A real life CSI drama is unfolding in a small, nondescript house located just north of downtown Houston.

The house serves as a make believe murder scene similar to the ones seen on TV where the first class of the Houston Forensic Science Center's CSI Academy is hard at work.

"A friend of mine had the CSI shows," said Jake Lambuth, a trainee. "I started watching, and I found it super fascinating."

Lambuth is one of the 13 trainees at the academy who learn everything from lifting prints to documenting them.

Candidates must have at least an undergraduate degree in science or criminal justice.

"I realized I didn't want to be in a lab all day, everyday," said Breanna Turner, a trainee who majored in biology and forensic science.

She said she loves the field because, "I wanted to help people who can't help themselves."

CSI investigators work side by side with Houston police officers.

Their total coursework is 400 hours. Their graduation date is set for Sept. 8.