I knew Tiffin University was the place for me the second I stepped foot on campus. I toured a handful of other universities offering similar programs, but TU was the only school that truly made me feel at home.
-Caleb Reynolds '15
Study and evaluate physical evidence from crime scene to courtroom, following the strictest legal and scientific evidence processing rules. If in-depth, intense study of physical evidence is your calling, then the criminalistics program at TU is for you. We provide a solid foundation for your future in local, state and federal police departments, as well as private investigative services.
Criminalists are concerned with the reconstruction of crimes and the analysis of physical evidence. They must use a blend of investigative skills and practical experience. One of the primary functions of a criminalist is to properly identify and collect evidence in a wide variety of crime scenes. Combining scientific and legal methods taught in the classroom with actual experience, you will develop skills in identifying, sorting, comparing, interpreting and cataloging evidence for use in subsequent criminal proceedings.
Our criminalistics courses are uniquely designed as stepping stones throughout the major. You will collect evidence in classes and continue to analyze this evidence in subsequent classes. You begin to learn these processes in Introduction to Forensic Science, which opens you up to an overview of forensic science. Additional courses in the progression are Advanced Criminalistics, Evidence Processing and Trial Evidence. Throughout this progression, you will advance your experience from crime scene to the courtroom.
Ohio Police Officer Training Academy (OPOTA)
To be a sworn police officer in Ohio, you must successfully complete the Ohio Police Officer Training Academy (OPOTA). Tiffin University partners with Terra State Community College to include the cost of the academy in tuition and can be earned in just one semester.
This unique training academy is state mandated for all police officers and covers firearms, legal administration, human relations, traffic, patrol, driving, subject control, investigations, civil disorder, physical conditioning and other aspects of law enforcement. Students apply direct, hands-on practice in the crime lab, firing range and police cruisers. With experienced, certified instructors and hands-on application, our students consistently achieve passing rates on the state-certified exam.
Once graduates of the program earn the certification, they are immediately eligible for full-time employment.
“Tiffin University gave me my best friend and pushed me to my highest potential. The OPOTA program put me ahead in the hiring process and my bachelor’s degree set me apart from other candidates.”
Hometown: Marion, Ohio
Graduation: Spring, 2019
Major: Bachelor of Criminal Justice in Law Enforcement
Position: Police Officer with the City of Marysville Division of Police
Core Curriculum of the School of Criminal Justice 18 hours
Criminalistics Major 49 hours
Total Bachelor of Criminal Justice hours 121
This is a sample course sequence to illustrate course offerings for this major. Consult the official Academic Bulletin for detailed registration and advising information.
On Campus - Offered in a 15-week semester format with a start date of January and August
Online - Offered in two terms per semester starting in January, March, May, July, August and October
There are no related concentrations available.
Information Security (CDS344) - This course will introduce information security as an essential component in our war against terrorism. All information must be secure or the probability of winning the war will be diminished. With advances in technology and software, cyber-terrorism has become very real. Computer hackers and terrorists can shut down our nation’s most critical infrastructures. There can be no doubt that cyber-terror can pose a very real threat to this nation’s security. Students will become familiar with the entire arena of information security.
Survey of Computer Forensics (CDS351) - This course will provide the student with an overview of current terms and concepts that form the basis for all computer investigations. A comparative analysis of computer forensics and other criminal forensic sciences will be conducted to provide the student understanding of the forensics field. The student will become familiar with computer hardware, operating systems, programming and networking (including a comprehensive review of internet protocols and routing). The course will conclude with a review of typical computer crimes and common computer intruder methods.
Applied Criminal Investigation and Criminalistics (ENF239) - Emphasis on the investigation of specific crimes including, but not limited to, homicide, sexual assault, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, theft, auto theft and arson. Students will be required to investigate a “mock” crime scene, collect and analyze evidence obtained and present their investigation in a “moot” court.
Advanced Criminalistics (ENF320) - This course focuses on crime scene investigative processes, methods, and procedures. It expands on the topics covered in FSC115 and ENF239. It offers the student the opportunity to apply scientific theory in a practical setting. Topics include the role of the first responder to the crime scene, methodologies to approaching the crime scene, crime scene analysis, a thorough overview of the gamut of physical evidence including blood and biological, impression, fingerprint, firearm, drug, digital, tool mark and trace evidence. Additionally, this course offers familiarization with specialized investigations including death, arson, mass fatalities and sex crimes investigations. It is designed with the duties of the field criminalist in mind.
Forensic Investigation of Sex Crimes (ENF355) - This course presents a detailed overview of the responsibilities of a sex crimes investigator including information regarding victim’s issues, legal issues, search and seizure issues as well as mechanics of a sexual assault investigation and secondary traumatic stress syndrome. This course will also examine different types of offenders and specific issues unique to sex crimes investigations.
While it is extremely competitive to obtain such appointments, TU alumni have gone on to careers in these agencies: