Forensic Sciences Graduate Certificate Program

This Forensic Sciences certificate program provides graduate students with both an overview of the forensic sciences through required coursework as well as targeted needs and interests of each individual gained through the electives that students choose to support their own personal trajectory in forensic sciences. New and currently enrolled students in the ISU Graduate School, no matter degree program or department, may apply for this certificate. The application can be found on the ISU Graduate School or Anthropology Department websites or through this link

Students who earn this certificate will be prepared to:

  • Describe all the forensic sciences focusing on the new methods and techniques of forensic analysis and how to apply those to crime scene analysis.
  • Apply new techniques to real world cases and interpreting results for outside agencies.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of key parent disciplines, areas, and methodologies within the forensic sciences.
  • Learn and begin to apply multiple theories to explain behavior and potential motivations across different classifications of crime.
  • Recognize and demonstrate how all the forensic sciences work together to solve crimes, analyze crime scenes, and inform the public.

Two courses, ANTH 5535 Forensic Sciences: Beyond the Crime Lab and SOC/SOWK 5557 Fundamentals of Forensic Behavioral Science, are required. Each student must take three electives that come from three of the four themes (Mind, Body, Methods, and Communication). The total number of credits required is between 13-15 dependent on the electives chosen. All courses are offered at the graduate level. It is possible that other courses not listed may count toward the certificate if approved through the petition process. Any courses that may count toward the certificate as well as a second credential must follow the policy of double counting of credits as found in the Graduate Catalog. It is expected that students would complete this certificate in at least two, but no more than four, semesters.

Required Courses6
Forensic Anthroplogy
One of the following:
Fundamentals of Forensic Behavioral Science
Fundamentals of Forensic Behavioral Sciences
Electives -- Choose 1 course in 3 of the below sections:9
The Body
Clinical Medical Anthropology
Human Osteology
Anthropology of Global Health
Principles of Taphonomy
Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology
Principles of Geographical Information System ( (co-requisite GEOL 5503L))
Principles of GIS Laboratory ((co-requisite GEOL 5503))
The Mind
Sexuality and the Body
Sexual Crimes
Gang Violence
Serial Murder
Guns and Mass Shootings
Human Variation
Mass Communication and Society
Advanced Leader Communication
Topics in Professional Writing
Total Credits15