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Student in a classroom lab

Courses

FIS 10101 Investigating Forensic Science

  • Credit Hours: 2
  • Course Summary: Forensic science is the application of scientific methods to matters involving the public.   One of its principle applications is the scientific analysis of physical evidence generated by criminal activity. During this laboratory course you will learn basic techniques used to analyze forensic evidence.  This will start with concepts in evidence documentation and collection.  You will then learn concepts used in pattern recognition, forensic chemistry and biology, and trace evidence.  There will be hands on activities in all these disciplines.  Topics will include but are not limited to crime scene, fibers, hairs, explosives, fire debris, serology, DNA, illicit drugs, fingerprints, footwear, questioned documents, inks, glass, paints, blood spatter, and soils. This course qualifies for the 30-credit hour university requirement in the general education core.
  • Semester(s) Offered: Fall, Spring 

FIS 20500 Concepts of Forensic Science

  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Course Summary: Forensic science is the application of scientific methods to matters involving the public. One of its principle applications is the scientific analysis of physical evidence generated by criminal activity.  During this course you will learn basic concepts in forensic science and criminal justice system.  Apply the basic concepts towards evidence collection and analysis. Topics will include fingerprints, impression evidence, firearms, questioned documents, pathology, entomology, anthropology, and forensic science and the law and ethics. This course qualifies for the 30-credit hour university requirement in the general education core.
  • Semester(s) Offered: Fall, Summer 
  • Course Documents: FIS 20500

FIS 20600 Concepts of Forensic Science II

  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Course Summary: Continuation of FIS 20500.  Learn basic concepts in forensic chemistry and forensic biology.  Apply the basic concepts towards evidence analysis.  Learn instrumental procedures and methods used in forensic chemistry and forensic biology to analyze and evaluate evidence.  Topics will include microscopy, spectroscopy, chromatography, hairs and fibers, arson and explosions, soils, glass, paints and inks, serology and DNA, blood splatter, illicit drugs and toxicology. This course qualifies for the 30-credit hour university requirement in the general education core.
  • Prerequisites: P: FIS 20500, CHEM C101 or CHEM C105.
  • Semester(s) Offered: Spring, Summer 
  • Course Documents: FIS 20600

FIS 30500 Professional Issues in Forensic Science

  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Course Summary: This course will focus on the unique issues of which the forensic scientist must be particularly aware when working in a forensic science laboratory, whether in the public or the private sector.  These issues include, but are not limited to, discussions of the following issues:
    • The current state of forensic science, including the reappraisals reflected in the Report of the National Academy of Sciences, Subcommittee on Forensic Science, published in February, 2009.
    • The ethical responsibilities of a forensic scientist when conducting analyses, writing reports, and testifying in court.
    • Objective analyses of issues that have shaken the foundations of trust, and the presumptions of regularity and competence that previously had been accorded to forensic science laboratories and their personnel, and the formulation of some conclusions about directions for future policy and best practices.
    • Review and analyses of existing "Codes of Conduct" and similar standards documents or publications adopted by professional organizations over the past 10-15 years, in order to develop a fundamental grasp of what they mean, what their strengths and shortcomings are, and how they have been applied in practice.
    • Development of a richer cultural awareness of how forensic science has evolved over the past 25 years.
    • An ability to navigate the unique, nested ethical and practical issues raised by reliance on outsourcing of forensic laboratory work by governmental entities.
    • Building constructive relationships and mechanisms for interaction with quasi-governmental oversight bodies, e.g., boards and commissions, in addition to accrediting bodies.
    • Handling the personal and institutional challenges of balancing research and productivity.
    • The fundamentals of grant-writing and grantsmanship in support of laboratory productivity and research.
    • Legislative trends affecting the forensic sciences.
    • Enhancing ability to access the research library and other resources to better prepare testimony, and to assist the court and the attorneys to properly frame and focus issues.
    • The requirements for quality assurance systems and quality control procedures to maximize the effectiveness of the laboratory work-product.
    • Scientific Working Groups and their historical and evolving role in forensic science.
    • A deeper understanding of accreditation of forensic science laboratories, as well as proficiency testing and certification of forensic scientists.
  • Prerequisites: P: FIS 20500, FIS 20600 and junior status required
  • Semester(s) Offered: Spring 
  • Course Documents: FIS 30500

FIS 30600 Forensic Microscopy

  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Course Summary: Learn techniques in the analysis of forensic microscopic evidence. Topics include property of light, compound microscopy, micrometry, refraction, dispersion, stereomicroscopy, sample preparation, polarizing light microscopy, and instrumental microscopy.
  • Prerequisites: P: FIS 10500, FIS 10600
  • Semester(s) Offered: Fall, Spring

FIS 40100 Forensic Chemistry I

  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Course Summary: This course will cover the major techniques and instruments used in the analysis of chemical and pattern evidence commonly encountered at crime scenes. The techniques of gas and thin layer chromatography, and UV-visible, infrared and Raman spectroscopy will be studied and used extensively. Impressions and physical matches will also be covered.  There will lecture and lab components for each of the type of instrumental analysis covered in the course.
  • Prerequisites: P: FIS 20600, CHEM-C 342, CHEM-C 344, CHEM-C 310, CHEM-C 311 Pre or Co-requisite: CHEM-C 410 and CHEM-C 411.
  • Semester(s) Offered: Fall
  • Course Documents: FIS 40100

FIS 40101 FIS 40101 Lab

  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Course Summary: This is the lab component of FIS 40100. This is now offered as a separate course.

