Fundamentals of Latent Print Examination


Fundamentals of Latent Print Examination was designed to discuss basic principles and procedures used in the latent print section of the forensic laboratory. The course provides an overview of the types of substrates, development techniques, and examination process that are currently seen and used in the latent print discipline. The content not only addresses practices and methods, but includes the proper handling and preservation of latent print evidence. Also, the course describes how examiners should present themselves and latent print evidence during courtroom testimony.

Cost: $175.00. This course takes 34 hours to complete, on average. (AVAILABLE SUMMER 2015)


Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Define what a latent print is and explain the difference between a latent print and exemplar print
  • Identify the different regions and minutiae in a latent print
  • Describe the different types of substrates latent prints can be found on and the different development techniques an examiner can use
  • Discuss the ways to preserve latent print evidence
  • Describe and successfully perform the ACE-V process
  • Discuss how an examiner handles expert testimony

Course Structure and Schedule

This is a non-credit course offering 5.74 ILUs. (What is ILU?) Average completion time for the course is 34 hours.  The course cost is $175.00 per registration.  A certificate of completion will be  issued to students successfully meeting course requirements.  (AVAILABLE SUMMER 2015)

Table of Contents
Unit 1: What is a Latent Print?
Unit 2: Pattern Types and Ridges
Unit 3: Development Techniques for Latent Prints
Unit 4: Substrate Analysis
Unit 5: Distortion of Latent Prints
Unit 6: Preservation and Packaging
Unit 7: ACE-V
Unit 8: Expert Testimony


Registration for this course requires the completion of Forensic Science Initiative’s “Science of Fingerprints” online course or the equivalent.  If you register for this course before completing “Science of Fingerprints” or equivalent, your registration will be placed on hold until you complete the prerequisite course. Please contact the instructor, Kelly Ayers, if you have questions about an equivalent to the "Science of Fingerprints".

A printable version of the course content is available in PDF format in the course library for future reference. Course readings are also available in PDF format.

Computer Requirements

  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Quicktime
  • Macromedia Flash Player
  • Java

There are free software plug-ins available in the Getting Started area of the course.
Basic computer skills are required (i.e. turning on your computer, navigating to websites, etc.). The course is user-friendly but support is available if needed.

All Students: Using Internet Explorer (IE) 10? Read info on eCampus Main Page

Instructor Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Why was a correct answer on a quiz, marked incorrect?
Answer: Quizzes are graded automatically by the computer.  However each quiz will be reviewed by the instructor in order to double check the system.  The instructor is able to update your grade if necessary.

Do I have to respond to the discussion questions?
Answer: Yes, all discussion questions for this course are required and are graded.

Who do I contact if I’m having problems with the course?

  • Answer: If you are having trouble with registration or accessing the online course, please call OIT at 304-293-4444.  Make sure you state that you are a non-credit eCampus student.
  • If the problem is related to the course material, please email the instructor who will respond to your email as soon as possible.

Can I look at the material while taking the quiz?
Answer: Yes, the quiz open in a new window so you can review the course information.

I’m having problems viewing the images of the prints in the assignment.  How do I make them better?
Answer: You can print off all the latent and exemplar prints to view them better.  If this does not work, then save each image individually and re-open the image Windows Photo Viewer.

Registration Information 

Click on the "Register Now" button at the top to register online through our secure server. You will be receiving email with your online course access information within five working days. Please check your spam or junk folder in case the confirmation email was misplaced there. Call 1-800-253-2762, or email if you have any questions. Major credit cards are accepted.

Check our FAQ page for refund policy and class access information.

Group Discount

We offer discounts for groups over 10. All individuals in the group need to register for the same course to take advantage of the discount. Discount rates vary by group size as follows:

  • 10-20 people 10% off
  • 21-30 people 15% off
  • 31-40 people 20% off
  • Above 40, contact for special pricing

Interested in a group discount?  Please contact the Continuing & Professional Education office at (304) 293-7570 or email us at for a coupon code.

Check our FAQ and Refund Policy for refund and class access information.