Student Handbook - 2023-2024 Edition







The Forensic Science Student Handbook has been created as a reference for students enrolled in the Utah Valley University Bachelor of Forensic Science (BSFS) degree as well as any other individual seeking information about the program. These policies and procedures apply to all BSFS students. This handbook also serves to demonstrate Utah Valley University’s (UVU) compliance with the accreditation standards established by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC).

This handbook provides an overview of all aspects of the program.  It contains policies and procedures for academic and professional standards, and progress throughout the program.  It also contains university wide policies and information about resources available through UVU.  This handbook was designed to supplement existing university policies and procedures that relate to the program.  All students are strongly encouraged to become familiar with this handbook, other program policies, and applicable university policies.

It is the responsibility of the student to be cognizant and abide by the rules, regulations, and policies described in this handbook. Any questions or concerns should be directed to the program director.  When the handbook does not cover a specific circumstance or the interpretation is not clear, the program director will make necessary decisions or interpretations.

Students are expected to remain current on all policies and procedures of the university and those specific to the program throughout their enrollment in the program.  This handbook will be reviewed during orientation.  At orientation, the student will sign an acknowledgement form which states that the student agrees to follow program and university policies and procedures throughout their enrollment. Students will be given ample time to review this handbook prior to signing the acknowledgement form (see Appendix A)





FEPAC Standard 3.2

Utah Valley University is an integrated university and community college that educates every student for success in work and life through excellence in engaged teaching, services, and scholarship.

UVU's culture supports our mission of student success. Student success encompasses both terminal degrees and the holistic education of students, and we believe that we can fulfill this mission best in an environment that allows all individuals to thrive personally and professionally. To this end, UVU operates in accordance with three core values: exceptional care, exceptional accountability, and exceptional results.

  1. Include

    1. Objective 1: UVU integrates educational opportunities appropriate to both community colleges and universities.

    2. Objective 2: UVU provides accessible, equitable, and culturally diverse learning experiences and resources for students of all backgrounds, including those historically underrepresented in higher education.

    3. Objective 3: UVU fosters an inviting, safe, and supportive environment in which students, faculty, and staff can succeed.

  2. Engage

    1. Objective 1: UVU faculty, staff, and students practice excellent, engaged teaching and learning activities as a community of scholars, creators, and practitioners.

    2. Objective 2: UVU develops relationships and outreach opportunities with students, alumni, and community stakeholders.

    3. Objective 3: UVU employees demonstrate a commitment to student success, professionalism, ethics, and accountability.

  3. Achieve

    1. Objective 1: UVU supports students in completing their educational goals

    2. Objective 2: UVU students master the learning outcomes of the university and their programs.

    3. Objective 3: UVU prepares students for success in their subsequent learning, professional, and civic pursuits.



The Essential Learning Outcomes (ELOs) are a comprehensive set of learning goals that are fostered and developed across a student's entire educational experience. They reflect the knowledge, skills, and competencies needed to meet the challenges of an ever-changing and complex world. The ELOs prepare students for future employment, life, and citizenship. With the achievement of these outcomes, UVU graduates will possess breadth and depth of knowledge, highly developed intellectual and practical skills, commitment to personal and social responsibility, awareness of the interdependence of communities, and the ability to synthesize and apply their learning to solve complex real-world problems.

  1. Integrative and Applied Learning: A student will engage in discipline-appropriate experiences with the academic and broader community through integrated and applied learning

  2. Intellectual and Practical Skills Foundation: A student will acquire a foundation of intellectual and practical skills including communication, quantitative reasoning, qualitative reasoning (critical, analytical, and creative thinking), and technical and information literacies.

  3. People of Integrity: A student will become personally and socially responsible by acquiring, developing, and demonstrating skills in ethical reasoning and understandings.

  4. Professional Competency: A student will demonstrate professional competence by meeting the established standards of the discipline, working as a valued member of a team, effectively formulating and solving problems, and actively seeking and honing lifelong learning skills.

  5. Stewards of Place: A student will demonstrate stewardship of local, national, and global communities by cultivating awareness of interdependence among those communities; issues within those communities; and organizations and skills that address such issues.

  6. Knowledge Foundation: A student will demonstrate knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world in the following areas of essential study: arts, history, humanities, languages, science and mathematics, social sciences. Knowledge Foundation refers to GE Distribution courses and other courses and experiences within the major.




FEPAC Standard 3.2

The mission of Utah Valley University Forensic Science academic program is to provide an engaged, multidisciplinary, exceptional forensic science education, which includes scientific research, ethical practices, and real-world experiences, upholding truth and justice within the criminal justice system.


We achieve our overall mission by focusing on UVU’s core values:


  •  Investing in each of our students, by teaching a high quality, comprehensive curriculum focused on student success within their chosen forensic   disciplines.

  •  Creating a supportive learning environment that promotes open communication between students and faculty.

  •  Providing student academic and career guidance.

  •  Embracing diversity within our program and student body.


  •  Hold students and faculty to a high level of academic integrity.

  •  Assist students in developing ethical, professional demeanor and proper interpersonal skills.

  •  Recognize student academic successes within forensic research and educational development


  • Employ theoretical and practical principles of chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics within our coursework.

  • Help students develop effective written and oral communication skills.

  • Provide networking opportunities for student relationships within the local forensic community.

  • Develop avenues of community engagement, research, and public education.





FEPAC Standard 3.1.1

The Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science – Laboratory and Forensic Investigation degrees are fully accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission.  

Accreditation is an important aspect of our educational programs, as it demonstrates that we have met established qualifications and standards set forth by the FEPAC accrediting body.  FEPAC’s mission is to maintain and to enhance the quality of forensic science education through a formal evaluation and promotes academic quality of college-level academic programs. 

In 2022, UVU’s Forensic Investigation degree program was the first of only two universities in the entire nation to receive FEPAC accreditation of a Crime Scene Investigation concentration.

Utah Valley University is accredited by Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, 8060 165th Avenue, Suite 100 Redmond, Washington 98052-3981 (425)558-4224.  For further information on this accreditation, please visitUVU's Accreditation webpage




FEPAC Standards 3.1.2, 3.6 4.0, 4.2.1


The forensic laboratory emphasis provides a traditional criminalistics educational background. This emphasis provides students with a comprehensive science-based undergraduate education, which enables students to enter into a forensic science career. Students learn the necessary technical and theoretical knowledge, skills, and abilities of modern forensic techniques. By employing the theoretical and practical principles of chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics, students will perform forensic science work commonly conducted within a crime laboratory.  Science-based study and application of these principles expose students to a stimulating academic environment conducive to scholarly inquiry. Students gain the knowledge and ability for research-based projects and for potential improvement of the forensic community. Throughout this program, students develop and employ effective written and oral communication skills required of forensic experts, as well as demonstrate work ethic, professional demeanor, reliability, and proper interpersonal skills.

Students wishing to further their career within a forensic laboratory focused on chemistry or biology should be enrolled in this emphasis.  The courses required will allow for the student to receive a solid foundation of chemistry and biology principles.  There is also an avenue for students to obtain more in depth studies within either a forensic chemistry or a forensic biology/DNA discipline, depending on the interest of the student.  Students must meet all required course work and requirements listed in the AS Forensic Science prior to matriculating into the BS program.  Once matriculated, the following courses will be required of all forensic laboratory students.  For a complete breakdown of the degree emphasis, please review the program catalog.

  • STAT 2040:  Principles of Statistics

  • BIOL 1620/1625:  College Biology II/Laboratory

  • BIOL 3500: Genetics

  • CHEM 2310/2315:  Organic Chemistry I/Laboratory

  • CHEM 2320/2325:  Organic Chemistry II/Laboratory

  • PHYS 2020/2025: College Physics II/Laboratory

  • BIOL/CHEM 3600/3605: Biological Chemistry/Laboratory

  • FSCI 3400: Criminalistics

  • FSCI 3820: Crime Scene Investigation Techniques I

  • FSCI 3860: Forensic Microscopy

  • FSCI 3880: Forensic Experts/Professional Practices and the Legal System

  • FSCI 3540: Forensic Trace Analysis I

  • FSCI 3550:  Forensic Trace Analysis II

  • Capstone Course (FSCI 443R or FSCI 481R)

  • 5 Additional Forensic Science credits


Students wishing to further their education towards Forensic Chemistry will be required to complete the following:

  • CHEM 3000/3005: Analytical Chemistry/Laboratory

  • CHEM 4000/4005: Instrumental Analysis/Laboratory


Students wishing to further their education towards Forensic Biology/DNA will be required to complete the following:

  • BIOL 3550/3555: Molecular Biology/Laboratory

  • BIOL 3515: Advanced Genetics Laboratory

  • BIOL 4500: Principles in Evolution


Program Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate theoretical knowledge, skills, and abilities of modern forensic techniques.

  • Analyze principles of biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics as they pertain to the forensic science applications commonly conducted within a crime laboratory.

  • Evaluate evidence commonly found at crime scenes.

  • Scientifically analyze evidence used in criminal investigations through presumptive and confirmatory measures.

  • Evaluate scientific results of the analysis of physical evidence and correlate their importance to criminal investigations.

