Forensic Science MS (Thesis)

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Program Requirements

The M.S. Program in Forensic Science, which awards a Purdue University degree, requires 30 credit hours of study beyond the baccalaureate level. It is designed for students seeking careers as professional forensic scientists who desire employment in the criminal justice field or a related area.

Students must apply in one of the following concentrations; forensic chemistry or forensic biology. All students take a core of required courses and are listed here:

Core Courses (all students must take)

  • FIS 50500 – Current Issues in Forensic Science (3 cr)
  • FIS 51500 – Legal Issues in Forensic Science (3 cr)
  • FIS 50600 – Advanced Forensic Microscopy (3 cr)

Additional Required Courses (for Forensic Biology and Forensic Chemistry Concentrations)

Forensic BiologyForensic Chemistry
FIS 52100 – Forensic Biology (3 cr)FIS 51100 – Forensic Chemistry I (3 cr)
FIS 53000 – Population Genetics (3 cr)FIS 51200 – Forensic Chemistry II (3 cr)

Full and part-time thesis students will take an additional course in their area of specialty (and with the guidance of their thesis advisor.  The remainder will be composed of the Forensic Science Seminar Series (1 cr) and FIS 69800 Thesis research (9 cr or 10 cr depending on your area of concentration). 

Thesis Research

The full-time thesis MS program consists of 30 semester credit hours. It is anticipated that the program can be completed within two years.  For full time thesis students, students are encouraged to identify a thesis topic with the help of the FIS faculty as soon as possible in the program. It is normally expected that the research and write up of the thesis will take at least one year of the program. Collaborative research projects with local forensic science laboratories are encouraged.  Thesis research done in conjunction with a crime lab must be approved by the student's thesis director at IUPUI. 

The Forensic & Investigative Sciences Program currently has four full-time faculty actively involved in forensic science research.

Forensic Biology

Forensic Chemistry

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