Forensic Biology Graduate Degree Program Information

Oct 12, 2019

Forensic biology typically involves the examination of collected materials at the cellular level. Students who are interested in graduate studies in the field can pursue a master's degree.

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Essential Information

A master's degree program in forensic biology is generally geared toward individuals seeking leadership positions working with technical analysts. Master's degree programs in forensic biology prepare students for advanced careers as forensic scientists or to pursue their studies at the doctoral level. These programs can be found as Master of Science in Forensic Biology and Master of Science in Forensic Science with a concentration in forensic biology programs. Due to the hands-on labs and training requirements, this program is not typically available online.

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree, preferably in a biology-related field, and submit GRE scores. They must also demonstrate successful completion of prerequisite courses, including biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology.

Master's Degree in Forensic Biology

Master's degree programs in forensic biology can prepare students for work beyond the fundamentals of the field. They are typically designed for individuals interested in managing or directing laboratories. Programs can also offer improved knowledge for individuals who want to develop new research techniques, expand current methodologies or make breakthroughs in forensic science.

The majority of coursework generally involves intensive laboratory research. Students may also be required to participate in an internship. In total, students are expected to complete 38 to 40 semester hours of coursework. During a student's course of study, some course topics might include:

  • Cell analysis
  • Handling evidence
  • Serology
  • DNA Analysis
  • Bioinformatics and biotechnology
  • Genetic research

Popular Career Options

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most forensic science technician positions require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in the field. With a master's degree in forensic biology, an individual can be qualified for advancement in employment and management opportunities. Some possible career titles may include:

  • DNA analyst
  • Forensic science researcher
  • Laboratory director
  • Government forensic scientist

Continuing Education

Graduates can pursue their Ph.D. degrees in a variety of biological science subjects, such as pathology, microbiology and cellular biology. These programs may include concentration options in forensic biology. A Ph.D. can also prepare graduates for academic teaching opportunities at the university level and advanced research careers.

By earning a master's degree in forensic biology, students build the scientific background and analytical skills they need for high-level positions in the field. They may also use the research skills they gain by enrolling in a related doctoral program when they finish.

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