Program Details

Program Outline

Program Outline

The Program in Depth

AIU offers a professionally-focused BSCJ program with a specialization in Forensic Science that is designed to provide students with a unique blend of education in science, law-enforcement practice and crime-scene investigation for study in the field of forensic science.

In this specialized curriculum, students can study jurisdiction established by the law to define the cause and manner of death, conduct a death-scene investigation, and study techniques in establishing identity and post-mortem interval. They can also explore specific skills, such as notification of next of kin, interviewing witnesses and interpreting crime-scene photography.

Successful completion of AIU’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program with a Specialization in Forensic Science can help prepare students with the knowledge and skills specific to the forensic-science profession.

Our specialization courses can help you learn how to:

  • Process a crime scene, including collection, preservation and analysis of evidence; developing and lifting fingerprints; and blood-spatter interpretation; and then write a narrative and scene description
  • Define forensic science, postmortem interval, body changes, relevant medical history, traumatic injury, postmortem lab tests and features of death-scene investigations
  • Define the roles and responsibilities of a forensic psychologist and their relationship with law-enforcement officials
  • Use the techniques of criminal investigation, including criminal profiling, psychological autopsies, hypnosis and lie detection
  • Define and understand computer crimes and investigation, including the use of incidence-response tools, wireless network analysis and tool testing, and analytical methodologies
  • Apply forensic computer knowledge pertaining to data modeling, data-definition language, data-manipulation language, operating systems and networking knowledge to solve crimes

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ACBSPUSNEWS-2017
Courses

Courses

Degree Requirements

General Education
COMP101Introduction to Computers4.5
COMP102Introduction to Computers Lab1.5
CRJS 201Ethics and Criminal Justice
ENGL106English Composition I4.5
ENGL107English Composition II4.5
HUMA205Art Appreciation4.5
or
PHIL201Introduction to Philosophy4.5
MATH125General College Mathematics4.5
PRES111Presentation Essentials4.5
SSCI206Aspects of Psychology4.5
SSCI210Sociology4.5
SCIE206Biology4.5
SCIE207Biology Lab1.5
SCIE210Environmental Science4.5
SCIE211Environmental Science Lab1.5
General Education Electives (1)4.5
Total Credit Hours:58.5

General Electives
General Elective4.5
General Elective4.5
General Elective 4.5
General Elective4.5
General Elective 4.5
General Elective0-4.5
General Elective or Internship4.5
Total Credit Hours:31.5

Lower Division Core
CRJS101Foundations of Criminal Justice Systems4.5
CRJS105Theories of Crime Causation4.5
CRJS205Introduction to Criminal Law4.5
CRJS210Introduction to Law Enforcement4.5
CRJS215Introduction to American Court System4.5
CRJS220Foundations of Corrections4.5
Total Credit Hours:27
Upper Division Core
CRJS310Crime Victim Studies4.5
CRJS315Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Theory4.5
CRJS330Constitutional Issues in Criminal Procedures4.5
CRJS355Evidence4.5
CRJS405Research Methods & Statistics for Criminal Justice4.5
Total Credit Hours:22.5
Capstone Requirement
CRJS499Senior Capstone in Criminal Justice4.5
Total Credit Hours:4.5

Specialization Options

Forensic Science

Specialization Outcome

  • Apply knowledge and skills needed by entry-level professionals in crime-scene, forensic science, investigation and related professions within the criminal justice system
CRJS365Criminalistics4.5
CRJS375Aspects of Forensic Psychology4.5
CRJS406Criminalistics II4.5
CRJS466Psychopathology and Criminality4.5
CRJS471Medicolegal Death Investigation4.5
CRJS475Cybercrimes4.5
CRJS478Forensic Biology4.5
CRJS455Criminal Investigation4.5

Total Credit Hours: 180

Classes Overview

Classes Overview

Some Courses You'll Take

AIU’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree program combines the required general-education courses that can provide liberal-arts foundation with specialized courses designed so students can pursue an education in the criminal-justice field, with particular emphases in the study of policing, courts, criminology, corrections, juvenile justice, homeland security and the field of forensic science.

