2022-2023 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 15, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Medicolegal Death Investigation, MS

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Michael Sponsler


Kathleen Corrado, Brian Ehret, Robert Stoppacher, Jonathan Adelman, James Crill, Ulrich Englich, James Hewett, Michael Marciano, Robert Silver, James T. Spencer, Michael B. Sponsler


The M.S. in Medicolegal Death Investigation is a focused degree program designed to prepare students for all aspects of a career as a death investigator.

This degree is intended for students who have selected this career path, and the objective is to prepare them both for the various aspects of this occupation (case investigation, understanding the body along with pathologies and trauma, autopsy, interviewing skills, securing and documenting evidence, courtroom testimony), as well as working effectively with and understanding other professionals whose roles intersect with death investigation (forensic pathologists, forensic scientists, crime scene investigators, law enforcement officers, toxicologists, and other medical and legal personnel).  Graduates of this program will be exceptionally well prepared for this career relative to most applicants for the positions.

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. Explain 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 quality assurance standards and protocols in death scene settings

6. Employ statistical methods and evaluate statistical results to solve problems in forensic science and to communicate findings

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

8. Demonstrate the methods of forensic pathology

9. Explain the duties of a medicolegal death investigator

Total Credits: 36

Gateway Courses: 27 Credits Required

Three of the courses on this list, FSC 657, FSC 668, and ANT 633, serve as options for a single requirement.


Internship: 3 Credits Required

  • FSC 670 - Expereince Credit 3 credit(s) 

Each student is required to participate in an internship in a medical examiner’s office, related to forensic pathology and/or medicolegal death investigation.  Credits in excess of 3 will be counted as elective credits.

Seminar Requirement

​Each student is required to participate in the FNSSI seminar program by attending at least 50% of the seminars during their semesters as an M.S. student in Syracuse.

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