Welcome! Thank you for your interest in our graduate program. The nationally accredited Forensic Science Program at Marshall University is a two-year academic program leading to a master of science in forensic science. The program is one of a limited number of graduate-level programs that is FEPAC logoFEPAC accredited. MUFSP offers a unique opportunity of having accredited (ISO 17025) forensic testing and DNA databasing lab.

The program includes a five-semester core curriculum with both thesis and non-thesis options. In addition to this strong, broad-based core curriculum, four areas of emphasis are offered to gain more in-depth education and training. Students may elect to complete all areas of emphasis in the standard five semester program. These areas of emphasis include Crime Scene Investigation, Digital Forensics, DNA Analysis, and Forensic Chemistry.

On-site research and service forensic laboratories at the Marshall University Forensic Science Center (MUFSC) provide students opportunities to see the inner workings of a laboratory through shadowing professionals in one or more of the Center’s labs; one of many reasons that our program is set apart. These include accredited laboratories providing CODIS databasing, parentage testing, and DNA casework, as well as forensic chemistry, digital forensics, microscopy/comparative sciences, and microbial forensics.

View the Career in Forensics Guide to learn more about the field of Forensic Science.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in a forensic or natural science (or field with equivalent coursework)
  • Marshall University Forensic Science logo transparent backgroundOverall GPA of 3.0 or higher Completed one academic year of each of the following courses with associated labs: Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Physics. Recommended Course: Biochemistry
  • GRE Exam—Tested AFTER 8/1/11,  Applicants should perform in the top 50% of test-takers in each of the three categories: verbal, quantitative, and writing. Tested BEFORE 8/1/11, applicants should have a combined score (Verbal + Quantitative) of ≥1000.
  • Fill out the Departmental Application AND the Marshall Graduate Admissions Application.
  • Formal Letters: 1) Personal Request for Admission 2) Three Letters of Recommendation on formal letterhead from individuals familiar with applicant’s moral and academic record
  • Full admission to the program (once an offer is made) is also contingent on successful completion of :
    • A background check similar to those required for law enforcement officers are likely to be a condition of employment (Reference: NIJ Report NCJ 203099 – “Qualifications for a Career in Forensic Science.” pp. 7-10).
    • Required Hepatitis B vaccination/titer or formal declination of vaccination,
    • Receipt of other documentation required for enrollment.
    • We encourage all students to maintain a drug-free lifestyle to ensure they will not be denied internships or future employment.

Admissions Policy

Admission to the Forensic Science Program is highly selective, with approximately 20 students selected each year. Applicant materials should be submitted by March 1, as entrance into the Forensic Science Program is restricted to the fall semester only. However, the program observes a rolling application policy so that individuals may apply at any time. Applicants are considered after the deadline if openings are available in the program. Students who apply by or before March 1 have a better chance of admission than those who apply later, and it is not uncommon for applicants who apply early to be notified before the deadline.

All application, admission, and degree-granting requirements and regulations shall be applied equitably to individual applicants and students regardless of age, sex, race, disability, religion, or national origin.