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crime scene markers

Bachelor of Criminal Justice


Online & On Campus

Engage in CSI Episodes in the Real World of Crime.

Criminalistics is the application of scientific methods to evaluate physical evidence from a crime scene for use in criminal proceedings. Tiffin University’s criminalistics program will teach you specific skills in gathering, evaluating and preserving evidence at crime scenes. You’ll receive a solid foundation for your career as a crime scene investigator, working in local, state and federal police departments, as well as private investigative services.

The Bachelor of Criminal Justice in Criminalistics is intended for students who desire to become law enforcement officers specializing in the area of forensic evidence. In the program, you’ll learn to identify, sort, compare, interpret and catalog evidence according to strict legal and scientific rules. The major provides a focus for the student who wishes to be a crime scene investigator but who is not interested in conducting laboratory analysis of evidence.

The criminalistics program combines classroom teaching with a unique progression of hands-on learning that advances your experience from the crime scene to the courtroom. You’ll link theory to practice in our crime scene house, where you’ll gain valuable practical experience processing mock crime scenes.

Professional Criminalistics Training
  • The criminalistics program emphasizes investigation of specific crimes including, but not limited to, homicide, sexual assault, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, theft, auto theft and arson.
  • You’ll develop expert knowledge in processing physical evidence, including blood and biological, impression, fingerprint, firearm, drug, digital, tool mark and trace evidence.
  • You’ll work closely with faculty who bring significant field experience in the discipline.
  • You’ll engage in many experiential learning opportunities, from our crime scene house to a hands-on course in death investigations.
  • You’ll develop skills that are key to a successful criminalistics career, such as critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

In the criminalistics program, you’ll study with professors who bring years of law enforcement experience, including extensive work in evidence processing. Our faculty’s real-world field experience greatly enriches content offered in courses, helping you to link theory with professional criminalistics practice.

Ohio Police Officer Training Academy (OPOTA)

To be a sworn police officer in Ohio, you must successfully complete the Ohio Police Officer Training Academy (OPOTA). Tiffin University partners with Terra State Community College to include the cost of the academy in tuition and can be earned in just one semester.

This unique training academy is state mandated for all police officers and covers firearms, legal administration, human relations, traffic, patrol, driving, subject control, investigations, civil disorder, physical conditioning and other aspects of law enforcement. Students apply direct, hands-on practice in the crime lab, firing range and police cruisers. With experienced, certified instructors and hands-on application, our students consistently achieve passing rates on the state-certified exam. Once graduates of the program earn the certification, they are immediately eligible for full-time employment.

A Practical, Professional Education
  • Technological advances have made forensic information increasingly essential in criminal proceedings.
  • You’ll gain practical experience in crime scene processing.
  • You’ll learn best practices for the handling, identifying, and evaluating evidence.
  • The practitioner-based focus of our criminalistics curriculum is well aligned with the professional focus of our University.

Criminalistics is a hands-on type of field, and as such, training and preparation for such a field should be as well. In your Applied Criminal Investigation and Criminalistics course, you’ll investigate a “mock” crime scene, collect and analyze evidence obtained and present your investigation in a “moot” court. In Criminal Trial Evidence, you’ll engage in a mock trial, as you and other students role-play the various participants in a criminal court case. As part of your Death Investigation course, you’ll participate in a field trip to a major metropolitan area morgue.

And, as with all our criminal justice programs, you’ll participate in a required internship. Internship possibilities are wide-ranging. A recent graduate served his internship in the White House Protocol Office, which led to a permanent job with the White House Staff as Director of Protocol. Another student completed her internship at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Washington, D.C.

Bringing Knowledge to Practice
  • In most classes, professors don’t simply lecture for the class hour, but instead mix lecture with group work and practical exercises.
  • Group work is constant and replicates the cooperation needed for success in real-world criminalistics.
  • Our crime scene house provides hands-on experience in processing mock crime scenes.
  • All criminalistics students must complete a 150-hour professional internship in the field.

