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New Undergraduate Certificate in Forensic Sciences Begins this Fall at Idaho State University

August 22, 2022

Two students study a skeleton in the ground

Since eighth grade, Kailey Pease has known that she wanted to help figure out the puzzle of people’s lives through forensic work. 

Pease, a sophomore at Idaho State University studying anthropology, is the first student to officially sign up for the new undergraduate certificate in forensic science.

Created through a multi-disciplinary collaboration, the certificate officially begins this fall. Eight students are already enrolled. The certificate not only involves anthropology, but criminology, social work, chemistry, biology, psychology, communication media and persuasion, and the geosciences.The courses are field classes, where students get hands-on experiences and meet guest lecturers who work in the field. 

“They’re not your typical college lecture classes. Students are excited about it,” Kirsten Green Mink, assistant professor of anthropology said. 

With this certificate, students will have a leg-up in understanding more about the forensic field, as well as opportunities to discover different career paths. 

“This certificate helps fill niches and makes students more marketable in the job market,” Green Mink said. “The region has a need for qualified forensic professionals, and the certificate can help students on that path.”

The certificate was designed with three main pathways in mind: First, for law enforcement, both current professionals and those in training; second, for crime scene technicians; third, for students who want to pursue graduate school, such as for a medical examiner career. 

Pease’s ultimate goal is solving crimes, whether that means working with law enforcement or in a crime lab. 

“I think the certificate will have a lot of benefit and impact on what I want to do,” she said.

“I look at the students over the years who are drawn to anthropology,” College of Arts and Letters Dean Turley Ames said. “They want to solve problems. They have a burning question and want to understand how to use information to inform what we do in the future. We have all that and more here at ISU.”

For admission into the Certificate of Forensic Sciences students must be enrolled at Idaho State University as an undergraduate or a post-baccalaureate degree and apply to the certificate program within the home department of anthropology. Students from any major or field can enroll in the Certificate of Forensic Sciences.

For more information, please contact Kirsten Green Mink at kirstenmink@isu.edu, or the Department of Anthropology at 208-282-2629, or visit isu.edu/anthropology


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