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, and 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 by 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.
Admission considerations include: (1) a bachelor’s degree from a regionally
accredited institution in chemistry or biology; or a bachelor’s degree from a
regionally accredited institution in a forensic or natural science with the
equivalent of a minor in either chemistry or biology; (2) official transcripts of all academic coursework previously undertaken; (3) official test scores from the
Graduate Record Examination; (4) three letters of recommendation with checklists, at least
two from academic sources; (5) a personal essay of the applicant's career goals and aspirations; and (6) 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 the following website: http//forensics.shsu.edu/documents/app.pdf.
A holistic review of each student’s application will be completed on a competitive basis.
The MS in Forensic Science does not require a thesis; however, students must complete a capstone course (FS 614 <FORS 6114>) with a grade of B or better to satisfy the University’s comprehensive exam requirement. Students should seek advisement from the criminal justice Graduate Admissions Coordinator in planning a course of study.
Degree Plan - MS in Forensic Science (Non-thesis)
|Choose all from:
FS 545 <FORS 5445> Forensic Instrumental Analysis
FS 535 <FORS 5335> Trace Evidence and Microscopic Analysis
FS 517 <FORS 5117> Controlled Substance Analysis
FS 526 <FORS 5226> Law and Forensic Sciences
FS 560 <FORS 5360> Pattern and Physical Evidence Concepts
FS 624 <FORS 6224> Quality Assurance in Forensic Science
FS 516 <FORS 5116> Seminar in Forensic Science1
FS 540 <FORS 5440> Forensic Biology
FS 546 <FORS 5446> Forensic Toxicology
FS 671 <FORS 6371> Forensic Science Internship1
FS 614 <FORS 6114> Forensic Science Capstone Course1
|2||Electives||Choose seven hours from:
Graduate courses in FORS, CRIJ, BIOL, PSYC, or CHEM
|1||FS 671 <FORS 6371>, and FS 614 <FORS 6114> are each taken twice.|