At AIU, you can take more courses devoted to your field of interest, on average, than at other similar schools. For a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Forensic Science, your classes can include:

Criminalistics

Criminalistics is part I of a two part series. This course is a survey course of forensic science. The course content will focus on defining "forensic science"; recognizing practices of legitimate, junk, and fraudulent science; examining the properties of physical evidence; discussing the scope, potential, and limitations of a variety of forensic sciences; examining analytical techniques applied by forensic scientists; evaluating the criteria for admissibility of scientific evidence; and discussing the ethical responsibilities of forensic scientists.

Aspects of Forensic Psychology

This course examines the aspects of human behavior directly related to the legal process and the professional practice of psychology in the context of forensic science. The course explores many aspects of the practice of forensic psychology including assessment, treatment, and consultation within the legal system that encompasses both criminal and civil law. The student will learn the many ways psychology can assist and influence the legal system. Finally, students will be introduced to various career opportunities in forensic psychology and will be exposed to a variety of professionals who work in the area of forensic science.

Criminalistics II

Criminalistics II is part II of a two part series. This course introduces the non-scientific student to the field of forensic science through an exploration of its applications to criminal investigations, and clear explanations of the techniques, abilities, and limitations of the modern crime laboratory. The course combines classroom lecture/discussion with practical laboratory exercises related to the field of forensics. Topics include the recognition, identification, collection/preservation, individualization, and evaluation of physical evidence such as hairs, fibers, chemicals, blood, semen, glass, soil, fingerprints, documents, firearms, impression evidence, and serial number restoration. Students will document a crime scene by means of photography, notes, and scene sketching.

Psychopathology and Criminality

This course is designed to provide students with a firm understanding of abnormal human behavior. Students will gain knowledge and insight into disorders relating to eating, sleeping, attention deficit, mood, learning, impulse control, sexuality, criminality, and interpersonal conflict. The nature of various disorders will be discussed as well as their impact on criminal behavior. The diagnosis and treatment of these disorders will be covered in this class.

Medicolegal Death Investigation

This course introduces the student to the field of medicolegal death investigation in the context of forensic science. In this course, students will learn jurisdiction established by the law to define the cause and manner of death, conduct a death scene investigation and techniques in establishing identity and post mortem interval. Students will obtain skills in notification of next of kin, interviewing witnesses, and interpreting crime scene photography.

Cybercrimes

This hands-on introductory course provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to begin a computer-based investigation. The course begins with an overview of computer forensics and then proceeds to introduce forensics tools, concepts, and documentation of evidence/procedures. The course uses common and accepted incident Response Policies and Procedures for previewing and securing digital evidence. Topics include: the basics of computer evidence and basic forensic methodology.

Forensic Biology

This introductory course exposes students to the areas of cellular biology, forensic serology, genetics, and human physiology as well as their applications within forensic science. Through lectures, readings, discussions and general exercises emphasizing the fundamentals of basic science within Forensic Biology, students will learn the principles of biological and biochemical processing in relationship to forensics. The course will afford students the opportunity to enhance their critical thinking and problem solving skills within the field of forensic science. This course includes a discussion of the various areas of forensic science where a biologist can specialize.

Criminal Investigation

This course explores the elements of investigation including crime scenes, witnesses and evidence, and includes such topics as investigative techniques, evidence documentation, interrogation and arrest. The course addresses the particulars of investigating major crimes.

View the Course Catalog. Course content subject to change.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and Fees

Total tuition for this degree program may vary depending on your educational needs, existing experience, and other factors.

Estimate your costs, potential savings and graduation date.

Ways to Save

Ways to Save

From grants to military service to transfer credit, see the variety of ways you can save time and money on your degree at AIU.

