2023 Best Master’s in Forensic Science Programs
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Deciding which college to attend can be a daunting task. For many, it will be the most important decision that they make in their lives. To make an informed decision, you have to consider a lot of variables, such as cost of attendance, financial aid, student/teacher ratio, academics, student life, and more. These factors will either positively or negatively impact the quality of education that you receive.
Do you want to acquire a master’s degree in forensic science, but don’t know what institution you should attend? Well, if you are as ambitious as I was in my late teens, then you want to attend a top school, instead of an average or mediocre one. Fortunately, we have already done the legwork for you. To help you find the right school for your interests and goals, we’ve compiled a list of 2022’s best master’s in forensic science programs.
What institution did we forget? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
Sam Houston State University was established in 1876 as Austin College, which was a religious institution of higher learning. Today, Sam Houston has more than 20,000 learners and almost 600 academic faculty and staff members; the university’s endowment is just short of $100 million, and it offer around 60 master’s degree programs.
Sam Houston State has an online master of science degree program in forensic science, which is a 44-credit hour degree program that begins each fall. Classes in the degree program consist of:
- Forensic Toxicology
- Forensic Biology
- Controlled Substance Analysis
- Forensic Instrument Analysis
Learners also select 10 credits of elective classes and at least six credit hours of forensic science research. The degree program culminates with a capstone class, which learners must finish with a grade of B or better to satisfy program prerequisites. Learners applying to the degree program are required to submit official GRE scores and should possess a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biology, forensic, or natural science. Candidates should have finished instrumental analysis and molecular biology at the undergraduate level.
The University of Nebraska has 15,000 learners and over 1,000 academic faculty and staff members. The University of Nebraska Omaha has an online master of science degree program in criminology and criminal justice. Learners must finish 36 credit hours of study, which includes classes such as:
- Seminar in Administration of Justice
- Nature of Crime
- Seminar on Race, Ethnicity, and Criminal Justice
- Statistical Applications in Criminal Justice & Public Administration
Nine credits from the degree program are elective classes chosen by the learner. The degree program culminates with a capstone class in criminology and criminal justice.
Candidates to the degree program should have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last two years of undergraduate classwork and possess a bachelor’s degree from a regionally sanctioned institution. Candidates should also have finished a minimum of 12 credit hours of criminal justice classes or related classes. They may also meet this prerequisite if they have taken a basic statistics class or a research methods class.
The University of Cincinnati has a learner population of more than 44,000, including over 11,000 postgraduate learners. UC is split across 14 distinct colleges and schools and has an endowment of over $1.1 billion. The University of Cincinnati has an online master of science degree in criminal justice. Learners select a concentration from the following list: analysis of criminal behavior, corrections and offender rehabilitation, law enforcement and crime prevention, and general track (no concentration). Core classes consist of:
- Seminar in Criminal Justice
- Seminar in Criminology
- Basic Research Methods in Criminal Justice
- Demonstration Research Project
the demonstration research project is the culminating class in the degree program, challenging learners to undertake an individual research project. Each learner accepted to the degree program is assigned a learner success coordinator to help guide them through the degree program and keep them on path for graduation. Elective classes in the degree program consist of applied crime prevention and seminar in white-collar crime.
The primary Tempe campus is home to 50,000 learners, pursuing more than 250 undergraduate majors and 100 graduate degree programs. Arizona State has an online master of science degree program in forensic psychology. Each class in the degree program lasts 7.5 weeks, and the degree program contains 11 required classes (for a total of 33 credits). Learners take classes such as:
- Seminar in Courts and Sentencing
- Quantitative Analysis
- Advanced Correctional Psychology
- Advanced Legal Psychology
The final class in the degree program is a capstone in forensic psychology class. Learners may also find replacement classes for the statistics and criminal justice system class prerequisites, with the approval of the academic unit.
Candidates to the degree program must hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in psychology, criminal justice, social science, or a directly related field. Candidates to the degree program are expected to have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the final 60 hours of the learner’s first bachelor’s degree program. Learners whose GPA falls below 3.3 are urged to submit official GRE scores as part of their application.
Among the science-based degrees at UCF is the online master of science in forensic science. This research-heavy degree is offered via the College of Sciences, where full-time learners can complete the 34- credit-degree within two years. Three types of forensic science concentrations are offered, but the only concentration that can be completed online is the forensic professional. The forensic analysis and biochemistry concentrations require a research thesis. The forensic science concentration only requires a one-credit capstone project under the guidance of an online faculty member. All three concentrations require learners to finish classes such as:
- Topics in Forensic Science
- The Forensic Expert in the Courtroom
- Quality Assurance for Forensic Scientists
In addition to its primary campus in University Park, FL, Florida International University campuses in Biscayne Bay, FL, along with regional centers across South Florida and in countries such as Italy and China. Florida International University has a master of science degree program in forensic science. The degree program is intended to prepare learners either for careers in forensic science laboratories or for doctoral instruction in several subjects. This is a 32-credit degree program that includes classes such as:
- Forensic Chemistry
- Forensic Biology
- Forensic Analysis
- Nine credits of elective classes excluding research or seminars
Learners also take three classes involving their master’s thesis, which serves as the cornerstone of the degree program. Learners may transfer a maximum of six hours of credit from a post-bachelor’s degree program into the FIU degree program. Learners who do not wish to work on the thesis path will still carry out original research but will present a report instead of a thesis. Candidates to the degree program are required to submit GRE scores.
Bowling Green State University is one of the largest state universities in the state of Ohio with almost 20,000 learners and 2,000 academic faculty and staff members. Bowling Green has a master of science degree in forensic science. The degree program comprises 36 credit hours of graduate coursework, which contains core classes such as:
- Elements of Forensic Science
- Law, Evidence, and Procedure
- Seminar in Criminal Justice Ethics
Learners may choose to concentrate in either forensic biology or forensic chemistry. Twelve credit hours are devoted to core classes, and the other 24 are dedicated to the learner’s concentration.
