M.S. in Forensic Science

Program Description | Admission | Degree RequirementsCourses

Program Description

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 for 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.


Please submit all document to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Admission considerations include:

1. Graduate Application

2. Application fee

3. Official transcripts of all academic coursework previously undertake, including a bachelor's degree conferred by 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

4. Official test scores from the Graduate Record Examination

5. Three letters of recommendation with checklists, at least two from academic sources

6. A personal essay of the applicant's career goals and aspirations

7. 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:https://www.shsu.edu/academics/criminal-justice/resources/documents/grad-add_fs-sup.pdf.

A holistic review of each student’s application will be completed on a competitive basis.

Degree Requirements

The M.S. in Forensic Science does not require a thesis; however, students must complete a capstone course (FORS 6114 <FS 614>) 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 - M.S. in Forensic Science (Non-thesis)

Choose all from:
FORS 5445 <FS 545> Forensic Instrumental Analysis
FORS 5335 <FS 535> Trace Evidence and Microscopic Analysis
FORS 5117 <FS 517> Controlled Substance Analysis
FORS 5226 <FS 526> Law and Forensic Sciences
FORS 5360 <FS 560> Pattern and Physical Evidence Concepts
FORS 6224 <FS 624> Quality Assurance in Forensic Science
FORS 5116 <FS 516> Seminar in Forensic Science1
FORS 5440 <FS 540> Forensic Biology
FORS 5446 <FS 546> Forensic Toxicology
FORS 6371 <FS 671> Forensic Science Internship1
FORS 6114 <FS 614> Forensic Science Capstone Course
2 Electives Choose eight hours from:
Graduate courses in FORS, CRIJ, BIOL, PSYC, or CHEM
1 FORS 6371 <FS 671>, and FORS 6114 <FS 614> are each taken twice.



Forensic Science (FORS)
Criminal Justice (CRIJ)
Biology (BIOL)
Chemistry (CHEM)
Psychology (PSYC)

Return to top

Sam Houston State Logo

Sam Houston State University | Huntsville, Texas 77341 | (936) 294-1111 | (866)BEARKAT Member TSUS
© Copyright Sam Houston State University | All rights reserved. | Contact Web Editor | Last Modified:MS in Forensic Science | Graduate Catalog 2013-15 | Sam Houston State University