2010-11 Catalog

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Offering Description

Forensics and Criminal Behavior

Fall, Winter and Spring quarters

Faculty: Rebecca Sunderman physical and inorganic chemistry, Andrew Brabban biology, genetics, microbiology, Toska Olson sociology, gender studies

Fields of Study: biochemistry, biology, chemistry, communications, mathematics and sociology

Fall: CRN (Credit) Level 10387 (16) Fr; 10388 (16) So; 10681 (1-16)  

Winter: Enrollment Accepting New Students  CRN (Credit) Level 20239 (16) Fr; 20240 (16) So; 20591 (1-16)  Conditions Interested juniors and seniors should contact the faculty about the possibility of enrolling.  

Spring: Enrollment Closed  CRN (Credit) Level 30226 (16) Fr; 30227 (16) So; 30631 (1-16) Fr - So  

Credits: 16(F); 16(W); 16(S)

Class Standing: Freshmen - Sophomore; 50% of the seats are reserved for freshmenFreshmen - Sophomore

Offered During: Day

Prerequisites: Although there are no prerequisites for this program, proficiency in high school algebra and science is strongly recommended.


Why is crime such a central focus in modern American society? How is a crime scene analyzed? How are crimes solved? How can we prevent violent crime and murder? This program will integrate sociological and forensic science perspectives to investigate crime and societal responses to it. We will explore how social and cultural factors including race, class and gender are associated with crime and criminal behavior. In addition, we will consider theories of criminology and deviant behavior, and will explore how social scientists can help identify offenders through criminal profiling and forensic psychology.

Through our forensics investigations, we will examine subjects including biology, chemistry, geology, odontology, osteology, pathology and physics. We will study evidentiary techniques for crime scene analysis, such as the examination of fingerprints, DNA, blood spatter, fibers, glass fractures and fragments, hairs, ballistics, teeth, bones and body remains. This program will utilize hands-on laboratory and field approaches to the scientific methods used in crime scene investigation. Students will learn to apply analytical, quantitative and qualitative skills to collect and interpret evidence. Students can expect seminars, labs, lectures, guest speakers and workshops along with both individual and group project work.

Maximum Enrollment: 69

Required Fees: Fall $90 for the murder-mystery retreat; Winter $60 for museum admission and an overnight field trip; Spring $3 for fieldtrip fees.

Preparatory for studies or careers in: criminalistics, criminology, education, forensic science, science, and sociology.

Campus Location: Olympia

Online Learning: Enhanced Online Learning

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Program Revisions

Date Revision
February 28th, 2011 Spring fees updated.
February 10th, 2011 Spring fees updated.
November 29th, 2010 Fees updated.
May 26th, 2010 This program is now offered to both freshmen and sophomores.