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

Application Requirements

University-wide admissions policies can be found in Graduate Admissions Policies.

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). 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). The GRE is not required for admission into this program. Additional requirements for each specific concentration are listed below.

Concentration-Specific Requirements

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. Therefore, any courses or secondary programs that they may enroll in are subject to the differential tuition rate. The Forensics Graduate Certificate has the same premium tuition rate, making it the ideal program for concurrent enrollment (if desired).

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 providing justification. These requests and possible substitutions/waivers will be considered on a case-by-case basis and only when the appropriate admissions requirements are met. 

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.

Course Notes

FRSC 560 Forensic DNA Sciences

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.

FRSC 540 Forensic Chemistry

Students shall have completed undergraduate coursework in general chemistry including polarity and acid/base chemistry. Students shall also have completed Organic Chemistry and be able to identify functional groups and other chemistry structures that make up a molecule. Exposure to instrumental techniques such as gas chromatography, mass spectrometry and infrared spectroscopy is recommended or permission of instructor. 

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 570Trace and Physical Evidence Concepts 3
FRSC 600Forensics Seminar1
FRSC 610Forensic Research Project4
Electives
Select 16 credits from the following courses:16
Physical Evidence Laboratory
Forensic Photography
Survey of Forensic Chemistry, Biology, and DNA Analysis
Selected Topics in Forensic Science
Questioned Document Examination
Toxicology
Issues in Forensic Anthropology
Facial Reconstruction
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
Capstone - Moot Court Expert Testimony
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 Laboratory3
or FRSC 630 Fingerprint Identification
FRSC 514Survey of Forensic Chemistry, Biology, and DNA Analysis3
FRSC 530Law and Forensic Science3
FRSC 560
FRSC 561
Forensic DNA Sciences
and Forensic DNA Laboratory
4
FRSC 570Trace and Physical Evidence Concepts 3
FRSC 600Forensics Seminar1
FRSC 610Forensic Research Project4
Electives
Select 9 credits from the following courses:9
Advanced Crime Scene Analysis
Physical Evidence Laboratory
Selected Topics in Forensic Science
Questioned Document Examination
Issues in Forensic Anthropology
Facial Reconstruction
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
Capstone - Moot Court Expert Testimony
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 Laboratory3
or FRSC 630 Fingerprint Identification
FRSC 514Survey of Forensic Chemistry, Biology, and DNA Analysis3
FRSC 520Toxicology3
FRSC 530Law and Forensic Science3
FRSC 540
FRSC 541
Forensic Chemistry
and Forensic Chemistry Laboratory
4
FRSC 570Trace and Physical Evidence Concepts 3
FRSC 600Forensics Seminar1
FRSC 610Forensic Research Project4
Electives
Select 6 credits from the following courses:6
Advanced Crime Scene Analysis
Physical Evidence Laboratory
Selected Topics in Forensic Science
Questioned Document Examination
Issues in Forensic Anthropology
Facial Reconstruction
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
Capstone - Moot Court Expert Testimony
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 514Survey of Forensic Chemistry, Biology, and DNA Analysis3
FRSC 530Law and Forensic Science3
FRSC 600Forensics Seminar1
FRSC 610Forensic 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 678National Security Challenges3
Electives
Select 6 credits from the following courses:6
Advanced Crime Scene Analysis
Physical Evidence Laboratory
Forensic Photography
Selected Topics in Forensic Science
Questioned Document Examination
Issues in Forensic Anthropology
Trace and Physical Evidence Concepts
Medicolegal Death Investigation and Pathology
Capstone - Moot Court Expert Testimony
Internship in Forensic Science (Credits: 1-6)
Total Credits36