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 Investigation, Forensic Biometric Identity Analysis, and General Forensic Science; 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.


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

Applicants should hold a Bachelor's degree from an institution of higher education accredited by a Mason-recognized U.S. institutional accrediting agency or international equivalent with a minimum GPA of 3.00.

To apply for this certificate, prospective students should submit:

  • A completed George Mason University Admissions Application,
  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended,
  • Two letters of recommendation from academic references or references in the industry or government who are familiar with the applicant's academic and/or professional accomplishments,
  • A detailed goal statement to include why the applicant is interested in applying to this certificate, their career and professional goals, and their educational aspirations, and
  • A current résumé.

In addition to the general admission requirements, international students and students having earned international degrees should also refer to Admission of International Students and International Application Procedures for additional requirements. Non-native English-speaking applicants are required to meet the university’s English Language Proficiency Requirements.

Pursuing the Forensic Science, MS

Students who wish to continue their studies may apply to the Forensic Science, MS; please 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. Therefore, any courses or secondary programs that they may enroll in are subject to the differential tuition rate. The Forensic Science, MS has the same premium tuition rate, making it the ideal program for concurrent enrollment (if desired).

Banner Code: SC-CERG-FORS

Certificate Requirements

Total credits: 18

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

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 Investigation (CSCN)

Choose 12 credits from the following:12
Advanced Crime Scene Analysis
Forensic Photography
Law and Forensic Science
Issues in Forensic Anthropology
Medicolegal Death Investigation and Pathology
Capstone - Moot Court Expert Testimony
Total Credits12

Concentration in Forensic Biometric Identity Analysis (FRBI)

FRSC 514Survey of Forensic Chemistry, Biology, and DNA Analysis3
FRSC 620Face and Biometric Pattern Analysis3
FRSC 630Fingerprint Identification3
FRSC 640Legal, Privacy and Ethical Issues in Identity Analysis3
Total Credits12

Concentration in General Forensic Science (FRSG)

Choose 12 credits from the following:12
Survey of Forensic Chemistry, Biology, and DNA Analysis
Questioned Document Examination
Law and Forensic Science
Trace and Physical Evidence Concepts
Facial Reconstruction
Fingerprint Identification
Capstone - Moot Court Expert Testimony
Total Credits12