Forensics Studies

Minor

Students who are interested in pursuing careers in law enforcement or investigation fields can minor in forensic studies. This minor program is an interdisciplinary collaboration including the criminal justice, anthropology, biology, chemistry, psychology, and computer science departments. To complete this minor, student will complete coursework in criminal investigation procedures and may choose from a variety of classes in forensic specializations and legal principles that apply to investigations.

Course Offerings

Students and potential students should always consult the latest version of the Kutztown University Course Catalog for an official listing of course offerings.

  • ANT 258: Forensic Anthropology

    This course is designed to combine anthropological knowledge and skills that will allow students to identify and classify human skeletal remains for legal and medical purposes. Special consideration will be given to osteological knowledge, various measuring techniques, observational skills, determination of age, sex and race, and any possible criminal wrong-doing.

  • ANT 320: Archaelogical Field Methods

    This course will consist of surveying and evaluating local archaeological sites. This will be followed by excavation, classification, description, and analysis of the sites. Material will be returned to campus, cleaned, and prepared for study. This will allow students to participate in original scientific research.

  • ANT 321: Advanced Archaeological Field Methods

    This course provides intensive and advanced field experience in archaeological excavation and analysis of local archaeological sites. Through experiential learning, students will gain knowledge of how archaeological materials are recovered, processed, analyzed and interpreted. The course must be taken in the same semester as ANT 320.

  • BIO 111: Forensic Biology

    This course is an introduction to the basic methodology and theory of forensic science focusing on techniques currently used by practitioners to recover, preserve, and analyze biological evidence from a crime scene. The course will examine the ethics of handling evidence, issues of quality control, and the interpretation of various types of biological evidence for the legal system. Students will learn, through the examination of relevant case studies, the value of evidence based on microbiological and molecular analyses (DNA profiling), anatomic and clinical pathologies, and the role of plant and animal materials in forensic studies. This course does not count as biology with a lab and is not applicable for science majors.

  • CHM 051: Introduction to Forensic Science

    This course provides an introduction to the application of science to criminal investigations. It is an opportunity to learn some fundamental scientific principles as they are applied to the examination of physical evidence from crime scenes. Case studies will be presented which reflect the application of particular forensic techniques. This course does not satisfy major, concomitant, or specialization requirements for Secondary Education and/or Liberal Arts and Science majors.

  • CRJ 181: Criminal Law

    This course is an in-depth analysis of criminal law in the United States. It focuses on the nature and purposes of criminal law, the sources of classifications and limitations on criminal law, the elements of criminal liability, defenses to criminal liability, parties to crime and the specific crimes against persons, property and public order and morals. Attention will be given to the model penal code and the criminal law of Pennsylvania.

  • CRJ 182: Criminal Procedure

    An extensive analysis of criminal procedure in the United States. The course will focus on decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court dealing with criminal procedure principles and doctrines. This course is designed as a follow-up course to Criminal Law.

  • CRJ 301: Investigation and Intelligence

    This course is a study of the role of information and information usage in the investigation of completed or predicted crime and the compilation of data useful in the anticipation of criminal or terroristic activities - either on American soil or abroad. The effects of varying scale of agency size and functions will be examined as key variables.

  • CRJ 320: Evidence

    This course is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the rules of evidence.  The focus will be on evidence from the time it is collected until it is introduced in court. The emphasis will be on the Federal Rules of Evidence, which are applied in federal court in all fifty states and are similar to each state's rules of evidence. The student will examine evidentiary topics that commonly occur in criminal proceedings, including, but not limited to: hearsay, privileges, and constitutional issues regarding the collection and exclusion of evidence.

  • CSC 111: Computer Forensics

    This course is an introduction to the basic concepts of computer forensics. It will teach the student how to identify, preserve, recover, analyze and document data on a computer or network allegedly used to commit a crime. Topics include computer architecture, operating systems, encryption/decryption, preserve and document evidence, and analyzing computers and networks for evidence.

  • CSC 351: Digital Forensics

    Digital Forensics entails the collection, organization, explanation, and presentation of evidence assembled in the course of investigations initiated by legal and law enforcement personnel to substantiate or refute legal proceedings of a criminal or non-criminal nature. Because computer scientists play a key role in defining and using technologies for digital forensics, their involvement in such activities is extremely critical. The purpose of this course is to engage the student into digital forensics activities from three viewpoints. The first viewpoint involves looking at digital forensics from the standpoint of the activities and issues faced by the digital forensics expert. The second viewpoint is to consider the nature of the contributions that computer scientists can make to the field of digital forensics through the creation and advancement of algorithms to aid in forensics analytical tasks. Finally the third viewpoint will be to examine digital forensics from the viewpoint of the legal personnel involved and to consider their requirements for evidence and explanation.

  • PSY 217: Psychology and the Law

    An overview of the area of psychology and law. Topics covered will include psychological aspects of criminal behavior, the insanity defense, competency, commitment of the mentally ill, scientific jury selection and professional issues such as the duty to warn.

  • WRI 205: Scientific Writing

    The writing of formal reports and technical and scientific papers.

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