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Certificate of Achievement
Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics

The Certificate of Achievement in Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics offers instruction in the areas of crime scene processing and documentation, evidence preservation, blood spatter, DNA, fingerprints, photography, report writing, and legal issues relating to physical evidence. The curriculum prepares students with a foundation in crime scene investigations (CSI) and forensics, and is designed to meet the needs of students seeking an entry-level civilian position working crime scenes or handling evidence, as well as to enhance the credentials of law enforcement officers interested in CSI.

Please contact the Student Success Team for this program if you have any questions.

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Sample Education Plan

This sample education plan for the 2023-2024 catalog year represents one possible pathway through the program. Each university (UC, CSU, private, and others) has their own transfer requirements; please see a counselor to create an education plan that is customized to meet your needs. Additional course descriptions may be found in the College Catalog.
CourseUnitsTypically Offered
1st Semester
AJ 102 - Criminal ProceduresM3.0
AJ 102 - Criminal Procedures (3.0 units)

Advisory:It is advised that students be able to engage in written composition at a college level and be able to read college-level texts.
Transfers to: CSU

This course provides students with an in-depth study of the legal responsibilities of law enforcement. Emphasis is placed on the judicial segment of the administration of justice system. Topics include laws of arrest, custody, and analyses of the past, present, and future procedures for each subsystem within the administration of justice system, from initial entry to final disposition. The relationship each segment maintains with system members is also covered.

AJ 208 - Principles of InvestigationM3.0
AJ 208 - Principles of Investigation (3.0 units)

Advisory: AJ 101
Transfers to: CSU

This course addresses the techniques, procedures, and ethical issues in the investigation of crime. The topics covered include the organization of the investigative process, crime scene searches, interviewing and interrogating, surveillance, source of information, utility of evidence, scientific analysis of evidence, and the role of the investigator in the trial process.

Total Semester Units:6.0 
2nd Semester
AJ 135 - Introduction to CriminalisticsM3.0
AJ 135 - Introduction to Criminalistics (3.0 units)

Prerequisite:AJ 102
Transfers to: CSU

This course is an introduction to forensic science and its role in criminal investigations. The course examines the basic methods of collecting, analyzing, and reporting evidence, and through the development of practical skills in crime scene techniques, addresses topics including computer crimes; biological evidence like fingerprints, blood, the skeleton, tooth marks, and hair; pathology and toxicology; and evidence associated with forensic chemistry like fibers and traces, discharged firearms, accelerants, and illicit drugs.

AJ 275 - Introduction to Forensic ScienceM3.0
AJ 275 - Introduction to Forensic Science (3.0 units)

Advisory:It is advised that students be able to engage in written composition at a college level and be able to read college-level texts.
Transfers to: CSU

This course prepares administration of justice, forensic science, and California peace officer students for the Forensic Science Identification Program. The course provides an introduction to the role of forensics in criminal investigations, examining methods utilized in the forensic analysis of crime scenes, pattern evidence, instruments, firearms, questioned documents, and controlled substances.

Total Semester Units:6.0 
Summer 1
AJ 136 - Crime Scene InvestigationsM3.0
AJ 136 - Crime Scene Investigations (3.0 units)

Prerequisite:AJ 135
Transfers to: CSU

This course is a continuation of Introduction to Criminalistics (AJ 135). It provides an introduction to and opportunities for the practical application of advanced forensics in criminal investigations, as well as interview and interrogation techniques utilized after crime scene analysis and crime reconstruction. The course focuses on forensic methods, with topics that include crime scene analysis, responsibilities, and processing; physical, testimonial, trace, impression, and firearms evidence; blood and bodily fluids; arson; illicit drugs and clandestine laboratories; and sexual assaults, domestic abuse, burglaries, and homicides.

Total Semester Units:3.0 
Total Units for Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics COA program 15.0 
AP exams and courses taken outside of Rio Hondo College may fulfill general education and/or major requirements. Please check with a counselor.
M Major course; course may also meet a general education requirement
Advising Sheet:
Click or tap here to open the program's advising sheet.

Program Learning Outcomes

About RHC

Rio Hondo College, serving the communities of El Monte, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs, South El Monte, and Whittier for over 50 years.


Rio Hondo College
3600 Workman Mill Road
Whittier, CA 90601

Phone: (562) 692-0921
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