Master of Science in Forensic Science

Mission

Our mission is to provide Master of Science in Forensic Science students the knowledge, skills, and abilities to prepare them for successful careers in forensic science. This mission is accomplished through academic coursework, hands-on experience in the laboratory, research, and the completion of an internship in a forensic science laboratory.

Our overall program goals are:

  • To provide full support combined with continual improvement in the quality of education, scholarship and service in compliance with the mission of the university;
  • To develop an understanding of the areas of knowledge that are essential to forensic science; and 
  • To provide students with the practical skills, knowledge and problem solving abilities that will promote their advancement within the field of forensic science


We try to meet these goals by having specific, well defined and measurable objectives wherever possible:

  • Students will command detailed competence of core course material in forensic science.
  • Students will acquire practical skills in forensic science and apply this knowledge.
  • Students will be oriented in professional values, concepts, ethics and problem solving.
  • Students will demonstrate integration of knowledge and skills necessary for future success in the field of forensic science.


The Master of Science in Forensic Science program requires the completion of 44 graduate semester hours of core and forensic science coursework that can be completed in two years. The program is designed to provide students with the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities essential to forensic science. This unique and interdisciplinary program was the first of its kind in Texas. Graduate level topics include:

  • forensic biology
  • forensic toxicology
  • controlled substance analysis
  • trace evidence and microscopy
  • instrumental analysis
  • crime scene investigation
  • pattern evidence
  • law and forensic science
  • ethics
  • quality assurance

These core topics are complemented with advanced coursework and laboratory instruction. The program maintains strong ties with accredited forensic laboratories in both the private and public sectors.

Students are required to:

  • complete an internship in a forensic laboratory,
  • complete an independent research project, and
  • demonstrate good oral and written skills that will prepare them for future success in both the laboratory and in the courtroom.

Those seeking careers in this field should be aware that background checks similar to those required for law enforcement officers are likely to be a condition of employment. Drug testing, history of drug use, criminal background checks and other factors may be considered for employment or internship placements.

Please submit all document to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Admission considerations include:

  1. Graduate Application
  2. Application fee
  3. A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in chemistry, biology, forensic or natural science
  4. Official test scores from the Graduate Record Examination
  5. Three letters of recommendation with checklists, at least two from academic sources
  6. A personal essay of the applicant's career goals and aspirations
  7. An application supplement listing pertinent undergraduate courses taken. Applicants should have completed instrumental analysis and molecular biology at the undergraduate level. However, exceptional students who have not taken these courses may be allowed to take these stem courses during their first year.

The Application Recommendation Checklist, personal essay instructions, and the application supplement are available at Application Resources.

A holistic review of each student’s application will be completed on a competitive basis.

The Master of Science in Forensic Science does not require a thesis; however, students must complete a capstone course FORS 6014 with a grade of B or better to satisfy the University’s comprehensive exam requirement.

Master of Science in Forensic Science (Non-thesis)
Required Courses
FORS 5116Seminar In Forensic Science1
FORS 5117Controlled Substance Analysis1
FORS 5226Law And Forensic Sciences2
FORS 5360Pattern and Physical Evidence Concepts3
FORS 5435Trace/Microscopical Analysis4
FORS 5440Forensic Biology4
FORS 5445Forensic Instrumental Analysis4
FORS 6014Forensic Science Research 16
FORS 6224Quality Assurance and Ethical Conduct in Forensic Science2
FORS 6371Forensic Science Internship3
FORS 6446Forensic Toxicology4
Electives
Select ten credit hours of approved graduate courses in FORS, CRIJ, BIOL, PSYC, or CHEM10
Total Hours44