Master of Forensic Sciences
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Master of Forensic Sciences Program
Whether you are seeking a career specifically in the forensic sciences or hoping to advance your skills in law enforcement, lab work, law, investigation, or another profession, you’ll learn valuable and applicable skills in this leading-edge field with a Master of Forensic Sciences. The program is grounded in the study of basic human anatomy, components of death investigation, analysis of disease and trauma, and identification of unknown dead persons. You’ll learn how to professionally interact with forensic pathologists and investigators, and how to apply scientific methods to the resolution of legal problems.
The master’s in forensic science program provides two areas of specialization. The specialization in Criminalistics includes courses in trace evidence, advanced forensic toxicology, advanced forensic serology and DNA, forensic anthropology and archeology, and more. The specialization in Investigation focuses on advanced forensic investigative techniques for the field, giving you a comprehensive understanding of the concepts underlying the forensic sciences.
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredits public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the U.S.
Program Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:
- 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.
- 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.
- Analyze the basic principles and the role of crime scene investigators in forensic and legal procedures.
- Apply the basic principles of forensic photography, and explain the legal issues related to forensic photography and courtroom or trial presentation.
- Evaluate the legal and psychological issues involved in competency to stand trial, diminished capacity, and insanity defenses.
- Understand friction ridge skin differential development and how it applies to the classification of fingerprints and the methodology used in forensic individualization.
- Utilize theories, techniques and practices to all criminal and civil investigation.
- Use investigative techniques in the processing and interpretation of evidence of computer and multimedia forensics.
- 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.
- Integrate scientific research methodology to explore issues in forensic science.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Earning a Master’s in Forensic Science can be worth it if it aligns with your interests and career goals. Holding an advanced degree in this field can open up a variety of job opportunities in crime labs, medical examiner’s offices, and law enforcement agencies.
In the master’s program in Forensic Sciences at NU, you’ll study human anatomy, components of death investigation, analysis of disease and trauma, and identification of unknown dead persons. You will also be able to choose from two specializations: Criminalistics and Investigation.
Yes, you can become a forensic scientist with a master’s degree, but you may only need a bachelor’s degree to get started in an entry level position. Master’s degrees are generally required for more advanced positions and managerial roles. With a master’s degree in forensic science, you may be qualified for job positions such as forensic lab manager, DNA analyst, detective, crime scene investigator, or forensic accountant.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for forensic science technicians in 2022 was $63,740. It is important to note this is a median figure and that forensic science professionals with a master’s degree and more experience may earn $100,000 or more per year.
Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.
Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.
NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.
All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.
National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.