The master of science in forensic science provides advanced education in the scientific and laboratory methods utilized in a modern forensic laboratory. The program unites current theory and practices in forensic science with advanced laboratory training and an exploration of issues in the related disciplines of law enforcement and ethics.
Important Note: Individuals seeking employment in a forensic science laboratory may be required to undergo an extensive background check including a lie detector test, fingerprinting, and drug testing.
The curriculum for the program is structured around a core of advanced forensic science lecture and laboratory courses supplemented by electives in specialized sub-disciplines. The program includes a seminar component and culminates in a master’s thesis based upon original scholarship carried out by the student.
Successful completion of this program requires that students have a strong background in math and science including laboratory experience in chemistry and biology upon admission. The program consists of 31 credit hours and should take two years to complete.
1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 (4.0 scale).
2. An official transcript of the applicant’s undergraduate program showing successful completion of 48 credit hours of college science and mathematics courses, including the following coursework: one year of general chemistry, one year of organic chemistry with laboratory, a course in analytical chemistry, one year of general biology (including cell biology), a course in genetics or population genetics, and a course in either molecular biology or biochemistry.
3. A minimum GPA in the required chemistry and biology coursework of 2.9 (on a 4.0-point scale).
4. Three letters of recommendation from individuals who are familiar with the applicant’s academic record.
5. A written statement concerning the applicant’s academic background, future plans, and areas of research interest.
Required Courses 19 credits
FOR 612 Principles of Forensic Science
FOR 614 Forensic Applications of Instrumental Analysis (4)
FOR 616 Microscopy in Forensic Science (2)
FOR 618 Drug Chemistry and Toxicology
BIO/CHE 672 Forensic Molecular Biology (4)
CHE 698 Journal Seminar (1)
CHE 699 Thesis Seminar and Defense (2)
Research Credit 6 credits
Elective Courses 6 credits
CHE 572 Advanced Biochemistry
FOR 598 Forensics Microcourse(s) (1-3)
CHE 625 Physical Methods (4)
CHE 626 Symmetry, Group Theory, and Vibrational Spectroscopy (1)
CHE 627 X-Ray Crystallography (1)
CHE 628 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (1)
CHE 629 Mass Spectroscopy (1)
CHE 670 Biomolecules
CHE 680 Advanced Analytical Chemistry
BIO 601 Foundations of Cellular and Molecular Biology
BIO 608 Molecular Genetics
GES 513 Advanced Forensic Geosciences
CRJ 630 Constitutional Issues in Criminal Justice
Total Required Credit Hours 31 credits
All courses are 3 credits hours unless otherwise indicated.