Forensic Science M.S.
Degree: Master of Science
Program Director: Mark Profili
The mission of the Master of Science in Forensic Science Program is to provide students with a comprehensive and in-depth study of major areas of forensic science that will allow them to compete for positions in forensic science beyond the entry level.
The program is based on an application-focused curriculum that provides the student an advanced educational background and the development of laboratory skills. The program’s mission is further enhanced through active forensic research, internships and collaborative learning experiences with accredited forensic laboratories.
Program Goals and Objectives
The goals and objectives of the Towson University Master of Science in Forensic Science Program is to prepare students for positions as working forensic scientists in business, industry and government careers. To meet these goals, the program combines chemistry, biology and specialized forensic science course work to provide students with advanced scientific and laboratory training in major areas of forensic science including crime scene analysis, forensic DNA analysis and trace evidence/toxicology analysis.
The Master of Science in Forensic Science program is a FEPAC-accredited program that is both molecular biology/biochemistry-based, focusing on forensic DNA analysis, or chemistry-based, focusing on toxicology, drug and trace evidence analysis. This program has the support of and benefits from a wide variety of talented faculty members from the department of Chemistry as well as forensic professionals serving as adjunct faculty. The program is rich with laboratory experience, capped with a research project, internship in a forensic laboratory or a thesis.
The program provides advanced education in the scientific and laboratory problem-solving skills necessary for success in a modern forensic laboratory. The program combines this rigorous training with exposure to the breadth of forensic science disciplines, including forensic science practice, law and ethics. The program is intended for students who are interested in working as forensic scientists in the field. The flexible degree program is also designed to meet the professional development needs of forensic scientists now employed in Maryland and the mid-Atlantic region.
The curriculum ensures that each student:
- Develops an understanding of the areas of knowledge that are essential to forensic science, including crime scene investigation, physical evidence concepts, law/science interface, ethics and professional responsibilities, quality assurance, analytical chemistry and instrumental methods of analysis, microscopy, molecular biology, toxicology, forensic biology, DNA technologies and biostatistics.
- Acquires skills and experiences in the application of basic forensic science concepts, analytical chemistry and forensic DNA knowledge to problem solving.
- Is oriented in professional values, concepts and ethics.
- Demonstrates integration of knowledge and skills through a capstone experience, such as a seminar, a research project, an internship or thesis.
Qualifications for a career and/or internship in forensic science
Prospective students should be aware that background checks, driving records, drug tests, polygraph, and medical or physical examinations similar to those required of law enforcement officers are likely to be a condition of employment and/or internships. Please refer to: NIJ Report NCJ 203099, pp. 7-10 for additional information.
Application deadlines and a full listing of materials required for admission can be found on the website.
All students complete 37 units of graduate work with 9 units being chosen from either the Forensic DNA track or the Forensic Chemistry track. No more than three courses may be taken at the 500 level.
|FRSC 600||FORENSIC SCIENCE AND LAW||3|
|FRSC 601||FORENSIC MOLECULAR BIOCHEMISTRY||3|
|FRSC 602||FORENSIC CHEMISTRY||3|
|FRSC 604||CRIME SCENE AND IMPRESSION EVIDENCE||3|
|FRSC 797||GRADUATE SEMINAR FOR FORENSIC SCIENCE||1|
|Track Specific Coursework (see below)||9|
|Elective Courses 1||9|
|Select 9 additional units from the following:|
|ADVANCED DNA TECHNOLOGIES|
|ADVANCED SEQUENCING METHODS|
|CHEMISTRY OF DANGEROUS DRUGS|
|DEATH ANALYSIS IN FORENSIC SCIENCE|
|FORENSIC ANALYTICAL METHODS|
|Up to 6 elective units from other disciplines may be taken with permission from the FRSC director.|
|A total of 6 units from the following: 1|
|GRADUATE INTERNSHIP IN FORENSIC SCIENCE (0-3)|
|RESEARCH PROJECT IN FORENSIC SCIENCE (0-6)|
|FRSC THESIS (6)|
Students must consult with the program director prior to selecting their electives. Students in either track may select courses from the alternate track toward electives.
Forensic DNA Track
|FRSC 610||FORENSIC SEROLOGY||3|
|FRSC 620||DNA TECHNOLOGIES||3|
|FRSC 621||ADVANCED DNA TECHNOLOGIES||3|
Forensic Chemistry Track
|FRSC 640||CHEMISTRY OF DANGEROUS DRUGS||3|
|FRSC 650||FORENSIC MICROSCOPY||3|
|or FRSC 690||FORENSIC TOXICOLOGY|
|FRSC 670||FORENSIC ANALYTICAL METHODS||3|
- Students will learn to apply their knowledge of analytical chemistry, molecular biology, population genetics, forensic biology, forensic DNA technology and statistics in a forensic setting.
- Students will gain advanced skills in instrumental methods, microscopy, serology, DNA analysis, quality assurance and the ethical and legal requirements applicable to the examination of physical evidence and courtroom testimony.
- Students will develop written and oral communication skills for presentation of analytical findings and courtroom testimony.
- Students will be able to make a professional presentation of their research findings in a symposium/seminar format.