The Forensic Science Program offers a master’s degree in Forensic Science with four concentrations to best suit the student’s future career goals- Crime Scene Investigation, Forensic Biology Analysis, Forensic Chemistry Analysis, and Forensic/Biometric Identity Analysis. This graduate degree will prepare students for a rewarding career in federal, state and local laboratories, investigative or intelligence agencies, private companies, or allow professionals currently working in the field an opportunity to improve their education and optimize career advancement.

Located in Northern Virginia within the Washington DC Metro area, our students are afforded the opportunity to study in close proximity to a plethora of federal, state and local crime laboratories, investigative and intelligence agencies. These facilities provide unique access to forensic science experts and offer students competitive internships and job opportunities.

Available concentrations include:

  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Forensic Biology Analysis
  • Forensic Chemistry Analysis
  • Forensic/Biometric Identity Analysis

Admissions

University-wide admissions policies can be found in the Graduate Admissions Policies section of this catalog.

To apply for this program, please complete the George Mason University Admissions Application.

Applicants should submit a completed George Mason University Admissions Application, three letters of recommendation, two copies of official transcripts from each institution of higher learning attended, a current resume, a Virginia Domicile Classification form, and an official report of TOEFL scores (foreign nationals only). Additionally:

Forensic Biology Analysis and Forensic Chemistry Analysis Concentrations

A bachelor's degree in a forensic or natural science.

Forensic/Biometric Identity Analysis Concentration

A bachelor of science or bachelor of arts degree in a forensic or natural science, computer science, computer electronic or electrical engineering, information systems or information technology (or its equivalent coursework in a relevant field).

Crime Scene Investigation Concentration

A bachelor of science or bachelor of arts degree in a related field.

Policies

For policies governing all graduate programs, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Premium Tuition

Students enrolled in this professional MS program are charged at a differential (premium) tuition rate, and therefore they may not enroll concurrently in any other graduate degree program or certificate program offered by the College of Science, with the exception of the Forensics Graduate Certificate.

Concentration Declaration

Students must declare their intended concentration upon application. In the event that a student wishes to change their concentration, students may request to change their concentration by submitting a letter to the Forensic Science Program Director detailing the request and justification. These requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and only when the appropriate admissions requirements are met. However, if a student chooses to change concentrations, course substitutions/waivers will not be accepted.

Criminal Background Check

The successful passing of a Virginia Department of Forensic Sciences background check is required prior to gaining access to FRSC 541 Forensic Chemistry Laboratory and FRSC 561 Forensic DNA Laboratory.

FRSC 560 Forensic Science DNA Sciences Course Note

Students shall have completed undergraduate coursework in molecular and/or cell biology, as well as genetics, or students must obtain permission of the instructor prior to taking FRSC 560 Forensic DNA Sciences.

Banner Code: SC-MS-FRSC

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 36

Students should refer to the Admissions & Policies tab for specific policies related to this program.

Select one concentration from the following:

Concentration in Crime Scene Investigation (CSIN)

This concentration educates students for a career as a crime scene investigator.

The successful passing of a Virginia Department of Forensic Sciences background check is required prior to gaining access to FRSC 541 Forensic Chemistry Laboratory and FRSC 561 Forensic DNA Laboratory.

Core Courses
FRSC 500Introduction to Forensic Science3
FRSC 510Basic Crime Analysis3
FRSC 511Advanced Crime Scene Analysis3
FRSC 530Law and Forensic Science3
FRSC 570Introduction to Biochemical Forensics3
FRSC 600Forensics Seminar1
FRSC 610Forensics Research Project4
Electives
Select 16 credits from the following courses:16
Physical Evidence Analysis
Forensic Photography
Selected Topics in Forensic Science
Questioned Document Examination
Toxicology
Forensic Chemistry
and Forensic Chemistry Laboratory
Issues in Forensic Anthropology
Forensic DNA Sciences
and Forensic DNA Laboratory
Image Analysis in Forensic Science
Medicolegal Death Investigation and Pathology
Forensics Seminar
Face and Biometric Pattern Analysis
Fingerprint Identification
Legal, Privacy and Ethical Issues in Identity Analysis
Identity Analysis Applications
Forensics Capstone Course
Internship in Forensic Science (Credits: 1-6)
Total Credits36

Concentration in Forensic Biology Analysis (FRSB)

This concentration educates students for a career as a forensic biology laboratory analyst.

