Master of Forensic Sciences

Available Online

The Master of Forensic Sciences (MFS) is a specialized professional degree designed for law enforcement, lab personnel, attorneys, investigators, and other professionals seeking to upgrade their existing skills, as well as individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in the forensic sciences, law, law enforcement, private or governmental laboratories, jails and corrections, and the Medical Examiner s Office. The field of forensics focuses on the application of scientific methods to the resolution of legal problems. The master’s in forensic science degree program offers two areas of specialization. Students are required to take one specialization.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain basic human anatomy, component of death investigation and techniques used for analysis of diseases and trauma, identification of unknown dead bodies; and to professionally interact with the forensic pathologist and medico-legal death investigators.
  2. Apply the technical procedures and methods of collection, preservation, chain of custody, analysis, comparison and report preparation of the biological, trace and toxicological evidentiary evidence.
  3. Analyze the basic principles and the role of crime scene investigators in forensic and legal procedures.
  4. Apply the basic principles of forensic photography, and explain the legal issues related to forensic photography and courtroom or trial presentation.
  5. Evaluate the legal and psychological issues involved in competency to stand trial, diminished capacity, and insanity defenses.
  6. Apply profiling knowledge and crime scene analysis methods to crime scene variables.
  7. Utilize theories, techniques an practices to all criminal and civil investigation.
  8. Use investigative techniques in the processing and interpretation of evidence of computer and multimedia forensics.
  9. Analyze the legal, ethical, and constitutional tensions between the interests of society, and the rights of individuals in connection with various criminal procedures and contexts.
  10. Integrate scientific research methodology to explore issues in forensic science.


To receive an MFS, students must complete at least 54 quarter units of graduate coursework. A total of 13.5 quarter units of graduate credit may be granted for equivalent graduate work completed at another institution, as it applies to this degree and provided the units were not used in earning another advanced degree. Students should refer to the section on graduate admission requirements for specific information regarding application and evaluation.

Students must have an undergraduate degree in a laboratory science in order to enroll in the MFS with a specialization in criminalistics. The MFS with a specialization in investigation does not have a specific major requirement for the undergraduate degree.

For students in the BS in Criminal Justice Administration/MFS transition program, the University will waive the forensic sciences course(s) taken as part of the bachelor’s degree (see BS in Criminal Justice transition program), but these students must still meet the residency requirements for the MFS.

Core Requirements (8 courses; 36 quarter units)
Core Requisite(s):