Forensic Firearms Identification Training

Apply now

Logo for the VCU Department of Forensic Science

Seats are limited! Apply today for the cohort>

Registration Fee: $24,495 (a payment plan is available)

Meet your instructor

Headshot of instructor Stephanie Walcott

Stephanie Walcott
Faculty instructor
Department of Forensic Science

Prepare your trainees to become bench-ready forensic firearms examiners.

The Forensic Firearms Identification Training Certificate Program is a cohort-based, noncredit certificate program, directed by the VCU Department of Forensic Science. The 18-month program will accept participants via an application process, and is delivered through six modules using a combination of teaching/training modalities.

This program is designed to be an external training resource to firearms sections/units within crime laboratories, and aims to provide quality training to entry-level trainees already hired by a crime laboratory unit. The objective of the training is to produce bench-ready firearm analysts in the area of microscopic comparisons of firearm-related evidence.

Participants must first be approved in the application process. Once accepted into the program, registration details will be provided

For more information and to join the mailing list to receive program updates, please send an email to

Tentative schedule: (subject to change)

Graduation/certification presentation ceremony

A ceremony will be scheduled in August 2026, following successful program completion.


Program benefits


“Bench ready” training

Cost-benefit analysis

Individualized training

Complete training program with minimal follow-up training necessary; trainees will be ready to conduct microscopic comparisons out of training No/minimal loss in productivity at the hiring lab; minimal involvement on behalf of the lab training coordinator, allows them to focus on their primary casework responsibilities, saving time and resources Balances in-person, hands-on training with the instructor, and self-guided training; time and resources for trainees to build important skills on their own, such as self-initiative, time management, and critical thinking development


Why choose VCU?


Reputation in the forensic science field

Dedicated full-time faculty instructor with 15+ years of practitioner experience

Paying it forward to the forensic community

Well-established reputation as one of the best Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs for quality and professionalism in the academic and forensic communities across the US and abroad

One of the only universities with a firearm and toolmark examiner as a full-time faculty member, who actively offers consultation and forensic services to the law enforcement and legal communities in Virginia; maintains membership with AFTE and AAFS

Invests in future forensic scientists with program revenue supporting the future of the forensic community through the VCU Department of Forensic Science through expansion and improvement of academic programs and training certificate programs


The total cost for the program is $24,495. Once accepted into the program, a payment plan option can be selected at the time of online registration. 

What is included in the registration fee?

  • A tour of manufacturing facilities in the New England area, including all travel and accommodations, except per diem
  • All course materials and supplies (including ammunition, firearms, firing range visits, consumable office supplies, equipment necessary for examinations and training exercise, and materials for practical and competency tests and external proficiency tests)
  • Monthly instructor updates

Recommended Hotels

Hotel options within walking distance from VCU campus will be available and include a special group rate.


A message from the department chair

Headshot of Professor and Chair Tracey Dawson Green, Ph.D., VCU Department of Forensic Science


Tracey Dawson Green, Ph.D.

Department Chair and Professor, Forensic Science

"The VCU Department of Forensic Science is dedicated to hosting relevant and meaningful continuing educational opportunities for the forensic practitioner community. We are excited to host this one-of-a-kind forensic firearms training program, which will include instruction by highly skilled, experienced firearms examiners and our brand new state-of-the-art forensic microscopy facility."

Ready to get started?

Click "Yes, I want to apply now!", tell us about your lab and trainee(s), and we will review your application and be in touch with a decision! Please note that the cohort will be filled on a first come, first serve basis, and additional applications will be waitlisted once all seats have been filled.

Yes, I want to apply now!

Cancellation and Refund Policies

You may cancel your registration within thirty days of the program start-date, and receive a full refund, less a $35 processing fee, of any payment made by this date. The first payment amount is non-refundable after that time. Cancellations must be received in writing via email at If a trainee must withdraw from the program after the cancellation deadline, the second payment is not required; however, for a withdrawal to be granted, a notification of withdrawal must be received in writing by December 1, 2025 via email at The second payment amount is non-refundable after this date. If the registration fee had been paid in full, and a program withdrawal is made prior to the second payment deadline, a refund equivalent to the second payment amount will be processed, less a $35 processing fee. The program withdrawal must be made in writing via email at prior to the second payment deadline.

In the unlikely event that this program is cancelled or postponed due to insufficient enrollments or unforeseen circumstances, the university will fully refund registration fees, but cannot be held responsible for any other expenses, including change or cancellation charges to include but not limited to airlines, hotels, travel agencies, or other organizations. Should the training need to move to a teleconference platform, participants will be notified 48 hours prior to the program start date to adjust any travel plans.

Transfer Policy

Paid registrations are transferable if requested in writing via email at within two weeks of the program start-date. The participant must first be approved in the application process.

Want to find out more? Get in touch.