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Social Sciences: Forensic Investigation

Forensic Investigation has become an extremely popular subject in the news, film, literature, and television. Forensic Investigation at TAMUCT is a minor providing students with a specialization relating to the delicate balance between science and crime investigation. The minor allows students in a wide range of disciplines to launch into coursework that examines the specialized scope of knowledge that is required in the detection, resolution, and prosecution of criminal activity.

Although the Forensic Investigation minor resides within Criminal Justice, it expands and draws upon other disciplines as academic offerings continue to develop. To obtain a minor in Forensic Investigation, the student completes 18 hours from the following course offerings.

Lower Level Electives

(Not offered at TAMUCT)

  • BIOL 2301 Anatomy & Physiology
  • CRIJ 2314 Criminal Investigation

Upper Level Electives

  • C JK 301 Survey of Forensic Science
  • C JK 311 Techniques of Interviewing
  • C JK 315 Criminal Evidence
  • C JK 352 Physical Aspects of Forensic Science
  • C JK 353 Biological Aspects of Forensic Science
  • C JK 356 Medicolegal Death Investigation
  • C JK 404 Serial Murder
  • C JK 425 Advanced Investigation
  • C JK 451 Forensic Anthropology

Courses

301 Survey of Forensic Science. Introduces the scientific methods that currently play a major role in solving crimes. It provides background information on various forensic disciplines together with the basic techniques utilized by forensic scientists in analyzing common types of physical evidence.

311 Techniques of Interviewing. A study of interview and interrogation techniques. Topics include preparation, environmental and psychological factors, legal issues, and ethics.

315 Criminal Evidence. An analysis of the procedures and rules of evidence applied to the acquisition, offering, admissibility, and presentation of evidence from the crime scene, courtroom, and appellate court perspectives.

352 Physical Aspects of Forensic Science. This course provides the non-science student with an overview of various forensic physical sciences and their relation to crime scene investigation and the collection, preservation and identification of evidence. It covers methods of laboratory analysis of fingerprints, firearms, tool marks, documents, and trace evidence, such as glass, soil, paint, hairs, and fibers. Course fee $15.00.

353 Biological Aspects of Forensic Science. This course provides the non-science student with an overview of various forensic biological sciences and their relation to crime scene investigation and the collection, preservation and identification of evidence. It covers methods of laboratory analysis including forensic disciplines of pathology, anthropology, odontology, entomology, toxicology, serology, DNA, and blood pattern analysis. Course fee $15.00.

356 Medicolegal Death Investigation. This course provides the non-science student a basic understanding of the specialty field of death investigation. The course focuses on four areas: an overview of the medico legal investigative system and forensic pathology, death investigation in Texas, death scene investigation and teamwork; and establishing cause, manner and time of death.

404 Serial Murder. This course explores the topic of serial murder from a criminological perspective. It will examine serial murder in the past, present and future and will provide a critical analysis of the manner in which serial murder has been depicted by the popular media.

425 Advanced Investigation. Advanced criminal and civil investigation topics will be covered. An examination of frequently used, yet special investigative techniques will also be introduced. Emphasis will be placed on crime scene processing, crime scene analysis, forensic evaluations, investigative techniques, and investigative surveys. Course fee $15.

451 Forensic Anthropology. The application of physical anthropology to the legal process. Includes techniques to identify human remains to establish age, sex, ancestry, stature, and other characteristics. Includes an overview of trauma and other pathologies to determine cause of death.