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 or project 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 30-31 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.
In addition, all applicants should review the Admission to a Graduate Program section in this catalog.
Required Courses (17 credit hours)
FOR 612 PRINCIPLES OF FORENSIC SCIENCE 3
FOR 614 FORENSIC APPLICATIONS OF INSTRUMENTAL ANALYSIS 4
FOR 616 MICROSCOPY IN FORENSIC SCIENCE 2
FOR 618 DRUG CHEMISTRY AND TOXICOLOGY 3
BIO/CHE 672 FORENSIC MOLECULAR BIOLOGY 4
CHE 698 JOURNAL SEMINAR 1
Approved Electives (6-9 credit hours)
Choose from the following: 6
CHE 572 ADVANCED BIOCHEMISTRY
FOR 598 GRADUATE MICROCOURSE (1-3)
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 SPECTROMETRY (1)
CHE 670 BIOMOLECULES: PROTEINS, NUCLEIC ACIDS, AND ENZYMES
CHE 680 ADVANCED ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY
BIO 601 FOUNDATIONS OF CELL AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
BIO 608 MOLECULAR GENETICS
GES 513 ADVANCED FORENSIC GEOSCIENCE
CRJ 630 CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE
*A maximum of 3 credits of FOR 598 may be used to the satisfy the elective course requirement
Research Credit (4-8 credit hours)
Choose one of the following options:
1) Thesis Option (8 credit hours)
CHE 699 THESIS SEMINAR AND DEFENSE (2)
FOR 795 RESEARCH THESIS IN FORENSIC SCIENCE (1-12)
CHE 795 RESEARCH THESIS IN CHEMISTRY (1-12)
or BIO 695 RESEARCH THESIS IN BIOLOGY
2) Project Option (4 credit hours)
FOR 690 MASTERS PROJECT (1-4)
or CHE 690 MASTER'S PROJECT
Total Required Credit Hours 30-31
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