Certificate ProgramsCertificate Programs

Crime Scene Investigation Certificate

Apply for Candidacy

There is a nonrefundable application fee of $50 to declare candidacy in this program.

Contact Information

Learn more about the Crime Scene Investigation Certificate program.

Crime Scene Investigation Certificate

UCR Extension's Certificate in Crime Scene Investigation is a comprehensive, hands-on program that provides a foundation for a career in forensic science.

Participants in the certificate program will learn how to:

  • Be confident and knowledgeable in performing crime scene investigations.
  • Understand the basics of crime scene management including the proper collection and preservation of evidence, and chain-of-custody issues.
  • Have the technical skills to sample, photograph and recover evidence at a crime scene.

Who Can Benefit?

This program is designed for individuals who would like to enter the field of crime scene investigation and those currently in the field who would like to further develop their skills and expertise.

Read a student success story.

Completion Information

Completion Requirements

To earn the certificate, students must successfully complete (grade C or better) a total of 20 units: 16 units of required courses and four elective units.

Completion Time

The program can typically be completed in 12-15 months. However, this program is periodically offered in an intensive summer format. Learn more about the CSI Summer Academy.


Individual courses range from $425-$529. Total cost to complete this certificate is approximately $4,200-$4,400.
This does not include textbooks or materials unless otherwise noted.

Transfer Credit

Students may transfer up to four units from comparable courses offered by other accredited institutions. Official transcripts are required.



CSI instructors are practitioners and experts in their field. They provide real-world expertise and hands-on instruction.

  • Stacy Burris, B.A., Forensic Specialist, Ontario Police Department
  • Hiram Evans, M.S., Consulting Criminalist, Forensic Science Consultancy
  • David K. Faulkner, M.S., Entomologist, Forensic Entomology Servicer, San Diego
  • Alexis Gray, Ph.D., Forensic Anthropologist, Coroner's Office, County of San Bernardino
  • Craig Ogino, B.S., Crime Lab Manager, Chula Vista Police Department
  • Ann D. Punter, B.A., Supervisor, Evidence and Property, Ontario Police Department
  • George Reis, President of Imaging Forensic, providing consulting, training and litigation support in forensic image analysis
  • Frank P. Sheridan, M.D., Chief Medical Examiner, County of San Bernardino
  • Steve Staggs, Captain (retired), UC Riverside Police Department
  • Anthony Pelato, Sheriff Investigator, Riverside County Sheriff's Department

Instructor Opportunities

Interested in becoming an instructor at UCR Extension? Find out how.

Additional Information

Textbook Information

If a textbook is required, information is provided in the course listing when scheduled, on the confirmation you receive after enrolling, or by e-mail for an online class.

Equipment Needed for This Course

Digital cameras:
    NOTE: I recommend you use a quality digital camera for this class. Most students seem to do better using quality digital cameras in this class. With a digital camera you can review your photographs immediately after each photograph is taken as opposed to taking photographs with a film camera and needing to wait until you have the film developed to see if your photographs are acceptable. Also, most agencies use digital cameras. Eventually, all agencies will switch to digital photography. Therefore, you may want to use a digital camera for this course. If you choose to use a digital camera for this course, you must use a camera that has all the features necessary to complete all the assignments. Most "point-and-shoot" digital cameras are not suitable for this course. For this course digital cameras must:
    • Have a manual exposure mode with a "BULB" setting or a minimum shutter speed of 30 seconds or longer
    • Have one or more of the following automatic modes: S, A, Tv, or Av
    • Have an electronic flash
    • And you must provide high quality photographic prints for your notebook (you can print the yourself with a high quality printer or have them printed at a store)

      Simple digital cameras that can be operated in manual and/or automatic modes are best for this course. Cameras that can ONLY be operated in PROGRAM mode are not acceptable since many of the photography exercises during the class require techniques that cannot be accomplished in a program mode. Also, some students who bring advanced digital cameras find it difficult to do all the required techniques since some techniques require they override the advanced functions of the camera. Such advanced digital cameras should only be used in the class if you have a good working knowledge of the camera and its advanced functions.

    DIGITAL CAMERAS -- Required equipment and supplies for class
    • Digital camera with lens (digital cameras are acceptable if they have the features needed do all of the assignments--see above)
    • Extra camera battery(s)
    DIGITAL CAMERAS -- Highly recommended equipment for class
    • Wide angle lens (if your camera has a zoom lens the zoom lens will usually be adequate)
    • Close-up lens or device (such as close-up filters or extension tubes)
    • Supplemental electronic flash (not a flash built in the camera)
    • Remote cord for electronic flash (for operating the flash when it is off the camera)
    • Locking cable release
    • Tripod
    • Extra batteries for the electronic flash
    • Owner's manuals for the camera and electronic flash

Contact Information

Jennifer Campbell
(951) 827-5804

Summer Intensive

Summer Academy

During the CSI Summer Academy you receive instruction in 17 of 20 units required to earn the summer certificate. This intensive format makes the CSI Summer Academy particularly attractive to people who live some distance from UCR Extension and to those who have the summer open for continuing education.

Learn more about the Crime Scene Investigation Summer Academy.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Contact Information

UC Riverside Extension Center
1200 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92507-4596

UCR Extension Center

Tel: Work(951) 827-4105 or Toll-Free(800) 442-4990 toll-free
Fax: Fax(951) 827-7273