List of the Best Schools with Forensic Science Masters Programs

Find out why location and program offerings trump school rankings for finding graduate programs in forensic science. Learn about concentration areas and joint programs that make the three best schools with these programs stand out. View article »

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Video Transcript

Forensic Science Master's Programs

Master's degree programs in forensic science are available at public and private 4-year universities. Some programs offer concentration options within the major for students looking to focus on a specific topic within the field.

School Overviews

The top schools for graduate forensic science master's degree programs include Marshall University, Michigan State University, and Boston University. Marshall stands out for its regional ranking and its opportunities for students to observe working forensic scientists. Michigan stands out for its national ranking and program offerings. Boston University was nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

Marshall University

Students at Marshall University in Huntington, WV, can pursue on-site internships in forensic DNA analysis, digital forensics, and forensic chemistry. Marshall University was ranked 47th among regional universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2017. The benefits of attending Marshall University for earning a master's in forensic science include its location next to the federal DNA laboratory and students' ability to work with the lab's forensic scientists. Additionally, small class sizes and courses make the school's Master of Science in Forensic Science a top choice. The program can be completed in two years and has concentrations in digital forensics, crime scene investigation, forensic chemistry, and DNA analysis.

Michigan State University in East Lansing

In 2009, Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI, was ranked #7 on U.S. News & World Report's list of schools offering criminology programs. The university also ranked 82nd by the same organization on its 2017 list of best national universities. Michigan State University offers a Master of Science in Forensic Science with concentration options in forensic chemistry, forensic biology, and forensic anthropology. The department works closely with the university's criminal justice school, providing forensic science students a chance to engage firsthand in crime lab operations. This 2-year program helps graduates gain an understanding of the investigative, scientific, and legal aspects of the field.

Boston University

The forensic science program at Boston University in Boston, MA, is one of the few in the nation to be based at a major medical center. Students train at the Boston University Medical Center. Boston University offers a Master of Science in Biomedical Forensic Science degree program. In this program, topics of study include toxicology, pathology, DNA analysis, and death investigation. Students write a thesis based on independent research, and they may also complete internships in the field. The program has been accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC).

For 2017, B.U. was ranked #39 on the U.S. News & World Report list of top national universities.

Top Forensic Science Schools

School Name Distinction Location
Florida International University Miami, FL FIU's master's degree program is accredited by FEPAC
George Mason University Fairfax, VA Students can train at the school's Outdoor Forensic Excavation Research & Training Facility
George Washington University Washington, DC Students can choose from graduate-level concentrations in forensic chemistry, forensic molecular biology, forensic toxicology, crime scene investigation, or high technology crime investigation
Oklahoma State University Stillwater, OK All of OSU' s forensic science programs offer at least some online courses
Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus University Park, PA Ranked #5 on U.S. News & World Report's 2009 list of best schools with criminology programs
University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL U.S. News & World Report ranked the university #19 on its list of best criminology schools
Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA Students take some classes at the Virginia Department of Forensic Science Lab, which is accredited by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors

Students interested in earning a master's degree program in forensic science can choose from numerous well-regarded schools around the country, many of which offer real-world training experiences for aspiring professionals.

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