1.      What degree do I need to have to be admitted to your program?

We are specifically looking for applicants that have a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in one of the physical, life or forensic sciences.  More importantly, we prefer that you have completed some pre-requisite classes that differ depending on whether you are applying to the Forensic Biology or Forensic Chemistry tracks: 

Forensic Biology

Forensic Chemistry


Instrumental Analysis


Analytical Chemistry

Molecular Biology



2.      I have a degree in Criminal Justice, can I be admitted to your Program?

If you have a criminal justice degree, but have taken the pre-requisite classes listed above, then you will be considered along with all the other applicants. 

3.      What is the difference between the Thesis and Non-thesis Programs?

Both programs allow you to get your Masters of Science in Forensic Science (with either Forensic Biology or Forensic Chemistry concentrations), and both require 30 credit hours.  The thesis program is 2 years, Non-thesis is 12 months, both completed as full time students.  The Thesis Program is 2 years of research experience + core coursework + thesis defense.  The non-thesis Program is just 30 credits of coursework.  Both are viewed equally in terms of employment in forensic labs.  The Thesis Program, if accepted, comes with a yearly stipend of $22,000 + a tuition waiver, with the expectation that you will be a teaching assistant in one of our undergraduate forensic science labs. 

4.      How many applicants are there each year?  What is your acceptance rate?

We have approximately 10-15 applicants each year for our Thesis-based program and ~ 20-30 applicants for our non-thesis program (although these increase every year).  If you are not admitted to our Thesis Program, you are automatically considered for our Non-thesis program.  Our acceptance rate varies on the number of applicants and availability of assistantships and spots in our classes; generally we accept 2 Thesis students each year, and 14 non-thesis students.

5.      What GPA do I need to have?

The GPA requirement is a 3.0.

6.      My GPA is below a 3.0, is there anything I can do to get into your Masters Program?

A demonstration of high achievement in the classes listed above, along with a demonstration that you have improved over your academic career (i.e. your freshman year you did poorly, but have improved over time), then you may be considered for admission.  Another option would be to enroll as a non-degree student and take some upper level courses to demonstrate your motivation to be a successful forensic science Masters student.  Caveat: Neither of these guarantees you will be admitted.

7.      Where do I send my transcripts?

Transcripts can be sent to:

Kitty O’Doherty, Graduate Program Coordinator

Forensic & Investigative Sciences Program

402 N. Blackford Street, LD 326

Indianapolis, IN 46202

(317) 274-8969

8.      How much will it cost for the 12 month Masters?

The Masters Program is based on 30 credits, and depending on your residency, will differ in cost.  A Tuition and Fee calculator (providing an estimate only) is available here (select Science as the Program, and assume 15 credits per semester):


9.      What GRE do I need to take, and where do I send my scores?

The General GRE exam is necessary for admission, and scores should be in the upper 50th percentile.  The School code for the GRE exam is 1325.

10.  Do I need a TOEFL?

Only international students from non-English speaking countries must take the TOEFL exam. In addition to the TOEFL exam, non-native speakers of English will be required to demonstrate English proficiency, most likely through the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) placement exam during International Student orientation. Furthermore, international thesis students who will be teaching assistants will be required to take the SPEAK test. ” And then provide this link to the Office of International Affairs: http://international.iupui.edu/admissions/how-apply/graduate/english.html   Or, just provide the link and say, “For more information regarding language requirements for International Students, please consult this website….”

The TOEFL is just part of the requirement for international students and there are some exceptions having to do with permanent residency, the country where they received their Bachelor’s degree, etc. For example, if they are an international student but with a US Bachelor’s degree, the TOEFL is waived. They still would have to take the EAP exam, and the SPEAK test if they were to be a TA. The link to OIA will give them more specific info.

11.  Can I do my Masters Part time?

Yes, as a non-thesis admit, you can complete your Masters part-time, however, it must be completed in 6 years.  Our MSc degree requires 30 credit hours total. 

12.  Are there evening and weekend classes?  Online?

Our special topics classes are often offered as weekend classes, but most of our core classes are offered during regular business hours.  We have one core class that is offered as an online class.

13.  Can I still do research if I am a non-thesis student?

Yes, the opportunities are there, but limited.  You would need to seek these opportunities yourself (ask individual forensic science faculty, they are often looking for volunteers).

14.  Can I do an internship?

Yes, these are encouraged, and would count towards your credit hour requirements for the Program (up to 3 credits). 

15.  How many letters of reference do I need?

You need 2 letters of references, generally from your undergraduate professors.  These are automatically generated through the online application system, you will be asked to input their names and email addresses, and they will be sent emails to provide reference letters.

16.  I am an international student, can I apply to your Program?

Yes, we accept international students, but you must have your transcripts translated into English and to the 4.0 scale.

17. What if I am not accepted into the Thesis Program, do I need to apply again to the Non-thesis Program?

No, you will be automatically considered for the non-thesis program.