National Forensic Academy




The National Forensic Academy (NFA) is an intensive 10-week training program co-funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, designed to meet the needs of law enforcement agencies in evidence identification, collection, and preservation. The NFA is offered in-residence, utilizing curriculum developed by leading forensic practitioners from across the United States. Participants will be challenged in the various disciplines through classroom instruction, lab activities, and field practicums in the specialized courses. Academy participants will complete written and in-class competency exams to demonstrate mastery of the subject areas. The goal of the Academy is to prepare the crime scene investigator to recognize key elements and to improve the process of evidence recovery and submission.

Target Audience: Law Enforcement, investigator or crime scene technician

TN POST Certified, Diploma 400 hours of coursework, Bloodstain Pattern Analysis 40-hour certificate, NFA is recognized by the IAI as providing the necessary training required for the four levels of crime scene certification.


There are 400 hours of training per session; 170 hours of in-class work; and 230 hours of field practicum. During the course of the 10 weeks, students will be responsible for several educational objectives including, quizzes, tests, case files, research papers, and various other hands-on experiences. At the end of the course, students can expect to complete a written post test as well as a comprehensive, practical final.


  • Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
  • Bombs, Booby Traps and Threats at the Scene
  • Crime Scene Management
  • Computer Sketching and Mapping, and Total Station
  • Courtroom Testimony
  • Criminal Investigative Analysis
  • DNA
  • Firearms and Toolmark Identification
  • Footwear and Tire Impressions
  • Forensic Fire Investigation
  • Latent Fingerprint Processing
  • Photography (Digital and Videotaping)
  • Post-blast Investigation
  • Postmortem Fingerprinting
  • Serial Number Restoration
  • Shooting Incident Reconstruction
  • Trace Evidence
  • Death Investigation
  • Autopsy
  • Bone Trauma
  • Burned Bone
  • Child Fatality
  • Manners of Death
  • Time Since Death
  • Wound Pattern Interpretation
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Bone Scatter Search
  • Forensic Entomology
  • Forensic Odontology
  • Forensic Osteology
  • Human Remains Recovery
  • NFA Session Dates

    2017 and 2018 sessions are currently full. However, we are now accepting applications for the NFA in 2019. Click HERE to view the application.


    In order to be considered for admission, candidates must be employed by a law enforcement agency.
    With limited capacity for each session, admission to the NFA is highly competitive, and there is a waiting list of applicants for future sessions. A recommendation letter from a Chief, Sheriff, or Agency Head is required to be considered for admission to the Academy. Applications will be screened and a pool of candidates selected for each session of the Academy. Participants are required to remain in-residence in Knoxville for the full 10 weeks. Classes are not generally offered on weekends, and thus, participants are free to go home on the weekends if they so choose.

    If you are interested in a particular session, please get your application packet into our office as soon as possible. Once the selection committee has screened applicants, you will be informed if you have been selected. Once selected, you will receive an acceptance packet via email.

    Each participant is expected to be:

    • An investigator or crime scene technician, employed by a LE department.
    • Computer literate
    • Able to participate in group activities
    • Prepared to work outdoors in the elements and with human cadavers.

    Classes are normally held beginning in:

    • January – March
    • April – June
    • September – November

    Each listed rate is PER PERSON and includes housing for non-commuters. Commuters who will travel from home to class each day have a different rate listed. Each Fall our cost increase to accommodate the rising costs for housing and other increased program costs.

    Session Non-Commuter Rate Commuter Rate
    Winter 2018 $9,500.00 $6,400.00
    Spring 2018 $9,500.00 $6,400.00
    Fall 2018 $10,000.00 $7,000.00
    Winter 2019 $10,000.00 $7,000.00
    Spring 2019 $10,000.00 $7,000.00
    Fall 2019 $10,500.00 $7,500.00
    Winter 2020 $10,500.00 $7,500.00

    The above rates cover all those employed in the United States of America only. All rates are subject to change without notice. Until you have received confirmation of your enrollment, fees may be subject to change. For International participant rates contact for more details.

    All of these prices include tuition, curriculum, housing (excluding commuters), equipment usage, and uniform shirts.
    During the 10 weeks at the NFA, students are housed in fully furnished luxury apartments 10-15 minutes away from our location with full kitchens, washer and dryers, cable TV, internet, and various other amenities.

    Transportation to our location and meals are not covered in the cost, and it is highly recommended that participants have a vehicle during the 10-week Academy, due to various off-site training exercises.

    Until you have received confirmation of your enrollment, fees may be subject to change.


    NFA Diploma
    Everyone that successfully completes the NFA will receive a diploma stating that he or she hashave completed 400 hours of crime scene investigator training.

    Bloodstain Pattern Analysis

    Included in each session of the NFA is a 40-hour basic Bloodstain Pattern Analysis (BPA) module. Each successful participant will receive an additional certificate of completion specifically for this module.

    Membership in the International Association for Bloodstain Pattern Analysts (IABPA)
    BPA instructors will sponsor successful participants for membership in the IAPBA. For more information about the IABPA, please visit their website at

    International Association for Identification (IAI) Certification

    The National Forensic Academy is recognized by the IAI as providing the necessary training required for the four levels of crime scene certification. These four certifications are:

    Certification exams for these certifications will be proctored during the 10-week NFA schedule and all study materials are available in the NFA library.

    Individuals wishing to take these certification exams must meet all the experience requirements for the respective certification levels and pay a $300 (IAI members) or ($400 non-members) non-refundable application fee to the IAI.

    For more information about IAI crime scene certifications, please visit their website at


    For more information, contact Dan Anselment at or Melanie Wolfenbarger at and (865) 946-3232

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    Related Links:

  • NFA Collegiate Program
  • Forensic Training