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Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) Certificate Program

The Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) Certificate program is a combined curriculum consisting of (80) hours of crime scene investigation training modules.  This training will provide both the skills and knowledge of crime scene investigation, forensic analysis, and utilizes a “hands-on” application of crime scene investigative techniques both in the classroom and in mock simulations.  This program is designed to give the student an overview of crime scene investigations and upon completion of this course will assist students in meeting the minimum requirements for this profession.

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This program is based on the Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Field Evidence Technician Program (FET) given to working peace officers and crime scene investigators. This course is designed to prepare students for a career as a Crime Scene Investigator.

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Course Overview


  1. Introduction to Crime Scene Investigation
  2. Fingerprints at the Crime Scene
  3. Biological and Trace Evidence at the Crime Scene
  4. Impression Evidence & Chemical Processing of Evidence
  5. Photography for the Crime Scene Investigator
  6. Death Investigations at the Crime Scene
  7. Firearms Evidence and Scene Analysis
  8. Fingerprint Analysis and Comparison
  9. Crime Scene Practical
  10. Interview Skills and Courtroom Testimony

The course will culminate with a practical exercise whereby the class will utilize a team approach at a realistic crime scene. This is a true judge of how well the participants have learned the skills and techniques taught in the course.  The final module consists of interview strategies for obtaining employment and will be conducted by experienced professionals who are currently working in the field.  Modules 9 and 10 require completion of Modules 1-8 or permission from the Coordinator.

Schedule and Attendance

You must attend all ten modules in order to receive your certificate. Each module begins at 8 AM and ends at 5 PM with a one hour lunch break at mid-day, with the exception of the Night Photography module. Please be prepared for a late start on the date of your photography module. In each module you will be required to sign in at the beginning of class and sign out at the end of class.  If for some reason you have to miss a module for illness, family emergency, etc. or if you have to leave class early to attend another event you will be required to make up that module next semester.  Should you miss any part of a module for any reason then you will not be able to participate in the Practicum (module 9) and the Interview Skills and Courtroom Testimony (module 10) until those missed modules are made up.  There is no make-up work that can be done for the material in each module. The majority of the work completed in class is hands on experience that is discussed, demonstrated and practiced in class.

Internship Opportunities

We will attempt to assist successful qualified graduates of this program to find CSI internship positions at local agencies.  Positions are limited and are not guaranteed.


Each module is $220 for a total of $2200. Payment for the first module is due upon registration, and payment for each subsequent module is due by 5 PM on the Wednesday prior to class. For example, if Module 2 is scheduled for Saturday, September 18 then your payment is due Wednesday, September 15. Failure to submit payments on time will result in a $50 late fee or dismissal from the course.

Application Process

Each prospective student will be required to complete a course application for the semester they are interested in attending. These will be reviewed by the Center for Criminal Justice and the first 24 qualified students will be selected. Once your application is received, please allow up to two weeks for processing. Students will be advised of their application status after all documents are reviewed. A payment of $220 is due at the time of acceptance.

You are encouraged to apply as soon as the application period is open as we have a very high demand for this course. Once the application period ends, you will not be able to submit an application. Failure to disclose correct information or the provision of incorrect/inaccurate information will result in denial of application or immediate dismissal from the program without refund.

Please download the application packet for the semester you would like to attend and submit it to These are available for download in the drop-down menus below.

Alternative Credit

Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) are available through CCPE. If interested ask for additional information regarding CEU’s.