The successful passing of a Virginia Department of Forensic Sciences background check is required prior to gaining access to FRSC 561Forensic DNA Laboratory.

Core Courses
FRSC 500Introduction to Forensic Science3
FRSC 510Basic Crime Analysis3
FRSC 512Physical Evidence Analysis3
or FRSC 630 Fingerprint Identification
FRSC 530Law and Forensic Science3
FRSC 540Forensic Chemistry3
FRSC 560
FRSC 561
Forensic DNA Sciences
and Forensic DNA Laboratory
4
FRSC 570Introduction to Biochemical Forensics3
FRSC 600Forensics Seminar1
FRSC 610Forensics Research Project4
Electives
Select 9 credits from the following courses:9
Advanced Crime Scene Analysis
Physical Evidence Analysis
Selected Topics in Forensic Science
Questioned Document Examination
Issues in Forensic Anthropology
Image Analysis in Forensic Science
Medicolegal Death Investigation and Pathology
Forensics Seminar
Face and Biometric Pattern Analysis
Fingerprint Identification
Legal, Privacy and Ethical Issues in Identity Analysis
Identity Analysis Applications
Forensics Capstone Course
Internship in Forensic Science (Credits: 1-6)
Population Genetics
General Biochemistry I
Total Credits36

Concentration in Forensic Chemistry Analysis (FRCA)

This concentration educates students for a career as a forensic chemistry laboratory analyst.

The successful passing of a Virginia Department of Forensic Sciences background check is required prior to gaining access to FRSC 541 Forensic Chemistry Laboratory.

Core Courses
FRSC 500Introduction to Forensic Science3
FRSC 510Basic Crime Analysis3
FRSC 512Physical Evidence Analysis3
or FRSC 630 Fingerprint Identification
FRSC 520Toxicology3
FRSC 530Law and Forensic Science3
FRSC 540
FRSC 541
Forensic Chemistry
and Forensic Chemistry Laboratory
4
FRSC 560Forensic DNA Sciences3
FRSC 570Introduction to Biochemical Forensics3
FRSC 600Forensics Seminar1
FRSC 610Forensics Research Project4
Electives
Select 6 credits from the following courses:6
Advanced Crime Scene Analysis
Physical Evidence Analysis
Selected Topics in Forensic Science
Questioned Document Examination
Issues in Forensic Anthropology
Image Analysis in Forensic Science
Medicolegal Death Investigation and Pathology
Forensics Seminar
Face and Biometric Pattern Analysis
Fingerprint Identification
Legal, Privacy and Ethical Issues in Identity Analysis
Identity Analysis Applications
Forensics Capstone Course
Internship in Forensic Science (Credits: 1-6)
General Biochemistry I
General Biochemistry II
Principles of Chemical Separation
Total Credits36

Concentration in Forensic/Biometric Identity Analysis (FRBI)

This concentration educates students for a career as an identity intelligence analyst.

Core Courses
FRSC 500Introduction to Forensic Science3
FRSC 510Basic Crime Analysis3
FRSC 530Law and Forensic Science3
FRSC 560Forensic DNA Sciences3
FRSC 600Forensics Seminar1
FRSC 610Forensics Research Project4
FRSC 620Face and Biometric Pattern Analysis3
FRSC 630Fingerprint Identification3
FRSC 640Legal, Privacy and Ethical Issues in Identity Analysis3
FRSC 650Identity Analysis Applications1
AIT 675Overview of the National Intelligence Community3
AIT 678National Security Challenges3
Electives
Select 3 credits from the following courses:3
Advanced Crime Scene Analysis
Physical Evidence Analysis
Forensic Photography
Selected Topics in Forensic Science
Questioned Document Examination
Issues in Forensic Anthropology
Introduction to Biochemical Forensics
Medicolegal Death Investigation and Pathology
Forensics Capstone Course
Internship in Forensic Science (Credits: 1-6)
Total Credits36