Forensic Science

Post-baccalaureate Graduate Certificate in Forensic Science: Crime Scene Investigation (CSI)


This program follows the Online Accelerated Program (OAP) schedule.
Apply for admission for Fall 1, Fall 2, Spring 1, or Spring 2. 

Application schedule

After clicking the above link, when checking the "application and degree requirement deadlines" be sure to click "certificate programs" and view the information for the Post-baccalaureate Forensic Science: CSI program. Or, simply go straight to the semester you wish to begin the program and start the application process. 


Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs) are forensic science professionals with expertise in the evaluation, collection, and preservation of physical evidence from crime scenes and death scenes. The purpose of this graduate certificate in Forensic Science: Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) is to provide students with a deep theoretical understanding of, and training and experience in, the application of proper procedures, methods and techniques of forensic investigation and evidence recovery. Students will obtain skills in the various approaches to examining and documenting crime scenes and in the proper handling, packaging, and transport of physical evidence to crime laboratories for further analysis. 

A significant component of this graduate certification program in CSI is to enable applied learning and support career development. It is the mission of the CSI program to foster critical thinking, knowledge, technical skills, ethics, discernment and humility in preparation for working in the medico-legal realm and with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and the justice system. The CSI program prepares students for securing entry level forensic science positions with job titles such as crime scene investigator, crime scene technician, crime scene analyst, forensic investigator, forensic science technician and evidence technician.  

Online Accelerated Program (OAP)

The graduate certificate in Forensic Science: Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) is delivered 100% online, featuring accelerated 7-week courses (three in the fall and three in the spring). These classes are staggered within the fall and spring semesters to ensure you get the most out of each course. Online programs save time and are flexible to allow students to finish the program on their own schedules. The OAP dates may be found here: OAP calendar

Application Requirements:

Applicants seeking admission to the Forensic Science CSI graduate certificate program must have a strong record of academic achievement with a bachelor’s degree in hand by the start of the program; a major and/or minor in biology, chemistry, criminology, criminal justice, forensic science, or relevant social science or natural science is preferred but not required. The BS or BA must be from an accredited college or university in the U.S., or its equivalent in a non-U.S. institution based on a four-year program. In addition to admission to the UNCW Graduate School, admission requirements include:

  • Copy of official transcripts of all college coursework (undergraduate, and graduate if applicable)
  • A one or two-page (maximum) letter of interest (i.e., statement of purpose, statement of intent, letter of interest, or personal letter), detailing the applicant’s goals and how the Forensic Science: CSI Graduate Certificate Program will help meet those goals.
  • Resume 
  • Three letters of recommendation 
  • For additional information, please contact: A. Midori Albert, PhD, 
  • To apply, please go to the home page and click the "Apply Now" button at the top right.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Be able to describe and explain the various forensic science specializations and the basic techniques and methods used in crime scene evidence collection and analysis.
  2. Be able to demonstrate skills in assessing and processing crime scenes and death scenes.
  3. Be able to properly collect forensic evidence through the application of appropriate techniques and methods.

Certificate Requirements

Required Courses (18 credit hours)

Fall OAP 1

  1. FSC 501 Forensic Science Foundations  
  2. FSC 503 Seminar in Crime Science Investigation Professional Development

Fall OAP 2

  1. FSC 502 Expert Testimony  and Challenges in Court

Spring OAP 1

  1. FSC 504 Crime Scene Photography
  2. FSC 506 Research in Forensic Science

Spring OAP 2

  1. FSC 505 Death Investigations


Course Descriptions 


Please note that certificate programs are classified as 'non-degree seeking' and are therefore not funded by FAFSA; however, advisors from the Financial Aid office have recommended visiting ELMselect for good information on non-federal loans.