  • Analyze legal considerations of forensic science, including scientific validity, constitutional law, qualifications, requirements, professional practices, and ethical skills needed of the forensic expert.




FEPAC Standards 3.1.2, 3.6 4.0, 4.2.5


The forensic investigation emphasis provides a broad, educational experience related to crime scene investigations and additional sub-disciplines within forensic investigations.  This emphasis provides an interdisciplinary program that prepares students for public, state, and federal careers with needed forensic investigation subject matter expertise and analytical skills. Students are exposed to the wide variety of critically important forensic investigation techniques, which are currently practiced by various forensic service providers and law enforcement agencies today.

Students learn techniques such as the identification and proper collection of evidence found at crime scenes, accurate crime scene documentation skills, forensic photography, death investigations, fingerprint processing/examinations, impression evidence/examination, bloodstain pattern analysis, crime scene reconstruction, firearms and tool mark evidence/examination. Students acquire skills such as critical thinking, writing, expert testimony, and analysis techniques specifically tailored for forensic investigation fieldwork. This emphasis provides students with the overall professional skills, work ethic, and demeanor required of forensic investigators.

Students wishing to further their career within CSI, medicolegal death investigations, latent prints, firearms examination, bloodstain pattern analysis and other such disciplines should be enrolled in this emphasis.  The courses required will allow for the student to receive a solid science and investigative foundation. Students must meet all required course work and requirements listed in the AS Forensic Science prior to matriculating into the BS program.  Once matriculated, the following courses will be required of all forensic investigation students. For a complete breakdown of the degree emphasis, please review the program catalog.

  • PHYS 2020/2025: College Physics II/Laboratory

  • FSCI 3300: Forensic Photography

  • FSCI 3400: Criminalistics

  • FSCI 3700: Fingerprint Processing

  • FSCI 3720: Fingerprint Examination

  • FSCI 3780: Bloodstain Pattern Analysis

  • FSCI 3820: Crime Scene Investigation Techniques I

  • FSCI 3830: Crime Scene Investigation Techniques II

  • FSCI 3860: Forensic Microscopy

  • FSCI 3880: Forensic Experts/Professional Practices and the Legal System

  • FSCI 4100: Forensic Pathology

  • FSCI 4200: Medicolegal Death Investigation

  • Capstone Course (FSCI 481R, 489R or 4990)

  • 21 Additional Forensic Science credits

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Conduct proper crime scene documentation procedures, which include notes, sketching, photography, crime scene reporting, evidence collection and packaging.

  • Identify physical evidence commonly encountered at crime scenes using various techniques from visual identification, alternate light source, chemical enhancements, and microscopy.

  • Analyze principles of biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics as they pertain to forensic science.

  • Scientifically analyze evidence used in criminal investigations through presumptive and confirmatory measures.

  • Evaluate basic to complex crime scenes through reconstruction and analysis techniques.

  • Evaluate proper approaches/techniques for death investigations through trauma analysis, investigative planning, coordination between law enforcement agencies and the medical examiner system.

  • Analyze legal considerations of forensic investigative work, including scientific validity, constitutional law, qualifications, requirements, professional practices and ethical skills needed of the forensic expert.




FEPAC Standard 3.5

The following is a listing of the program’s faculty and staff and their contact information. To reach other members of the program not listed, students may call the program office at 801-863-7230.

FEPAC accreditation refers to "forensic science faculty" as any faculty  or instructional staff member who teaches a forensic science course or a support course designed specifically for the program.   In addition to faculty who fall under UVU's Forensic Science Program, the program utilizes instructional faculty from other departments in UVU as well as community professionals with expertise in forensic science and other valuable experience.

Forensic Science Program Faculty



Forensic Laboratory Program Director

Elizabeth Chesna, PhD
Assistant Professor


Forensic Investigation Program Director

Amie Houghton, MFS
Associate Professor

[email protected]


Faculty, Forensic Investigation

Julissa Armstrong, MS
Assistant Professor

[email protected]



Parttime Faculty



Travis Ashdown, BS
Utah County Sheriff's Office

[email protected]


Marie Bross, BS
Utah County Sheriff's Office

[email protected]


Bryan Holden, BS
Utah Bureau of Forensic Science

[email protected]


Carl Hollan, JD
Utah Attorney General's Office

[email protected]


Danny Maynard, BS

[email protected]


Derek Mears, BS
Salt Lake City Crime Laboratory



Alexis Nelson, MFS
Former Utah Bureau of Forensic Science

[email protected]


Robyn Ostby, MS
West Valley Police Crime Laboratory

[email protected]


Alicia Palmer, BS

[email protected]


Angela Petersen, BS
Salt Lake City Crime Laboratory

[email protected]


Heidi Reynauld, BS
Unified Police Department Crime Laboratory

[email protected]


Hoa Trinh, PhD
Utah Bureau of Forensic Science

[email protected]


Bonnie Wilder-Estes, BS
Utah Bureau of Forensic Science

[email protected]


Emily Wood, BS
Unified Police Department Crime Laboratory

[email protected]


Student Academic Advisors



Student last name: A-K

Wendy Farnsworth

[email protected]


Student last name:  L-Z

Christina Fife

[email protected]


Administrative Staff



Administrative Assistant

Didi Mbutambe


[email protected]


Student Work Study

Reagan Perkins

[email protected]






FEPAC Standard 3.7

The program’s principal faculty and staff are committed to providing support and assistance to every student. The following UVU FS Program policies have been formulated to ensure the continuance of this commitment.

Each student is assigned a faculty advisor for the duration of his/her tenure in the program. Students will meet with their advisor at least once a semester for academic and professional advisement. This ensures that all students have continuity and equal access to an advisor. Faculty advisors serve as valuable resources for answering professional questions and providing counseling and advisement.

The role of the faculty advisor is to:

  • Advise students of specific curricular requirements of individual disciplines;

  • Assist the student in achieving academic and professional objectives;

  • Facilitate communication between the student and faculty;

  • Advise students in areas of academic or professional deficiencies;

  • Reinforce prescribed remediation plans.

Faculty advisors are also able to provide students with appropriate referrals and resources within the wider UVU community (e.g., psychological counseling and financial aid). Should students need a referral to counseling or services for personal needs on or off campus, these referrals can be made by the faculty advisor, Student Progress Committee (SPC) or by the student as a self-referral.  

Should students feel they need advisement on a referral for personal needs, faculty advisors are available during weekly scheduled office hours, by appointment, or upon request. It is imperative that students keep their advisor apprised of any situation that may jeopardize their successful academic or professional progression in the program, so the faculty advisor can help render assistance as soon as possible. The faculty advisors are committed to your success in the program and will help you find the resources you need to be successful. 


Message Wendy Farnsworth

Schedule an appointment

Room: KB 221B



Message Christina Fife

Schedule an appointment

Room:  KB 226B





FEPAC Standard 3.4

There are two main facilities which are dedicated to the forensic science program for educational instruction - the Forensic Laboratory/classroom and the Crime Scene Forensic Facility.

Forensic Laboratory/Classroom

Students enrolled in the Forensic Science Program have the opportunity for practical learning in our forensic laboratory. Our laboratory is outfitted to the level of a state or federal crime laboratory with over $1.2 million in specialized equipment. Students learn skills that will be utilized in their prospective careers in the forensic lab environment. Students learn techniques in chromatographic and mass spectrum analyses of physical evidence commonly found in criminal investigations. They conduct examinations such as drug identification, paint composition and solid and liquid trace evidence identification.  

A dedicated classroom space is attached to the laboratory in which students receive lecture instruction.  The classroom is outfitted with computers, printers and equipment needed to ensure each student has the resources available conducive to a positive learning environment.  

Crime Scene Forensic Facility

One of the most unique features of UVU’s Forensic Science Program is the Crime Scene Forensic Facility. This facility provides students within the program an engaged learning environment where they can conduct hands-on exercises in a more “real-life” setting.  This two-bedroom, one bath home provides a perfect location for students to experience what it would be like working in the field.  Both the interior and exterior of the home are used to set up mock crime scenes and various scenarios related to forensic investigations.  At this location, students employ skills such as crime scene processing, evidence identification and collection, documenting scattered remains, photographing incident scene reconstruction, and much more.




The structure of university education mandates an increased frequency of communication with students. The primary form of communication is via phone, Microsoft Teams, and the university email system. Communication will also occur via Canvas or other learning systems.

Official correspondence related to the program or the university to students is considered received by the student is sent to any one of the following:

  • UVU email account

  • Student’s current home address of record

  • Canvas posting

  • Program web calendar

Students, program staff, faculty, and other program personnel are expected to check messages daily, and return messages in a timely manner, generally within two (2) business days.

Faculty are available to meet with students by appointment during office hours or other non-class hours during the regular school week. Appointments should be arranged directly with the faculty member via phone or email.




Email is the primary and official means of communication from UVU to students.  All students are provided a Microsoft Outlook account upon admission to Utah Valley University. This account is available via logging in to Outlook with your UVU credentials.  Student email accounts are  Once a student receives a UVU student email account, ALL official communication from the Forensic Science Program and the university is directed to that account.

Official communication contains information to conduct business with Utah Valley University and for which every student is held accountable. Students are expected to read communications in a timely fashion because communications often are time sensitive.

