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Master of Forensic Science in Forensic Chemistry

The Master of Forensic Science in Forensic Chemistry is accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) and trains students to become laboratory analysts in the fields of forensic drug chemistry or trace evidence analysis. Drugs and their analyses are presented to the students through courses in medicinal chemistry and through the special topics course on the analysis of dosage forms of drugs. Trace evidence analysis is covered three courses:

  1. Trace Evidence (hair and fibers)
  2. Forensic Chemistry I (glass and soil)
  3. Forensic Chemistry II (paper, paint, ignitable liquids and explosive residues)

All students concentrating in forensic chemistry are expected to complete research projects and to present their research results either in the graduate seminar or at a forensic science meeting (such as those of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences or the Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists). Students concentrating in forensic chemistry are strongly encouraged to participate in at least one internship at a forensic science laboratory in the Washington, D.C. area.

Prerequisite: A bachelor's degree in chemistry from an accredited university with course work through instrumental analysis or permission of the department. Preference will be given to students who have extensive laboratory experience with instrumentation (e.g. undergraduate research, internships, and work-study programs).

Required: The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. The program of study consists of 36 credit hours of approved course work. All candidates are required to pass a written Master's Comprehensive Examination.


Required Courses

FORS 6206  Trace Evidence Analysis
FORS 6213  Elements of Forensic Science
FORS 6290  Criminal Law for Forensic Scientists
FORS 6223  Criminal Law III: Moot Court
FORS 6234  Medicinal Chemistry I
FORS 6235  Medicinal Chemistry II
FORS 6238  Forensic Chemistry I
FORS 6239  Forensic Chemistry II
FORS 6240  Forensic Drug Analysis
FORS 6292  Graduate Seminar

Recommended Courses (12 Credits)

Twelve credits will be chosen in consultation with the departmental advisor.

Electives

FORS 6295  Research (1-3 credits)

Additional appropriate courses may be selected from those offered by the Departments of Forensic Sciences, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, etc.

It is strongly recommended that students participate in FORS 6298, the forensic sciences practicum.

Microscopic Crime Fighting

Microscopic Crime Fighting

At the microscope laboratory, a Mettler hot stage and comparison microscope are available for refractive index measurements. Two comparison microscopes and numerous transmitted light microscopes provide the means to examine hairs, fibers, glass, and soil.

Solving History's Mysteries

It was a simple enough question: Was the fragment of hair and skin from an animal or a human?