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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Criminal Justice Administration and Human Services Department
Course Prefix and Number: CJAD 335
Course Title: Criminalistics
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Introduction to the scientific techniques commonly used in forensic crime solving, covering in detail all aspects of forensic science, the organization of a crime lab and how evidence is treated from the crime scene to the courtroom. Prerequisites: CHEM 110; BIOL 110; junior standing.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): CHEM 110; BIOL 110; junior standing.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered Fall and Spring.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science
By Saferstein, Richard (Prentice Hall)
Introduction to Forensic Sciences
By Eckert, W.G. (Forensic Science, CRC Press)
An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques
By James, S.H. and J.J. Nordby (CRC Press)
Course Objectives The criminalist is a key figure in crime solving using forensic analysis. As such, this course will familiarize the student with the role of the criminalist and the crime laboratory in which he or she works. The course will also introduce the student to the equipment used in analyzing the various types of evidence located on crime scenes.

  • To understand modern laboratory techniques as they relate to the solving of crime.
  • To utilize and understand equipment commonly used in crime laboratory settings and how different crimes can be scientifically scrutinized through the use of such equipment.
  • To understand the professional link between the crime scene law enforcement investigator and the forensic criminalist.
  • To introduce entry-level careers in the forensic sciences and demonstrate understanding of the crime scene laboratory and its functions.
    Measurable Learning Outcomes:
  • Define the crime laboratory as a viable component to criminal investigation.
  • Explain the scientific underpinnings of forensic science.
  • Describe and explain various laboratory equipment through a practical laboratory setting.
  • Describe and explain various laboratory analysis techniques in a practical laboratory setting.
  • Describe the practical functions of the gas chromatograph and the mass spectrometer.
  • Describe and explain how the results of laboratory analysis impact criminal convictions in a court of law.
    Topical Outline:
  • Introduction to the forensic sciences
  • Historical development of the forensic sciences
  • The role of the forensic laboratory
  • Forensic evidence in court
  • Forensic toxicology
  • Bloodstain pattern interpretation
  • Serology and DNA typing
  • Crime laboratory instruments
    Culminating Experience Statement:

    Material from this course may be tested on the Major Field Test (MFT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. 
    During this course the ETS Proficiency Profile may be administered.  This 40-minute standardized test measures learning in general education courses.  The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 30

    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 10, 2008
    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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