Examples of official communication can include, but are not limited to: 

  • Registration alerts

  • Career development events/opportunities

  • Student records (including Admissions/Financial Aid/Advising/Registrar)

  • Academic program/completion of degree sought

  • Dean and faculty communication to students

  • Financial information (including balance due, payment deadline reminders) 

All use of email must be consistent with local, state, and federal law, as well as other university policies and guidelines, including UVU Policy 443 Ethics in Computer Usage and UVU Policy 441 Appropriate Use of Computing Facilities

Student email accounts will remain active as long as the student is enrolled at UVU or is on an approved leave of absence.


  • Students are expected to check their @UVU student email account at least once every day

  • Students are expected to respond to program emails within two (2) business daysusing their @UVU student email

  • Email responses and forwarded emails should include the original message when appropriate

  • It is helpful to use a signature line in your emails, including your full name and class, as well as a phone number. The following signature format is considered appropriate etiquette for signing professional email correspondence. 

Student Name, UVID

UVU FS Program (List Emphasis Concentration)




Students are required to provide the program with permanent contact information. Students are expected to notify the program immediately, as well as the Office of the Registrar, upon any change of contact data. Name changes should be submitted to the registrar with the  Change of Personal Information Form found on the UVU Registration webpage. It is not the responsibility of the program to confirm the accuracy of this information or report it to the registrar.




FEPAC Standards 3.7, 3.10

Students are encouraged to follow us on social media.  The forensic program utilizes these platforms to provide students with upcoming events, conferences, trainings, job announcements, community involvement, and various other forensic related material.  

Facebook: @UVU Forensic Science

Instagram: @uvuforensicscience




FEPAC Standards 3.3.2.a, 3.10.a, 4.1c

UVU’s Forensic Science program provides students with valuable internship opportunities with local, state and federal agencies within the state of Utah. Our students have interned with Utah County Sheriff’s Office, Utah Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory, Salt Lake Police Department, Utah Office of the Medical Examiner among many others.  

Internships provide an avenue for students to gain knowledge, skills, and experience in a real-world environment and from within their field of study. Students form invaluable relationships within the field and gain access to career resources for furthering their employment in forensics.

See the program website under"Student Resources" for a complete list of internship sites.  If a student locates an internship not listed, they must obtain approval from the Program Director.

It is the responsibility of the STUDENT to locate and secure their own internship.  Internships can be completed at any time after matriculating into the BS Forensic Science Program.  It is HIGHLY recommended that students apply early due to the limited internship sites. 

In order for the internship to fulfill the Capstone requirement, a minimum of 3 credits must be completed.   Students must work at the internship site 60 hours for every 1 credit hour.  Therefore, a 3 credit internship requires a total of 180 hours worked at the site.  

Students must coordinate with the internship office to receive credit, who will then provide approval in order to register for FSCI 481R: Forensic Internship.




The Delta Delta Epsilon, Alpha Mu Chapter allows Forensic Science students at Utah Valley University a chance to become part of a national honor society. The Alpha Mu chapter promotes the recognition and encouragement of excellence in scholarship in the Forensic Sciences. As part of the national honor society, you will promote and encourage intellectual development, push for high achievement, promote leadership, create student and faculty dialogue, enrich your educational environment and promote attitudes of professional responsibility for the public good. Being a member of a national honor society will fuel students to continue to better the Forensic Science Fields and those who seek employment in those fields.


  • Enrolled in UVU’s Forensic Science Degree Program

  • Completed at least 47 required credit hours for the Forensic Science Bachelor’s Degree

  • Have a minimum GPA average of 3.3

  • Membership dues $50.00

For application to DDE – please complete the membership form and email it to [email protected]




FEPAC Standard 3.10.b

Many of the forensic science disciplines have professional organizations for those who work within their respective fields.  Professional organizations allow individuals to network, obtain up to date advances in the forensic field, attend annual meetings of professional forensic science organizations, and much more.   As a student, it is beneficial to become part of these organizations.  They provide a platform for students to become involved in opportunities that allow them to expand their forensic experiences beyond their education.  Many of these organizations offer student memberships at a reduced rate, which can eventually be converted to professional status once the student is employed in the field.

*Student memberships available




FEPAC Standard 3.7

Local, State and Federal Agencies, as well as private forensic laboratories, have job openings in multiple disciplines within forensic science.  Specific locations such as a crime laboratory, crime scene unit, medical examiner's office or law enforcement agencies offer a wide variety of positions to choose from. Students should consult early with their advisors and professors to identify the best path for their interests and ultimate career goals.  With two separate emphases to choose from, students need to understand which educational focus can provide them with the best opportunity for their desired employment.  Finding a job right out of college can be a frustrating process, however, there are several resources that can make this process easier as long as you know where to look. It is also recommended that you should apply to any open position within an agency, even if the position is not your "dream job."  This increases your chances of being able to move into a desired forensic position when they come available.  The following websites provide current job listings throughout the U.S.  As a student, make sure you familiarize yourself with these sites early, so you are aware of what agencies require for applications.





There are additional social media groups that you can join that list open jobs throughout the U.S.  It is advised that you use every possible means of job search engines that you can.  This will increase your chances of finding the widest variety of potential job openings.  These groups also post trainings, information, and resources within the forensic community.  The following are several Facebook groups which you can join:

Forensic Science Professional Community

Forensic Science Society

The Forensic Forum

Criminology & Forensic Science

All About Forensic Science

Forensic Scientists

Forensic Death Investigators 




FEPAC Standard 3.3, 3.6

The FS program utilizes various evaluation methods to assess a student’s progress. Methods of evaluation can be defined as formative or summative

Formative evaluations are given throughout a course to give regular feedback on the student’s progress toward achieving course objectives. The method and frequency of evaluations are described in course syllabi. Course directors, faculty advisors, preceptors, and site visitors work together to provide each student with regular feedback on his/her progress and include remedial recommendations or requirements for strengthening academic and professional competencies.

Summative evaluations are conducted in most courses in order to assess cumulative learning and contribute to the determination of a course grade. Methods of evaluation and requirements to pass are described in the syllabus for each course. These are structured and weighted to indicate that a student has retained and mastered concepts throughout the course.

Formative and summative methods may include but are not limited to:

  1. Multiple choice examinations

  2. Short essays

  3. Fill in the blank

  4. T/F

  5. Oral presentations 

  6. Service-learning projects and community projects

  7. Homework assignments

  8. Reflective writings, online forums/chats

  9. Case-based learning, critical-thinking and problem solving

  10. Team-based learning

  11. Interprofessional/collaborative education

  12. Practical, hands-on exercises

Examinations are the sole property of the UVU FS Program. Students should see their specific course syllabi for assessment and grading methods. In line with university policies, students may not be evaluated by a family member or by someone with whom they have or have had a close personal or intimate relationship. Copies, results, or summaries of evaluations may be maintained in the student’s academic file.




FEPAC Standards 3.3.2.a, 4.1c

A minimum of three semester hours is required that should result in a capstone presentation, publication, or similar scholarly product.  This requirement can be met in the following ways:

  • Internship: FSCI 481R

  • Independent Research: FSCI 443R (Forensic Laboratory Students) or FSCI 489R (Forensic Investigation Students)

  • Capstone Course: FSCI 4990 (Forensic Investigation Students)

  • Directed Reading and Special Projects: FSCI 491R

Students must obtain department approval prior to being able to register for any of the capstone courses.  Students can complete any of these courses after matriculating into the BS program, with the exception of FSCI 4990.  It is recommended students wishing to complete this course for capstone credit register in one of the last two semesters prior to graduation.  




FEPAC Standards 3.6, 3.7

UVU's Forensic Science Program promotes high academic quality within the curriculum.  In order to graduate from the program, students must achieve/complete the following requirements:  

  1. An overall 3.0 GPA

  2. A minimum grade of B- or higher is required in all Math, Chemistry, Biology, Physics and FSCI Courses. 

  3. Completion of GE and specified departmental requirements.

  4. Successful completion of at least one Global/Intercultural course.

  5. Successful completion of two Writing Enriched courses.  

  6. Residency hours: minimum of 30 credit hours through course attendance at UVU, with at least 10 hours earned in the last 45 hours.

  7. Completion of a minimum of 125 or more semester credits; 40 credits of which, must be upper division.

These standards are in place to provide our students the best chances for career opportunities and/or meet minimum requirements for applications to graduate/professional programs.  




FEPAC Standard 3.3

Students are encouraged to complete evaluations on a range of program activities at different points during the program. Evaluations, whether recorded on paper or electronically submitted, are

  • an important source of feedback for program faculty;

  • used in the assessment of all components of the program; and

  • required for continued accreditation.

Evaluations with comments are confidential and are processed anonymously in order to maintain confidentiality. We value student feedback as an essential part of making our program better.

Feedback is most effective when it is constructive and aimed at helping aspects of teaching and curriculum improve.


The program is required by FEPAC to provide an evaluation of the success with regard to student achievement.  Our program must provide the accreditation body complete documentation of how collected information is used in the evaluation and development of the program to meet its stated mission, goals, and objectives. The evaluation system shall include at least the following elements:

  • Results of the student’s performance in a capstone experience, forensic science standardized test results, publications, or reports;

  • Exit questionnaire or interview of graduates;

  • Post-graduate assessment, such as job placement surveys; and,

  • The program must demonstrate how collected information is used in the evaluation and development of the program to meets its stated mission, goals, and objectives.

