Forensic science is a rapidly evolving discipline, which applies a wide variety of scientific principles to enhance our legal system. In the past, most forensic laboratories were staffed primarily with graduates of chemistry and biology programs. Once hired into a forensics laboratory, they were trained through workshops and courses offered by various agencies.
With the increasing introduction of scientific results into court testimony and the demands for formal training which includes hands-on experiences, Marshall University’s Forensic Science Program satisfies national standards and guidelines to enable its graduates to enter this fascinating field.
The goal of the Master of Science Degree Program is to provide the forensic science community with graduates who possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities sought by crime labs and other law enforcement entities and to assist these agencies in reducing the requirement for employer-based on-the-job training. Our students receive instruction using state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, preparing them for a bright future and exciting careers.
The FEPAC accredited Forensic Science Graduate Program at Marshall University is a two-year academic program leading to a Master of Science degree in Forensic Science. The program includes a five-semester core curriculum with both thesis and non-thesis options. In addition to this core curriculum, four areas of emphasis are offered to students for more in-depth education and training in specific forensic disciplines. While one area of emphasis is required, students may complete all four areas of emphasis during their course of study.
The four areas of emphasis include:
DNA Laboratory faculty 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.
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.
The opportunity for graduate students to participate in hands-on experiences with investigative tools allows students to participate in mock investigations in preparation for careers in this exciting discipline. Forensic software programs can be used to image digital storage media and the images can be analyzed using a variety of investigative software programs. Cell phone forensics is an area which is emphasized in the forensic science courses as well as investigation of computers and gaming devices.
The Crime Scene Investigation emphasis provides graduate students with the tools and hands-on experience to excel and become leaders in their field. The Forensic Science Graduate Program has its own Crime Scene House which 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.
A summer internship between the first and second year provides the student with real-world experience in a variety of specialty areas. On-site internships are offered in DNA Analysis, Forensic Chemistry, Computer Forensics, and Microbial Forensics. For specialty areas not offered within MUFSC facilities, students have interned in crime laboratories within the state and across the nation.
Visit the Academic Program website: Forensic Science Graduate Program
The Master of Science Degree Program, at the Marshall University Forensic Science Center, is one of a limited number of graduate programs which are FEPAC accredited.
The Marshall University Forensic Science Center’s DNA Laboratory is accredited by Forensic Quality Services (FQS) as an ISO 17025 conformant testing laboratory for forensic casework, CODIS databasing, and forensic relationship testing.
Learn more about the Marshall University Forensic Science Center's Accreditations.
Forensic Science Center
1401 Forensic Science Drive
Huntington, WV, 25701
Reprint of Marshall Magazine Spring 2012 Issue used by permission.
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