Introduction to Bloodstain Pattern Analysis


While many people believe that bloodstain pattern analysis is a new discipline within the forensic science field, the examination of blood at violent crimes has been around for decades. The goal of this online course is to provide the student with a basic, introductory overview of bloodstain pattern analysis. Students will gain an introductory understanding to the presumptive tests used for blood, understanding basic patterns, and determining the area of origin of a bloodstain. Also, the documentation of bloodstains will be discussed The student will learn the background information and techniques necessary in performing analyses, but this will in no way replace the physical practice required when dealing with actual casework.

Cost: $150.00. This course takes 19 hours to complete, on average.


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

  • Discuss the limitations of Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
  • Determine the angle of impact and directionality when presented with any well-formed bloodstain
  • Recognize the sorts of biological hazards encountered in forensic investigations.
  • Recognize the difference between an enhancement and presumptive test
  • Determine the category in which a bloodstain belongs
  • Recognize the differences between a point (area) of origin and a point (area) of convergence
  • Determine the location from which a bloodstain originated

Course Structure and Schedule

This is a non-credit course offering 3.56 ILUs. (What is ILU?) Average completion time for the course is 19 hours. The course cost is $150.00 per registration. A certificate of completion will be issued to students successfully meeting course requirements.

Table of Contents
Unit 1: Introduction to Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
Unit 2: Blood
Unit 3: Safety and Biological Hazards
Unit 4: Presumptive Tests
Unit 5: Basic Stain Patterns
Unit 6: Determining the Area of Origins
Unit 7: Automation in Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
Unit 8: Blood Pattern Characteristics that Aid in Analysis
Unit 9: Documentation and Preservation


There are no prerequisites for this class. 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
  • Adobe Flash Player
  • Java

There are free software plug-ins available in the Getting Started area of the course.

Basic computer skills 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

Kelly Ayers is an instructional coordinator with Forensic & Investigative Science Outreach. Prior to coming to WVU, Kelly was employed as a forensic services technician with the Asheville, NC Police Department. While there, she was qualified as an expert in forensic identification in North Carolina Superior Court and was published in the Journal of Forensic Identification. She has an undergraduate degree with a double major in Philosophy and Biology from Frostburg (Maryland) State University and was the first graduate of the West Virginia University Forensic Identification Program. Since joining FSI, Kelly has become an IAI Certified Senior Crime Scene Analyst and received her Master of Science in Forensic Science Administration from Oklahoma State University. She is responsible for instructing several continuing education courses, courses in the Forensic & Investigative Science Minor, and crime scene related on site courses. Contact:  304-293-0323

Brianne Miller is an Instructional Coordinator for the Forensic and Investigative Science Outreach program. Brianne earned her Bachelors of Science Degree in Forensic Science from Waynesburg University in 2011. In 2013, she also earned her Masters of Science degree from the Forensic and Investigate Science Program here at West Virginia University. Prior to joining the Outreach program, Brianne worked as an adjunct Chemistry Professor at Waynesburg University where she taught Organic Chemistry lab and lecture. Brianne is an online instructor for Biological Evidence, Bloodstain Pattern, Chemical Spot Testing, DNA Analysis of Forensic Based Evidence, Evidence Analysis, Forensic Toxicology and Hair Evaluation.

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.


Robert Hebert

“By way of introduction, I am Robert Hebert, a 16-year veteran with the Port of Lake Charles (La.) Harbor Police Department; I also served some years as a Navy Master-at-Arms.

It's delightful and encouraging to find WVU Professional Development courses in time when budget restrictions are so tough on departments' training. The courses are simple to follow and accessible at the most convenient times. They are in-depth and focus on the particulars that a lab specialist, crime scene evidence collection specialist, investigator or first response officer need to know.

I've completed Forensic Questioned Documents and Bloodstain Pattern Analysis; I'm currently enrolled in Death Investigation and Shooting reconstruction.

All of these things, a first responder officer needs to know. In a larger department, this information would help the first responder prepare the scene for chief investigators, and make those officers (first responders) more valuable in the event they might be needed to help collect evidence (as would be the case with fragile evidence). In a small department, often the first responder is the chief investigator. So, that in itself says it all: we never know when we might be thrust into a position whereby we must collect the evidence, and all the particular follow-ups.

I'm so appreciative of WVU's contribution to the law enforcement and forensics community. The information is invaluable and most timely. I've encouraged my fellow officers to explore these great courses. Keep up the great work!

Jeanine West“I recently completed the on-line course for Introduction to Bloodstain Pattern Analysis. I want to thank you and express how much I enjoyed the course. It was very convenient for me to take the on-line course and be able to work on it when time permitted. I learned a great deal and am now able to move on and take a 40 hour course on an Advanced Bloodstain Pattern Analysis Course. I feel like I learned the basics and will have a better understanding of the principals when I attend the course in May. Thank you for offering an on-line program to Law Enforcement Personnel. The education is invaluable. I look forward to taking more courses from West Virginia University Extended Learning.”

Michael Kouris

"All the classes that I have enrolled in have been great. The courses have so much information. I am very confident that any situation I come in contact with will aid me.

I want to thank all the teachers and staff of West Virginia University for the service they provide to law enforcment and other public service employees.

Great Courses."