The Master of Science in Forensic Science program is designed to service the needs of both practicing professionals and full-time students who desire an advanced program of study in forensic science. The program is comprised of three concentrations: Forensic Analysis, Forensic Biochemistry and Forensic Professional.
The Master of Science in Forensic Science program is designed to service the needs of both practicing professionals and full-time students who desire an advanced program of study in forensic science. The program is comprised of three concentrations: Forensic Analysis, Forensic Biochemistry and Forensic Professional. The Forensic Biochemistry and Forensic Analysis concentrations require the student to perform original research and defend a written thesis. The Forensic Professional concentration is a nonthesis option comprised of course work and an independent study capstone project.
Forensic Science is a highly interdisciplinary science, as reflected in the following programs of study. The interdisciplinary nature of the program makes it imperative that students seek advising from faculty members on the content of courses to ensure that they have the appropriate background to master the course content.
The grounding in scientific research methodology provided by the thesis requirement is a central focus of the thesis-based concentrations. The Forensic Analysis and Biochemistry concentrations are comprised of 32 credit hours of study beyond the BS degree. Students will conduct research either on site or at the professional laboratories where they work. In either case, a member of the UCF Forensic Science faculty will act as research adviser and approve the research topic. This research culminates in the writing and presentation of the thesis.
The student’s research adviser will select the thesis examination committee, consisting of two UCF faculty members and at least one other acknowledged forensic expert in the field. The student will present his/her thesis for examination by the committee. The thesis must be judged worthy of publication by the review committee and may not be submitted for examination until approved. For students choosing to conduct research at non-UCF sites, the thesis adviser may visit the student’s laboratory where the research is to be performed, before the research begins and on a regular basis until the work is complete.
Forensic Analysis Concentration: The Forensic Analysis concentration emphasizes the application of modern chromatographic, spectroscopic and micro-analytical techniques to problems in forensic science. This specialized program option is not designed for international applicants.
Forensic Biochemistry Concentration: The Forensic Biochemistry concentration has a strong biochemistry-DNA focus to serve the needs of supervisory personnel in DNA sections of crime laboratories. National DNA standards mandate that such personnel have advanced degrees. This specialized program option is not designed for international applicants.
The nonthesis concentration is specifically designed for the forensic analyst who currently holds employment in an operational forensic laboratory or has previously worked for a minimum of three years in an operational forensic laboratory. Applicants who do not meet these criteria must apply for one of the thesis-based concentrations. International applicants should apply for the Forensic Professional Concentration.
Forensic Professional Concentration: The Forensic Professional concentration is comprised of 34 credit hours of study beyond the bachelor of science degree but does not require an original laboratory-based research project. The Forensic Professional concentration culminates in a one-credit-hour independent study capstone project performed under the direction of one of the faculty members in the program.
Please note: Forensic Science (MS) may be completed fully online, although not all elective options or program prerequisites may be offered online. Newly admitted students choosing to complete this program exclusively via UCF online classes may enroll with a reduction in campus-based fees.
International students (F or J visa) are required to enroll in a full-time course load of 9 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters. Only 3 of the 9 credit hours may be taken in a completely online format. For a detailed listing of enrollment requirements for international students, please visit http://global.ucf.edu/. If you have questions, please consult UCF Global at 407-823-2337.
UCF is not authorized to provide online courses or instruction to students in some states. Refer to State Restrictions for current information.
The Forensic Science MS degree is comprised of 32 or 34 credit hours of study beyond the BS degree with an intensive specialization in one of three concentrations: Forensic Analysis, Forensic Biochemistry or Forensic Professional. Full-time students should complete the degree in two years of continuous full-time study, while part-time students will generally finish the degree in four years.
The program in Forensic Analysis and Forensic Biochemistry is research-based and requires original and independent research resulting in a written thesis to be defended before a committee consisting of two UCF graduate faculty members and at least one other acknowledged forensic expert in the field. These concentrations require 32 credit hours, including 9 credit hours of required courses, 15 credit hours of concentration courses, and 8 credit hours of Thesis.
The program in Forensic Professional requires 34 credit hours, including 9 hours of required courses and 24 hours of elective courses and one credit hour of independent study as the capstone experience. This concentration does not require an original laboratory-based research project. Students not in residence at UCF should consult the catalog for courses with online offerings.
Students with undergraduate degrees in forensic science, chemistry, biochemistry, physics, and biology are encouraged to apply.
Total Credit Hours Required: 32-34 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor’s Degree
Required Courses: 9 Credit Hours
Students in all three concentrations take the following required courses and complete either the thesis option or the nonthesis option.
Thesis Option: 23 Credit Hours
Forensic Analysis Concentration: 15 Credit Hours
Students in the Forensic Analysis concentration take 15 credit hours from the following courses and complete a thesis.
Forensic Biochemistry Concentration: 15 Credit Hours
Students in the Forensic Biochemistry concentration take the following courses and complete a thesis.
Thesis: 8 Credit Hours
The Forensic Analysis and Forensic Biochemistry concentrations require the student to conduct original research and successfully defend a written thesis.
- CHS 6971 Thesis 8 Credit Hours
Nonthesis Option: 25 Credit Hours
Forensic Professional Concentration: 24 Credit Hours
Students in the Forensic Professional concentration are required to take 24 credit hours selected from the list below with approval of their faculty adviser and complete the Capstone course.
Capstone: 1 Credit Hour
The capstone experience in the Forensic Professional concentration requires one credit hour of Independent Study, which culminates in the submission of a required report on a pre-approved topic. This study will comprise either (1) a review of the current literature on a particular forensic science research topic area, or (2) a holistic case study dealing with a particular criminal case in which forensic evidence played a significant role.
- CHS 6908 - Independent Study 1 Credit Hour
Full-time students in the Forensic Science MS program pay a $90 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled. Part-time students pay $45 per semester.
Students in the Forensic Analysis and Forensic Biochemistry concentrations are required to conduct original research and defend a written thesis. Students in the Forensic Professional concentration complete a capstone experience that requires independent research and a report.
For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.
In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements , applicants to this program must provide:
- One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
- Official, competitive GRE score taken within the last five years.
- A bachelor’s in Forensic Science or another physical science, based on at least 30 hours of college-level science subjects, that provides the background required to be successful in the proposed program. Acceptable non-Forensic Science BS degrees may include Chemistry, Physics, Molecular Biology, and Chemical Engineering.
- Three letters of recommendation. If the applicant is employed in a forensic laboratory and wishes to continue working in that laboratory while a distance learner in the Forensic Science MS program, one letter should come from his/her supervisor and should express their willingness to allow the student to use the laboratory instrumentation for their thesis research. Otherwise, the student will be unable to complete the research component of the degree.
- Short (one page) statement describing why the applicant wants to pursue an advanced degree in Forensic Science.
The Forensic Science Graduate Committee will evaluate the background of potential students applying for admission into the program.
Meeting minimum UCF admission criteria does not guarantee program admission. Final admission is based on evaluation of the applicant’s abilities, past performance, recommendations, match of this program and faculty expertise to the applicant’s career/academic goals, and the applicant’s potential for completing the degree.
|Forensic Science MS
|*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.
Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.
Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.