Candidates are required to submit GRE scores and are expected to have a minimum GPA of 3.0 for all undergraduate classwork. Candidates should have a degree in biology, chemistry, or another directly related field. Learners may be eligible for graduate assistantships as a part of their graduate study or financial aid assistance.
The University of North serves a learner body of around 38,000. Roughly 7,000 of those learners are postgraduate learners, who work with UNT’s 1,063 full-time academic faculty and staff members.
The University of North Texas has a forensic science certificate degree program. The degree program prepares learners to begin a career in forensic science or advance to medical school if they wish to become medical examiners. This is a 19-credit degree program and includes classes such as:
- Biomedical Criminalistics
- Forensic Microscopy
- Instrumental Analysis
- Criminal Investigation
Learners are required to finish an internship as a part of the degree program. Faculty members work with learners to find internships and externships in their given area of interest. Graduates have been successful in areas such as DNA/genetics, toxicology, anthropology, microscopy, and crime scene investigations. Learners must pass the forensic science aptitude test offered by the American Board of Criminalistics to finish the degree program.
Pace University has 1,200 academic faculty and staff members and an endowment of $172 million.
Pace University has a master of science in forensic science degree program. It is a 40-credit degree program, which is split across 32 credits of core classes and eight credits of elective classes. Core classes consist of:
- Principles of Forensic Pharmacology
- Forensic Science Seminar
- Analytical Spectroscopy
- Professional Issues in Forensic Science
Learners finish the degree program with a forensic science seminar class in their final semester; an internship class is a part of the core prerequisites.
Pace maintains connections with the New York Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office. These connections provide opportunities for internships and externships during the class of study and for post-grad employment.
The University of Louisville is organized in 12 schools and colleges, which have 78 master’s and 22 doctoral programs. The University of Louisville has an online master of science in criminal justice degree program, which is a 36-credit hour degree program with 15 credits of core classes and 18 credits of elective classes. Learners select six elective classes to fulfill the degree prerequisites. Elective classes include juvenile justice issues, introduction to homeland security, criminal justice history, and domestic & family violence. More than 40 elective classes are available for learners to select from.
East Carolina University (ECU) was established in 1907 as the East Carolina Teachers Training School and eventually took on institution status in 1967. It is now the third largest institution in the state of North Carolina with an overall learner population of around 28,000, including just under 6,000 postgraduate learners. East Carolina University has a master of science in criminal justice degree program. It is a 36-credit-hour degree program, which contains 21 hours of core classes and 15 hours of elective classes. Core classes include:
- Criminal Justice Principles
- Seminar in Corrections
- Seminar in Research Methods and Statistical Interpretation
- Advanced Criminology
The graduate degree program also has a certificate degree program in security studies, requiring a minimum of 15 credit hours of classwork.
Candidates must submit GRE or TOEFL scores that satisfy the minimum levels established by the graduate school. An individual interview may be requested as a part of the admissions process. Learners may elect to take attend the degree program part time, during which they must take at least two classes per semester.
The University of the Cumberlands is a private college associated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
The University of the Cumberlands has an online masters in justice administration, which offers eight distinct concentration paths, including law enforcement and investigations. It is a 31-credit hour degree program in which learners finish common core of classwork along with two concentrations. common core includes:
- Ethical Issues in Justice Administration
- Human Resources Management
- Legal Issues in Justice Administration
- Leadership Fundamentals
The final class in the major is a capstone class to be completed in the final semester of study. It is a one-hour per week class intended to engage the learner’s independent research and critical thinking.
Other concentration paths include corrections, homeland security, juvenile justice, and KLEC or equivalent. All candidates to the degree program must interview with the degree program director or a representative from the degree program.
The University of Wisconsin-Platteville has three colleges, offering bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. The total learner population is just under 9,000, most of whom are undergraduates.
The University of Wisconsin-Platteville has an online master of science degree program in criminal justice. The degree program requires 30 credit hours of study, which are evenly split among core and elective classes. Core classes consist of:
- Criminal Justice Systems
- Law as Social Control
- Criminological Theory
- Research & Statistical Methods
The degree program has three areas of concentration: criminal justice theory, criminal justice management, and victim and offender services. Learners are urged to further customize their degree program of study, even beyond their concentration. Learners may focus their study on numerous concepts such as statistical methods, organizational management, child advocacy, and criminology research.
Nova Southeastern University has 18 colleges covering 150 distinct fields of study. Nova Southeastern has a learner population of 21,000 of which only around 4,200 are undergraduate learners. Nova Southeastern University has an online master of health science degree program, which has a concentration in forensic investigative technology (FIT). This specialty path requires 40 credit hours of study, split among core classes, real-life components, and forensic investigative technology classes. Core classes make up 15 credits, real-life components are 10 credits, and the final 15 credits are from FIT classes.
Candidates should have prior health care experience and perfectly and a diverse background in undergraduate and professional education. Candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally sanctioned institution with a minimum GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale.
The California University of Pennsylvania has over 9,400 learners, including around 2,000 postgraduate learners. There are around 300 full-time faculty and staff members at Cal U. The university has a master of arts degree program in criminal justice studies, with an emphasis in applied criminology. Classes in this degree program consist of:
- Geographical Criminal Analysis
- Equivocal Death Analysis
- Research Methods in Criminology
- Criminal Investigative Analysis
Learners finish the degree program by choosing one of several real-world option. Learners may complete an internship, write a thesis, or study abroad at locations such as Scotland Yard or Parliament.
Learners may be able to obtain class credits for previous learning, particularly those who have attended the FBI National Academy of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.