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Courses

Master of Science in Crime Science Curriculum

The Crime Science graduate program features an interdisciplinary curriculum that combines criminal justice, forensic science and forensic psychology course-work. The format for course delivery is hybrid for most courses, which includes pre- and post-assessments in addition to classroom content, or online as noted in the listing below.

Criminal Justice Courses

Event-based Crime Prevention – 1.5 Credits: hybrid

This course will examine the three theories that most directly impact evidence-based crime prevention initiatives that are designed to influence the criminal event itself. Environmental criminologists believe that it is easier to create safer places than it is safer people and this course will demonstrate how effective place-based crime prevention initiatives can be created, implemented, and measured.

Restorative Practices – 1.5 credits: hybrid

This course focuses on how diversionary programs and restorative justice can be used to prevent offenders from becoming re-involved in the criminal justice system. The course will examine how these programs can be implemented in number of different environments targeting different types of offender populations.

Mapping Technology for Criminal Justice Professionals – 1.5 credit: classroom

This is the first of two courses that is designed to teach professionals how to use geographic mapping software as a tool for their agency. This course will focus on teaching the basic skills of reference mapping, thematic mapping, and geocoding.

Advanced Mapping Techniques for Criminal Justice Professionals –1.5 credit: classroom

This is the second of two courses designed to teach professionals how to use geographic mapping software as a tool for their agency. This course will focus on two advances techniques: proximity mapping and density mapping.

Program Evaluation – 2 credits: hybrid

This course is designed to teach professionals how to evaluate the effectiveness of any program or initiative that an agency may implement or contract with. Providing funding and support for any criminal justice program should only come after one is sure that the program has been thoroughly evaluated and has proven to be effective at meeting the stated goals and objectives. This course will teach students the process by which this can be done.

Cross-Sector Collaboration – 2 credits: hybrid

This course is designed to teach the student how to use publically available mapping and data management systems to leverage data sharing and collaboration. Each student will be required to work with at least one other student on developing a strategy to share data to analyze a common subject.

Data Management – 1 credits: hybrid

This course is designed to teach the student how to use data management software to collect, organize, manage, and display data.

Crisis Intervention Design and Implementation – 1 credit: hybrid

This course is designed to teach students the importance of recognizing clients who are experiencing a mental health crisis and how to develop an effective training program for staff.

Leadership – 3 credits: online

This course is designed to have the student identify different types of leadership styles and understand how they are applied in a criminal justice setting.

Capstone Project – 6 Credits: hybrid

The thesis project must cover one of three areas: crime mapping and analysis, the development of a crime prevention initiative, or a program evaluation. The project is designed to demonstrate an understanding of the content and how concepts can be applied to community-based situations to create effective and manageable solutions.

Forensic Science Courses

Forensic Evidence Recognition and Analysis – 2 Credits: hybrid

This course will stress the importance of critical thinking skills of all individuals at a crime scene, from first responders to those individuals processing the scene for evidence. Lectures followed by hands-on exercises utilizing mock crime scenes will be provided on scene searching methods, evidence recognition, and the proper collection/ packaging of forensic evidence commonly encountered at crime scenes. Students will also analyze forensic pattern-type evidence including bloodstain patterns (BPA), gunshot residue (GSR), latent prints, footwear impressions, tire impressions, and projectiles and casings from firearms from their mock crime scenes. The importance of other non-pattern type evidence including fibers, hairs, paint, and DNA will also be discussed.

Introduction to Crime Scene Reconstruction – 3 Credits: hybrid

This course will build upon the skills gained from the Forensic Evidence Recognition and Analysis course. Crime scene reconstruction involves the determination of events that may or may not have occurred during a criminal act. This course will explore a variety of crime scene documentation methods including sketching, photography, and 3D computer software, basic forensic pathology and anthropology as they relate to crime scene reconstruction followed by a study of the fundamentals of bloodstain pattern reconstruction, shooting reconstruction, and staged crime scenes. Students will then use this knowledge to analyze crime scenes, autopsy reports, clothing, photographs, and laboratory reports to reconstruct several crime scenes. Additional topics in crime scene reconstruction such as microbiomes, recovering human remains and post-mortem interval utilizing entomology will be discussed. Ethics, bias, and utilizing the scientific method in reconstruction investigations will be discussed throughout the course.

Crime Scene Management – 3 Credits: hybrid

This course will examine the concepts and techniques required to successfully manage a complex crime scene examination. Unlike most investigative opportunities which can be revisited this course highlights the need to get it right on the first occasion since the value of poor forensic evidence generally cannot be improved by the laboratory process. The course explores the sequencing of crime scene investigation priorities and analysis, the strategic management of risk via examination planning, the meaningful application of forensic science in the investigation, interpretation and reconstruction of major crimes and the compilation, management and administration of a complex forensic case file. This course is a unique approach to managing crime scenes and is the only one of its kind offered in the United States.

