Bachelor of Criminal Justice
Engage in CSI Episodes in the Real World of Crime
Criminalistics is the application of scientific methods to evaluate physical evidence from a crime scene for use in criminal proceedings. Tiffin University’s criminalistics program will teach you specific skills in gathering, evaluating and preserving evidence at crime scenes. You’ll receive a solid foundation for your career as a crime scene investigator, working in local, state and federal police departments, as well as private investigative services.
The Bachelor of Criminal Justice in Criminalistics is intended for students who desire to become law enforcement officers specializing in the area of forensic evidence. In the program, you’ll learn to identify, sort, compare, interpret and catalog evidence according to strict legal and scientific rules. The major provides a focus for the student who wishes to be a crime scene investigator but who is not interested in conducting laboratory analysis of evidence.
The criminalistics program combines classroom teaching with a unique progression of hands-on learning that advances your experience from the crime scene to the courtroom. You’ll link theory to practice in our crime scene house, where you’ll gain valuable practical experience processing mock crime scenes.
Professional Criminalistics Training
- The criminalistics program emphasizes investigation of specific crimes including, but not limited to, homicide, sexual assault, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, theft, auto theft and arson.
- You’ll develop expert knowledge in processing physical evidence, including blood and biological, impression, fingerprint, firearm, drug, digital, tool mark and trace evidence.
- You’ll work closely with faculty who bring significant field experience in the discipline.
- You’ll engage in many experiential learning opportunities, from our crime scene house to a hands-on course in death investigations.
- You’ll develop skills that are key to a successful criminalistics career, such as critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Preparing You for the Real World
In the criminalistics program, you’ll study with professors who bring years of law enforcement experience, including extensive work in evidence processing. Our faculty’s real-world field experience greatly enriches content offered in courses, helping you to link theory with professional criminalistics practice.
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.
A Practical, Professional Education
- Technological advances have made forensic information increasingly essential in criminal proceedings.
- You’ll gain practical experience in crime scene processing.
- You’ll learn best practices for the handling, identifying, and evaluating evidence.
- The practitioner-based focus of our criminalistics curriculum is well aligned with the professional focus of our University.
Active, Experiential Learning
Criminalistics is a hands-on type of field, and as such, training and preparation for such a field should be as well. In your Applied Criminal Investigation and Criminalistics course, you’ll investigate a “mock” crime scene, collect and analyze evidence obtained and present your investigation in a “moot” court. In Criminal Trial Evidence, you’ll engage in a mock trial, as you and other students role-play the various participants in a criminal court case. As part of your Death Investigation course, you’ll participate in a field trip to a major metropolitan area morgue.
And, as with all our criminal justice programs, you’ll participate in a required internship. Internship possibilities are wide-ranging. A recent graduate served his internship in the White House Protocol Office, which led to a permanent job with the White House Staff as Director of Protocol. Another student completed her internship at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Washington, D.C.
Bringing Knowledge to Practice
- In most classes, professors don’t simply lecture for the class hour, but instead mix lecture with group work and practical exercises.
- Group work is constant and replicates the cooperation needed for success in real-world criminalistics.
- Our crime scene house provides hands-on experience in processing mock crime scenes.
- All criminalistics students must complete a 150-hour professional internship in the field.
Format & Sample Courses
On Campus – Offered in a 15-week semester format with start dates of January and August
Online – Offered in two terms per semester starting in January, March, May, July, August and October
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.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that openings for forensic technicians would increase by 14 percent in the decade preceding 2029, which is more than triple the average for all occupations nationally (4 percent).
- Adult Parole Authority
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Fire Arms and Explosives
- Coroner’s Office/ Medical Examiner’s Office
- Correctional Officer
- Crime Scene Investigator
- Criminal Investigator
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Forensic Laboratories in Police
- Intelligence Agencies
- Law Enforcement Officer
- Private Forensic Agencies in Drug Enforcement
- Sheriff’s Offices
- Sumter County Youth Center
- U.S. Postal Service
- U.S. Secret Service
WHERE TU GRADS HAVE WORKED
While it is extremely competitive to obtain such appointments, TU alumni have gone on to careers in these agencies:
- Eastern Ohio Corrections Center
- Federal Police Departments
- Local Police Departments
- Office of the Medical Examiner, Pensacola, Florida
- Private Investigator
- Seneca County Sheriff’s Office
- State Police Departments
BCJ Criminalistics FAQ
what is criminalistics?
Criminalistics is the application of scientific methods to evaluate physical evidence from a crime scene for use in criminal proceedings. An expert in criminalistics understands how to gather, evaluate and preserve evidence at crime scenes.
what is a bachelor’s in criminalistics?
A bachelor’s in criminalistics prepares students with the skills and knowledge to gather, evaluate and preserve evidence at crime scenes. Students will receive a solid foundation for a career as a crime scene investigator, working in local, state and federal police departments, as well as private investigative services.
what can i do with a degree in criminalistics?
With a degree in criminalistics, you will be qualified for a variety of career opportunities, including positions with the adult parole authority, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, coroner’s office/medical examiner’s office, corrections, crime scene investigations, Federal Bureau of Investigation, intelligence agencies, law enforcement, law offices, U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Secret Service and more.
BCJ Criminalistics Program RequirementsDownload
- Associate to Bachelor’s Degree Completion
- Bachelor of Arts
- Bachelor of Business Administration
- Bachelor of Criminal Justice
- Bachelor of Science
- Articulation Agreements & Pathways
- Credit for Prior Learning
- Dual Enrollment Program
At a Glance
- Immersive, practitioner-based program
- Faculty with criminalistics field experience
- Emphasis on real-world, experiential learning
- Required professional internship
“I have really enjoyed taking classes with Tiffin University. The teaching staff and academic advisors have been extremely helpful considering I am what they would call a non-traditional student. The technology has been easy to navigate, and IT is quick to respond if there are any issues.”
Bachelor of Criminal Justice
Class of 2022