Please note: no personal information is provided by the program to any organizations outside of the university without the individual’s written consent.




FEPAC Standard 3.3

In the last semester of the program, students will be asked to participate in a interview with their respective Program Director or designated faculty member, related to their overall forensic science experience at UVU.  This information provides us with valuable information on the program effectiveness, education and skills obtained, as well as areas for improvement for future students.  The goal of our program is to ensure our students are achieving the necessary knowledge as described in the program learning outcomes for each emphasis.   Results of this assessment will be provided to FEPAC for accreditation purposes.    




FEPAC Standard 3.3

Similar to the graduation interview, the post graduate assessment provides valuable information related to the success of the student once they graduate from our institution.  The post graduate assessment helps tell the story of employment, earnings, geographic movement, career progression, and more.  This information assists us in evaluating how our program prepares our graduates in moving on into successful, forensic related career fields.  

A post graduate survey will be sent to all students within one year of graduation.  During the graduation interview, students will be asked for non-UVU contact information in order to guarantee receipt of this survey.  This process will be conducted in partnership with UVU's Institutional Research (IR) as well as abiding by all UVU policies and procedures.  Information obtained from this survey will be utilized to assess and improve the effectiveness of the forensic program and will be provided to FEPAC for accreditation purposes.  




FEPAC Standard 3.6

Once hired as a forensic practitioner, it is likely you will be employed by a government run, law enforcement agency.  As a requirement of employment, these careers will require that a background check be conducted as part of the application and hiring process.  Background checks usually consist of any misdemeanor and felony level convictions, pending criminal cases, civil judgments, arrests, drug use, educational and employment background.  Background screenings allow employers to get a more complete picture of a candidate, which may help them hire the most qualified people, improve productivity, and can help reduce risk for criminal activities such as violence, abuse, and theft. They can also verify the information on an applicant’s resume or job application and assist your organization in deciding if an individual is the right person for the job.






A student must officially matriculate into the Bachelor's degree program.  Matriculation applications open twice during the year, March and September, for the subsequent fall and spring semesters.  Students must meet all matriculation requirements in order to be declared a BS student in forensic science.  The following standards are  required for matriculation:

  1. All Courses listed in the AS degree must be completed in order to apply to the BS Forensic Science Program

  2. Must have overall GPA 2.7

  3. Must have B- or greater in all math, science, and CJ courses

  4. Submit 2 letters of Recommendations-one MUST be from faculty

  5. Must be admitted as a UVU student

  6. Submit all transcripts

Once students have matriculated into the program, they will be able to complete all upper division requirements for the degree program.  



As students progress through the BS program, they will be required to successfully complete all courses as listed in their degree track.  Students must adhere by the following standards in order to graduate from the program:

  1. Completion of a minimum of 125 or more semester credits; 40 credits of which, must be upper division.

  2. A minimum grade of B- or higher is required in all Math, Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Forensic Science Courses with an overall GPA of 3.0 to graduate. 

  3. Residency hours: minimum of 30 credit hours through course attendance at UVU, with at least 10 hours earned in the last 45 hours.

  4. Completion of GE and specified departmental requirements.

  5. Successful completion of at least one Global/Intercultural course.

  6. Successful completion of two Writing Enriched courses.  


ACADEMIC STANDARDS (Course Failure, GPA <3.0)

Despite efforts to remediate deficits, a student may earn a course grade less than a B-.

  1. Students must pass each course (listed in graduation requirements) with a course grade of B- or better. Any course grade with a C+ or lower is subject to dismissal and is referred to the Program Director for evaluation.

  2. Students must maintain an overall GPA of >3.0. Students with an average course grade(s) of B minus (B-), or a GPA <3.0 is referred to the Program Director for evaluation and will be put on probation and subsequent dismissal




FEPAC Standard 3.6

Since UVU is an academic environment, its fundamental purpose is the sharing and pursuit of knowledge. Imperative to this educational purpose is a commitment to academic integrity. Every member of the UVU community is responsible for upholding the highest standards of academic integrity at all times. Students are considered integral members of the community and are expected to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner acceptable at an institution of higher learning. All students are expected to obey the law, to perform contracted obligations, to maintain absolute integrity and high standards of individual honesty in academic work, and to observe a high standard of conduct for the academic environment.

The Student Rights and Responsibilities Code, or Code of Conduct (UVU Policy 541), outlines for students what they can expect from the University and what the University expects of them. Students should review the their Rights and Responsibilities. The Code of Conduct also outlines the process for academic appeals, and appeals related to misconduct and sanctions.

Activities that have the effect or intention of interfering with education, pursuit of knowledge, or fair evaluation of a student’s performance are prohibited. Examples of such activities include but are not limited to:

  • Cheating: using or attempting to use unauthorized assistance, material or study aids in examinations or other academic work or preventing or attempting to prevent, another from using authorized assistance, material, or study aids 

  • Plagiarism: using ideas, data or language of another without specific or proper acknowledgment

  • Fabrication: submitting contrived or altered information in any academic exercise 

  • Multiple submission: submitting, without prior permission, any work submitted to fulfill another academic requirement

  • Misrepresentation of academic record: misrepresenting or tampering with or attempting to tamper with any portion of a student's transcripts or academic record, either before or after coming to UVU

  • Facilitating academic dishonesty: knowingly helping or attempting to help another violate any principle of academic integrity

  • Unfair advantage: attempting to gain unauthorized advantage over fellow students in an academic exercise

Any violation of the above, whether willful or not, will result in referral to the Student Conduct Office and may result in sanctions up to and including dismissal from the program.





It is expected that students are committed to being active participants in the program. During the program, it is important for students to be available for course activities.  Forensic science specific courses are scheduled during the weekday (8:00 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.)  Internship hours will vary according to the site agency.  The program will make sincere attempts to give prior notification of changes in schedule. Class schedules cannot be altered to accommodate students who use public transportation or for personal activities/schedules.

  1. Attendance is expected: Students are expected to arrive on time, attend and participate in all aspects of program courses.  Students who fail to fully attend and participate in any required course assignment or practical may not receive full credit for the assignment and may be required to complete additional assignments or other activities as assigned by the faculty member. Students who demonstrate continual, habitual, or excessive absences or late arrivals will be referred to the program director for failure to demonstrate professional behavior. Students who do not correct this behavior will be dismissed from the program.

    Students who are unable to attend any scheduled class must notify the course faculty in advance detailing any activities or class sessions for which they will not be present.  It is the student’s responsibility to arrange the means to get notes or other teaching materials distributed during their absence.  However, the faculty member has the authority to determine whether or not the student will be allowed to make up work due to the absence.  Absences that occur during testing events may result in delay in completing requirements and progressing. Students who are ill and miss class for two or more consecutive days may be required to submit appropriate medical documentation to the program releasing the student to participate fully in all program activities.

  2. Absenteeism:   Students who fail to fully attend and participate in required activity may not receive full credit for the activity and may be required to complete additional assignments or other activities as assigned by the course faculty. Students who demonstrate continual, habitual, or excessive absences or late arrivals will be referred to the program director for failure to demonstrate professional behavior. Students who do not correct this behavior will be dismissed from the program.

    Be advised that the program may make random calls and visits to internship sites to verify student attendance and performance.

  3. Excused Absences: It will be up to the course faculty to determine whether or not an absence is excused; however, the procedures for absenteeism as outlined above must be followed.

  4. Unexcused Absences and Tardiness:  Absenteeism not reported as per policy outlined above will be considered unexcused, regardless of cause or when the program is notified of the event.

  5. A “Leave of Absence” may be granted by the program director for extended illness or absence from a rotation. The program director will (on an individual basis) consider emergencies, special requests, and special issues arising that cause students to request a leave of absence, if done prior to failure of the rotation. All student requests are considered private and confidential and are treated as such by the faculty. 

Inclement Weather: During a weather emergency, student safety is the highest concern. In the event of inclement weather, the program follows the Utah Valley University Inclement Weather decisions with the following modifications: When the university is closed, didactic classes are canceled. Faculty will notify students of any new arrangements for required activities or exams. 




FEPAC Standard 3.6

The process of probation is as follows:

    1. Students who are not making academic and/or professional behavior progress in any component of the program curriculum may be placed on probation. Students placed on probation will receive both verbal and written notification of their status including any requisite conditions of that probation. The criteria used to assess satisfactory progress are:

      1. Students must maintain an overall GPA of >3.0. Students must pass all math, science, criminal justice and forensic science courses with a B minus (B-) or greater.  Students with an average course grade(s) of B- in the aforementioned classes, or a GPA <3.0 is referred to the program director for evaluation and may be put on probation and subsequent dismissal.  Be aware that academic probation for the forensic science program differs from the Undergraduate Academic Probation standards.  

      2. No evidence of the violation of academic integrity

      3. No evidence of professional misconduct (at an internship site).

    2. A written letter outlining the terms of probation will be sent to a student for his/her signature indicating:

      1. receipt of a written description of the probation,

      2. an understanding of the terms of probation, and

      3. agreement to the terms of probation.