  • Scholarships & Grants - AIU offers a number of institutional scholarships and grants that can help eligible students offset the program cost and help reduce out of pocket costs
  • Military Discounts– AIU Online offers a 45% tuition discount to active military undergraduate students and a 20% tuition discount to active military graduate students, including members of the Reserves and National Guard
  • Transfer Credit – AIU’s transfer-friendly policy lets you transfer in up to 75% of the qualifying credits you need toward your degree
  • Prior Learning Credit – You can receive credits for past college courses, military service, or work experience

Get Credit for Your Law Enforcement Training

At AIU, your prior law-enforcement training can earn you up to 36 college credits toward a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, saving you up to 20% on tuition. You can also save time by taking fewer courses that cover the basics and focus on more advanced classes.

How do you go about getting credit? During the admissions process, you can submit unofficial transcripts for a complimentary evaluation by the Prior Learning Assessment department. Don’t delay. Enroll in our criminal justice program today.

For more information, download AIU guides below:

  • Financial Aid Guide: Our guide to financial aid can answer your initial questions and help you prepare to apply for financial aid
  • Scholarships and Grants Guide: Learn about the scholarships and grants offered by AIU along with details about eligibility
  • Transfer Credits Guide: This guide explores how to transfer your credits from other schools—and earn college credit for your past work and military experience
Related Degrees

Related Degrees

Explore Similar Programs

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (BSCJ) Degree: Generalist Specialization
Explore the ins and outs of the criminal justice system, including law enforcement, crisis management, forensic science and homeland security. AIU’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree with a generalist specialization combines academic study of criminal justice with a deep exploration of the skills needed in the field.

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (BSCJ) Degree: Specialization in Corrections and Case Management
Study how to interact with inmates, develop rehabilitation plans and study the ways corrections professionals can make a difference in inmates’ lives. With a Criminal Justice degree specialization in Corrections and Case Management, you could become an important link between incarcerated individuals, the criminal justice system and social services.

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (BSCJ) Degree: Specialization in Homeland Security and Crisis Management
Gain a solid foundation in criminal justice while studying crisis management, ethical issues in the field, critical infrastructures, terrorism and homeland security.

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (BSCJ) Degree: Specialization in Law Enforcement
Explore the skills and knowledge you need to enter or advance in the field of law enforcement. Study the relationship between police and the communities they serve and explore the fundamentals of criminal justice, including police ethics, public policy and how to develop programs that can empower communities to reduce crime.

Career Paths

Career Paths

Career Opportunities in Criminal Justice with a Focus on Forensic Science

What can you do with a degree specialization in Forensic Science?

Forensic science is an exciting growth field, thanks in part to recent scientific and technological advances. In fact, jobs for forensic-science technicians are projected to grow by 27% through 2024—much faster than the national average for job growth.1

What does a career in Forensic Science involve?

Work in forensic science often takes technicians from crime scenes to the lab to the courtroom. This involves a wide spectrum of skills:

  • Proficiency in statistics and natural sciences
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Detail-oriented thinking
  • Composure at crime scenes
  • Physical stamina
  • Clear, detailed communication1

What are forensic scientists responsible for?

The day-to-day work of forensic science happens both in the field (at crime scenes) and in the lab. It may include:
  • Analyzing crime scenes to decide what to collect as evidence and how to collect it
  • Collecting the evidence, such as weapons, fingerprints and bodily fluids
  • Cataloging and preserving evidence to send to crime labs without contamination
  • Photographing the crime scene and evidence
  • Sketching the crime scene
  • Recording forensic observations and findings
  • Completing chemical, biological, and microscopic lab work on collected evidence
  • Using lab results to explore possible links between suspects and criminal activities
  • Reconstructing crime scenes
  • Examining digital media for information related to the crime
  • Consulting with specialists in related fields1

Which industries most often use forensic science?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the vast majority of the forensic-science technicians in the U.S. work in:
  • Police departments and offices
  • Crime laboratories
  • Morgues
  • Medical examiner/coroner offices1

If this sounds like a field you would like to pursue, a bachelor’s degree with a specialization in forensic science may help you move forward.

1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Forensic Science Technicians, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/forensic-science-technicians.htm (visited February 6, 2017).

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