153 or permission of instructor.
A detailed study of the principles of classical, molecular, and population/evolutionary genetics. Activities will include computer simulations of segregation, linkage, and population genetics, internet-based database searches for genetic diseases and cloned genes, and searches of the current genetic literature. 3 hours lecture, 1 hour discussion. (001173)
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153.
Explanation of the anatomical similarities and differences of selected vertebrates. The evolution and adaptive significance of various systems are considered. 2 hours discussion, 6 hours laboratory. (001171)
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153.
Microscopic analysis of tissues, organs, and organ systems of vertebrates emphasizing mammalian histophysiology. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001170)
Prerequisites: BIOL 153. Recommended: BIOL 424 and CHEM 270.
The study of blood in normal and abnormal conditions. 2 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001174)

Note: Additional upper-division BIOL courses may be counted for the Methods and Techniques requirement with approval of the Forensic Coordinator.

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: Second-year high school algebra; one year high school chemistry. (One year of high school physics and one year of high school mathematics past Algebra II are recommended.)
Principles of chemistry for students in science, medical, and related professions. Atomic structure, chemical bonding, stoichiometry, periodic table, gases, solids, liquids, solutions, and equilibrium. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. This is an approved General Education course. (001816)
Prerequisites: CHEM 111 with a grade of C- or better.
A continuation of CHEM 111. Chemical energetics, rates of reaction, acids and bases, solubility, oxidation-reduction, and nuclear chemistry. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001817)
Prerequisites: CHEM 112.
An introduction to the theory and mechanism of organic reactions. To be followed by CHEM 370, which completes the two-semester sequence for science majors. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001840)
Prerequisites: CHEM 112 with a grade of C- or higher.
Precision and accuracy in measurements, interpretation of data by statistical analysis, and development of good quantitative techniques. Analysis by gravimetry, titrimetry, potentiometry, chromatography, and spectrometry. 2 hours discussion, 6 hours laboratory. (001847)
Prerequisites: CHEM 270 with a grade of C- or higher.
Lecture continuation of the theory and mechanisms of organic reaction. 3 hours discussion. (001852)
Prerequisites: CHEM 370 may be taken as a prerequisite or concurrently with CHEM 370L.
Laboratory continuation of the theory and mechanisms of organic reactions. Completes the two-semester sequence for science majors. 3 hours laboratory. (001856)

Legal Systems: 3 units

Select a course with the prior approval of the certificate coordinator.

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
This course is also offered as POLS 438 .
The philosophical nature and origins of law. Topics to be examined include theories of law, justice, the relationship of law to morality, natural law, responsibility, punishment, and other basic concepts. Approach is both theoretical and via case studies. 3 hours lecture. (007282)
The history and philosophy of criminal justice in America; recapitulation of the system and how it disproportionately impacts different groups in America; identifying the various sub-systems, role expectations, and their interrelationships; theories of crime, punishment, and rehabilitation; ethics, education, and training for professionalism in the criminal justice system. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved US Diversity course. (001563)
This course is also offered as PHIL 438 .
The philosophical nature and origins of law. Topics to be examined include theories of law, justice, the relationship of law to morality, natural law, responsibility, punishment, and other basic concepts. Approach is both theoretical and via case studies. 3 hours lecture. (007282)
Prerequisites: POLS 250.
The machinery of criminal justice in theory and practice; the significance of the rule of law and its exceptions in the actual administration of justice. This course will concentrate on the application of the fourth, fifth, and sixth amendments to the U.S. Constitution in the administration of justice and the application of modern behavioral research as it applies to police and court administration. 3 hours discussion. (007588)
The study of crime and criminal behavior as a social phneomenon. Adopting a sociological perspective, this course examines crime trends, types of crime, and social and personal factors related to criminal behavior. Special attention is paid to inequality in the criminal justice system, street and white-collar crimes, victimization and other social costs of crime and punishment. 3 hours lecture. (009017)

Professional Standards:

The forensic certificate signifies readiness to begin professional work in an area requiring trust and high ethical standards. Students are expected to meet the ethical and professional standards set by the agencies with which they may serve as an intern. Should it be determined that students do not meet such standards, they may be disqualified from fulfilling the internship component of the certificate and thus prevented from completing the certificate.

An overall GPA of 2.5 is required for the entire program.

Catalog Cycle:13