Certificate in Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Summer Academy

Certificate in Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Summer Academy

Classroom Program


6 weeks


20 Units

UCR Extension

2017 Program Dates: June 26 - August 4

Be prepared to step behind the yellow tape in just six weeks with our hands-on CSI intensive summer learning experience. Crime scene investigators need legal knowledge a meticulous eye, and scientific procedures to collect and preserve evidence for the justice community.

CSI is just as exciting as it is on T.V., and is at the heart of justice. Law enforcement, the judicial system, and the community all need CSI professionals who can ensure evidence is collected and processed correctly. CSIs can work at the crime scene, in labs, at the morgue, or in police departments, and will likely be called to share their expertise in a courtroom. Get professional instruction from real-world experts who bridge the gap between theory and practice so you can step out of the classroom and onto the next crime scene.

Information Session: April 24, 2017

What You'll Learn

  • Be confident and knowledgeable in performing crime scene investigations.
  • Understand the basics of crime scene management including the proper collection and preservation of evidence, and chain-of-custody issues.
  • Have the technical skills to sample, photograph and recover evidence at a crime scene.

What You Can Do

Positions are available in law enforcement, justice departments or government. They might include:

  • Crime scene investigator
  • Crime scene technician
  • Police identification specialist
  • Forensic scientist


Who Should Attend

For individuals who are:

  • Looking for a career in crime scene investigation
  • Currently in the field of crime scene investigation who would like to further develop their skills and expertise
  • Law enforcement

High school education or equivalent

What You Should Know

Completion Requirements

Complete 20 of the required 23 units to earn the CSI certificate during the CSI Summer Academy.

Introduction to Criminal Law and Procedure (3 units)
This course is required to earn the CSI certificate, but is not included in the summer academy coursework. To satisfy this requirement, you can:

  • Take the course at UCR Extension
  • Request an equivalent course to be transferred from another accredited college or university (transcripts required).

Program Cost

  • Regular Rate: $5,295
  • Early Bird Rate: $4,995 (if paid on or before June 1).
  • International Student Rate: $6,300 (see IEP website for more information).
  • Pay a $500 deposit to reserve your spot.
  • Deposit is nonrefundable after June 1. No refunds of any kind after June 15.
  • Balance is due on or before June 15.

What’s Included

Students will be provided with all course materials, texts, and parking.


  • Welcome reception.
  • Farewell reception
  • "Evening with the Experts" lecture series (July).

Field Trips (including transportation):

  • Local crime labs.
  • Coroner’s office.

Required Equipment

Students must bring a DSLR camera to class.


Accommodations are not included in the tuition. Housing options may include the International Village, closest to the Extension Center; or other housing through UCR directly, and there are a number of hotels near UCR Extension. Learn more.

Download the CSI Academy Schedule.

Contact Person

Jennifer Campbell
(951) 827-5804

Also of Interest

CSI Professional Certificate

Program Overview


20 Units

“Students from all over the country travel to UCR to be part of the CSI Summer Academy. The reputation of the program is based on the experiences of the well-known instructors, and their ability to pass on knowledge. This sets UCR's program apart from all the others. The program gave me the tools and training necessary to be a successful and strong asset to my organization, the United States Coast Guard.”

Nikole Foran

United States Coast Guard
Hesperia, CA

Earning the Certificate

For more information see How to Earn a Certificate

Certificate Courses

Our certificate programs are designed to be flexible, allowing you the option to take just a few courses or to earn the complete certificate. If choosing to complete the certificate, we recommend you get the most out of your experience by following the suggested completion path below.

Summer Academy

Crime Scene Management

SOC X415.51

2 units

Successful crime scene investigation utilizes a step-by-step process in the discovery, preservation and collection of physical evidence. This course examines the fundamental theories of physical evidence, legal issues and the proper management of the collection and preservation of evidence. Topics include awareness of evidence; managing the scene; diagramming and sketching; photography; fingerprint, trace, impression, physiological and firearms evidence; arson and explosives; and safety issues. Designed for those entering the crime scene investigation field, crime scene investigators, attorneys and others who may benefit from learning how crime scenes are investigated.

