Young woman in a lab coat looking at a test tube, standing in front of a microscope

For high school students interested in biomedical sciences, laboratory medicine, biotechnology, criminal justice and crime scene investigation

June 24-28, 2024 (Monday-Friday)
University of Delaware Newark Campus

Registration for summer 2024 is closed. Want to be updated on our summer 2025 pre-college programs?  


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Take on the challenges critical to providing evidence that solves a criminal case in this one-week program designed for high school students interested in real-world forensic techniques!

In this noncredit program led by UD faculty and forensic experts from the Department of Medical and Molecular Sciences, students will experience what it’s like to work a crime scene and process evidence in state-of-the-art laboratories at the University of Delaware and the Delaware Division of Forensic Science.

Students will produce and present a “court-ready” report to a panel of forensic scientists from Delaware’s Division of Forensic Science and the Delaware State Police in the program’s capstone experience.

Program details

Forensic Science Pre-College Summer Program — Noncredit Program   
LOCATION: Willard Hall Education Building, University of Delaware, 16 West Main St., Newark, Del. – Housing is not provided.
SCHEDULE: June 24-28, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday
PRICE: $1,995, all materials included.
NONCREDIT CONTACT HOURS: 3.0 CEUs (3.0 Continuing Education Units / 30 contact hours)
TECHNOLOGY REQUIREMENT: Students must bring their own laptop for the first four days of the program.
LUNCH: Students should bring their own lunch for the first four days of the program. (Lunch is provided on day 5 of the program.)

Financial options available 

Only one discount or scholarship award can apply per registration.

EARLY REGISTRATION (May 15 deadline): Use coupon code EBIRD to receive a 10% discount when registering by May 15.

DISCOUNTS: A 15% discount is available for military and veterans, UD employees, UD alumni, or two or more siblings registering from the same family. For details or to receive the discount code, please email

Partial scholarships are available in the amount of a $495 scholarship award. Note: The scholarship application process is closed for summer 2024.

Who should participate in this program?

This weeklong noncredit program is designed for high school students (rising high school sophomores, juniors or seniors) with an interest in biomedical sciences, laboratory medicine, biotechnology, criminal justice and crime scene investigation as potential career choices. To participate, students must have credit for at least one high school level biology or general science course.

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Safety information

Personal safety equipment (safety goggles/gloves and disposable lab coats and extensive safety training will be provided for students. Long pants and closed-toe shoes (e.g. sneakers) must be worn.

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Course outline

  • Day 1: Crime scene investigation, evidence collection, forensic photography, fingerprinting and impression evidence
  • Day 2: Forensic toxicology
  • Day 3: Forensic chemistry; DNA analysis, including polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests
  • Day 4: Field trips to Division of Forensic Science (Wilmington), Delaware State Police Forensics Firearms Unit (Dover), Delaware State Bureau of Identification (Dover) and Troop 3 Evidence Unit (Dover)
  • Day 5: Project presentations and lunch with forensic panelists (lunch provided)

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Learner outcomes

Participants will get hands-on experience with:

  • Documenting a crime scene and collecting physical evidence
  • Using the chemical and immunologic assays common in forensic science
  • Applying genetic science essential to DNA profiling
  • Calculating the probability of matching DNA profiles
  • Performing forensic toxicological analyses
  • Using fingerprinting techniques and analysis
  • Applying firearms and ballistics data
  • Providing courtroom testimony as an expert witness

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Instructional team

Anthony C. DiNardo, Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) section administrator for the Delaware State Police, State Bureau of Identification
Anthony C. DiNardo served as a sworn law enforcement officer for 21 years and as a detective in the Crime Scene Unit in the New Castle County Police Department for 17 years. Following his retirement, he became a forensic latent print examiner for the Delaware State Police and was promoted to AFIS section administrator in 2018.

Jessica Smith, chief forensic toxicologist of the Delaware Division of Forensic Science (DFS)
Jessica Smith manages the operations and staff of the toxicology unit where biological specimens of post-mortem and driving under the influence (DUI) cases are analyzed for drugs and alcohol. The toxicology unit is a team of 11 employees and handles more than 2,100 cases and 9,500 tests per year.

Esther E. Biswas-Fiss, professor and chair of UD’s Department of Medical and Molecular Sciences; director of graduate programs in medical sciences; Director of programs in applied molecular biology and biotechnology in the College of Health Sciences
Esther E. Biswas-Fiss has led the development of undergraduate and master’s biotechnology degree programs at UD, programs accredited by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). Her contributions to research have led to nearly 60 peer-reviewed publications in leading science journals, including Molecular Vision; European Journal of Ophthalmology; Journal of Biological Chemistry; and Biochemistry.

Heather Walters, instructor in the Department of Medical and Molecular Sciences at UD; director of UD’s minor in forensic science
Heather Walters’ extensive knowledge of sample processing and molecular laboratory techniques comes from her 20 years of work in the clinical laboratory at ChristianaCare and her 17 years of teaching at UD. Her expertise is in medical microbiology.

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