IFRI was the first academic Forensic Center approved by the State of Florida in 1997 to serve law enforcement efforts in the application of scientific principles to the administration of justice. The main functions of this institute are to conduct original research in forensic science, transfer technologies from other scientific disciplines for use in forensic applications, provide scientific expertise to the law enforcement and legal community and provide needed continuing education and advanced training to practicing scientists. FIU has one of the oldest undergraduate forensic science programs in the State of Florida with the Criminalistics Chemistry program beginning in 1974, an undergraduate Certificate in Forensic Science beginning in 1997, the first State approved M.S. in Forensic Science starting in 1998, a report option M.S. in Forensic Science for practitioners and planning for a Ph.D. in Forensic Science to begin soon.
The partnerships between the institute, law enforcement agencies, government laboratories and corporations result in a unique center for research and training. Dozens of institute affiliated faculty conduct research and provide forensic expertise and are complemented by over 100 scientists in the local laboratories at the Miami-Dade Police Department, the Dade County Medical Examiner's Office, the Broward Sheriff's Office, the Broward County Medical Examiner's Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration Southeast Laboratory. FIU and these local forensic science laboratories have regular interactions with scientists from around the world.