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School of Criminology | Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Simon Fraser University Calendar | Summer 2020

Forensic Studies


This certificate is primarily for students and professionals who wish to focus their criminology undergraduate studies on courses that relate to forensic studies.

Units applied toward a certificate may not be applied toward any other Simon Fraser University certificate or diploma, but may be applied toward major program or minor program requirements, or toward a bachelor’s degree under the normal regulations governing those programs.

Admission Requirements

Students are eligible to apply for entry to the Forensic Studies Certificate program if:

  • they have been admitted to Simon Fraser University (or are in the process of being admitted); and
  • they have completed and received grades for the following course, with a final grade of C- or better:
    • CRIM 355-3 The Forensic Sciences

Admission, Program Declaration, and Continuation

Applicants must meet university undergraduate admission deadlines as shown in this Calendar. Application forms and official documents must be submitted to Student Services. In addition to applying for University admission, students apply in writing to the School of Criminology's advisor for certificate program declaration.

To continue in the program, students must maintain a 2.25 cumulative grade point average (CGPA)*. Students whose CGPA falls below 2.25 cannot enrol in any upper division CRIM courses.

*transfer students who meet the Criminology program declaration requirements upon admission to SFU may use their admission CGPA for declaration purposes

Program Requirements

Students complete a minimum total of 18 units, including

CRIM 355 - The Forensic Sciences (3)

Examines the use and interpretation of physical forensic evidence in court. It will critically examine and evaluate the major forensic sciences used in criminal investigations today, as well as look at the crime scene. Subjects examined will include forensic pathology, odontology, biology, DNA evidence, firearms evidence, toxicology chemistry and questioned documents. Techniques will be illustrated with case studies. Prerequisite: 45 units. Breadth-Social Sciences.

Section Day/Time Location
C100 Distance Education

and 15 units chosen from

ARCH 373 - Human Osteology (5)

A detailed study of the human skeleton with emphasis on lab and field techniques. Prerequisite: ARCH 131.

ARCH 383 - Molecular Bioarchaeology (3)

Introduces molecular biology techniques used to analyze DNA to address archaeological questions and applications to degraded DNA samples for forensic identification of human remains and conservation of endangered species. Prerequisite: ARCH 131 or 201.

ARCH 442 - Forensic Anthropology (5)

Current techniques in identification of recent human skeletal remains. Prerequisite: ARCH 373.

ARCH 452 - Introduction to Paleopathology (5)

Introduces the study of ancient and historic diseases in humans and animals as expressed in bones, teeth, mummified remains, art, and historical documents. Provides an essential foundation for differential diagnosis in skeletal biology and forensic osteology. Prerequisite: ARCH 373. Students who have taken ARCH 332 under this topic may not take this course for further credit.

CRIM 356 - The Forensic Sciences II (3)

Introduces the methodological principles of analytical procedures and applications relevant to 21st century criminalistics as applied to skeletonized remains. Prerequisite: CRIM 101.

CRIM 357 - Forensic Anatomy (3)

An introduction to human anatomy and physiology relevant to the biological aspects of human forensics. Examines different body systems including form, function and development in the human adult and child, and discusses post mortem alteration to anatomical structures in the context of forensic anthropology and pathology. Prerequisite: CRIM 101.

CRIM 358 - Forensic Entomology (3)

Forensic entomology is the study of the insects associated with a dead body. This course will introduce students to entomology and its applications to law. Instruction will include lectures, tutorials and also laboratories where students will handle, dissect and identify a variety of insects. Prerequisite: CRIM 101. Recommended: CRIM 320 or equivalent. Students with credit for CRIM 318 (Introduction to Forensic Entomology or Forensic Entomology) prior to Fall 2017 may not take this course for further credit.

CRIM 402 - Biological Explanations of Crime (3)

Examines possible biological factors that could result in a predisposition towards criminal behavior. These include not only the genetic factors that affect behavior and therefore could potentially predispose towards crime, but also biochemical, neurological, nutritive and accidental effects such as head injuries. This course will look critically at all evidence both for and against any possible biological predispositions for criminogenic behaviors, together with the interaction with the environment. In particular, moral and ethical issues will be considered and debated. Prerequisite: CRIM 101. Students with credit for CRIM 416 in the summer 2000 or 2001 term may not take this course for further credit.

