Masters in Forensic Science

Forensic science is the application of the methods of science to legal matters. It involves applying biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, as well as social science theory and law to help solve various crimes.

Master's Degree in Forensics

The forensic science master's program is designed to provide theoretical and practical knowledge in the area of science, law, and investigation related to forensic science. It also provides the opportunity to study one field within forensic science in detail. These include the following:

  • Forensic Biology:
  • The program involves serology and DNA analysis. Research focuses on designing techniques that help advance the fields of forensic and molecular biology.
  • Forensic Chemistry:
  • This program focuses on obtaining trace evidence. It also includes research in developing methods for detection and investigation of trace and organic impurities.

  • Forensic Anthropology
  • This program focuses on identification matters such as skeletal analysis, trauma, and the recovery of evidence.

Program Objectives

The learning objectives of the program include the following:

  • Explaining anatomy, death investigation, and techniques used for diseases analysis and trauma

  • Applying technical methods and techniques of collection, preservation, comparison, and report formation for evidence

  • Examining principles and role of crime scene investigators in legal and forensic procedures

  • Applying the main principles of forensic photography and explaining its legal issues

  • Applying techniques, theories, and practices to all civil and criminal investigations

  • Integrating methods of scientific research to explore issues in forensic science

  • Using investigative techniques in interpretation and processing of computer and multimedia forensics

Program Requirements


Before applying to any Forensic science master's programs, students should make sure they fulfill the minimum admission requirements. Candidates are usually required to have:

  • An undergraduate degree in the sciences, engineering, or related fields;
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a four point scale;
  • Take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), although it is not compulsory, it could make a difference in border line cases.


A minimum of 32 credit hours are usually required to earn a master's degree in forensic science.
The curriculum may be divided into core required courses, required courses, and electives.

The required core courses may include:

  • Serology and Biological Evidence
  • Forensic Toxicology
  • Applied Statistics for Data Analysis
  • Principles of Forensic Science
  • Laboratory

  • The required courses may be similar to these:

  • Forensic Science Literature Survey
  • Topics in Forensic Science

  • Candidates may have the option to choose from a range of electives. These include:

  • Molecular biology
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Forensic Toxicology
  • Advanced Criminalities
  • DNA Forensic Analysis
  • Chemical Weapon Toxicology
  • Forensic Genetics and Immunology

  • The above mentioned curriculum and details are usual for many programs;however, please note that there may differences for hours required and course titles at each school.

Career Outlook

Earning a master's degree in forensic science may help lead to career in a wide range of organizations. These may include:

  • Medical examiners offices
  • Crime laboratories
  • Police departments
  • Hospital and chemical laboratories
  • High school science teaching
  • Prosecution attorneys and criminal defense
  • Pharmaceutical industries

Forensic Science Technicians

The median annual salary in May 2012: $52,840 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics) These professionals help in investigating crimes by collecting and analyzing physical evidence. They may either specialize in crime scene investigation or in laboratory analysis.

How long does it take to get a Masters in Forensic Science?

During your master's in forensic sciences, you will take courses on toxicology, pathology and DNA etc. Typically, a master’s degree in forensic science will take two to three years to complete. However, before that, you will need a bachelor's degree in a related subject. Therefore, getting a master's degree in forensic sciences will require seven to eight years of education after high school.

What are the requirements to get a Masters in Forensic Science?

To graduate with a master’s degree in forensic science, you will need to complete a number of core courses and pick a concentration. You are required to pick from two tracks, i.e. the DNA or criminalistics. For both tracks, you are required to pass four core courses on fundamentals, personal ID, scientific evidence and courtroom testimony, and homicide CSI. After taking these core courses, you can choose the specific field you want to study towards. These requirements are meant to be taken as a generic criteria – for specific requirements to get a master’s degree in forensic science, you will need to check the website of individual universities you intend to apply to.

How much can I make with a Masters in Forensic Science?

You will need to complete your on the job training before you start working independently in the field of forensics. As of May 2018, forensic science technicians earned an annual median wage of $58,230 and an hourly median wage of $27.99. Forensic Science Technician is an entry level job that you can get with a bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree in forensic science can open up further avenues for advancement and better job opportunities. 

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:What is included in the core curriculum of Masters in Forensics?

A:The core curriculum of Masters in Forensics include courses such as evidence collection methods, DNA analysis, molecular biology, materials science, toxicology and physiology.

Q:How long is the Master Forensic program?

A:The Master Forensic program is for 2 years.

Q:What is the prerequisite masters forensic programs?

A:The prerequisites to the Masters forensic programs are usually a Bachelors in the same subject. All of the best universities have stringent GPA policy and some also require you have some prior experience.

Q:Are there any scholarships for the Masters in Forensics best programs?

A:Since the Masters in Forensics is an ever increasing degree of choice these days, most of the renowned universities offer scholarships for this higher education degree. However, it is advised that you apply well before the deadline to maximize your chances for approval.

Q:Can you name a few areas offered for specialization in M.A in Forensics degree program?

A:The M.A in Forensics is designed to teach students how to apply scientific methods to solving legal cases. The curriculum comprises of general courses and specialization courses. Students must choose a certain field of forensics to specialize in. Following are a few areas offered for specialization: trace evidence, advanced forensic toxicology, anthropology and archeology, psychiatry, pathology, crime scene investigation, major case investigation, serology and DNA, and crime investigation profiling.

Q:What are the advantages of graduating from an online forensics master school?

A:There are quite a few advantages of graduating from an online forensics master school. Students pursuing online education have the advantage of studying and completing the course at their own pace. This helps in better understanding of the subject without having to worry about deadlines. Distance learning programs are relatively cheaper as students save money on travel and accommodation. More information about these accredited programs is available on our website for students willing to invest in this lucrative career.

Q:Can you please tell me what is taught in the Social Impact of Technology course of the Masters in Forensics Criminal degrees?

A:The Masters in Forensics Criminal degree programs have designated courses on Social Impacts of Technology. This course is worth 4 credits in total and is designed to provide the students with the thorough understanding of the much extensive and broader spectrum of the implications of innovation and advancements in technology.

Q:What does a masters degree in forensics focus on?

A:A master's degree in forensics is focused on scientifically analyzing criminal evidence. You can take admission, if you have a background in related subjects such as criminal justice or any science subject. For the master's program you can expect to study criminal psychology, crime scene analysis, evidence collection, computer forensics, DNA investigation, molecular biology and physiology.

Q:For my masters in forensic science, would I have to study law as well?

A:Masters in forensic science undertakes to study criminal evidence hence study of law is also part of its curriculum. The investigative part of crime scenes and evidence collection requires an understanding of the law procedures and criminal psyche. Therefore, criminal justice subjects are an important part of masters in forensic science.

Q:What is the duration for Masters in Forensics?

A:The duration of a masters degree in forensic will depend upon which school you enroll in. Some institutes may offer this program with a two year duration. You will have to get in touch with the institutes to find out how long the masters program may take. Feel free to browse through our page to learn about the current program offerings.

Q:Are forensic science masters programs also available for students who want to study online?

A:Yes, masters degrees in forensic science are also available for students who wish to study online. You can search online to which schools are currently offering online degrees. This mode of learning is more flexible and convenient to pursue as compared to campus-based programs. To find out more, take a look at our page.

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