Top Schools with Forensics Graduate Programs: List of Schools

Learn about the best forensic graduate degree programs offered in the U.S. The following article details three of the top schools to offer such programs, leading to both master's and doctoral degrees. Read about school information and rankings as well as program details.

Master's and doctorate degree programs in forensics are available at a few top institutions. Students can explore a handful of these programs here and learn about their distinguishing characteristics.

Schools Overview

The following are three of the best schools to offer forensic degree programs at the graduate degree level. All are located on the East Coast and offer master's programs; the CUNY John Jay College in New York additionally offers a doctoral program. All of these schools are also highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Within the field of forensics, students will be able to choose from a range of concentrations, including toxicology, criminalistics, biology or chemistry, depending on the school. An internship or graduate study opportunity may be available.

CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, NY

School Highlight: Graduate-level programs offered at John Jay College include an M.S. in Digital Forensics, an M.A. in Forensic Mental Health Counseling and an M.A. in Forensic Psychology.

The John Jay College of Criminal Justice (John Jay) is part of the City University of New York (CUNY) system of colleges and institutions. In 2009, the most current year for relevant rankings, the school was ranked the tenth-best graduate school for criminology by U.S. News and World Report.

John Jay's various academic departments offer programs related to justice, security and law. John Jay offers a forensic science master's program with strong foundations in chemistry, biology, physics and law. Students of this Master of Science (M.S.) program may specialize in criminalistics, molecular biology or forensic toxicology. The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Forensic Psychology program educates students in the subjects of psychological development and psychopathology, personality assessment, and psychotherapeutic techniques.

Pennsylvania State University in University Park, PA

School Highlight: Graduate forensic science students at Penn State have the opportunity to pursue an independent research project, which will culminate with an oral presentation.

Pennsylvania State University was ranked the 50th-best national university in 2017 by U.S. News and World Report. A program leading to a Master of Professional Studies in Forensic Science is available through the Eberly College of Science. Students may specialize in criminalistics, forensic chemistry or forensic biology. Past internship and graduate placements include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, city and county police departments, DNA labs and medical examiners' offices.

Arcadia University in Glenside, PA

School Highlight: Master's degree students have a guaranteed spot in an internship program at the Center for Forensic Science Research & Education.

Arcadia University ranks #15 in the best value schools list for 2017 by U.S. News and World Report. The Master of Science in Forensic Science program is one of a few accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS). The second year of the program is designed to allow students to specialize in chemical, biological or toxicological coursework.

Top Graduate Forensics Programs

Here are some additional top graduate forensics programs and their unique characteristics:

  • Boston University in Boston, MA, offers an M.S. in Biomedical Forensic Science program and an M.S. in Forensic Anthropology program.
  • Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, has an MSN in Forensic Nursing degree available online.
  • Florida International University in Miami requires applicants to the M.S. in Forensic Science program to arrange for a faculty sponsor.
  • George Washington University in Washington, DC, houses the Department of Forensic Science that hosts the world's largest forensic chemistry group.
  • Marymount University in Arlington, VA, offers the Master of Arts in Forensic and Legal Psychology program with a concentration in intelligence studies.
  • Northeastern University, also in Boston, MA, has a graduate certificate in forensic accounting that is offered part-time and online.
  • Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI, offers an M.A. in Forensic Psychology with non-thesis/practitioner and thesis tracks.
  • The University of California in Davis accepts full-time and part-time students.

There are several top master's degree programs and a few doctorate programs in forensics available to interested students. These graduate programs, including those at Penn State and Arcadia University, are unique in their learning opportunities, degrees offered and more.

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