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This interdisciplinary graduate certificate program is designed for students seeking training in forensic science, as well as for current professionals employed by the federal government, local law enforcement, and private security corporations. Forensics refers to the application of scientific methodologies to the analysis of crime scenes, the collection of evidence, and the laboratory analysis of that evidence in support of criminal investigations. Related legal aspects are also considered as part of a comprehensive approach to forensics.

At the time of completion, depending on the concentration, students will be able to understand the basic principles of forensics and perform a general crime scene analysis. Available concentrations include: Crime Scene, Forensic Science, and General Forensics; curriculum requirements for each concentration are listed in the Requirements tab.

This certificate may be pursued on a part-time or full-time basis.

This certificate program qualifies for Title IV Federal Financial Aid. For more information about program graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our disclosure information page.


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

Applicants to the general forensics concentration should hold a BA or BS degree from a regionally-accredited university with a minimum GPA of 3.00.

To apply, prospective students should submit a completed George Mason University Admissions Application, two copies of official transcripts from all institutions attended, and a current résumé. TOEFL scores are required of all international applicants who do not hold at least a bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited institution within the US (some exceptions apply).

Pursuing the Forensic Science, MS

Students who wish to continue their studies must apply to the Forensic Science, MS. Please see AP.6.9 Requirements for Master's Degrees and contact an advisor for details.


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

Premium Tuition

Students enrolled in this professional 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 Forensic Science, MS.

Banner Code: SC-CERG-FORS

Certificate Requirements

Total credits: 18

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

Students must complete all core courses and select one concentration.

Forensic Core Courses

FRSC 500Introduction to Forensic Science3
FRSC 510Basic Crime Analysis3
Total Credits6

Concentration in Crime Scene (CSCN)

Required Courses
FRSC 511Advanced Crime Scene Analysis3
FRSC 512Physical Evidence Analysis3
FRSC 513Forensic Photography3
FRSC 530Law and Forensic Science3
Total Credits12

Concentration in Forensic Science (FRSC)

Students enrolled in this concentration obtain the specific scientific skills necessary for laboratory employment in the field. 

Required Courses
FRSC 520Toxicology3
FRSC 540Forensic Chemistry3
FRSC 560Forensic DNA Sciences3
FRSC 690Forensics Capstone Course3
Total Credits12

Concentration in General Forensics (FRSG)

Students enrolled in this concentration obtain a more general background in the field with a focus on criminal law and anthropology. 

Required Courses
FRSC 530Law and Forensic Science3
FRSC 550Issues in Forensic Anthropology3
FRSC 570Introduction to Biochemical Forensics3
FRSC 690Forensics Capstone Course3
Total Credits12