If a student refuses to sign the letter with the terms of probation, the student must submit a letter of appeal to the program director within ten (10) business days from the date that the probation letter was received. If not submitted within this time period, the student will be held accountable for all of the terms as outlined. During this appeal process, the student may be prevented from participating in program activities.

  1. In the event that the student fails to both sign the letter of probation and submit the letter of appeal within the prescribed time period, the student will be subject to dismissal

  2. Students who have been placed on probation must demonstrate satisfactory progress and comply with any other probationary terms outlined by the academic advisor and/or program director. Failure to meet the terms and conditions of probation may lead to dismissal.

  3. The length of probation will generally be limited to one semester at a time to allow the student the ability to demonstrate that they have corrected any deficiencies or behavioral misconduct issues. Probationary status will be reviewed by the program director at the end of each semester. Early review may be considered by student request or at the discretion of the program director. A student who has met all of the terms of probation for that period of time will be returned to the status of “student in good standing.” Serious issues (e.g., a legal conviction) may incur a longer period of probation, possibly for the duration of the program.

  4. A student who is deemed to present a potential danger to him/herself or others will be immediately suspended and barred from campus and all program activities until appropriate evaluations have been completed and the program receives clearance from the student’s health care provider. In addition, the program reserves the right to seek a second opinion from a neutral party prior to reinstatement.

NOTE: Students on probation may not be allowed to complete an internship, and may not serve as a student officer on student committees, organizations, or societies. These students may not participate in the applicant interview process and may not represent the program at profession-related events (e.g., AAFS, IAI, and any forensic related events).




FEPAC Standard 3.6

Appeals of Program Decisions Regarding Student Progress (other than dismissal)

Students have the right to appeal decisions made by the program director but must do so in the prescribed stepwise administrative process described below. A department advisor/ombudsperson will assist the student in understanding the steps of the appeal process.

The reason for appeal should fall into one of three categories:

  1. new information that was not available at the time of the meeting with the program director

  2. grade calculation error

  3. bias

Students should be aware that efforts to bypass appropriate administrative procedures will delay or disqualify the student's appeal.

  1. Step one: Students must submit a written appeal to the CHPS Associate Dean who will review all relevant materials and issue a written letter of decision to the student and all relevant faculty ten (10) business days after receipt of the appeal.

  2. Step two: Students who wish to appeal the CHPS Associate Dean's decision may offer a written Letter of Appeal to the CHPS Dean at Utah Valley University within ten (10) business days of receiving the decision from the CHPS Associate Dean. Please note that the ruling of the Dean in the appeal of the Associate Dean’s decision is final and binding.

During the appeals process the student may be prevented from participating in program activities, particularly those appealing a dismissal.

Appealing a Course Grade or Other Program Evaluation

Once a course grade is determined by the course director or faculty of record, students can appeal the grade only through the process outlined below. If a resolution cannot be reached, the student may then advance the appeal to the university level.

The following steps are meant to provide guidance to students endeavoring to resolve grade disputes at the department level.

  1. The student will make an appointment with the faculty of record for the explicit purpose of appealing the grade. At that time, the student should be prepared to submit evidence in support of his/her claim. The meeting will include a second forensic faculty member.

  2. If the student is unable to resolve the grade dispute with the faculty of record, the student will make an appointment with the program director to discuss the disputed grade. The program director will assist the student in his/her efforts to resolve the grade dispute.

  3. If the instructor(s) is no longer on campus, the student shall attempt to resolve the grade dispute with the program director. In this instance, the program director shall have the authority to approve a change of grade.

  4. In cases where the faculty of record is also the program director, or in cases where the program director is unsuccessful in assisting the student to reach a resolution, the student will make an appointment with the department chair, who will assist the student in his/her efforts to resolve the grade dispute.

This department-level appeal process must be completed before the beginning of the next semester. An unsuccessful appeal at the department level will result in the student being prohibited from progressing to the next semester.  The student will be referred to the program director and/or the department chair for further action.  A student may wish to initiate a university review as soon as the departmental resolution to the dispute has failed.  Students can file a Grade Change Petition.  This petition will go through the Counsel of Academic Standards who will review the case.   CAS requires receipt of all documentation/communication involving the student, faculty member and program director to be submitted for review.  The process for university review is described in the UVU Academic Policies and Standards webpage.

All relevant documents and communication. will be retained by the program director.




FEPAC Standard 3.6

Students may be dismissed from the program without first having been placed on probation for either academic or professional misconduct issues. Professional misconduct may constitute the sole reason for dismissal from the program.

Dismissal from the forensic science program is the result of failure to achieve academic grades and/or demonstrate competencies required of all students. Dismissal could occur after unsuccessful efforts at remediating or appealing course grades as described above or for professional issues. Violations of forensic science and university codes of conduct, technical standards, or community laws may also result in dismissal. The process is described as follows:

  1. Academic advisors review student academic and professional progress on every student each semester. This review may include meeting with students to gather more information or give the student an opportunity to provide input in person

  2. Advisors make a recommendation to the program director regarding advancement, remediationdismissal, or other appropriate action for each student

  3. Students being considered for dismissal will be given written notification by the program director of this pending decision

  4. Students may inspect all written material upon which the proposed dismissal is based

  5. Students (at their request) will be presented with applicable academic reports and evaluations used by the forensic program in making a decision

  6. Students will have the opportunity to present any relevant information/evidence to the program director regarding their performance

  7. A decision for dismissal must be based upon evidence presented at the meeting with the program director




FEPAC Standard 3.6

At some point in your career at Utah Valley University, you may need to take some time away from your studies.   However, realize that interruption of enrollment can cause problems in the continuity of coursework within the degree program.  Undergraduate students may take a leave of absence for 7 semesters. This includes summer semesters.  Students requesting a leave of absence must submit a Undergraduate Student Leave of Absence Request form and meet with your academic advisor.  

You may consider a Leave of Absence if:

  • Your mental health is disrupting your ability to participate in academic and campus life, even with supports and accommodations.

  • You feel you are in crisis or that your level of distress is becoming intolerable.

  • You believe the stress and pressure of college is seriously disrupting your ability to focus on recovery.

  • You feel you need an increased level of care.

  • You are not able to access the services you need at your college or university.

  • You feel that time away from classes would be beneficial for your long-term well being.

 A student must be in “good standing” and making satisfactory progress in order to request a leave of absence.  The student must petition a leave of absence for a stated period. Students who find it necessary to be excused from registration must request a leave of absence by the last day of registration to drop or add courses. The request should include a timeline for the student’s return.

A student who does not return to enrolled status at the end of an approved period of a leave of absence is no longer considered to be pursuing a degree. Students who fail to apply for a leave of absence or for whom a leave of absence has been denied (or has expired) are subject to policies governing continuous enrollment and readmission.

For additional information and possible outcomes, please refer to the following information on the UVU Undergraduate Studies website




FEPAC Standard 3.6


A student who leaves the university without obtaining a formal leave of absence from undergraduate studies is not automatically readmitted. A student wishing to apply for readmission to the forensic science program must reapply in the next admissions cycle.

Leave of Absence

When a student on an official leave of absence is ready to return to the program, the student must give the program director advanced notice in writing to initiate the re-entry process. Students must submit a letter of intent to return to the program director at least ten (10) business days prior to their expected return or as outlined in the original approval letter. Failure to follow this process may result in the student’s delay in expected progression through the program.

Administrative or Personal Leave: When a student on administrative or personal leave is ready to return to the program, he/she must contact their academic advisor for authorization and to discuss terms of re-entry.

Medical Leave: Medical leave of absences are under the purview of the program director and handled on an individual basis. Notification that a student is able to return from leave should be done as soon as the student is released by their provider to return to full-time student status.

Mandatory Leave: Students on mandatory leave will be required to meet with their academic advisor prior to re-entry into the program. Depending on the amount of students in the current cohorts of the program and the length of time away, it may not be possible to continue coursework in that same semester. This may impact the student’s ability to progress within the standard program timeline.

All students returning from a leave of absence will be required to meet with their academic advisor to ensure that they are capable of meeting the technical standards of the program, and to determine if they are eligible for continuation of their training.

Students who have taken a leave of significant length may be required to repeat some parts of the program or the entire program, as well as any remediation activities determined by the program director before resuming their position within the program. 

Students should be aware that successfully completed courses may not be repeated for credit. Any coursework deemed appropriate by the program director for the student to retake in order to return the student to an appropriate level of progression, may require the student to audit courses without credit. Since university registration is required for this process, the student must be willing to bear both the time and financial consequences.

A student who is granted leave of absence is expected to complete all missed coursework and/or courses. 




FEPAC Standard 3.6

Students are permitted to withdraw from the program at their discretion following the university defined procedure (see UVU Policy #503) and complete appropriate forms.

Withdrawal from an individual course will not necessarily constitute withdrawal from the program.  However, students must report to their program advisor the reason for dropping a course.  Additionally, if a student shows repeated withdrawals from courses, it may constitute being put on academic probation and ultimate removal from the program. 

To officially withdraw from the university, a student must report to the UVU Registrar’s Office. Students wishing to withdraw should also consult with the Office of Student Financial Aid to determine if stipulations associated with the financial aid package will lead to changes in the financial statement.

