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Crime Scene Investigation (CSI)

Professional Certificate in Crime Scene Investigation (CSI)

Professional Certificate in Crime Scene Investigation (CSI)

Classroom Program


8-12 months


UCR Extension

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Crime scene investigators (CSIs) work closely with law enforcement to ensure evidence is collected and processed correctly so the guilty are successfully prosecuted and justice is served. CSIs work at the crime scene, in labs, at the morgue, in police departments, and will likely be called to share their expertise in a courtroom. Start your career off right with top-notch expert instructors, hands-on experience, and real-life case studies so you can master all aspects of crime scene investigation.

Designed 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

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 With This Certificate

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

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

CSI positions are most often found in law enforcement agencies. Prior to employment, a background check consisting of employment history, professional references, criminal check and educational verification may be conducted. All applicants
will be required to pass the background check to the satisfaction of the Department or agency conducting the hiring.
Here's a look at some common background check disqualifiers. Generally, job candidates are most commonly dropped from consideration for one or more of the following:

  • Felony convictions
  • Misdemeanors
  • Past or current drug use
  • Credit issues
  • Dishonorable discharge from military service
  • Falsification or untruthfulness on the application
  • Poor work history
  • Past or current gang affiliations
  • Undetected crimes
  • Problematic driving history
  • Domestic violence

Program Overview


23 Units

Real People. Real Results.

“The CSI Professional Certificate Program gave me hands-on training and provided the knowledge and skills to start my career as a Forensics Technician. Each instructor contributed to my success by building a solid foundation. The well-recognized program is exceptional and without it, I would not be where I am today!”

Hillary Pounds

Evidence Unit Intern
Riverside Police Department
Riverside, CA

Earning the Certificate

Prior to enrolling, please ensure that you meet the following minimum requirements:

  • High school education or equivalent

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.

Quarter 1

Crime Scene Management

SOC X415.51

2 units

Fingerprint Techniques and Impression Evidence

SOC X415.6

2 units

Forensic Report Writing

SOC X415.12

1 unit

Quarter 2

Crime Scene Photography

SOC X415.4

3 units

Autopsy: Medicolegal Death Investigation

SOC X417.71

2 units

Forensic Entomology


2 units

Quarter 3

Survey of Criminalistics

SOC X415.8

2 units

Introduction to Criminal Law and Procedure


3 units

Introduction to Digital Forensics

SOC X413.11

2 units

Quarter 4

Bloodstain Pattern Analysis

SOC X415.10

2 units

Crime Scene Investigation Practicum

SOC X417.1

1 unit

Courtroom Testimony Fundamentals

SOC X415.13

1 unit

Instructor Spotlight

“Most of my 32 years in law enforcement involved criminal investigations. CSIs and Forensic Scientists are vital in the criminal justice system, striving daily to bring criminals to justice, and closure to victims and their families. I enjoy helping students learn the practical elements of crime scene investigation, and helping them become more competitive in the forensic science job market.”

Steve Staggs

Captain (Retired)
UCR Police Department
Riverside, CA

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