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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: CMRJ402 Course ID: 2536 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This course will examine contemporary practices for investigating sudden, unexpected and violent death. Two major topics will be explored: the first focusing on the manner of death (the social circumstances under which the death occurs), the second focusing on the cause of death (the particular material actions which result in death).The following types of deaths will be considered: asphyxial, blunt and sharp force, firearms, natural causes, mass disaster, child abuse, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and suicide. Estimating the postmortem interval and identification of human remains will also be considered. It is recommended that students take CMRJ306 before enrolling in this course.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
10/26/20 - 04/02/21 04/05/21 - 05/30/21 Spring 2021 Session B 8 Week session
12/28/20 - 06/04/21 06/07/21 - 08/01/21 Spring 2021 Session D 8 Week session
02/22/21 - 07/30/21 08/02/21 - 09/26/21 Summer 2021 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

At the conclusion of the course students will be able to:

CO1: Explain the documentation and procedural aspects of an autopsy.

CO2: Assess the purpose and limitations of postmortem interval.

CO3: Differentiate the manner, cause, and mechanism of death.

CO4: Describe the challenges associated with blunt force trauma injuries.

CO5: Illustrate the significant factors involved in identifying firearm and sharp force injuries.

CO6: Validate critical thinking and problem solving skills in the death investigation process.

CO7: Explain the injuries characteristic of a traffic fatality.

CO8: Interpret present and past medicolegal indications of child abuse.

CO9: Summarize the relevance of forensic anthropology in death investigations.


Instructions and grading expectations for all forums will appear in the Forums section of the course site.


Instructions and grading expectations for all assignments will appear in the Assignments section of the course site.


Instructions and grading expectations for all exams will appear in the Tests & Quizzes section of the course site.

NameGrade %
Intro 1.00 %
Introduction 1.00 %
Forums 29.00 %
Week 1 Forum 4.83 %
Week 2 Forum 4.83 %
Week 3 Forum 4.83 %
Week 5 Forum 4.83 %
Week 6 Forum 4.83 %
Week 7 Forum 4.83 %
Assignments 20.00 %
Assignment 1 6.67 %
Assignment 2 6.67 %
Assignment 3 6.67 %
Research Paper 15.00 %
Research Paper 15.00 %
Exams 35.00 %
H: Final Examination 17.50 %
D: Midterm Exam 17.50 %

Weekly lessons and assigned readings are available in the course site.

Book Title:Forensic Medicolegal Injury and Death Investigation - e-book available in the APUS Online Library
Publication Info:CRC Press
Author: No Author Specified
Unit Cost:$74.63
Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.