Forensic Science

Major: Forensic Science
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS)
Calendar Type: Semester
Total Credit Hours: 42.0
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 43.0406
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code:

About the Program

The Master of Science in Forensic Science (MSFS) program is a two-year graduate program leading to the Master of Science degree. Students in this program will gain theoretical and practical expertise in various aspects of forensic investigation. Graduates from the MSFS program will be prepared to work as analysts in forensic laboratories or in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry and gain a foundation for additional degrees in science and healthcare.

The core curriculum, taken by all students, provides foundational skills in forensic chemistry, biology, criminalistics, statistics, and law. For enhanced study, students can further specialize through concentrations in Molecular Biology or Forensic Medicine, leveraging the areas of expertise within the College of Medicine. Students will also complete a thesis-quality mentored research project in an area of their interest within the different disciplines represented at the College.

Experiential Learning

Hands-on learning plays a significant role in the Forensic Science program curriculum. Many of the courses involve face-to-face learning or hybrid solutions. The practicum experience allows the student to gain "real world experience" within a controlled learning environment. Students are free to choose the type of institution and also the location of where they want to complete their experience. Students wishing to find full-time employment opportunities find that the practicum enables them to build their professional network prior to earning their degree.

Practicum Description

The practicum experience allows students to translate their academic training into "real-world" applications. Because of this exposure, students are better prepared to enter the current job market or transition to medical and law schools.

Program Level Outcomes

Graduates of the Master of Forensic Science program will achieve six program level outcomes that describe the skills, competencies, and knowledge gained through completion of the program curriculum:

  • Demonstrate the ability to evaluate physical evidence from a multidisciplinary and multi-science point of view. Applying accepted processing protocols to ensure the continuity of the physical evidence.
  • Establish a familiarity with all of the divisions of a crime laboratory including biology, chemistry, comparative sciences, crime scene unit, evidence control, and quality control/quality assurance
  • Understand the legal aspects of forensic science in the judicial system
  • Demonstrate competence with instrumentation and equipment relative to their field of scientific analysis
  • Effectively communicate scientific ideas and information in both oral and written formats using technical language

Additional Information

For more information about this program, visit the College of Medicine's Master of Science in Forensic Science webpage.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the MS in Forensic Science Program must have completed a four-year BA or BS degree program with a focus in biology, chemistry, or related disciplines with undergraduate coursework in biology, general and organic chemistry, physics, mathematics, or related subjects. Although a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 system is strongly desired, applicants with a lower cumulative GPA will be considered based on overall experience, such as research and/or professional, and other strengths that are demonstrated in the application.

The following must be submitted for consideration:

  • Application with $75.00 fee
  • Official transcripts from each college and/or university attended
  • Three letters of recommendation (two must be academic)
  • Official GRE or other standardized test scores (e.g. MCAT test scores)
  • A personal statement describing the interest in this field, personal goals, and career aspirations
  • International applicants (non-United States citizens) must meet the same requirements for admission as students from the United States. Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate the ability to speak, write, and understand the English language by submitting an acceptable score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or IELTS.

Additional Information

For more information on how to apply for this program, contact:

Ms. Safia Dias

Division of Interdisciplinary and Career-Oriented Programs
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies
Drexel University College of Medicine
245 North 15th Street, Mail Stop 344
New College Building
Philadelphia, PA 19102-1192

