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The Certificate in Forensic Identification

Students wishing to pursue a career in one of the forensic sciences should consult advisers in anthropology, biology, or chemistry. Entry level employment in criminalistics commonly requires a major in one of the physical or natural sciences, including a year of General Chemistry and a course in Quantitative Analysis.

Graduate programs in criminalistics commonly require a major in one of the physical or natural sciences.

Prerequisites to Program:

Candidates for the certificate must have completed a Bachelor’s degree or must complete the Bachelor’s degree concurrently with the certificate.

Course Requirements for the Certificate: 27-38 units

The following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required of all candidates for this certificate.

CORE PROGRAM: 12 units

4 courses required:

ANTH    111    Survey Forensic Science    3.0    FS

ANTH    289D    Forensic Science Internship    3.0    FS

Prerequisites: ANTH 111 and the consent of the certificate coordinator.

This course must be taken twice for a total of 6 units.

ENGL    130    Report Writing    3.0    FS

Prerequisites: ENGL 001.


These courses must be selected from outside the student’s major department and chosen with the prior approval of the certificate coordinator. A specific program of courses may be required depending upon the student’s major and previous preparation.

12-23 units selected from:

ANTH    101    Physical Anthropology    4.0    FA

ANTH    180    Field Archaeology    4.0    F1

ANTH    281    Human Identification    3.0    SP

Prerequisites: ANTH 101.

BIOL    009    General Botany    3.0    FS

Prerequisites: BIOL 006B or faculty permission.

BIOL    010    General Zoology    3.0    FS

Prerequisites: BIOL 006B or faculty permission.

Note: BIOL 009, BIOL 010 are listed here as prerequisites to many upper-division Biology courses but do not count toward the minimum 12 required methods and techniques units for the certificate.

BIOL    123    Microtechnique    2.0    Inq

Prerequisites: BIOL 006B.

BIOL    203    Histology    4.0    S1

Prerequisites: BIOL 006B, BIOL 010.

BIOL    208    Hematology    3.0    S1

Prerequisites: BIOL 006B. Recommended: BIOL 212 and CHEM 070.

BIOL    295    Electron Microscopy    2.0    SP

Prerequisites: PHYS 002A; PHYS 002B.

BIOL    395    Elect Microscope Operation Lab    2.0    SP

Prerequisites: May be taken concurrently with BIOL 295 and faculty permission.

CHEM    037    General Chemistry    4.0    FS *

Prerequisites: Second-year high school algebra; one year high school chemistry or CHEM 016. (One year of high school physics and one year of high school mathematics past Algebra II are recommended.)

CHEM    038    General Chemistry    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: CHEM 037.

CHEM    070    Organic Chemistry    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: CHEM 038.

CHEM    105    Quantitative Analysis    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: CHEM 038.

CHEM    170    Organic Chemistry    3.0    FS

Prerequisites: CHEM 070.

CHEM    170L    Organic Chem Laboratory    1.0    FS

Prerequisites: CHEM 170 may be taken as a prerequisite or concurrently with CHEM 170L.


Select a course with the prior approval of the certificate coordinator.

1 course selected from:

PHIL    238    Jurisprudence/Philosophy of Law    3.0    FA

This course is the same as POLS 238 which may be substituted.

POLS    050    Intro to Criminal Justice    3.0    FS

POLS    238    Jurisprudence/Philosophy of Law    3.0    FA

This course is the same as PHIL 238 which may be substituted.

POLS    259A    Criminal Procedure    3.0    FS

Prerequisites: POLS 050.

SOCI    282    Criminology    3.0    FA

Professional Standards:

The forensic certificate signifies readiness to begin professional work in an area requiring trust and high ethical standards. Students are expected to meet the ethical and professional standards set by the agencies with which they may serve as an intern. Should it be determined that students do not meet such standards, they may be disqualified from fulfilling the internship component of the certificate and thus prevented from completing the certificate.

An overall GPA of 2.5 is required for the entire program.