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college students collecting evidence in lab

Cold Case Fellowship Program

Accepting applications now for fall 2024

By working real cold cases and taking classes taught by faculty with criminal justice experience, the Cold Case Fellowship Program provides students with real experiences and opportunities that will benefit them far into their future career. Through the program, the University incorporates the brightest and best TU students to look at actual cold cases with a fresh set of eyes and a clear lens. The students will work on the case at least 10 hours per week throughout the academic year. This cohort experience (capped at 25 new students per academic year) is open to a diverse population of students, not just criminal justice and social science majors. Students can be enrolled in programs in business, leadership, accounting, forensic accounting and more. The Fellowship also offers a seamless transition from the bachelor’s to graduate program, with a special recognition at commencement.

During the Fellowship, students will be taking part in various immersion experiences, based on the cold case work. These experiences could include:

  • Traveling to location of cold cases
  • Examining files, developing leads, making recommendations for further investigation
  • Learning investigative skills, critical thinking skills, communication, teamwork, leadership development in a cold case environment
  • Leadership opportunities
  • Achieving certifications, licensure and badging
  • Career development and readiness

I am excited to be part of the development of the Cold Case Fellowship Program at Tiffin University. The growing need for cold case work is well established in our society. Advancements in forensic technology in recent years have turned the tables toward the solving of cold cases. And Tiffin students, supported by a faculty with an expansive depth and breadth of professional experience, are well-positioned to investigate cold cases, assist law enforcement agencies, and seek justice for victims and their families.

peter piraino
— Dr. Pete Piraino / Dean, School of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences

Cold case fellowship experience

  • Learning common terminology 
  • Leadership of self 
  • Speaker Series
  • Travel immersion experience 
  • Familiarization with program
  • Cold case scenarios
  • JUS110 (Introduction to Criminal Justice) will be required in the first year.  Non-CJSS students must take this course as an elective.
  • Leadership of self to others
  • Speaker series
  • Travel immersion experience
  • Cold case training modules
  • ENF239 (Applied Investigation & Criminalistics) and FOR105 (Victimology) will be required by the end of the second year.  Non-CJSS students and CJSS students whose curriculum does not require these courses, must take these courses as electives.
  • Actively working on a cold case
  • Earning certifications
  • Exploring internships opportunities
  • Speaker series
  • Learning to work well in a team environment
  • Travel immersion experience
  • Leading organizations, teams, and/or systems
  • Actively working on a cold case
  • Earning certifications
  • Complete an internship
  • Speaker series
  • Lead a cold case team
  • Travel immersion experience
  • Consulting/Design work
  • Speaker series
  • Travel immersion experience

To apply:

Application deadline is March 1.

  • Complete the TU undergraduate new student application for the fall 2023 semester. When asked if you are interested in the Cold Case Fellowship Program mark “yes”.
  • Submit an essay explaining why you are interested in the program.
  • GPA requirement: minimum 3.0 high school GPA; maintain a 3.0 college GPA and above to remain in program.
  • Participate in a Cold Case Fellowship Program Open House (includes a problem-solving experience).
  • Interview
  • Cold Case Fellowship Program contract — all students accepted into the Cold Case Fellowship Program must continue to meet the fellowship GPA requirements, be active and engaged in all fellowship activities, and observe all fellowship policies.

Open House

This Open House will give students the opportunity to learn more about the program, hear from professional speakers with years of experience in cold case investigations and work side-by-side with TU faculty and other students on critical thinking and problem solving skills relevant to investigations.

TU’s previous cold case partnerships

Learn More
criminal justice students in court
Tiffin University students partner on 1981 cold case.
Follow Kennedy, TU forensic science student, as she shares her experience with TU’s Cold Case Fellowship Program!

Tiffin University’s Cold Case Fellowship provides a great opportunity for students to hone their career ready skills by developing their ability to lead, work in teams, and use technology and actual cold cases to sharpen their critical thinking and problem solving skills. Your cohort membership will give you a jump start on developing your professional network through the people you get to meet and work with.

— Dr. Peter J. Holbrook / Provost & Chief Academic Officer
To truly stand out, we must not feel compelled to fit in.