Master’s in Forensic Science – Marshall University

The Master’s in Forensic Science degree program is a nationally-recognized leader in forensic science education. Our students receive instruction using state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, preparing them for a bright future and exciting careers.

The Forensic Science Program offers four areas of emphasis that students may complete to enhance the core curriculum. The student is required to complete at least one area of emphasis but may complete up to four within the five-semester course of study. Completing multiple areas of emphasis is contingent on maintaining good academic standing while enrolled in the program.

Students may choose from the following four Areas of Emphasis:

  • Crime Investigation Emphasis

The Crime Scene Investigation emphasis provides students with the tools and hands-on experience to excel and become leaders in their field. The Forensic Science program has its own Crime Scene House that allows students to obtain real-world experience and training through the completion of mock crime scene exercises. Upon completion of this emphasis, students qualify to sit for the International Association for Identification Basic Student Knowledge in Crime Scene Examination.

  • Digital Forensics

Computers and other digital devices hold a wealth of information including text, digital images, audio and video, which can serve as key evidence for solving crimes. Forensic software programs can be used to image digital storage media and the images can be analyzed using a variety of investigative software programs. Mobile phone forensics is an area that is emphasized in the forensic science courses, as well as investigation of computers and gaming devices. The opportunity to participate in hands-on experiences with investigative tools allows students to participate in mock investigations in preparation for careers in this exciting discipline.

  • DNA Analysis

The Marshall University Forensic Science Center is home to the academic program as well as a service-oriented DNA laboratory. This lab also serves as a Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) for West Virginia. MU DNA Lab facility and staff serve as instructors and supervisors for various DNA-based courses while providing select students with real-world experience, training, and exposure to the inner workings of a Forensic DNA Laboratory. The DNA emphasis exceeds the DNA Advisory Board standards by requiring a total of 12 graduate-level credit hours addressing the DNA guidelines.

  • Forensic Chemistry

Students pursuing careers in forensic drug analysis, toxicology, and trace evidence will benefit from the completion of the Forensic Chemistry emphasis. As some agencies may require 30 or more hours of chemistry coursework, the Forensic Chemistry emphasis provides additional education and hands-on training to meet these federal and state guidelines.


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