Forensic Science, Master of Science Graduate Studies

Graduate Study

The Forensic Science Graduate Group offers the degree of MS in Forensic Science. This program, offering a Plan I-Thesis option and a Plan II-Capstone Option, has two tracks, DNA or Criminalistics, enabling the student to take core courses emphasizing the physical or biological sciences. Each track requires the student to take nine core courses, totaling 26-27 units, 3 units of seminar, and the appropriate number of elective/research units for total 54 units. Students can take courses outside their specializations, but they must complete the courses required for their own track. The FOR seminar courses in the fall and winter quarters are required for new students. The FOR spring seminar may be taken in any spring quarter or students may take one additional seminar course in another department or program before graduation.


Appropriate preparation is an undergraduate degree in physical or natural sciences, engineering or a closely related field with a GPA of 3.000 or higher. Examples include Biochemistry, Chemistry, Molecular Biology, Biology, Genetics, and Engineering. Applicants must have completed at least one year of general chemistry, two quarters of organic chemistry, one year of general physics, math through calculus and a class in statistics. Other recommended courses include general biology, biochemistry and genetics.

Graduate Advisors

Christyann Darwent (Anthropology): DNA Track Students
Robert Poppenga (California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory): Criminalistics Track Students