FIS 40200 Forensic Biology I

  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Course Summary: Analysis of blood and other human and animal bodily fluids, including semen, saliva, and vaginal swabs for purposes of DNA analyses. Introduction to DNA extraction, DNA quantitation and PCR.
  • Prerequisites: P: FIS 20600, BIOL-K 322, BIOL-K 323; BIOL-K 338 and BIOL-K 339 or BIOL-K. 324 and BIOL-K 325.
  • Semester(s) Offered: Fall
  • Course Documents: FIS 40200

FIS 40201 FIS 40201

  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Course Summary: This course is the lab component of FIS 40200. It is now offered as a separate course.

FIS 40300 Forensic Biology II

  • Credit Hours: 5
  • Course Summary: Continuation of FIS 40200. Forensic analysis of human biological fluids including statistical interpretation of the data. Mock casework and testimony. Quality assurance and control.
  • Prerequisites: P: FIS 40200
  • Semester(s) Offered: Spring
  • Course Documents: FIS 40300

FIS 40301 FIS 40301

  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Course Summary: This course is the lab component of FIS 40300. The course is now offered as a separate course.

FIS 40400 Forensic Chemistry II

  • Credit Hours: 4
  • Course Summary: This course will cover the major techniques used in the analysis of chemical and trace evidence commonly encountered at crime scenes. This course will be broken down into 2 modules.  The overall course will cover techniques used during the analysis of trace and chemical evidence in a forensic laboratory.  There will lecture and lab components for each of the types of evidence covered in the course. You will be working in small groups during the lab portion of this class except during the final mock case. Even though you and your partner(s) may be collecting data together, you are completely responsible for all of the lab work and the work on the lab reports must be your own.
  • Prerequisites: P: FIS 40100
  • Semester(s) Offered: Spring
  • Course Documents: FIS 40400

FIS 40401 FIS 40401

  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Course Summary: This course if the lab component to FIS 40400. It is now offered as a separate course.

FIS 40900 Forensic Science Research

  • Credit Hours: 1-4
  • Course Summary: Application of various laws and rules of evidence to the forensic sciences and how the admission of evidence derived from forensic sciences can impact the administration of justice in the United States. Topics include preparation for testimony, expert testimony, subpoenas, basic judicial processes, admissibility of scientific evidence.
  • Prerequisites: P: FIS 10600, 21000

FIS 41500 Forensic Science and the Law

  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Course Summary: This course explores the application of various laws and rules of evidence to the forensic sciences, and examines how the admission and persuasive use of evidence derived from the forensic sciences impacts the administration of justice in the United States.  The forensic sciences refer to a group of sub-specialties in science and medicine that can answer questions about legal and factual issues, both civil and criminal.  Forensic scientists apply their expertise, their ethical and quality standards, their principles and methods of investigation, and their focused experimentation and lab skills to render opinion testimony beyond what would be permitted to the non-expert, fact witness.  Practitioners in numerous disciplines are finding themselves increasingly in demand in the courtroom as expert witnesses.  What matters they may testify about, and how their respective disciplines may properly conform to the Rules of Evidence will be discussed in some detail.  Hence, this course will be of value to a number of disciplines including those who are law-trained, and anyone seeking the skills and knowledge to be more comfortable, competent, and valuable as an expert in the courtroom setting. The content of this class may be modified in real time as significant court decisions are handed down either by the Indiana courts or by the US Supreme Court.
  • Prerequisites: P: FIS 30500
  • Semester(s) Offered: Fall, Spring
  • Course Documents: FIS 41500 and 51500
 

FIS 49000 Forensic Science Capstone

  • Credit Hours: 1-5
  • Course Summary: The capstone experience is designed to bring together the diverse areas of knowledge that the student has gained during the pursuit of a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science. It is a synthesis of knowledge; where the student takes what they learn in the classroom and translates that to the real world of forensic science. It is the last major step in the BS program and the next major step in a career in forensic science. 
  • Prerequisites: P: junior or senior standing in FIS Program and program advisor approval.
  • Course Documents: FIS 49000

FIS 49600 Special Topics in Forensic Sciences

  • Credit Hours: 1-3
  • Course Summary: Topical course covering various and specialized areas of Forensic Science. This course will have different topics that focus on the latest theory and best practices in forensics laboratories. 
  • Semester(s) Offered: Fall, Spring

Forensics student lands summer internship with dea forensics lab

Jessica Bosse Forensic and Investigative Sciences, Chemistry, Undergraduate