Forensic Firearms Identification Training

Apply now

Logo for the VCU Department of Forensic Science

Seats are limited! Apply today for the 2024-2025 cohort>

Registration Fee: $24,495 (a 2-part payment plan is available)

Meet your instructor

Headshot of instructor Stephanie Walcott

Stephanie Walcott
Faculty instructor
Department of Forensic Science

Photo of closeup forensic bullet

Send 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.

Tentative schedule:

Graduation/certification presentation ceremony

The ceremony is tentatively scheduled for August 15, 2025, 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

What is included in the registration fee?

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!

Want to find out more? Get in touch.