Degree Requirements


Required Core Courses:
IHS 510SIntroductory Biostatistics2.0
or IDPT 501S Biostatistics I
IHS 514SMolecular Biology & Biochemistry of the Cell3.0
MFSP 541SFundamentals of Forensic Chemistry3.0
MFSP 542SFoundations of Physical Evidence3.0
MFSP 550SBiological Aspects of the Forensic Sciences2.0
MFSP 572SForensic Research Project I1.0
MFSP 573SForensic Research Project II3.0
MFSP 575SIntroduction to Criminal Law and Trial Process3.0
MFSP 589SForensic DNA Analysis4.0
MFSP 592SForensic Graduate Seminar2.0
MFSP 598SForensic Research Project III4.0
MFSP 602SProfessional Courtroom Testimony & Moot Court3.0
Select 9 credits from the following: For a concentration in Molecular Biology or Forensic Medicine, complete the coursework required for each concentration. For general study, complete 9 credits of coursework from either concentration or additional electives with Program Director approval. 9.0
Total Credits42.0
Forensic Medicine Concentration
Required Coursework
MFSP 551SHuman Function3.0
MFSP 552SStructure of the Human Body3.0
MFSP 554SPrinciples of Forensic Pathology3.0
Total Credits9.0
Molecular Biology Concentration
Required Coursework
MFSP 577SGenetics for the Forensic Scientist2.0
MFSP 579SForensic Microbiology2.0
MFSP 580SPrinciples of Immunology2.0
MFSP 597SForensic Serology3.0
Total Credits9.0
Additional Electives
CHEM 755Mass Spectrometry *3.0
IHS 513SScientific Writing for Healthcare Professionals2.0
MFSP 553SHuman Structure Lab1.0
MFSP 555SForensic Science Practicum3.0
MFSP 556SForensic Anthropology and Topics in Human Identification3.0
MFSP 557SDrug Chemistry2.0
MFSP 558SInstrumental Analysis2.0
MFSP 563SLatent Fingerprint Analysis3.0
MFSP 567SBasic Techniques for the Analysis of Biomolecules0.0-3.0
MFSP 570SNuclear/Biological/Chemical Terrorism3.0
MFSP 571SBloodstain Pattern Analysis3.0
MFSP 578SForensic Photography3.0
MFSP 581SHuman Osteology and Calcified Tissue Biology I3.0
MFSP 582SHuman Osteology and Calcified Tissue Biology II2.0
MFSP 583SThe Autopsy in Clinical Forensic Medicine2.0
MFSP 584SIntroduction to Forensic Radiology2.0
MFSP 585SClinical Forensic Emergency Medicine and Traumatology2.0
MFSP 588SAdvanced Topics in Cell Biology2.0
MFSP 590SHomicide Investigation3.0
MFSP T580SSpecial Topics in Forensic Science1.0-4.0
MFSP 603SMedical Toxicology2.0

Sample Plan of Study

General Plan of Study

First Year
MFSP 541S3.0IHS 514S3.0
MFSP 542S3.0MFSP 589S4.0
MFSP 550S2.0MFSP 572S1.0
MFSP 575S3.0IDPT 501S or IHS 510S2.0
 11 10
Second Year
MFSP 573S3.0MFSP 598S4.0
MFSP 602S3.0MFSP 592S2.0
Select courses from concentration or additional electives5.0-6.0Select courses from concentration or additional electives4.0
 11-12 10
Total Credits 42-43

Specific Plans of Study for Concentrations

Molecular Biology Concentration

First Year
MFSP 541S3.0IDPT 501S or IHS 510S2.0
MFSP 542S3.0IHS 514S3.0
MFSP 550S2.0MFSP 572S1.0
MFSP 575S3.0MFSP 589S4.0
 11 10
Second Year
MFSP 573S3.0MFSP 577S2.0
MFSP 579S2.0MFSP 580S2.0
MFSP 597S3.0MFSP 592S2.0
MFSP 602S3.0MFSP 598S4.0
 11 10
Total Credits 42

Forensic Medicine Concentration

First Year
MFSP 541S3.0IDPT 501S or IHS 510S2.0
MFSP 542S3.0IHS 514S3.0
MFSP 550S2.0MFSP 572S1.0
MFSP 575S3.0MFSP 589S4.0
 11 10
Second Year
MFSP 551S3.0MFSP 554S3.0
MFSP 552S3.0MFSP 592S2.0
MFSP 573S3.0MFSP 598S4.0
MFSP 602S3.0 
 12 9
Total Credits 42
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