Criminal Investigations (Certificate)

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If you don't want to work as a laboratory scientist but still want to explore the role forensic science plays in criminal investigations, this certificate program is for you. Learn how specific types of crimes are investigated by law enforcement and forensic scientists and learn about the laws governing criminal investigations.

The certificate in criminal investigations educates students about a variety of aspects of criminal investigations and criminalistics. It is designed to provide students of the social sciences, natural sciences, humanities and public services with an understanding of the nature of criminal evidence; the language of forensic science; the scope, probative value and limitations of a variety of investigative specializations and their techniques; and an appreciation of how forensic investigative methods are used in the quest for justice.

The certificate program allows students to satisfy at least two of their General Studies requirements (the SQ and SB) in a thematic manner, but it is not designed to prepare students to work in a crime laboratory.

At A Glance

Criminal Investigations (Certificate)

Application requirements

All students are required to meet general university admission requirements:

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Program requirements

Required Courses -- 12 credit hours
Elective Courses (choose three) -- 9 credit hours
1. Special Topics courses (FOR 394 and CRJ 494) will be designated and approved by departments and schools. Students will need to work with an advisor in order to select appropriate special topics courses that are approved for credit in the criminal investigations certificate program.
2. At least 12 credit hours must be taken in-residence at ASU.
3. A "C" (2.00 on a 4.00 scale) or better is required in all course work required for the certificate.
4. Upper-division course work may not be used to satisfy the requirements of both a major and the certificate. Thus, if any elective courses in the certificate program are being used to satisfy the requirements of a major, different elective courses must be taken to satisfy the requirements of the certificate program. For example, students majoring in criminology and criminal justice may not use CRJ 321, CRJ 410, CRJ 433, CRJ 434, CRJ 435, CRJ 450, CRJ 484 or CRJ 494 to satisfy the requirements of the major and the certificate in criminal investigations. Similarly, students majoring in forensic science may not use FOR 350, FOR 410 or FOR 484 to satisfy the requirements of the major and the certificate in criminal investigations.
Prerequisite Information
Depending on a student's undergraduate program of study, prerequisite courses may be needed in order to complete the requirements of this certificate.
CRJ 100 Introduction to Criminal Justice, SB (3) is a prerequisite requirement to enroll in CRJ 210, CRJ 211, CRJ 433, CRJ 434, CRJ 435, CRJ 484 and CRJ 494.
ACO 100 All About Data: Design, Query, and Visualization, CS (3) is a prerequisite requirement to enroll in FOR 350 Computer Forensics.
Either FOR 286 Principles of Forensic Science (3) or the two semester sequence in FOR 105 and FOR 106 is a prerequisite requirement to enroll in FOR 410 Professional Practices in Forensic Science, L (3). ENG 102 or 105 or 108 are also prerequisites for FOR 410.
The completion of at least 45 credit hours is a prerequisite requirement to enroll in FOR 484 Internship.

Enrollment requirements

Students must complete the following prerequisite courses with a grade of "C" of higher (scale is 4.00 = "A") in order to be admitted to the certificate program. These courses may be taken in residence at ASU or may be transferred in from other institutions, including community colleges.

The following prerequisite courses are required for admission to the certificate program:

For students majoring in the social sciences, humanities or the arts:*
FOR 105 Physical Evidence and the Crime Scene, SQ (4) and
FOR 106 Biology Behind the Crime Scene, SQ (4)

For students majoring in the natural sciences:*
FOR 286 Principles of Forensic Science (4)

*Neither FOR 105 nor FOR 106 have any prerequisites. These courses are designed for students majoring in the social sciences, humanities or arts to meet the natural science requirement of ASU's General Studies program. Thus, students not majoring in the natural sciences who wish to declare the certificate program in criminal investigations must complete the two-course sequence in FOR 105 and FOR 106. In contrast, students majoring in the natural sciences, including forensic science, should not take FOR 105 and FOR 106; they need only complete FOR 286: Principles of Forensic Science, which has prerequisite requirements of BIO 181, BIO 182, CHM 113 and CHM 116.

A student pursuing an undergraduate certificate must be enrolled as a degree-seeking student at ASU. Undergraduate certificates are not awarded prior to the award of an undergraduate degree. A student already holding an undergraduate degree may pursue an undergraduate certificate as a nondegree-seeking graduate student.