Students in their graduating year may choose to complete either an independent Thesis Research or a Directed Studies project.
The Thesis Project provides students with the opportunity, under the supervision of a faculty member or a forensic professional, to integrate and synthesize knowledge gained throughout their program of study. Students must complete a minimum of 280 hours of independent work. The written and oral thesis defense includes a literature review, methods, results and significance of the research.
The Directed Studies Project requires independent research of a current topic in a specialized area of forensic science, including, but not restricted to, biology, chemistry, anthropology and the application of science to law. Topics are selected from current research literature and involve a review and critical appraisal of underlying experimental principles. The course comprises independent library research, participation in weekly meetings, as well as written and oral presentations.
Beginning in May 2016, students will have the option of taking a Mock Crime Scene Practicum course. Students will investigate a simulated major crime scene synthesizing the knowledge they have gained throughout the forensic science program. They will participate in all aspects of a forensic science investigation, from crime scene to lab, culminating with expert witness testimony in a mock court setting. A mock crime scene scenario will provide an opportunity for students to further develop good judgment, critical thinking and deductive reasoning skills.