2021 Fall Dates

  • September 11, 2021 - Module 1: Introduction to Crime Scene Investigations
  • September 18, 2021 - Module 2: Latent Fingerprints and Chemical Processing
  • September 25, 2021 - Module 3: Biological and Trace Evidence at the Crime Scene
  • October 2, 2021 - Module 4: Impression Evidence
  • October 9, 2021 - Module 5: Crime Scene Photography and Night Photography
  • October 16, 2021 - Module 6: Death Investigations at the Crime Scene
  • October 23, 2021 - Module 7: Firearms Evidence
  • October 30, 2021 - Module 8: Fingerprint and Latent Print Comparison
  • November 6, 2021 - Module 9: Crime Scene Practical
  • November 13, 2021 - Module 10: Courtroom Testimony and Career Prep


Sheraton Garden Grove
12221 Harbor Blvd
Garden Grove, CA 90840


Status: This session is now closed.

2022 Spring Dates

  • January 22, 2022 - Module 1: Introduction to Crime Scene Investigations
  • January 29, 2022 - Module 2: Latent Fingerprints and Chemical Processing
  • February 5, 2022 - Module 3: Biological and Trace Evidence at the Crime Scene
  • February 12, 2022 - Module 4: Impression Evidence
  • February 19, 2022 - Module 5: Crime Scene Photography and Night Photography
  • March 5, 2022 - Module 6: Death Investigations at the Crime Scene
  • March 12, 2022 - Module 7: Firearms Evidence
  • March 19, 2022 - Module 8: Fingerprint and Latent Print Comparison
  • March 26, 2022 - Module 9: Crime Scene Practical
  • April 9, 2022 - Module 10: Courtroom Testimony and Career Prep


Sheraton Garden Grove
12221 Harbor Blvd
Garden Grove, CA 90840


Status: This session is now closed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I attend half of the modules this semester and half of them next semester?

No. You must register for all 10 modules in one semester. If you miss a module due to an emergency, we will try to help you make it up the following semester.

Is there a payment plan?

Yes, you will be able to make payment for the semester in installments.

Do you offer financial aid?

There is no financial aid available for this course.

Do I need to be a CSULB student in order to register?

No, this course is not limited to Cal State Long Beach students.

What requirements do I need to meet to register?

You must have graduated from high school and have an interest in working as a Crime Scene Investigator. We will be selecting the best candidates from the applicants.

I work at a law enforcement agency - can I take this course?

Registration is open to anyone, however if you are already employed by a law enforcement agency you are eligible to attend our POST-certified CSI/FET course. You will not earn POST credit for this certificate course, only for the POST-certified course. You must have approval from your department to register for the POST course.

Can I register online?

Registration procedure is currently undergoing some changes. Please check back for more information.

How often do you run this course?

We run this course every Spring and Fall semester. Occasionally, we may offer accelerated or special sessions if we have a lot of interest. You will see these listed here on the website.

If I am accepted into the program, can I defer my enrollment to a later semester?

No, your acceptance is for one semester only. A change of plans or request to defer constitutes a cancellation and cancellation fees may apply. You will need to re-apply for subsequent semesters.

Does this program count toward my undergraduate or graduate degree?

No, this course is not eligible for college credit. However, you may earn Continuing Education Units (CEU's) through CCPE.

Does this course make me a Crime Scene Investigator?

This course gives you hands-on, real-world experience to aid you in acquiring a position as an active Crime Scene Investigator. There is no state-wide certification process for CSIs.

Is this certificate a requirement to apply to job openings?

Not necessarily. Each job posting will have slightly varied requirements, however this course will provide experience that interviewers are looking for in a candidate.

Will I be assigned to an internship once I complete this program?

We do not guarantee internship or job placement, but all of our instructors are active employees in the CSI field and may notify you of openings if they think you would be a good fit.

What exactly is a CSI?

A Crime Scene Investigator is responsible for the collection and documentation of evidence at crime scenes.

I'm interested in forensics and lab work - is this the right course for me?

Unlike you may see on TV, CSIs rarely work in a lab setting. If you would like to process evidence once it is submitted to the lab, we recommend searching for programs or trainings in forensics or hard sciences. Many lab-based positions will require a Bachelor's of Science as a minimum qualification.

If you have questions, please contact the Center for Criminal Justice Research and Training at 562-985-4940 or