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Learn the basics of forensic document examination in one year or less.

There is a shortage of document examiners in the criminal justice system due to the limited education and training programs available across the United States. Preparation to become a document examiner is usually accomplished through on the job apprenticeship programs at local police departments. 

This 12-credit, four-course undergraduate certificate program offers you the courses necessary to prepare you for the experiential part of the document examination discipline, and can be completed in one year or less.

This certificate is ideal if you:

  • have a different undergraduate degree and are interested in changing your career path
  • are currently a crime scene investigator but lack the academic credentials and require continuing education
  • don't have a science degree and are looking for an alternative path within forensic science.

You'll learn:

  • how to protect and examine documents of forensic and historic significance
  • how to use state-of-the-art equipment in the examination of documents
  • how to record and collect evidence, maintaining the scientific integrity of the evidence in addition to the legal chain of custody
  • how to present and defend the findings of the investigation within a legal framework, either in courts or in deposition.

You'll work in the University of Baltimore's state-of-the-art Jami R. Grant Forensic Laboratories for instrumental analysis, microscopy and crime scene re-creation, built in conjunction with the Baltimore Police Department to train students and to serve as a reserve crime lab for the city. Your coursework in the lab will allow you to interact with forensic professionals and gain experience with sophisticated equipment. While your coursework will form the basis for board certification, this certificate is not equivalent to the Board of Forensic Document Examiners certification.

This certificate is not certified for financial aid eligibility as a stand-alone program; if you apply to and enroll in this program only, financial aid cannot be used.


Gainful employment information is provided to help you make an informed decision about this certificate program related to time and resources required to complete the program and possible employment outcomes.