In 1248 A.D., a presiding judge for the high courts in China, Song Ci, described a homicide where a peasant was murdered with a sickle, with no witnesses to the crime. A death investigator asked the local peasants to bring their sickles to the town square and place them on the ground. In the hot sun, as time passed, flies began to gather on one of the sickles; attracted to the smell of blood, they pointed to the guilty person. Forensic science has changed substantially since the 13th century, however, the purpose is the same – to apply scientific methods and principles to questions of interest to the law, in order to serve justice.
The Forensic Science Graduate Certificate program at Iowa State University was developed in consultation with crime labs across several states, to help prepare students for careers in the forensic sciences and to serve the larger forensics community. It is intended for graduate students and advanced undergraduates with a strong background in the physical or life sciences, or engineering. In this program, students will take courses from a broad range of scientific disciplines, and become familiar with the current educational and training requirements for careers as criminalists, crime lab technicians, in research and development and as crime scene investigators.