You can officially withdraw from a course by dropping it through the online registration system by the listed date.  If you officially withdraw from a course by the "Last Day to Drop and Not Show on Transcript," the course will not appear on your academic transcripts.  If you officially withdraw from a course by the "Last Day to Withdraw," a "W" will appear on your transcripts.  Although your GPA will not be affected — a "W" will indicate that you chose to withdraw.  If you fail to complete the course and do not drop it before the "Last Day to Withdraw," a "UW" or "E" (a failing grade) will appear on your transcripts.

Withdrawing from a course may impact your financial aid status. For more information, see: UVU Financial Aid.


This provides an opportunity for students to petition the registrar and department chairs for a withdrawal, based on extenuating circumstances, occurring after the established withdrawal deadlines. These are considered exceptions to the withdrawal policy.


Students who find themselves in extenuating circumstances beyond their own control that prohibit attendance or participation in currently registered classes may petition through the UVU Registrar's Office for withdrawal.

See the UVU Petitions website

See All-inclusive Withdrawal Exception form




The UVU forensic science program can be completed on a full time or part time basis.  It is up to the student on how many courses they wish to register for during any particular semester.  Therefore, if a student wishes to continue outside employment while enrolled in the program, they are welcome to do so.  However, it is understood that forensic science courses can be offered on any day of the week at any particular time.  Additionally, certain forensic courses are only offered during the academic year on specific days and times.  If these courses conflict with a student's employment, it is understood that the student must make arrangements with their employer in order to register and complete any of these courses.  Substitutions will not be made for any required course due to work conflicts.  




FEPAC Standard 3.7

As forensic science practitioners, there are various standards required in order to work in specific forensic disciplines.  As an industry, specific curriclum is required in order to be hired in the respective fields.  The following educational requirements are set forth as standards and must be completed in order to obtain employment for that discipline.

  • Forensic DNA Analyst: shall have a bachelor’s (or its equivalent) or an advanced degree in a biology-, chemistry-, or forensic science-, related area and shall have successfully completed course work (graduate or undergraduate level) covering the following subject areas:

  • Forensic Chemist:  shall have a bachelor's (or its equivalent) or an advanced degree in forensic science or a natural science, and shall have successfully completed course work (graduate or undergraduate level) covering the following subject areas:

    • mathmatics, criminalistics, chemistry (including Instrumental and Analytical Chemistry) and biology, biochemistry and instrumentation skills (American Chemical Society)


The implementation of robust and standardized certification programs using accredited ceritifcation bodies complements the accreditation of forensic science practitioners for the overall improvement of forensic science. Certification should be appropriate to the responsibility, activity or function performed.  The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has provided a comprehensive list of professional cerification bodies for the respective forensic disciplines.  This list can be found under Appendix B




How a student dresses expresses their respect for self and others, sensitivity to others, and commitment to health and safety. A student’s dress is a demonstration of their professionalism and an indication of the forensic scientist they aspire to become. 


Professional learners are entrusted with the responsibility for presenting themselves in a way that demonstrates incorporation of professionalism goals. These include awareness of legal or regulatory limits on dress, demonstration of respect and compassion for others, and consideration of sensitivity to age/culture/gender and ability of peers.

As with a practicing forensic scientist, good personal hygiene is to be maintained at all times:

    • Hair should be neat and appropriately groomed

    • Nails should be clean and and trimmed

    • Avoid or minimize use of fragrances 

    • Closed-toed shoes required for the Lab

Unacceptable attire includes:

    • Unkempt, soiled, and/or torn clothing/shoes

    • Clothing with offensive logos, wording, or images

    • Clothing that is distracting because it is excessively revealing

    • Any jewelry that hinders laboratory learning activities


The following guidelines are attire that must be worn while in the lab while working with chemical samples or specimens:

  • Personal Protective Equipment must be worn when working in the laboratory and according to instructor requirements.  PPE consists of gloves, eye protection, lab coats and/or foot covers.  

  • No open-toed shoes or high heels (any footwear with more than a half inch heel) are allowed in the laboratory at any time.  No sandals, flip-flops, five-finger toed shoes, etc.




All FS students must abide by the UVU Social Media/Technology Guidelines.

Many individuals participate in social media for a variety of reasons: to connect with professional networks, to find out what’s happening at other places, to enhance productivity and teambuilding, and to put together ad-hoc groups. Exchanging and sharing information can improve our personal and professional lives. However, social networking exposes one to an unsolicited audience and set of experiences. Continual attention is required to successfully manage personal and professional lives online. 

The following are general policies regarding social networking as an FS student.

  1. Think before you post. There is no such thing as a “private” social media site. Search engines can turn up your posts years later. Do not post something today that may haunt you later.

  2. Maintain confidentiality. Do not post or discuss sensitive, confidential, proprietary, or protected health information about students, employees, patients, or other members of the UVU community.

  3. Use good ethical judgment. Follow federal guidelines and university policies.

  4. Be professional. As a general rule, be respectful and don’t post anything you would be uncomfortable saying in a public setting—or in front of your colleagues, fellow learners, supervisor, etc.  All the Professional Conduct standards described above apply to your communications on social media and other channels.

  5. Be transparent about your role at UVU. If you participate in or maintain a social media site on behalf of the university, clearly state your role and goals. Strive for accuracy and correcting errors quickly and visibly. If you have questions about whether it is appropriate to write about certain material, ask your supervisor, advisor, or program director first.

  6. Protect your identity. Do not provide personal information about yourself or others that scam artists and identity thieves might steal. This includes telephone numbers, mailing addresses, and e-mail addresses.

  7. Respect university time and property. Any violation of HIPAA or other university policies may result in appropriate disciplinary action including, but not limited to, dismissal from the program and criminal and/or civil charges and fines.


Subject to UVU policies and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, photos, audio, and video recordings of students may be taken for posting on the program web site or for publication to promote the activities of the program. In order to facilitate this process, students are encouraged to consent to being photographed, filmed or recorded by filling out the Creative Works License and Model Release Form (see Appendix C). Students have the right to decline participation in the recording methods that may be viewed publicly and should speak directly with the program director as early as possible to accommodate this choice.


The program will use tools for student assessment and feedback in the form of digital audio-video recording, photography of lectures and student activities to enhance the learning experience and promote the program.  

Students must ask for permission before using cameras or electronic devices for recording program curricular activities. Portable electronic devices risk the transfer of these recordings to a non-secure, web-based media and may violate individual privacy and institutional intellectual property copyrights.  Recorded material must not be posted on the Internet without appropriate authorization (see Social Media Guidelines above). These curricular activities include, but are not limited to:  case studies, internship activities and other activities as designated by the program. 

Current university policy is that all lectures can be recorded automatically at the discretion of the instructor and made available to be accessed by students. Students will not be allowed to record lectures on personal devices. Use of  lectures recorded by the program are limited to personal or course study and may not be made public or shared. Video and photography are only permitted with permission of the person being recorded has signed the Consent and Media Release Form. 

Compliance with these policies are part of professionalism expectations that are assessed throughout the entirety of the program and are not limited to classroom activity. Failure to comply will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for evaluation and potential sanctions.

This policy does not affect non-curricular activities (breaks, independent study sessions off campus, etc.), however, even in these settings, students are expected to ask permission from individuals before photographing or recording.




FEPAC Standard 3.4

UVU and the FS program are dedicated to provide all students with appropriate resources, which will assist them throughout their university education.  Students have access to library services, academic advisors, tutoring, child care, accessibility services and much more.  Students are advised to take full advantage of all university resources at their disposal.  

See the UVU Catalog Student Services webpage for a full list of available resources




Students have access to the online Student Center located at

The myUVU portal provides access to many UVU services and systems. All students and employees will have access to email, calendars, and announcements. Students will also have access to classes, registration, and student records.  Everyone is encouraged to log in to myUVU regularly.




Canvas by Instructure is the official Learning Management System (LMS) for Utah Valley University. Students use Canvas to access course syllabi, assignment requirements, important class announcements, and much more. Canvas is the place to submit assignments, take quizzes, and discuss important topics with classmates.

For more information visit the UVU Canvas for Students webpage




FEPAC Standard 3.6

UVU has various academic resources available to all students, regardless of their degree program.  For a complete list of these resources and contact information, please visit the Student Success website.   

Students should be aware of any dates associated with the acadmic calendar.  This includes semester start dates, withdrawl deadlines, school holidays, final exams and other important dates throughout each semester.  Please visit the UVU Schedule website for further information.  Calendars are provided for Fall, Spring and Summer semesters. 




Registration for classes is completed online through the student’s myUVU page. Registration notifications are sent electronically to student’s UVU email account. Registration instructions are available online at

All tuition and fees are payable to the university’s cashier's/bursar's office at the time of registration. Payment instructions are available online at

Checks for more than the total tuition and fees due will not be accepted. Payment should be submitted by the specified per session due dates. Late fees may be applied to late registration and/or late payments. If payment is not received by the due date, students are automatically removed from course rosters. Outstanding balances with UVU may result in collection actions and will result in a hold on the student’s account preventing future registration and ordering UVU official transcripts. Students with outstanding payments may be barred from class, examinations, or clinical assignments and/or suspended from all program activities until payments are made.

