2020-2021 Pierce College Catalog 
    Jul 18, 2024  
2020-2021 Pierce College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Forensic Technology Certificate Course Map

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Created by Pierce faculty, this map outlines the initial coursework for this career field. It provides you a clear path to complete your certificate by listing a specific set of courses relevant to your program and career. The map is designed with the appropriate number of credits and meets certificate requirements. Courses are organized in a recommended sequence; please schedule accordingly. If a course is unavailable, select the next appropriate course within the sequence. For each course, a purpose statement explains how the content relates to your career field. On this map, there may be instances when you will be required to select a course from several options. Use these purpose statements and notes to choose the course that best aligns with your interests and needs. You will also find action items to complete to assure you progress and graduate on time. While this map is a great guide to courses required to complete the Forensic Technology Certificate, you are responsible for fulfilling all certificate requirements. Questions? Your Success Network is ready to help you!


The following Criminal Justice courses have changed to Common Course numbering:

Old Course Number New Course Number
CJ 112 – Criminal Justice in America CJ& 101 – Introduction to Criminal Justice
CJ 115 – Juvenile Justice System CJ& 106 – Juvenile Justice
CJ 202 – Concepts of Criminal Law CJ& 110 – Criminal Law
CJ 205 – Investigative Technology CJ& 240 – Introduction to Forensic Science

1. College Success

  • Course purpose: A foundational course to explore and affirm a career choice and build upon the skills, knowledge, and resources that will support you at Pierce College and beyond.


  • Note: The College Success course you select will depend on the Career Pathway Map you are following. Your advisor will assist you in selecting either the 3- or 5- credit version of the course. Should you choose to repeat a College Success course you must enroll in a College Success course with the same credit amount as the original course; a COLLG 110 course grade can only be replaced with a grade from another COLLG 110 course and a COLLG 115 course grade can only be replaced with a grade from another COLLG 115 course.

2. Criminal Justice: Success Seminar

  • Course purpose: This course is an introduction to success in the CJ program. It will cover education plans, navigating through Pierce College, and how to be successful in the culminating project. You will learn about professional standards and employment requirements. It should be taken within the first two quarters.

3. Precalculus I

  • Course purpose: To be able to work a crime scene and testify in court, you will need to be able to understand the physics of the crime. Forensics is about Math, Science, and Criminal Justice. The way you think, and how you can explain the forensics to a jury will depend on working through this math course.


  • Note: The math course you select will depend on the Career Pathway Map you are following, the transfer institution/degree that you select, and your math placement guidance. Your advisor will assist you in selecting the relevant 5 or 7 credit course(s) based upon co-requisite options.

Action Item: Meet with Advisor

Use your Success Network! In your first quarter, meet with your advisor to revisit your career and transfer path, make adjustments to your goals as needed, and plan for your next steps.

4. Intro to Forensic Science

  • Course purpose: In this course you will learn about crime scene investigation. You will learn skills which include, evidence collection, crime scene photography, fingerprinting, crime scene sketching, etc. This is a very interactive and almost lab like class with a large crime scene for you to put it all together.

5. Precalculus II

  • Course purpose: This course will continue to help you with your ability work a crime scene. You  have to be able to understand the physics of the crime. Forensics is about Math, Science, and Criminal Justice. The way you think, and how you can explain the forensics to a jury will depend on working through this math course.

6. Natural Science Course Recommendation

Choose one

  • Course purpose: CHEM& 110 is offered spring quarter as “FORENSIC CHEMISTRY”. It is for those especially interested in Forensic Technology, but it is available for all to better understand Crime Scenes.

  • Course purpose: In this course you will learn about the criminal justice/forensic crime scene. You will get familiarized with forensic analysis of human remains. Also included is a theoretical and hands-on approach to the analyses of human remains within a medicolegal context.

Action Item: Apply for Graduation

Way to go! It is time to apply for graduation. Visit the Pierce College Graduation website for details. https://www.pierce.ctc.edu/graduation

7. Problem Based Research

  • Course purpose: This class will assist you with your academic research and citation. This is not only imperative for your success in academic writing, but it also will help you research best practices and validate your evidence in order to best serve the community by making changes in the system. Information that is not credible can create more hurt in our system and to our citizens.

8. Introduction to Criminal Justice

  • Course purpose: This course gives an overview of theories and the major elements of the criminal justice system. You will be able to speak across the justice system and understand how the different elements (law enforcement, courts, corrections and support agencies) work together, or don’t at times.

9. Policing in America

  • Course purpose: Policing is a huge part of the justice system and a great career opportunity. This course will help you with the history of policing and its impact on the citizens the system serves as well as what is currently occurring in our policing systems and where it might change in the future. Often our understanding of Law Enforcement is different from what it is. This class will help to bridge those two truths.

10. General Physics I

  • Course purpose: This course will give you foundation for understanding how physics is linked to crime scene investigation. This course is needed to transfer into science programs at the four year level.

11. Criminal Justice Course Recommendation

Choose one

  • Course purpose: This course helps you understand the law, how it was developed and the elements of certain crimes. It is a course for all people who want to work in the justice field. You will also learn how to find out the ins and outs of a case and court processes.

  • Course purpose: This course breaks down that law as to what you are allowed to admit to court and not as it pertains to evidence. As a forensic technician, lawyer, or police officer, this class will help you see the end results of your work.

12. Culminating Project

  • Course purpose: In this course you will prove that you have met all the outcomes of this certificate. You will have an opportunity to show us what you have done in a 20 minute PowerPoint presentation to the criminal justice and Pierce College community. It is an exciting experience to see the great growth you have had at Pierce College.

Total Credits: 47

Program Code: 967C

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