Forensic Investigation – Major Code 051T
Bachelor of Science
The curriculum of the program emphasizes breadth of knowledge and the development of analytical skills. Familiarity with fundamental theories and practices within the social and natural sciences, enhanced communication skills, and an understanding of the limits and uses of forensic techniques form a base from which the student develops either a plan for entry into a graduate program or a career path. The program emphasizes the historical evolution of investigative techniques and terminology and the use of scientific methods to reconstruct the recent past. The program is appropriate for those planning a career as investigators as well as current practitioners. The curriculum combines classroom instruction, hands-on laboratory and practical field applications, and practicum experience. Students have the flexibility to select courses tailored for future graduate school admissions. Among the notable program’s features are a course in research methods, a senior thesis, and a capstone practicum externship that places the student in a supervised setting for professional competence development.
The major requires 120 credit hours, including, among other requirements, completion of the Forensic Investigation Core curriculum consisting of foundational knowledge for investigators, documentation skills, crime scene and evidence analysis, legal parameters of investigation, interviewing and court room testimony. Students must earn a minimum grade of “C” in each FRNX course, maintain an overall 2.0 GPA for graduation, and complete 15 clock hours of department approved community service. The program requires completion of fifteen (15) hours of restricted electives selected with the approval of the student’s advisor and allowing the student to tailor an undergraduate program for graduate school admissions or for greater exposure to investigative courses. They include:
ACCT 420 Fraud Examination
CHEM 234 Organic Chemistry II
FRNX 324 Forensic Anthropology
BIOL 111 General Biology
CHEM 235 Organic Chemistry Lab
FRNX 314 Questioned Documents
BIOL 112 General Biology
CHEM 236 Organic Chemistry Lab
FRNX 326 Investigative Intelligence
BIOL 303 Genetics
CHEM 310 Instrumental Analysis
FRNX 327 Sexual Assault Investigations
CMJS 133 Juvenile Justice
CHEM 313 Inst. Analysis Lab
FRNX 422 Cold Case Investigations
CMJS 134 Substance Abuse Policy
COMM 100 Principles of Human Comm.
SOCA 232 Criminology
CMJS 410 Criminal Investigations
FRNX 224 AFIS
SOCA 302 Deviant Behavior
CHEM 233 Organic Chemistry
FRNX 312 Digital Evidence
POLS 400 Terrorism and National Security
HUMS 489 Additional practicum hours up to a total of 12.
Program Learning Outcomes
This program has the following specific outcomes:
- The student will have an understanding of the language, history, and traditions of the forensic discipline and the investigative professions.
- The student will be able to use critical thinking and problem solving in an investigative situation.
- The student will be able to effectively communicate in an interviewing, investigative, and in legal settings both orally and in writing.
- Students will have an appreciation of the ethical, legal, and regulatory issues impacting the decision making process.
- Students will have the technical skills necessary to conduct investigative work.
While WVU Institute of Technology is a division of West Virginia University, WVU Tech offers some programs that are separate and distinct from the WVU main campus in Morgantown. The WVU main campus offers a B.S. program in Forensic and Investigative Science (FIS) http://forensics.wvu.edu/. The WVU Tech campus offers a B.S program in Forensic Investigation (FRNX). These are separate and distinct programs. The WVU-Morgantown FIS program’s accreditation through the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) does not encompass the WVU Tech FRNX program. WVU Tech courses labeled FRNX will not transfer into the WVU-Morgantown FIS program.
The B.S. in Forensic Investigation at WVU Tech is designed to create investigators by immersing students in hands-on, problem-based exercises that explore the social and natural sciences, the justice system and criminalistics (analytical tools used in the investigation of crime). This immersion develops critical and analytical thinking skills that will serve the student in any profession and are especially well suited to crime-scene analysts and technicians, civil and criminal investigators and as a preparation for a graduate education.