Introduction to Criminalistics: The Basics of Forensic Investigations and The Role of Criminalists

Gain a better understanding of Criminalistics and the Role and Duties of a Criminalist.


Take this course and JUMP START your Forensic Career!

This is an introductory Criminalistics course designed to help you become familiar with the basic concepts of Criminalistics, what Criminalistics do, and the importance Criminalistics plays in the bigger picture of forensic science. Special emphasis is placed upon fingerprints--patterns and classifications.

Course Format

Watch videos, read the required material, take the assigned quizzes, and learn from actual case studies and scene photos.

This is a 6 week course. Information and lectures will be available each week.

What You Will Learn

Become familiar with the disciplines included in Criminalistics

Be able to compare Criminalistics vs. Forensic Scientist, specifically the primary duties of each role

Define both forensic science and Criminalistics and how these terms can be used inter-changeable

Review and study cases and scene photos which will enhance your knowledge of what types of processes criminalists do in order to document, collect, and process evidence

Describe the importance of evidence integrity and chain of custody

Understand the role evidence plays in a criminal investigation

Demonstrate the skills needed in sketching, casting, and packaging of evidence

Recognize the basic types of fingerprint patterns

Suggested professional Criminalistics groups and how to join these professional groups/organizations

Increase awareness of the problems that arise at the interfaces of science, the law, law enforcement, and the general public

Your Instructor

Terri Armenta/Forensic Training
Terri Armenta/Forensic Training

Terri has been teaching forensic science and criminal justice courses for over 15 years. Her education and experience includes business management, science, law enforcement, and forensics. She has a MS in Forensic Science (emphasis in Investigations) and loves to teach and educate others in forensic science and criminal justice topics and techniques. She is the founder of Forensic Training Unlimited LLC (FTU), which is located in Southern California. FTU offers hands-on training, workshops, seminars, and online training courses.

She has several POST certificates, has trained with Los Angeles County Coroner, Orange County (CA) Sheriff Department, and holds professional memberships in Southern California Association of Fingerprint Officers, International Association for Identification, Latino Peace Officers Association, and the California State Division of the International Association of Identification.

She has presented at the International Association for Identification, served as a guest lecturer in forensic and criminal justice topics, and as an Adjunct Instructor at several colleges.

Terri, who holds teaching credentials, is passionate about bringing students closer to their forensic career goals.

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Class Curriculum

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is this Course for?

This course is for those who are in seach of a starting point for their forensic career. It's for serious and motivated people (students) who want to start a forensic career and become a forensic professional. Whether you're currently in college or university, or wanting to start a new career in forensics...this course is for you!

A criminalistic course is considered by many as a starting point in a student's forensic training and this course does just that! It offers the basic concepts of forensic science and introduces the many disciplines offered in criminalistics. In addition, case studies are included as well as career requirements.

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
I would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with this course, please tell me why so I can fix the problem. If you are still unsatisfied, I will be happy to give you a full refund. Please make sure the request is wthin the first 30 days of purchase. Unfortunately, refund requests after 30 days can't be processed.

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