It is the responsibility of the student to notify the program if he/she has difficulty maintaining registration. Students dismissed from the university for failure to maintain registration may not be allowed to return to the program at a later time.


Tuition and student fees are established by theUtah State Board of Regents. Tuition, fees, and additional expenses as they appear in the catalog are subject to change and are based on the current school year rates. Any changes to these expenses will be determined after the annual program review process is concluded. 

The table below details anticipated tuition, fees, program required expenses, as well as other costs associated with the program for the 2022- 2023 academic year.  Costs are broken up into the 2 year AS Forensic Science Program and the subsequent 2 years after matriculation into the BS Forensic Science Program.   Additional fees may be associated with financial aid. All costs are estimated.


Tuition - AS Forensic Science Program (63 Credits based on 12 credits per semester)

Utah Resident Program Tuition


Non-Utah Resident Program Tuition


*Non-Utah Resident students pay Utah Resident tuition during Summer Semesters

Student receives residency after 1 year


University Fees ($328 per semester)


Total Estimated Tuition & Fees Utah Residents


Total Estimated Tuition & Fees Non-Utah Residents


*If student receives Utah residency after 1 year



Tuition - Once Matriculated into the BS Forensic Science Program (62 credits - final 2 years of the program based on 12 credits per semester)

Utah Resident Program Tuition


Non-Utah Resident Program Tuition


*Non-Utah Resident students pay Utah Resident tuition during Summer Semesters

Student receives residency after 1 year


University Fees ($328 per semester)


Total Estimated Tuition & Fees Utah Residents


Total Estimated Tuition & Fees Non-Utah Residents


*If student receives Utah residency after 1 year



Additional Program Estimated Costs and Fees/Student Responsibilities

Forensic Science Course Fees



Estimated Living and Transportation Expenses Per Semester

Housing and Food


Miscellaneous Living Expenses


Student Conference Fees


Free UTA pass available



Tuition Refunds

Refunds are not automatic. The tuition refund policy is established by the Utah State Board of Regents and amended by each college or university to fit their programs. The Utah Valley University (UVU) refund policy can be found on the UVU Tuition Policies & Procedures webpage.

UVU refunds to students who withdraw from school or drop classes are as follows:


  • Through the 100% refund date published on the Student Timetable.... 100%

  • After the 100% refund date published on the student Timetable... 0%

  • Thereafter, the refund periods for instructional cycles other than the semester are extrapolated from the above schedule

Exact dates for semester, block, and weekend classes can be found on the UVU Schedule webpage under Student Timetables.

Students must drop classes or completely withdraw by the published 100% Refund Deadline in order to have the charges removed from their account. Students who withdraw after that date will not receive a refund. If a student has not paid his or her charges for the semester, he or she will continue to owe the university for these charges and will be subject to collections procedures if left unpaid.

Changes in enrollment may affect Financial Aid eligibility and amounts received. Financial Aid awards may be pulled back when dropping courses, thus increasing the amount owed.

A Petition to the Refund Policy Form can be obtained from the Office of the Registrar or visit the UVU Registration webpage.




FEPAC Standard 3.4

Students are responsible for obtaining their own financial aid. The program is not involved in the process of granting financial aid except to respond to requests from lending institutions for specific documentation such as student enrollment, academic schedule, and expected date of graduation.

The Financial Aid Office is located on the UVU main campus. The Financial Aid Office is responsible for assessing student eligibility for financial aid. The staff is also available to counsel students on the most appropriate and available resources to meet individual needs. The Financial Aid Office manages and distributes a limited number of scholarships for eligible students. Financial aid is granted based on both federal and university guidelines.

Students requiring financial assistance are encouraged to seek loan counseling and assistance in debt management before making any financial decisions. Since the application process is lengthy and often complex, it is suggested that students apply early for FAFSA and financial aid each year. Students can find additional information about financial aid on the UVU Financial Aid website.




All vehicles parked on campus require a parking permit

See UVU Parking Services webpage

We anticipate significant parking and traffic congestion at the beginning of each semester.  Here are some suggestions that may help to lessen the impact of parking issues: 

  1. Allow extra time to arrive on campus and find a parking spot.  It is much easier to beat the traffic and find a parking space if you arrive early. 

  2. Take the train or bus.  UVU students, as well as current faculty and staff, are eligible to receive free UTA passes with their UVU ID Card. Students must be registered for a minimum of 1 credit hour for the current semester to be eligible for the free pass. If classes are dropped, the UTA pass will be deactivated.  For more information on this service please visit the UVU Campus Connection page. 

  3. The parking garage is always a cost-effective alternative.

Contact the Parking Office at 801-863-8188, if you have any questions. 




FEPAC Standard 3.7

All FS students are eligible to receive basic health services through UVU’s Student Health Services which offers traditional medical services, mental health services, learning disability assessment, psychiatric services, and suicide awareness and prevention. Students have access to Student Health Services on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday from 8am - 7pm and Tuesday, Friday from 8am - 5pm. Please see the Student Health Services website.

As a division of the student health center, the crisis center offers services to help students deal with urgent mental health issues and other issues surrounding mental health. If a student is in crisis, that student can call for an appointment at UVU Student Health Services (801-863-8876, M-F 8am-5pm), and notify the person answering the phone that this is an emergency for priority scheduling.





FEPAC Standard 3.4

The UVU Fulton Library provides all FS students with initial “one-stop-shopping” for articles/books/videos relating to FS research, and provides access to online journals, textbooks, and medical search engines. UVU Fulton Library offers access to a vast collection of academic textbook titles, eBook titles appropriate for FS students, streamed education videos, periodical databases, peer-reviewed journal titles, full text for many of the forensic science resources that come highly recommended for FS students and faculty. 

Fulton Library Resource Guide for Forensics

Examples of journals/magazines available through the Fulton Library:

 All library users have direct access to the ILLiad interlibrary loan system. Most items are delivered electronically, via email. If there is demand for returnable ILL items (i.e., books) at the remote site, UVU will investigate establishing an ILL courier service to serve the site.

The library’s home page serves as the gateway to information resources and services. Internet access provides students and faculty at off-campus and remote sites immediate, transparent access to all the library’s electronic materials. See the Fulton Library home page here.

Campus librarians are available to support students and faculty by both face-to-face and virtual consultations. The library reference desk can be accessed, through popular instant-messaging programs, text messages by phone or through the campus communications G-mail based platforms, via e-mail, or in person. Students and staff may also make individual face-to-face or telephone appointments with subject specialists for more in-depth assistance with their research.

A specific subject-area specialist will be assigned to the FS program. This librarian will serve as the primary library contact for FS students and faculty members, and will support culminating experience projects, capstones and other in-depth research projects.

For current information about library hours, including reference service hours, please see library services here. Students will have electronic access to all digital library information resources.





Utah Valley University is a drug-free campus. Utah Valley University has developed an alcohol & tobacco and other drug policy not only in response to the federal drug-free legislation, but also to encourage and sustain an academic environment that promotes the health, safety, and welfare of all members of its community.

In keeping with these objectives, alcoholic beverages, unlawful drugs, and other illegal substances shall not be consumed, used, carried, sold, or unlawfully manufactured on any property or in any building owned, leased, or rented by UVU, or at any activity sponsored by the program (UVU Policies 157, 324, and 541)

Any faculty, staff member, or student who violates this prohibition, or who does not cooperate with the program in its attempts to maintain a drug-free environment, will face disciplinary action up to and including expulsion or dismissal from UVU and the UVU FS Program.

Individuals violating any town ordinances, state criminal laws, or federal laws relating to alcohol or drug use (including tobacco use) also are subject to substantial legal sanctions including fines and imprisonment.

If you are under the influence on UVU property, you will be subject to consequences through the UVU Student Rights & Accountability webpage.

More information regarding the UVU’s alcohol, drug, and tobacco policies can be found at the UVU Wellness webpage.




Utah Valley University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age (40 and over), disability, veteran status, pregnancy, childbirth, or pregnancy-related conditions, citizenship, genetic information, or other basis protected by applicable law, including Title IX and 34 C.F.R. Part 106, in employment, treatment, admission, access to educational programs and activities, or other University benefits or services. Inquiries about nondiscrimination at UVU may be directed to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights or UVU’s Title IX Coordinator / Director of Equal Opportunity at 801-863-7999 – [email protected] – 800 W University Pkwy, Orem, 84058, Suite BA 203.

Students shall deliver supervised healthcare services to patients without regard to their race, religion, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, disability, disease status, or political beliefs.




At the beginning of each semester, the student will have the opportunity to promptly review each course syllabus and class schedule and notify faculty to request an accommodation for sincerely held religious beliefs and practices using the Religious Accommodation Request Form.




FEPAC Standard 3.6 and 3.7


UVU is committed to preparing all students and employees for success in an increasingly complex, diverse, and globalized society. We promote civility and respect for the dignity and potential of each individual. We seek to advance the understanding of diverse perspectives. We value and promote collegial relationships and mutual respect among students, faculty, and staff. We acknowledge and seek to address the needs of populations who are underrepresented and students with varying levels of academic preparation, even as we strive to provide access and support for all students and employees in ways that are culturally relevant and responsible. UVU Inclusion and Diversity student resources.