Forensic Psychology Courses

Eyewitness Identification and Testimony – 2 Credits: Hybrid

An introduction to memory processes and how memory mistakes affect eyewitness identification and testimony. Also, we will explore how to interview witnesses for more authentic, less defensive, testimony.

Trauma and Crime – 1 credit: hybrid

An introduction to trauma studies and how childhood and adult trauma experiences influence adult behavioral health problems, treatment, and incarceration.

Personality Theory and Personality Disorders for Crime Science – 2 Credits: hybrid

An overview of major types of personality theories and personality disorders (particularly Cluster A and Cluster B personality disorders) in order to understand how personality is related to crime.

Guilt, Anxiety, Paranoia, and the Psychology of the Criminal Mind – 2 Credits: hybrid

An exploration of the inner struggles and torments of a criminal mind through the lens of Dostoevsky’s novel: Crime and Punishment.

Course Offerings by Month

The Master of Science in Crime Science can be completed in approximately 18 months if the student takes all of the components in the rotation that is suggested: 12 months dedicated to structure course content and six months dedicated to the capstone project.

Since most of the course content concepts are independent from one another, the student may enter the program at a number of different points and become integrated into the 12-month cycle. The exceptions to that are identified in the monthly plan. The mapping technology and forensic science courses have to be sequenced to allow advanced skills to be taught after the basic skills are developed.

Month

Courses

Credits

January

1. CSI 501 Leadership (online only)

3 credits

February

1. CSI 501 Leadership (online only)

 

March

1. CSI 530 Eyewitness Identification &Testimony

  • 4 hours prior to classroom experience
  • 16 hours of classroom presentation – conceptual application
  • 8 hours of post-classroom assessment

2 credits

April

1. CSI 531 Trauma and Crime

  • 4 hours prior to classroom experience
  • 8 hours of classroom presentation – conceptual application
  • 4 hours of post-classroom assessment

1 credit

 

 

2. CSI 532 Crisis Intervention design & Implementation

  • 4 hours prior to classroom experience
  • 8 hours of classroom presentation – conceptual application
  • 4 hours of post-classroom assessment

1 credit

May

1. CSI 541 Forensic Evidence Recognition and Analysis

  • 4 hours prior to classroom experience
  • 16 hours of classroom lecture & Lab – the  application of theory
  • 8 hours of post classroom assessment-application exercises

2 credits

 

 

 

2. CSI 542 Introduction to Crime Scene Reconstruction

  • 4 hours prior to classroom experience
  • 16 hours of classroom lecture & Lab – the  application of theory
  • 16 hours of post classroom assessment-application exercises
3 credits

June*
* If the student started in June, he or she would have to skip the July course dues to sequencing requirements

1. CSI 502 Event-based Crime Prevention

  • 6 hours prior to classroom experience (2 hours for each of the crime theories)
  • 8 hours of classroom presentation – the application of theory
  • 6 hours of post-classroom assessment – application exercises

1.5 credits

 

 

 

 

2. CSI 503 Restorative Practices

  • 6 hours prior to classroom experience
  • 8 hours of classroom presentation – conceptual application
  • 6 hours of post-classroom assessment – application exercises
1.5 credits

July

1. CSI 543 Crime Scene Management

  • 10 hours prior to classroom experience
  • 24 hours of classroom lecture & Lab – the  application of theory
  • 8 hours of post classroom assessment-application exercises

 

3 credits

August

1. CSI 533 Personality Theory & Personality Disorders    

  • 4 hours prior to classroom experience
  • 16 hours of classroom lecture & Lab – the  application of theory
  • 8 hours of post classroom assessment-application exercises

2 credits

September

1. CSI 510 Mapping Technologies for CJ Professionals

  • 11 classroom hours
  • 3 post classroom hours

1.5 credit

 

 

2. CSI 504 Cross-sector Collaboration

  • 4 hours of classroom participation
  • 24 hours of post-classroom assessment
2 credits

October*
* If the student started in October, he or she would have to skip the November course dues to sequencing requirements

1. CSI 513 Program Evaluation (hybrid)

  • 4 hours prior to classroom experience
  • 16 hours of classroom presentation – conceptual application
  • 8 hours of post-classroom assessment

2 credits

November

1. CSI 511 Advanced Mapping Techniques

  • 3 hours prior to the classroom experience
  • 11 hours of classroom instruction
  • 3 hours post-classroom assessment

1.5 credit

 

 

2. CSI 512 Data management

  • 8 hours of classroom participation
  • 6 hours of post-classroom assessment
1 credit

December

1. CSI 534 Guilt, Anxiety, Paranoia, and the Psychology of the Criminal Mind

  • 4 hours prior to classroom experience
  • 16 hours of classroom presentation – conceptual application
  • 8 hours of post-classroom assessment

 

2 credits