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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Criminal Justice Administration and Human Services Department
Course Prefix and Number: CJAD 201
Course Title: Criminal Investigation
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Provides the student with a working knowledge of criminal investigation principles, techniques, law, and procedure. The investigation process is studied from basic theoretical concepts to the application of the basic elements for prosecution of criminal cases. Included is a study of crime scene investigation, interrogation, burglary, assault, sex crimes, death cases, homicide and murder, organized crime and terrorism. Prerequisite: CJAD 101.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): CJAD 101.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered Fall.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Many suitable textbooks are available from various publishers and the following list is not comprehensive. Other textbooks may be judged by individual instructors to be more suitable in meeting Course objectives. Many current textbooks have companion websites, and the instructor is encouraged to enhance the course experience for the student by utilizing available technology.

Criminal Investigation
By Berg, B. L. and J. J. Horgan (Glencoe-McGraw Hill)
Criminal Investigation: The Art and the Science
By Lyman, Michael D. (Prentice Hall)
Swanson, C., R., N. Chamelin, and L. Territo
By Criminal Investigation (McGraw-Hill)
Course Objectives
  • To explain investigative techniques and procedures in criminal justice.
  • To explain the roles and functions of uniformed and plainclothes officers in the investigation of criminal offenses.
  • To gain experience with common legal framework involved in the investigation of criminal offenses.
  • To gain experience with terminology used by professionals in the field of criminal investigation.
  • To explain the competing values, theories and concepts involved with Criminal Procedure and to enable the student to apply them to situations involving conflicts between the Government and the individual.
  • To enhance critical thinking, research and writing skills in criminal investigation issues.
  • To explain contemporary research in the area of criminal investigation.
    Measurable Learning
  • Define criminal investigation as a concept
  • Explain the theoretical underpinnings of criminal investigation
  • Know the history of criminal investigation
  • Describe the processes of inductive and deductive reasoning
  • Interpret, recognize and apply important Supreme Court decisions involving the 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 14th amendments to the US Constitution.
  • Describe current investigative problems and issues.
  • Know the steps of the criminal investigative process
  • Describe the process and procedures of obtaining and serving warrants.
  • Describe the process and procedures of obtaining and serving warrants.
  • Describe the process and procedures of making an arrest.
  • Know the constitutional limitations upon criminal investigators.
  • Know the constitutional requirements of criminal investigators.
  • Appraise current literature, materials and developments regarding criminal investigation.
    Topical Outline: In an effort to better prepare students for future educational pursuits and professionalism in their chosen fields, it is highly recommended that all courses bearing the CJAD prefix contain both a writing and speech communication component. Formal writing projects should be prepared in APA format.

  • Overview of the criminal investigation process
  • Legal considerations
  • The myth and reality of crime solving
  • The preliminary investigation
  • Documenting the crime scene
  • Search and seizure
  • Identification of criminal suspects
  • The criminal intelligence function
  • Undercover operations
  • Arrests
  • Interviews and interrogations
  • Informant management
  • Covert investigations
  • Physical evidence
  • Testifying in court


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 20

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Michael Lyman Date: April 20, 2005
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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