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Graduate Course Descriptions

FIS 501. Foundations of Criminalistics. 3 Hours.

This course reviews the core theories and fundamental principles of criminalistics. Particular attention will be dedicated to problems of interpreting physical evidence. Aspects on research, scientific method, and ethics will also be addressed.

FIS 502. Forensic Laboratory Management. 3 Hours.

This course provides an overview of management issues in forensic science laboratories, including personnel and human resources, project management, leadership, organization, communication, strategy and budgeting.

FIS 592A-Z. Directed Study. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Directed study, reading, and/or research.

FIS 602. Forensic Informatics. 3 Hours.

This course will cover data management in forensic laboratories (procedural and scientific). Topics such as quality, legal environment, laboratory information systems, and forensic intelligence will be developed. This course includes a laboratory component.

FIS 604. Forensic Fingerprint Examination. 3 Hours.

This course presents the fundamental and advanced aspects of fingerprint comparisons using ACE-V methodology. Specific topics such as Daubert requirements, friction ridge identification; poroscopy, palm prints will be covered. This course includes a laboratory component.

FIS 610. Firearms Examination. 3 Hours.

This course presents the fundamentals and advanced aspects of firearms related to evidence. Topics include the design, mechanism, and manufacture of firearms as well as interior, exterior and terminal ballistics. This course includes laboratory component.

FIS 614. Trace Evidence Examination. 3 Hours.

PR: CHEM 314 or FIS 314. This course will develop the theories of transfer (such as hairs, fibers, paints, gunshot residues and glass). Topics such as microscopy, spectroscopy, and chromatography will be applied. This course includes a laboratory component.

FIS 615. Questioned Document Examination. 3 Hours.

This course will focus on handwriting comparisons, signatures, typewriting, and typescripts. Topics include erasures, additions and alterations, printed and photocopied documents and ink analysis. This course includes a laboratory component.

FIS 620. Forensic Casework Practicum. 3 Hours.

Students will manage mock cases involving multiple types of evidence. They will collect, analyze and interpret the evidence. Written reports on the case will be submitted to evaluation during a mock trial.

FIS 632. Advanced Forensic Biology. 3 Hours.

This course will provide students with the knowledge and skills to perform forensic DNA analyses. Topics include analytical methods and procedures, result interpretation and evidence assessment. This course includes a laboratory component.

FIS 660. Advanced Forensic Chemistry. 3 Hours.

This course covers the chemical analysis of a wide variety of forensic evidence types. Topics include statistics, sampling, data quality, calibration, sample preparation, instrumentation; drug analysis, toxicology and explosives. This course includes a laboratory component.

FIS 693A. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

FIS 695. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Faculty Supervised study of topics not available through regular class offerings.

FIS 696. Graduate Seminar. 1 Hour.

PR: Consent. Each graduate student will present at least one seminar to the assembled faculty and graduate student body of his or her program.

FIS 697. Research. 1-15 Hours.

PR: Consent. Research activities leading to thesis, problem report, research paper or equivalent scholarly project, or a dissertation. (Grading may be S/U).

FIS 701 Advanced Criminalistics. 4 Hours.

This course builds on FIS 501, and will offer students a more advanced understanding of evidence interpretation.

FIS 702 Advanced Forensics II. 3 Hours.

This course will develop a student’s ability to evaluate the admissibility of forensic science techniques in legal casework.

FIS 703 Research Design in Forensic Science. 3 Hours.

Research design in forensic science is an applied research and statistics-based course.

FIS 796 Forensic Seminar. 1 Hour.

Each graduate student will present at least one seminar to the assembled faculty and graduate student body of his or her program.

FIS 797 Doctoral Research. Variable Hours.

FIS 799 Advanced Topical Tutorial. 3 Hours.

These colloquium courses are modeled after the tutorials offered at Oxford College, where the student works directly with the faculty member exploring a certain topic in greater depth. Each student will take a tutorial colloquium under the direction of his/her advisor and one from another faculty member who is a member of the dissertation committee.