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Forensics Studies Certificate

  • Explores scientific components of criminal investigation and criminal justice processes through a multi-disciplinary lens.
  • Provides immediate application for students pursuing forensics at the graduate level.
  • Provides training needed in local police stations, municipal offices, social support settings, and businesses.

Certificate code CTFSTC

Contacts: David Bell, chair, and Michelle H. O’Malley, Certificate Director

Admissions Information

Minor Requirements

Program Overview

This certificate provides an interdisciplinary overview of forensic studies, exploring scientific components of criminal investigation and criminal justice processes through a multi-disciplinary lens. A wide range of readings in criminology, psychology, sociology, biology, business, linguistics, political science, law enforcement technology, accounting, chemistry, and cyber/data security, and other relevant disciplines will give students the opportunity to learn about various notions, methods, and approaches behind criminal investigation.

This certificate is designed, as well, to provide a space for conversation and support among undergraduates representing different colleges/majors while also providing immediate application for students pursuing forensics at the graduate level. The interdisciplinary nature of this certificate makes it attractive to students from disparate academic backgrounds while also attracting students who have grown up locally and who may plan to remain living and working in the Central Appalachian region.

The content training will create professionals with skills needed in local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, on crisis response teams, in municipal offices, in social support settings and places of business while also preparing them to focus later (graduate) work on specific aspects of forensic studies. The high demand for these skill sets could be met by students at Ohio University who have completed an undergraduate degree along with a certificate in Forensic Studies that places them in a position for immediate hire and/or for advanced, graduate-level study.

Opportunities Upon Graduation

For students interested in further specializing or enhancing the skills/knowledge gained at Ohio University via undergraduate study and the forensic studies certificate, there will now be an option to pursue a post-baccalaureate degree in forensics or even in law school or advanced academic programs aligned with the student's undergraduate major. A significant percentage of forensic practitioners have advanced degrees (e.g., master's, professional, or doctoral) and the certificate in forensic studies places graduates in the best space possible for these post-baccalaureate opportunities. Again, while graduate work and registering as a forensic professional are not required for practice in the state of Ohio, these steps may be required elsewhere and may be desirable to enhance one's credentials at various employing organizations.  

There are a number of specialized disciplines in the field of forensics, including the following: Anthropology, Criminalistics, Digital & Multimedia Sciences, Video/Imaging Technology and Analysis, Engineering Sciences, Language and Document Analysis, General Jurisprudence and Behavioral Science. Each of these specializations is addressed via coursework accepted toward completion of the proposed Certificate in Forensic Studies. Taking electives in any of the subjects listed above may help forensic practitioners secure jobs with more specific skill requirements.

Admissions Information

Freshman/First-Year Admission

No requirements beyond University admission requirements.

Change of Program Policy

No selective or limited admission requirements.

External Transfer Admission

No requirements beyond University admission requirements.


Certificate Hours Requirement

The certificate program requires a minimum of 18 credit hours.

Students must earn at least a 3.0 GPA across all coursework leading to the Certificate in Forensic Studies.

Required Courses

Complete the following courses:

Elective Courses

Take nine credits from the following list of courses. At least two courses at the 3000 level or above and all three courses must represent, minimally, two different programs.