Section Day/Time Location
C100 Distance Education
CRIM 416 - Current Issues in Criminology and Criminal Justice (3) *

A critical analysis of certain 'hot' issues in criminology and criminal justice. The topics covered change from term to term. Prerequisite: CRIM 101.

CRIM 417 - Current Issues in Criminology and Criminal Justice (3) *

A critical analysis of certain 'hot' issues in criminology and criminal justice. The topics covered change from term to term. Prerequisite: CRIM 101.

CRIM 418 - Current Issues in Criminology and Criminal Justice (3) *

A critical analysis of certain 'hot' issues in criminology and criminal justice. The topics covered change from term to term. Prerequisite: CRIM 101.

CRIM 451 - Advanced Techniques in Forensic Science (3)

Looks at the advanced and sometimes more controversial areas of forensic science used in the criminal justice system today. Most areas are those outside the crime lab and require extensive and in-depth training in a very focused field. Seminars may cover areas such as the use of polygraph, blood spatter pattern analysis, entomology, pathology, odontology, anthropology, genocide investigation, facial approximation, crime scene analysis on land, underwater and mass homicide scenarios. Prerequisite: CRIM 101. Recommended: CRIM 355. Students with credit for CRIM 420 in 01-3, 00-3, 99-3, 98-3 or 97-3 may not take this course for further credit.

CRIM 452 - Skeletal Pathology and Criminalistics (3)

The examination of disease processes which affect and reveal themselves in the human skeleton at the level of surface morphology, radiology and histology and other relevant analytical methodologies relevant to criminalistics and human identification. Prerequisite: CRIM 101. Recommended: CRIM 357. Students who have taken this course as CRIM 417 may not take this course for further credit.

CRIM 480 - Computer Forensics and Cybercrime (3)

Advanced exploration of high-tech crime and exploration of the tools and techniques used by cyber-criminals. Examines the techniques used by law enforcement to investigate and prosecute offenders, as well as the probable future development of cybercrime. Prerequisite: CRlM 380. Students who have taken CRIM 416/417/418 under the topic in Spring 2010 may not take this course for further credit.

PSYC 376 - Experimental Psychology and Law (3)

The roles of experimental developmental, cognitive, and social psychology in the understanding of behavior and perceptions of individuals in legal contexts. Topics include eyewitness testimony, autobiographical memory, interviewing, deception detection, and juror decision-making. Prerequisite: PSYC 201W and PSYC 268. Recommended: PSYC 210.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
D100 Ryan Fitzgerald
Tu, Th 11:30 AM – 2:20 PM
PSYC 379 - Clinical Forensic Psychology (3)

Clinical approaches to the understanding of behavior in criminal and civil forensic settings. Topics related to the assessment, treatment, and management of people suffering from mental disorder. Prerequisite: PSYC 201 and 268. PSYC 241 is recommended.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
J100 Adam Blanchard
Tu 5:30 PM – 8:20 PM
PSYC 476 - Advanced Topics in Law and Forensic Psychology (4)

Course can be repeated for credit. Students may not take this course for further credit if similar topics are covered. See Psychology department website for course description. Prerequisite: PSYC 201, 210, 268, 60 units, and a CGPA of 3.0. Other prerequisites vary by topic offering.

or any other 300 or 400 division designated forensic studies courses from the school (e.g. special topics courses) or from other Simon Fraser University departments and faculties (see the school's academic advisor for further information)

Students are responsible for satisfying the prerequisites for all required courses.

Courses must be completed at Simon Fraser University unless permission of the undergraduate chair is granted upon admission to this program. See the school's academic advisor for further information.

* when offered as a forensic studies topic

Upper Division Course Access

Students with a minimum 2.25 CGPA are eligible to enrol in upper division Criminology courses upon successful completion of 60 units and Certificate declaration. Students pursuing the Certificate independent of a degree program will be eligible to access these courses without completion of 60 units; in these cases, completion of lower division prerequisite courses may be required.

Graduation Requirements

Students must obtain a minimum grade of C- in all required courses. For graduation, students must obtain a minimum 2.25 CGPA, 2.25 UDGPA, 2.25 Criminology program CGPA, and 2.25 Criminology program UDGPA.