2018-2019 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 19, 2024  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Medicolegal Death Investigation Certificate

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Michael Sponsler, sponsler@syr.edu
Professor of Chemistry, Director of Curricular Programs for the Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute at Syracuse University
1-014 Center Sci & Tech


Michael Sponsler, sponsler@syr.edu
1-014 Center Sci & Tech

Program Description:

The Certificate in Medicolegal Death Investigation is a 12-credit program that offers instruction that can be tailored to a wide variety of professionals who may either directly or tangentially become involved in cases of deaths that require investigation. In addition to those in the medicolegal field, this includes primary responders (police officers, paramedics, etc.), coroners, funeral directors, and others who have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree. Knowledge gained in this certificate will help these professionals to aid the investigation in death cases by preserving evidence, providing suitable documentation, and appropriately interacting with others at the scene or involved in the case. Thus, this certificate program will help these various people become more effective in their own professions as it intersects with death investigation.


The primary criterion for admission into this program will be employment in a position that potentially impacts the investigations in death cases, requiring the knowledge that this program offers.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. 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. Demonstrate how crime scenes are processed, how chain of custody is preserved and documented, and how medicolegal death investigators and crime scene investigators work together

5. Explain the duties of a medicolegal death investigator


Transfer Credit

Maximum of 3 credits

Part-time Study

May be pursued


Certificate in Medicolegal Death Investigation

Total Credits: 12 (limit of 3 transfer credits)

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