Master of Science in Forensic Science
Currently, the Forensic Science MS program is not accepting applications. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
The M.S. Program in Forensic Science, which awards a Purdue University degree, requires 35 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.
General Degree Options and Requirements
Students must apply in one of the following concentrations; forensic chemistry or biology. All students take a core of required courses which include a professional issues course, law courses and a clinical law course. Each concentration contains specific required courses taken by students in that concentration.
Full and part-time thesis students must include a thesis. This program requires 20 credit hours of course work and 15 credit hours of thesis completion and defense. Students who desire a non-thesis MS degree (full or part-time) includes 35 credit hours of classes approved by the department. This may include up to six credits of internship.
The program will not be accepting applications or new students for the foreseeable future. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
The full-time thesis MS program consists of 35 semester credit hours. It is anticipated that the program can be completed within two years. The credit hours are to be distributed as follows:
All students take the following courses:
- FIS 50500 (3) - Professional and Ethical Issues in Forensic Science
- FIS 51500 (3) - Legal Issues in Forensic Science
- LAW D774 (2) - Law and Forensic Science (a clinical law class)
All students in the forensic chemistry concentration must take the following courses:
- FIS 50600 (3) - Forensic Microscopy
- FIS 51100 (4) - Forensic Chemistry 1
- FIS 51200 (4) - Forensic Chemistry 2
All students in the forensic biology concentration must take the following courses:
- FIS 52100 (4) - Forensic Biology 1
- FIS 52200 (4) - Forensic Biology 2
Full and part-time thesis students must take the following courses:
- FIS 69800 (15) - Thesis Research
- Electives (1-4) - approved by department
Full and part-time non-thesis students must take the following courses:
- FIS 69700 (6) - Design of a research project
- Electives (10-13) - approved by department. This may include up to 6 credits of internship. A student may also take courses in other concentrations as part of these credits.
The faculty of the Forensic and Investigative Sciences Program strongly believe that research should be a major component of a Master of Science degree. For full time students, 15 of the 35 credit hours of the program are devoted to the thesis. 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. A master's thesis project may be begun in conjunction with an internship at a crime laboratory and then finished at IUPUI. It may be possible for a student to remain at the internship host for longer than a semester and complete the research. Thesis research done in conjunction with a crime lab must be approved by the student's thesis director at IUPUI. Applications are not normally considered on a rolling basis. They are generally considered en masse after the January 15 deadline. You will be notified within a few weeks after the decision is made.
Contrary to the situation with Ph.D. programs there is limited financial support for master's programs. Nonetheless, we are committed to developing as many financial resources for our students as possible. Decisions concerning fellowships and assistantships will normally be at least partly based on merit. Other factors will also be considered. Some funds are usually available from the unit, School of Science, IUPUI and external grants. These will vary from year to year. The "Online Admissions Application" contains a box that should be checked if you would like to be considered for financial aid.
Graduate Student Handbook
The Graduate Student Handbook contains additional information pertaining to the MS program.