Forensic Science

Description

The Master of Forensic Science degree with areas of concentration in Forensic Biology and Forensic Chemistry will equip students with the ability to visualize and achieve excellence in a dynamic global community. Students will graduate with the competence and confidence needed to address creatively the opportunities and problems facing their communities, the nation, and the world. Graduates of the program will be prepared for employment in local, state, or federal government crime laboratories, forensics laboratories, DNA testing facilities, the biotechnology industry, and/or continued study at the doctoral level.

Objectives

Upon completion of the Master of Forensic Science degree, graduates will be able to:

  1. Process forensic evidence and report findings in an ethical manner.
  2. Communicate those findings in both written and oral formats.
  3. Apply the quality assurance, quality control and safety requirements used in accredited forensic science laboratories.
  4. Develop a comprehensive analysis of the scientific literature of a topic.
  5. Formulate a hypothesis, design and execute a research project.
  6. Develop a thesis that reflects the results of the research project; explains those results; and formulates novel suggestions for further study. 
  7. Participate in mock judicial examinations.

Upon completion of the Master of Forensic Science Area of Concentration in Forensic Biology, students will be able to:

  1. Examine the science underlying DNA analysis.
  2. Describe how DNA is analyzed.
  3. Analyze serological evidence.
  4. Analyze immunological evidence.

OR

Upon completion of the Master of Forensic Science Area of Concentration in Forensic Chemistry, students will be able to:

  1. Examine the science underlying chemical analysis.
  2. Describe the toxicology and analytical chemistry relevant to isolating and identifying drugs and toxic substances.
  3. Analyze chemical evidence.
  4. Analyze trace evidence.

Policies

The grade of "C" is the lowest acceptable grade, and only one can be awarded during the program. A student may repeat one course in a graduate program one time. Once a student has repeated a course, the student will not be permitted to repeat any other courses. If a student repeats a course, only the latter grade is used in computing the grade point average. However, all courses taken become a part of the student's academic record. Further, a student may withdraw from each graduate course one time only. A minimum cumulative 3.00 grade point average on all graduate work attempted is required for graduation. Only one grade of "C" may be applied toward the GPA requirement. Degree requirements must be completed within seven years after the first course applied to the degree was completed.

Prerequisite Requirements

Forensic Science Program Prerequisite Requirements

Students who wish to enter the master's program in forensic science must have a bachelor's degree in chemistry, biology, or other equivalent natural science, or forensic science - with a cumulative and science/math grade point average of 3.00 or higher on a four-point scale and must meet the following course prerequisites.

The degree programs mentioned above should have the minimum natural science core requirements consisting of the following:

  • General chemistry I and II and lab for science majors (8 credit hours)
  • Organic chemistry I and II and lab (8 credit hours)
  • Biology I for science majors (4 credit hours)
  • Physics I and II and lab for science majors (8 credit hours)
  • Calculus (3 credit hours)
  • Statistics (3 credit hours)

Applicants interested in the Master of Forensic Science Area of Concentration in Chemistry should have the following course work:

  • Analytical/Quantitative chemistry
  • Instrumental analysis
  • Physical chemistry
  • Inorganic chemistry

Note: The above courses should have a laboratory component.

Applicants interested in the Master of Forensic Science Area of Concentration in Biology should have the following course work:

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular biology
  • Genetics
  • Population statistics
  • Cell biology
  • Microbiology

Note: Two of the above courses should have a laboratory component.

Requirements

The curriculum for the forensic science program follows and is designed to be completed in as few as two years. Students must complete all core courses. In addition, students must elect an area or concentration and complete all courses in the concentration.

Required Courses:

Core Courses:

FSCI 500Survey of Forensic Science

3 credits

FSCI 610Physical Evidence at Crime Scenes

3 credits

FSCI 615Safety/Quality Control/Quality Assurance

3 credits

FSCI 655 or FSCI 675FSCI 655 Practicum Rotations or FSCI 675 The Crime Laboratory: Structure and Operations

3 credits

FSCI 702Seminar in Forensic Science

3 credits

FSCI 760Research Project & Presentation I

3 credits

FSCI 761Research Project & Presentation II

3 credits

FSCI 762Expert Witness Preparation and Practice

3 credits

Area of Concentration in Biology:

FSCI 640Serology and Immunology

3 credits

FSCI 645DNA Analysis

3 credits

FSCI 660Forensic DNA Computer Applications

3 credits

FSCI or FS Elective Forensic Science or Forensic Studies Elective

3 credits

Area of Concentration in Chemistry:

FSCI 617Trace Evidence

3 credits

FSCI 620Drug Analysis

3 credits

FSCI 670Forensic Toxicology

3 credits

FSCI or FS Elective Forensic Science or Forensic Studies Elective

3 credits

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