2017-2018 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 25, 2024  
2017-2018 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Firearm and Toolmark Examination, CAS

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Michael Sponsler, Sponsler@syr.edu


Robert Silver, James T. Spencer, Michael B. Sponsler, Kevin Sweder, Ulrich Englich


This CAS is intended both for students who wish to become firearm and toolmark examiners and for newly hired examiners in need of training. A great need exists for training of firearm and toolmark examiners. Even after a candidate is hired into such a position, training of two years or more is typically needed before the new examiner can work independently on casework. This training comes at great expense particularly to smaller agencies, where efficiencies associated with the simultaneous training of multiple candidates cannot be achieved. This CAS, while not intended to fulfill all of the required training, can provide a useful start and/or supplement. The same courses may be counted toward a graduate degree at Syracuse University.


For students already admitted to Syracuse University as graduate students, an internal application for the CAS is required. For students not already at SU, the graduate school application with undergraduate transcript and one recommendation letter will be required, through which the applicant must show either that he or she holds a position for which the certificate is relevant or is aiming to obtain such a position and has a good undergraduate background.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Accurately define the field of forensic science and describe how it overlaps with their particular interests

2. Describe the relationship and interplay between forensic science and the legal system

3. Appreciate the importance of ethical standards and describe the means through which such standards are upheld in forensic science

4. Explain the importance and structure of quality assurance protocols and standards

5. Apply QA standards and protocols in the laboratory setting

6. Describe the duties of a firearm and tool mark examiner

7. Demonstrate competence in using comparison microscopy to evaluate and report on firearm and tool mark evidence


Electives - 3 Credits Required


*Relevant workshops will be run under FSC 640 , and these will be identified as appropriate for use as electives in this program.

Total Credit: 12

Degree Awarded:

Certificate of Advanced Study in Firearm and Toolmark Examination

Transfer Credit:

Limit of 3 transfer credits.

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