Online Class: Crime Scene Investigation 101

From initial arrival at a crime scene to testifying in court, this online class offers students the basics of one of the most fascinating jobs within the field of law enforcement.


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  • 19
  • 38
    Exams &
  • 17
    average time
  • 1.7

Course Description

If you're interested in pursuing a career in crime scene investigation, this course will introduce you to the basics of practical crime scene investigation procedures and techniques. Covering the history of forensic investigation from the ancient Chinese culture to the phenomena known today as the "CSI-Effect" on the general population, this course explains the methods and protocol involved in the crime scene investigator's two prime directives: protect and preserve the evidence.


This course covers such topics as how to initially approach a crime scene; the importance of following proper procedure and protocol in searching, collecting, and packaging crime scene evidence; how to ensure the integrity and chain of evidence rules that will be acceptable in a court of law; how to identify and collect various forms of evidence ranging from biological fluids to weapons and firearms; and how to document a crime scene as well as explain different techniques for handling evidence.


This crime scene investigation course also offers techniques for interviewing witnesses and family members as well as understanding such terms as victimology and equivocal crime scenes. We'll also study the basics of blood spatter interpretation, wound anatomy, and how to observe a crime scene properly.


From initial arrival at a crime scene to testifying in court, this online class offers students the basics of one of the most fascinating jobs within the field of law enforcement.

Courses Frequently Bought Together:
  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Lesson 1: A Brief History of Forensic Investigation

From Jack the Ripper to DNA analysis, forensics is an evolving technology in criminal investigations. 19 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Complete: Assignment 1 - History of Forensic Investigation
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Assessment: Lesson 1 Exam

Lesson 2: Crime Scene Investigation Defined

When investigating any crime scene, the investigator, whether police officer, detective or technician, must also take into consideration a philosophical approach to the scene. 20 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Complete: Assignment 2 - Components of a Crime Scene Investigation
  • Assessment: Lesson 2 Exam

Lesson 3: Protecting the Evidence

This lesson discusses how to maintain a pristine crime scene that is free of contamination. 16 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Complete: Assignment 3 - Protecting a Crime Scene
  • Assessment: Lesson 3 Exam

Lesson 4: Setting Crime Scene Perimeters

This lesson describes how to cordon off the crime scene area to protect evidence. 15 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Complete: Assignment 4 - Securing a Crime Scene
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Exam

Lesson 5: Dealing with Witnesses and Family Members

This lesson will explain how to talk to family members and witnesses and how to conduct the interviews. 19 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Complete: Assignment 5 - Questioning Witnesses
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Exam

Lesson 6: Identifying Physical Evidence

This lesson explains how not to jump to conclusions when examining evidence and how to interpret findings at a crime scene. 17 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Complete: Assignment 6 - Physical Evidence
  • Assessment: Lesson 6 Exam

Lesson 7: Types of Evidence

Physical evidence is something that can seen, smelled or touched. Material evidence is also commonly known as trace evidence. 17 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Complete: Assignment 7 - Contaminating Evidence
  • Assessment: Lesson 7 Exam

Lesson 8: What Does a CSI Technician Do?

This lesson explains the crime scene investigator's duties and how their work is related to that of law enforcement departments. 16 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Complete: Assignment 8 - The CSI Job Market
  • Assessment: Lesson 8 Exam

Lesson 9: Processing a Crime Scene

This lesson discusses the different methods of processing a crime scene. 19 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Complete: Assignment 9 - Choosing a Search Method
  • Assessment: Lesson 9 Exam

Lesson 10: Scene Documentation

This lesson explains the importance of correctly documenting evidence. 16 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Complete: Assignment 10 - Choosing a Camera
  • Assessment: Lesson 10 Exam

Lesson 11: Collecting the Evidence

This lesson explains the importance of proper evidence collection techniques and the procedure for properly collecting evidence. Additional lesson topics: Securing a Digital Crime Scene 18 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Complete: Assignment 11 - Collecting Evidence
  • Assessment: Lesson 11 Exam

Lesson 12: Interpreting a Crime Scene

This lesson discusses the procedures to correctly interpret a crime scene. 17 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Complete: Assignment 12 - Questioning Family Members
  • Assessment: Lesson 12 Exam

Lesson 13: Techniques for Handling Evidence

How evidence is handled, collected and sealed can be crucial when going to trial. 18 Total Points
  • Lesson 13 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Crime Scene Investigation and the Media
  • Complete: Assignment 13 - Crime Scene Investigation and the Media
  • Assessment: Lesson 13 Exam

Lesson 14: Blood Spatter Interpretation

This lesson describes how bloodstains and blood spray or spatter patterns can be interpreted. 17 Total Points
  • Lesson 14 Video
  • Complete: Assignment 14 - Analyzing Blood Splatter
  • Assessment: Lesson 14 Exam

Lesson 15: Autopsy and Wound Anatomy

This lesson discusses pathology's role in determining how and when death occurred. 17 Total Points
  • Lesson 15 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Attending an Autopsy
  • Complete: Assignment 15 - Decomposition
  • Assessment: Lesson 15 Exam

Lesson 16: Reconstructing a Crime Scene

This lesson explains how reconstructing the crime scene can determine what and how the incident occurred. Additional lesson topics: Virtual Crime Scene Reconstruction; Guidelines 19 Total Points
  • Lesson 16 Video
  • Complete: Assignment 16 - Using Demonstrative Evidence
  • Assessment: Lesson 16 Exam

Lesson 17: Crime Scene Kits and Equipment

This lesson describes the clothes and equipment necessary to investigate a crime scene. 15 Total Points
  • Lesson 17 Video
  • Complete: Assignment 17 - Assemble Your Crime Scene Kit
  • Assessment: Lesson 17 Exam

Lesson 18: Test Your Mettle

Do you have the drive and determination to become a crime scene investigator? Additional lesson topics: See Yourself as a Crime Scene Investigator 15 Total Points
  • Lesson 18 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Is this the career for you?; Viewing an Autopsy
  • Complete Assignment: Evaluating your future
  • Assessment: Lesson 18 Exam

Final Exam

Final exam 209 Total Points
  • Lesson discussions: Your Opinion Matters: Course Rating; Course Comments; Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Assessment: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Summarize the history of forensic investigation.
  • Define Crime Scene Investigation.
  • Summarize the procedures for protecting the evidence.
  • Summarize the processes for setting crime scene perimeters.
  • Describe the methods used when dealing with witnesses and family members.
  • Describe ways to identifying physical evidence.
  • Define types of evidence.
  • Describe what a CSI Technician does.
  • Processing a Crime Scene
  • Summarize how to process and document a crime scene.
  • Summarize the protocols for collecting evidence.
  • Describe the techniques for handling evidence.
  • Summarize how to interpret blood spatter.
  • Describe crime scene kits and equipment.
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Student Testimonials

  • "Excellent intructor, good feedback, very objective and professional and hope to take another course in the future." -- Gisela I.