Forensic Report Writing

SOC X415.12

1 units

Provides instruction on writing clear and concise forensic police reports. You will learn:

  • how to take professional notes
  • the proper process to document facts
  • the required factual elements needed for a complete forensic report

Fingerprint Techniques and Impression Evidence

SOC X415.6

2 units

A general examination of fingerprint pattern recognition and identification of inked (known) fingerprints and how they are used in the criminal justice field. Course topics also include:

  • Examining impressions made by shoes and tire tracks.
  • Various techniques in recovering fingerprint.
  • Impression evidence

Autopsy: Medicolegal Death Investigation

SOC X417.71

2 units

This course examines the procedures and protocols of the medical examiner or coroner's office as they relate to the medical and legal issues involved in the investigation of the unnatural death. Topics include the examination and evaluation of evidence; time of death and post-mortem body changes; death by firearm injury, fire, electrocution and explosions, blunt force, knife wounds, and motor vehicle and airplane crashes; asphyxial deaths including suffocation and strangulation; and child deaths including SIDS, blunt force trauma, neglect and suffocation. The role of toxicology in death investigations is also discussed. Designed for law enforcement, public safety, legal and medical professionals.

Forensic Entomology


2 units

An overview on what to search for and how to handle items found when recovering entomological evidence at crime scenes. Discussions include:

  • The basic principles of entomology
  • The biological and ecological aspects of common arthropods

Lab exercises and simulated field studies provide practical experience in how to gather, interpret, record, preserve, and use entomological specimens in forensic investigations.

Crime Scene Photography

SOC X415.4

3 units

Latest methods of photographic documentation and equipment required for close-up photography and techniques when photographing evidence such as fingerprints, impressions, bloodstains, and other evidence requiring close-up or copy photography. General crime scene photography techniques for:

  • Homicide scenes
  • Autopsies
  • Suicides
  • Other dead-body scenes, assaults, burglaries, and injuries

You must bring your own camera.  For details, visit:


Introduction to Digital Forensics

SOC X413.11

2 units

Computers, cell phones and other devices often yield key evidence in the prosecution of crimes, including fraud, identity theft, terrorist plots, stalking and other personal crimes. This course provides an introduction to the technical, investigative, and legal issues related to computer and digital forensics. The topics include an overview of computer operating systems; basic data recovery tools such as EnCase, Forensic ToolKit (FTK), Cellebrite and XRY; search, seizure and privacy issues; ethics; and courtroom admissibility.

Introduction to Criminal Law and Procedure


3 units

Examination of the elements of crimes: crimes against persons, property, public health and safety, and others. Differences between felonies and misdemeanors and between crimes and torts are discussed.

  • The Penal Code structure
  • Overview of criminal procedure, including factual and legal burdens of proof
  • Corpus delicti issues
  • Procedures before, during, and after trial
  • Commonly encountered defenses
  • General sentencing issues are presented to help students understand criminal law in context
  • Aspects of evidence relating to proof of crimes and limitations imposed on the introduction of evidence

Survey of Criminalistics

SOC X415.8

2 units

An examination of the biological aspects of physical evidence, including chemistry, toxicology, DNA, and other trace evidence associated with a crime. Includes:

  • Identification and forensic analysis of evidence, including fiber, glass, firearm, and tool marks
  • Proper handling of evidence that is used in chemical analysis
  • Laboratory techniques in gas chromatography, infrared analysis and spectroscopy

Crime Scene Investigation Practicum

SOC X417.1

1 units

This practicum provides a real-world application of crime scene investigation methods and techniques. You use the knowledge and skills learned from the required courses in the certificate program to demonstrate the proper management of the collection and preservation of evidence of a mock crime scene. Diagramming and photographing the crime scene, written report, and a group presentation are also required.

Blood Stain Pattern Analysis

SOC X415.10

2 units

Utilizes the position and patterns of blood stains to reconstruct and determine events at crime scenes. Actual cases involving the interpretation of blood stain patterns and their relevance are reviewed and discussed. Topics include:

  • How to construct various scenarios and determine geometric points of origin, limitations of different types of interpretations
  • Proper documentation of evidence for court
  • Mechanisms for court display

Courtroom Testimony Fundamentals

SOC X415.13

1 units

Providing testimony in court is a vital role of investigators. This course provides investigators the essential skills in courtroom testimony preparation and presentation to ensure their testimony is credible and reliable. You will take part in a mock trial exercise where you will defend their findings based on cases assigned in class.

“I have been a Bloodstain Pattern Interpretation Specialist for more than 30 years, and processed over 200 homicides and officer-involved shootings. My students really enjoy the hands-on approach, and can put what they learn from me to use immediately. By the end of the class, the students are amazed by how much information is in a bloodstain pattern.”

Craig Ogino

Crime Lab Manager (Retired)
Chula Vista Police Department
Chula Vista, CA

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