Department of Forensic Science

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The College of Criminal Justice's Department of Forensic Science is rich in history yet heavily geared toward the future. The Department of Forensic Science at SHSU was the first to offer an accredited Master of Science in Forensic Science degree program in Texas and continues to make strides in the field today.

In 2015, Sam Houston State University developed the first multi-disciplinary PhD in Forensic Science in the United States.

Our MSFS degree program is accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) and gives students the flexibility to tailor a degree toward their interests and professional goals.

Our graduates have placement rates of over 90% in forensic science laboratories and research positions across the nation. Students utilize campus resources such as the latest scientific equipment found in crime labs and the Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science (STAFS) Facility - one of a small number of willed body donor facilities in the nation.

The Department of Forensic Science also offers professional development and research opportunities through the Institute for Forensic Research, Technology and Innovation.

From the laboratory to the courtroom and everything in between, we have the tools you need to build a career in forensic science.


Forensic Science FAQ

Notice to Undergraduates

If you plan to pursue a career in forensic science and are currently majoring at the undergraduate level in the basic sciences at SHSU, here are some things you need to know:

  • During the 84th Legislative Session, the Texas Legislature passed SB-1287, which required all forensic analysts to be licensed.
  • The forensic analyst licensing exam is comprised of seven domains: Evidence Handling, Basic Statistics for Forensic Application, Brady/Michael Morton Act, Expert Testimony, Professional Responsibility, Human Factors, and Root Cause Analysis.
  • The Department of Forensic Science has included these domains in its graduate curriculum for many years.
  • However, students majoring in science may not have been exposed to all of these topics.

Courses offered in the forensic science minor can assist students in meeting these requirements, improving licensing exam preparedness, workforce readiness, or competitiveness for graduate study in forensic science.

The Forensic Science Minor is tailored towards criminal justice majors interested in pursuing investigative or non-laboratory based careers in forensic science (e.g., Crime Scene Investigators) and science majors who may have an interest in more traditional (laboratory-based) careers in forensic science.

For more information, see our flier.

“Sam Houston's Forensic Science Program helped me to achieve my goal of becoming a forensic scientist by providing the essential knowledge, guidance, and skills needed for everyday life in a real-world crime lab.”

– Anna Mudd '07, Supervisor Toxicology Section, Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory

“The Forensic Science Program at SHSU truly prepared me for a job in Forensic Science. The courses cover everything we need to know and more, the research experience is one of the best because our program has access to so much technology and resources that aren’t accessible to most laboratories (and we don’t even realize it), our funding for conferences is outstanding and really benefits our professional development, and we have an amazing teaching and administrative staff.”

– Kyleen Elwick '18, Visiting Scientist, Counterterrorism and Forensic Science Research Unit, FBI