The Master's program in Forensic Science at Penn State University is a two-year program that features an exciting and innovative curriculum that offers students advanced, hands-on training in crime scene investigation techniques and crime laboratory methodologies. State-of-the-art crime scene training facilities and crime laboratories are used to train students in the practices of modern forensics. Specialized training is provided in forensic biology, forensic chemistry, and criminalistics. Students are also educated on the role of forensic scientists in the criminal justice system through direct exposure to courtroom proceedings and interaction with forensic experts, criminal lawyers, defense attorneys and police investigators.
Our students are not required to write a thesis, but they are required to perform publishable quality research. In consultation with their research adviser, students can choose to create their own project or join a project already in progress. Funding for research and research-related activities is provided.
Both of our degree options are accredited by the Forensic Education Program Accreditation Commission (FEPAC), an arm of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS).
Curriculum and Courses
Grad students pursue either a Biology or Chemistry emphasis. Compare the paths, explore Recommended Academic Plans, and check out sample syllabi by clicking one of the links below.
Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Forensic Science
The formal degree received upon completion of the program is a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Forensic Science. The MPS in Forensic Science offered at Penn State is one of the Professional Science Master's (PSM) degree program supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Since 1997, the Sloan foundation has been supporting the development of professional Master's programs in the natural sciences and mathematics. Graduates of PSM programs directly apply their knowledge by joining public agencies and private industry in their respective disciplines. Graduates of the MPS in Forensic Science program at Penn State will be attractive candidates for jobs in the forensic science, criminalistics, and law enforcement communities.