MFS in Forensic Chemistry

A student working on a machine labeled "Finnigan LCQ Duo"

The Master of Forensic Science in Forensic Chemistry expands on the general MFS program curriculum with advanced work in medicinal chemistry, instrumental analysis and trace evidence analysis. The degree is FEPAC-accredited.

Students gain the skills to understand and interpret material composition, uncover drug compositions and identify chemical components at the molecular level. 

Focus Areas

Students gain the skills to evaluate and interpret chemical and material crime scene evidence. These skills are valued by law enforcement agencies, crime labs, coroner's offices, hospitals and courtrooms. Our alumni also work in the private sector evaluating DNA, researching drugs and developing new products. 

Program Objectives

Students graduate with:

  • Deep knowledge of medicinal, forensic and forensic drug analysis
  • Mastery of trace evidence analysis: hair and fibers, glass and soil, paper, paint, ignitable liquids and explosive residues
  • Working knowledge of ethics, criminal law and statistics
  • Familiarity with modern instrumental methods used in forensic laboratories, including mass spectrometry, optical spectroscopy, microscopy, chromatographic and electrophoretic separations
  • Communication skills necessary to present findings with clarity

Application Requirements

The Department of Forensic Sciences requires applicants to hold a bachelor's degree in chemistry from an accredited university. Preference is given to students who have extensive laboratory experience with instrumentation analysis through undergraduate research, internships or Federal Work-Study programs.

Complete Application Requirements


Course Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate Programs.

37 credits, including 31 credits in required courses and 6 credits in elective courses, successful completion of a master's comprehensive examination, and successful completion of an independent research project.

FORS 6004Fundamentals of Forensic Science I
FORS 6005Fundamentals of Forensic Science II
FORS 6020Ethics, Professional Responsibility, and Quality Assurance
FORS 6206Trace Evidence Analysis
FORS 6210Advanced Instrumental Analysis
FORS 6224Criminal Law for Forensic Scientists
FORS 6225Statistics for Forensic Scientists
FORS 6238Forensic Chemistry I
FORS 6239Forensic Chemistry II
FORS 6240Forensic Drug Analysis
FORS 6292Graduate Seminar (taken twice) *
6 credits in elective courses selected in consultation with the departmental advisor.
Additional requirements
Successful completion of the master’s comprehensive examination.
Successful completion of an independent research project.
*Students must register for FORS 6292 in their first semester and again during or after completion of the required independent research project.