Forensic Science Programs, Forensic Science Degree, Forensic Science University

Forensic Science
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Forensic science is the application of science to criminal and civil laws, mainly—on the criminal side—during criminal investigation, as governed by the legal standards of admissible evidence and criminal procedure.

Forensic scientists collect, preserve, and analyze scientific evidence during the course of an investigation. While some forensic scientists travel to the scene of the crime to collect the evidence themselves, others occupy a laboratory role, performing analysis on objects brought to them by other individuals.

In addition to their laboratory role, forensic scientists testify as expert witnesses in both criminal and civil cases and can work for either the prosecution or the defense. While any field could technically be forensic, certain sections have developed over time to encompass the majority of forensically related cases.


  • Art     forensics concerns the art authentication cases to help research the     work's authenticity. Art authentication methods are used to detect and     identify forgery, faking and copying of art works, e.g. paintings.

  • Computational forensics concerns the     development of algorithms and software to assist forensic examination.

  • Criminalistics     is the application of various sciences to answer questions relating to     examination and comparison of biological evidence, trace     evidence, impression evidence (such as fingerprints,     footwear impressions, and tire tracks), controlled substances, ballistics,     firearm and toolmark examination, and other evidence in criminal     investigations. In typical circumstances evidence is processed in a crime lab.

  • Digital forensics is the application of     proven scientific methods and techniques in order to recover data from     electronic / digital media. Digital Forensic specialists work in the field     as well as in the lab.

  • Ear print analysis is used as a means of     forensic identification intended as an identification tool similar to     fingerprinting. An earprint is a two-dimensional reproduction of the parts     of the outer ear that have touched a specific surface (most commonly the     helix, antihelix, tragus and antitragus).

  • Forensic accounting is the study and     interpretation of accounting evidence.

  • Forensic aerial     photography is the study and interpretation of aerial photographic     evidence.

  • Forensic anthropology is the application     of physical anthropology in a legal     setting, usually for the recovery and identification of skeletonized human remains.

  • Forensic archaeology is the application     of a combination of archaeological techniques and forensic science,     typically in law enforcement.

  • Forensic astronomy uses methods from astronomy     to determine past celestial constellations for forensic purposes.

  • Forensic botany is the study of plant life in     order to gain information regarding possible crimes.

  • Forensic chemistry is the study of     detection and identification of illicit     drugs, accelerants used in arson cases,     explosive and gunshot residue.

  • Forensic     dactyloscopy is the study of fingerprints.

  • Forensic     document examination or questioned document examination     answers questions about a disputed document using a variety of scientific     processes and methods. Many examinations involve a comparison of the     questioned document, or components of the document, with a set of known     standards. The most common type of examination involves handwriting,     whereby the examiner tries to address concerns about potential authorship.

  • Forensic     DNA analysis takes advantage of the uniqueness of an individual's DNA     to answer forensic questions such as paternity/maternity testing and placing a     suspect at a crime scene, e.g. in a rape investigation.

  • Forensic engineering is the scientific     examination and analysis of structures and products relating to their     failure or cause of damage.

  • Forensic entomology deals with the     examination of insects in, on and around human remains to assist in     determination of time or location of death. It is also possible to     determine if the body was moved after death using entomology.

  • Forensic geology deals with trace     evidence in the form of soils, minerals and petroleum.

  • Forensic     geomorphology is the study of the ground surface to look for potential     location(s) of buried object(s).[58]

  • Forensic geophysics is the application of     geophysical techniques such as radar for detecting objects hidden     underground[59]     or underwater.[60]

  • Forensic intelligence     process starts with the collection of data and ends with the integration     of results within into the analysis of crimes under investigation.[61]

  • Forensic Interviews     are conducted using the science of professionally using expertise to     conduct a variety of investigative interviews with victims, witnesses,     suspects or other sources to determine the facts regarding suspicions,     allegations or specific incidents in either public or private sector     settings.

  • Forensic limnology is the analysis of     evidence collected from crime scenes in or around fresh-water sources.     Examination of biological organisms, in particular diatoms, can     be useful in connecting suspects with victims.

  • Forensic linguistics deals with issues in     the legal system that requires linguistic expertise.

  • Forensic meteorology is a site-specific     analysis of past weather conditions for a point of loss.

  • Forensic odontology is the study of the     uniqueness of dentition, better known as the study of teeth.

  • Forensic optometry is     the study of glasses and other eyewear relating to crime scenes and     criminal investigations.

  • Forensic pathology is a field in which the     principles of medicine and pathology     are applied to determine a cause of death or injury in the context of a     legal inquiry.

  • Forensic podiatry is an application of the     study of feet footprint or footwear and their traces to analyze scene     of crime and to establish personal identity in forensic examinations.

  • Forensic psychiatry is a specialized     branch of psychiatry as applied to and based on scientific criminology.

  • Forensic psychology is the study of the     mind of an individual, using forensic methods. Usually it determines the     circumstances behind a criminal's behavior.

  • Forensic seismology is the study of     techniques to distinguish the seismic signals generated by underground     nuclear explosions from those generated by earthquakes.

  • Forensic serology is the study of the body     fluids.[62]

  • Forensic social work is the specialist study     of social     work theories and their applications to a clinical, criminal justice     or psychiatric     setting. Practitioners of forensic social work connected with the criminal justice system are often     termed Social Supervisors, whilst the remaining use the interchangeable     titles forensic social     worker, approved mental health     professional or forensic practitioner and they conduct specialist     assessments of risk, care planning and act as an officer of the court.

  • Forensic toxicology is the study of the     effect of drugs and poisons on/in     the human body.

  • Forensic video analysis is the     scientific examination, comparison and evaluation of video in legal     matters.

  • Mobile device forensics is the     scientific examination and evaluation of evidence found in mobile phones,     e.g. Call History and Deleted SMS, and includes SIM Card Forensics.

  • Trace     evidence analysis is the analysis and comparison of trace evidence     including glass, paint, fibres and hair (e.g., using micro-spectrophotometry).

  • Wildlife forensic science applies a     range of scientific disciplines to legal cases involving non-human     biological evidence, to solve crimes such as poaching, animal     abuse, and trade in endangered species.

  • Bloodstain pattern analysis is the     scientific examination of blood spatter patterns found at a crime scene to     reconstruct the events of the crime.


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