At UVU, include is an action commitment that is a crucial part of our identity. Our dedicated staff, faulty, and students were involved for more than 18 months in constructing Inclusion Plan 2020-2024.


Inclusion makes students more successful. Over the last several years, UVU has shown itself as a state and national leader in inclusion and diversity efforts, receiving national awards from the White House, Diversity MBA Magazine, and Minority Access Incorporated. As an institution, UVU has chosen to be proactive and far reaching, raising and allocating almost $3.1 million for its inclusion efforts. UVU has 20+ centers, initiatives, and other resources to ensure that students feel safe and championed while attending UVU.

For more information about UVU's committment to equity, inclusion and diversity, please visit UVU's EID page.  For additional student resources, please visit the Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Resources page. 




FEPAC Standard 3.6

The Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) provides support services for students with disabilities so that they can be successful at UVU. A student who is new to UVU and/or accommodative services can find an outline of the steps to take to determine the accommodations for which they are eligible. The first step is to make an appointment to meet with a counselor in the Office of Accessibility Services. Detailed information can be found at UVU Accessibility Services webpage.

To schedule an appointment to meet with one of the Accessibility Services counselors, call (801) 863-8747 or visit the Office of Accessibility Services located in Losee Center 3rd floor (room LC-312) Monday-Friday 8am-5pm. Appointments can be scheduled online. 

Current UVU students who have not been assessed for learning disabilities are encouraged to meet by appointment with the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) to discuss off-campus options for assessment. Submitting documentation well before the beginning of the first semester is strongly recommended. 

As trainees in a clinical curriculum with direct patient contact, students must meet the technical standards of the program (see Technical Standards section in this student handbook).  All students are entitled to reasonable accommodations for disabilities that are documented, and which do not disqualify the student from meeting competencies described in the technical standards.

Prior accommodations from other institutions are not automatically recognized by the FS program or UVU. All students who seek accommodations must engage with the Office of Accessibility Services to determine if the provision of individual accommodations is possible within the requirements of the FS program.  In order to ensure that students have accommodations in place at the start of each semester, requests for accommodations should be submitted no later than two (2) weeks before the beginning of each semester or as directed by the Office of Accessibility Services.




FEPAC Standard 3.8


Effective, caring, and compassionate healthcare depends critically on the professional and collegial attributes acquired by FS students during their education. In this regard, the teacher-student relationship is one of the most important, since the teacher is responsible for both imparting information and guiding the personal development of the student. The teacher also serves as a potential role model for students and it is therefore important that the teacher’s behavior towards the students is equitable and professional.

Everyone must tolerate the fact that people have different points of view and have the right to speak about those different views.  The First Amendment protects most forms of student speech.

At the core of an effective learning environment lies mutual respect between the teacher (including faculty, staff, and preceptors) and the student, and between each student and their student colleagues.  To this end, UVU will not tolerate the harassment or abuse of, discrimination against, or favoritism towards a student by a teacher or a student colleague. Students can report student mistreatment and grievances here.


UVU Website:


Laura Carlson, Title IX Coordinator


[email protected]


(801) 863-7999


The university is committed to maintaining an inclusive community that values diversity and fosters tolerance and mutual respect. FS students should become familiar with the protections provided by the university with regard to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.  Contact the Office of Equal Opportunity / Title IX for any of the following:

  • Have encountered sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual assault;

  • Wish to understand your options if you think you may have encountered (either yourself or witnessed) sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual violence or assault;

  • Learn of a situation that you believe may warrant investigation;

  • Seek guidance on possible informal remedies or administrative measures to de-escalate or alleviate a difficult situation;

  • Need help on how to handle a situation by which you are indirectly affected;

  • Have questions about Utah Valley University’s policies and procedures.


UVU’s sexual harassment policy (UVU Policy #162) applies to students, staff, faculty, and other academic personnel. UVU’s sexual harassment policies help to facilitate an educational environment that is free of sexual violence and harassment while complying with the provisions outlined in the Federal Title IX Act of the 1972 Education Amendments. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.


  • Hostile environment—any unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that a reasonable person would determine to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to a UVU education program or activity; unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to deny equal access is separately prohibited underUVU Policy #165;

  • Sexual assault—any sexual act directed against another person without the consent of the victim, including instances in which the victim is incapable of giving consent;

  • Dating violence—violence committed by a person (1) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and (2) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: (a) the length of the relationship; (b) the type of relationship; and (c) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

  • Domestic violence—crimes of violence committed by (1) a current or former spouse, or intimate partner of the victim; (2) a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; (3) a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; (4) a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies; or (5) any other person against an adult or youth (ages 11–24) victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.

  • Quid pro quo—any instance in which an employee of the University conditions the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of UVU on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;

  • Power relationships—any sexual relationship or the sharing of any sexually explicit or lewd communication, image, or photograph (non-academic) from a university employee with the authority to impact a student’s access to UVU programs or activities.

  • Stalking—a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (1) fear for their safety or the safety of others, or (2) suffer substantial emotional distress.

Sexual assault is not an expression of love, passion, or sexual desire. Sexual assault can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, race, class, age, size, appearance, or sexual orientation. Nationwide, alcohol is reported as the most common predatory (date rape) drug, in approximately 90% of cases either the victim or the perpetrator was intoxicated.  In most cases, the perpetrator is acquainted with the victim.

Students can find a step by step procedure for sexual misconduct here.  This includes what to do if a student has been sexually assaulted.

Being assaulted can create a host of practical and emotional consequences. While you may want to talk to someone you trust, such as a friend or family member, there are also confidential campus resources available, including counseling at UVU Student Health Services. UVU’s Student Health Services provides free and highly confidential counseling to students, which can be an extremely important part of the healing process. The Title IX Coordinator can connect you with additional supportive measures and options without any obligation to file a formal complaint or request an investigation. Be advised: university employees other than the counseling staff have an obligation to report instances of prohibited sexual conduct to the Title IX Coordinator. When you seek help from professionals, first ask what level of confidentiality they can provide and to whom they are required to report if you were to disclose information regarding an incident. That way, you can make an informed decision.




FEPAC Standard 3.8

Within the UVU community, misunderstandings and disagreements needing resolution may occur. Find the office of the Ombuds, here. The UVU Ombuds is one who is familiar with campus policies, students' rights and responsibilities, and can help find useful options within these guidelines. In order to serve as a mediator, as opposed to an advocate, the Ombuds neutrally and objectively listens to all problems. The Ombuds may also help with student grievances. Issues that the Office of the Ombuds can help with are: 

  • Maintaining your rights on campus

  • Mediation of interpersonal conflicts

  • Academic complaints and conflicts

  • Grading procedure disputes

  • School policy and procedures

  • Housing/Landlord disagreements

  • Grade disputes

  • Student/faculty disagreements

  • Policy issues and rights violations

  • Roommate/landlord conflicts

  • Other personal concerns or disputes




FEPAC Standard 3.8

UVU has several resources available to students for reporting various types of issues you may have as a student at UVU.  Depending on the nature of the complaint, you will need to submit the information to the appropriate resource. 

The following are direct links of how to submit concerns you may have, which may or may not be directly related to the forensic program

  • Program Complaint Portal

    Forensic science students can file a complaint based on an issue with the degree program, courses, faculty member or any other issue related to the forensic science program, specifically. 

  • “Report and Support”

    Provides students with instructions on reporting anything from Bias Education Support, Ombudsman, Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, Title IX and much more.

  • The Ombudsman

    For any misunderstandings or disagreements that need resolution.

  • Ethics Point

    For students to report ethical, policy, legal, financial issues or concerns. 

    EthicsPoint is a confidential internet and telephone-based reporting tool, with the option of anonymous reporting, that helps UVU and its employees work together to address fraud, abuse, misconduct, or other violations in the workplace. EthicsPoint is managed at UVU by Internal Audit, who are independent of UVU's management team.

  • Title IX

    If you feel that you have experienced sexual misconduct, discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, you have several options available to you. The Office for Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Title IX is here to offer support and resources to address your concerns through informal or formal options.






Call one of the following:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) (24-hour service)

  • Wasatch Mental Health 801-373-7393 (24-hour service)

  • Dial 9-1-1 and ask the police for assistance

  • Take yourself to your local hospital emergency room

  • Text "START" to 741741 to connect with a counselor at Crisis Text Line

  • The SafeUT app is available to download for free at either the Apple App Store or Google Play

The Student Life and Wellness Center works to support students by offering a variety of life and health enhancing services that increase safety, productivity, and life experience of the individual and the campus. More information is available about these programs and activities on the StudentLife and Wellness Center website here.




UVU's forensic program works to ensure the safety of all students and staff.  It is understood, however, due to the nature of laboratory work, injuries can occur.  First aid equipment is located within the forensic laboratory spaces for any minor injuries which may happen during class.  If an incident does occur, students are required to complete and subit an Incident Report Form

For more information, contact the Office of Risk Management, room BA211, phone 801-863-5971 or email


UVU Department





Emergency Management


Emergency Information

801-863-INFO (4636)

Student Health Services


Facilities & Planning


Office of Risk management


Environmental Health & Safety