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The Forensic Science Graduate Program

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2019-2020 grads

The Master's program in Forensic Science at Penn State University is an exciting and innovative curriculum that offers students advanced, hands-on training in crime scene investigation techniques and crime laboratory methodologies. State-of-the-art crime scene training facilities and crime laboratories are used to train students in the practices of modern forensics. Specialized training is provided in forensic biology, forensic chemistry, and criminalistics. In addition, students can take a variety of forensic courses in other disciplines such as anthropology, criminal justice, entomology, geology, and meteorology in order to shape the curriculum around their particular interests. Students are also educated on the role of forensic scientists in the criminal justice system through direct exposure to courtroom proceedings and interaction with forensic experts, criminal lawyers, defense attorneys and police investigators. The formal degree received upon completion of the program is a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Forensic Science.

The MPS in Forensic Science offered at Penn State is one of the Professional Science Master's (PSM) degree program supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Since 1997, the Sloan foundation has been supporting the development of professional Master's programs in the natural sciences and mathematics. Graduates of PSM programs directly apply their knowledge by joining public agencies and private industry in their respective disciplines. Graduates of the MPS in Forensic Science program at Penn State will be attractive candidates for jobs in the law enforcement, forensic science, and criminalistics communities.


Requirement for Entrance

To be accepted into the Master’s Forensic Program biology emphasis, applicants are required to have completed biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics and statistic courses.  For the chemistry emphasis, students are required to have completed undergraduate class work in general chemistry and organic chemistry with quantitative analysis/analytical chemistry preferred.


Contact us about our Graduate Program:

Maria Long serves as the Administrative Coordinator for the Forensic Science Program and is the point of contact for questions regarding the Forensic Science Graduate Program.  She can be contacted by email at  or by contacting the office at (814) 867-2465.


Applying to our Graduate Program:

If you are ready to proceed to the application but have NOT read the Graduate School requirements, please visit "Requirements for Graduate Admission". This link will direct you to a website that will provide you information on academic eligibility, english proficiency, application fees, important deadlines, and different enrollment types)

If you have read the Graduate School and program requirements and are ready to apply, you may proceed to the "Apply to the Graduate School at Penn State". This site will provide you with information on applying.  If you are looking for more information on resources and opportunities available at Penn State, you can click on the link entitled "Admissions Information" located on the left toolbar.  You can then select the Prospective Student tab to find more information on child care, housing, insurance, veteran/military services, funding and much more)

(*If you are an International Student a TOEFL score is required - please have it sent to Penn State University electronically using school code 2660)

In addition to the Graduate School requirements, each applicant will be asked to upload the below through the application process:

A Personal Statement of Purpose describing your emphasis of interest (biology or chemistry - please be sure to make this choice clear in your letter), professional interests, and career goals

Three letters of reference (letters of reference can be submitted by the student's undergraduate adviser, research adviser, and/or an instructor for an upper level course taken as part of their major)

You will need to upload a non-official transcript from each institution of higher education you have attended as an undergraduate or graduate student.  You will only be required to provide an official transcript if you accept admission.

The GRE is required and a score of 306 or better would be needed to be competitive for admission to the program.  Please have your scores sent electronically to Penn State University using school code 2660.

The deadline for applying for Fall is January 15, however applicants with strong academic records are encouraged to apply by December 1 to be considered in the first rounds of competition. If selected, you will be asked to go through an interview process conducted by members of the forensic science faculty at a designated time in February here at University Park.

Contact Us

Program Office Location:

329 Whitmore Lab, University Park, PA 16802
Phone (814) 867-2465 / Fax (814) 863-8372

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