Core Curriculum of the School of Criminal Justice = 18 hours

Criminalistics Major = 48 hours

  • CDS334 Technology and Crime – 3 hours
  • CDS351 Survey of Computer Forensics – 3 hours
  • CST155 Introduction to Operating Systems – 3 hours
  • ENF239 Applied Criminal Investigation & Criminalistics – 3 hours
  • ENF293 Criminology (w) – 3 hours
  • ENF355 Forensic Investigation of Sex Crimes – 3 hours
  • ENF432 Death Investigations – 3 hours
  • ENF468 Criminal Justice Reporting Writing – 3 hours
  • FSC115 Introduction to Forensic Science – 3 hours
  • FSC115L Introduction to Forensic Science Lab – 1 hour
  • JUS461 Senior Seminar in Criminal Justice – 3 hours
  • JUS465 Trial Evidence (Capstone) – 4 hours
  • NAT150 Human Anatomy and Physiology – 3 hours
  • NAT150L Human Anatomy and Physiology lab – 1 hour
  • NAT291 Drugs and the Body – 3 hours
  • PSY362 Abnormal Behavior – 3 hours
  • PSY101 Introduction to Psychology – 3 hours

Total – 48 hours

Some courses may have prerequisites. See course description for details.

Total Bachelor of Criminal Justice hours = 121

This is a sample course sequence to illustrate course offerings for this major. Consult the official Academic Bulletin for detailed registration and advising information.


Applied Criminal Investigation and Criminalistics (ENF239) – Emphasis on the investigation of specific crimes including, but not limited to, homicide, sexual assault, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, theft, auto theft and arson. Students will be required to investigate a “mock” crime scene, collect and analyze evidence obtained and present their investigation in a “moot” court.

Advanced Criminalistics (ENF320) – This course focuses on crime scene investigative processes, methods, and procedures. It expands on the topics covered in FSC115 and ENF239. It offers the student the opportunity to apply scientific theory in a practical setting. Topics include the role of the first responder to the crime scene, methodologies to approaching the crime scene, crime scene analysis, a thorough overview of the gamut of physical evidence including blood and biological, impression, fingerprint, firearm, drug, digital, tool mark and trace evidence. Additionally, this course offers familiarization with specialized investigations including death, arson, mass fatalities and sex crimes investigations. It is designed with the duties of the field criminalist in mind.

Forensic Investigation of Sex Crimes (ENF355) – This course presents a detailed overview of the responsibilities of a sex crimes investigator including information regarding victim’s issues, legal issues, search and seizure issues as well as mechanics of a sexual assault investigation and secondary traumatic stress syndrome. This course will also examine different types of offenders and specific issues unique to sex crimes investigations.


On Campus – Offered in a 15-week semester format with start dates of January and August

Online – Offered in two terms per semester starting in January, March, May, July, August and October

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that openings for forensic technicians would increase by 14 percent in the decade preceding 2029, which is more than triple the average for all occupations nationally (4 percent).

  • Adult Parole Authority
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Fire Arms and Explosives
  • Coroner’s Office/ Medical Examiner’s Office
  • Correctional Officer
  • Crime Scene Investigator
  • Criminal Investigator
  • Detective
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Forensic Laboratories in Police
  • Intelligence Agencies
  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Lawyer
  • Private Forensic Agencies in Drug Enforcement
  • Secret Service
  • Sheriff’s Offices
  • Sumter County Youth Center
  • U.S. Postal Service
  • U.S. Secret Service

While it is extremely competitive to obtain such appointments, TU alumni have gone on to careers in these agencies:

  • Eastern Ohio Corrections Center
  • Federal Police Departments
  • Local Police Departments
  • Office of the Medical Examiner, Pensacola, Florida
  • Private Investigator
  • Seneca County Sheriff’s Office
  • State Police Departments

Tiffin University brings in instructors that have the education and the experience to pass on to our students.  Our instructors come from Toledo Police Department (OH), Perrysburg Police Division (OH), Norwalk Police Department (OH), Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office (OH), Wayne County Sheriff’s Office (OH), Lucas County Sheriff’s Office (OH), Weirton Police Department (WV), United States Secret Service, United States Army, United States Navy, United States Air Force, Ohio Army National Guard, and Ohio Air National Guard.   Our instructors have held roles as homicide detectives, crimes against person detectives, internet child pornography detectives, command officers, general detectives, chiefs of police, special agents, undercover narcotics agents, military police officers, road patrol officers, federal task force members and homeland security agents.

Program Requirements


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“Tiffin University gave me my best friend and pushed me to my highest potential. The OPOTA program put me ahead in the hiring process and my bachelor’s degree set me apart from other candidates.”

– Cassidy Ralph, Class of 2019
Bachelor of Criminal Justice in Law Enforcement
Police Officer with the City of Marysville Division of Police
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