Because admissions criteria differ, at the time of initial application students must specify which degree they plan to pursue. Students who later decide to change degrees may be required to re-apply.

General Requirements

All applications must be accompanied by two letters of recommendation. Letters should come from persons familiar with the applicant's academic skills, performance, and promise. Typically, recommenders are current or former professors and/or employers.

Admission to the Criminalistics Degree

For admission to the criminalistics degree students must have an undergraduate degree in a natural science (chemistry, biology, or physics) or forensic science from an accredited institution. Applicants should have taken at least one year of general chemistry with lab, one year of organic chemistry with lab, and one semester of instrumental analysis or analytical chemistry with lab. A semester of biochemistry with lab and a year of physics with lab are highly recommended.

For those applicants planning to pursue forensic biology, recommended undergraduate coursework includes biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, statistics, and population genetics or other subjects that provide a knowledge base for forensic DNA analysis. Applications will be strengthened by an overall undergraduate grade average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) and grades of B or better in science and mathematics courses. Applicants are required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test and submit their scores to Graduate Admissions as part of their application. Applications will be strengthened by verbal scores falling at or above the 50th percentile and by quantitative/analytical scores falling at or above the 70th percentile.

MS, Forensic Science

Admission to the forensic science program will be granted for the fall semester only. The application deadline for the forensic science program is March 15 annually. The deadline date includes submission of the completed application along with all supporting materials. Applicants may expect an admissions decision about the end of March in the year for which they have applied.

Candidates are required to complete 42 credit hours of graduate work over a period of four semesters. Transfer of credit from other institutions may be permitted subject to Graduate School policy on transfer credit detailed elsewhere in this catalog. At the time of application to the forensic science program, applicants must specify one of the two forensic science degrees.