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UCO COVID-19 protocols remain in place for the spring 2021 semester. Masks are required on campus when around others.

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Graduate Programs - Forensic Science

The Master of Science degrees offered by the Forensic Science Institute are research-oriented, thesis-required graduate degree programs. Students must complete a minimum of 36 hours of graduate-level work including required core courses, electives and six hours of thesis research in their major area.

Students who successfully obtain an M.S. in Forensic Science, Forensic Science- Molecular Biology, Forensic Science- Chemistry or Forensic Science-Digital Forensics will apply the scientific method to forensic science problems, critically review and interpret forensic science literature, develop well-reasoned, scientifically sound hypotheses, design experiments to test hypotheses, statistically analyze and interpret data, and communicate forensic science information clearly, concisely, logically and accurately to the general public both orally and in writing.

Admission into the Graduate Forensic Science Program is for the Fall semester only. Priority Admission will be considered for completed applications received in the Forensic Science Institute by April 15. Regular Admission will be considered after April 15, but before the first day of school in the Fall semester or until capacity is reached.

Forensic Science Requirements for Admission

  1. Completed UCO Graduate Application
  2. Official paper copies of undergraduate and graduate transcripts from each institution attended with all degrees posted. The bachelor's degree must be from an accredited institution. Transcripts must show a minimum 3.0 overall undergraduate GPA and completion of nine undergraduate hours and other prerequisites (if any), as determined by the graduate program adviser: FRSC 3043 Crime Scene Processing; STAT 2103 Introduction to Statistics for the Sciences; and FRSC 2503 Introduction to Forensic Science. These courses may be completed during the first year of the graduate program; and,
  3. Applicants must satisfy one of the following to be considered for admission: 1) A GRE score with a preferred minimum 50th percentile ranking (quantitative and verbal sections), 2) 2+ years of professional experience in Forensic Science or similar field, or 3) An undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or greater in a relevant degree program.
  4. A 1-page description of an area of interest in forensic science research.

Other Requirements

  1. Plan of Study. File a Plan of Study with your adviser and the Jackson College of Graduate Studies by the end of the first semester during which they complete their 12th hour of graduate work. The plan must be signed and dated by the student and the graduate adviser before it can be considered official;
  2. Academic Standards. Meet the following course work standards: (a) Overall GPA of 3.00 or higher; (b) no more than six hours of "C;" and, (c) no more than six adviser-approved hours from traditional correspondence courses; and,
  3. Thesis. Enroll in FRSC 5990, complete a thesis and successfully defend it in public. Submit two paper copies of the thesis and one electronic copy to the library through Proquest, and the thesis' original title page, signature page and abstract page to the JCGS.


Career Placement Statistics and Career Opportunities

One year after graduation, the success of our students completing the master degree programs and placed in their career field or in graduate/professional schools include:

Graduating Year












Forensic Science






Graduate Research Projects

Forensic Science Institute Research Blog

Statement on drug abuse and background checks related to the Forensic Science Program

Individuals seeking careers in forensic science and related fields are subject to background checks as they will work with sensitive information. These careers demand a high level of trust, unquestioned ethics, and professionalism. Students pursuing a degree in forensic science can also expect a background check as part of the required internship or practicum program. A background investigation typically includes review of arrest or conviction records; drug and alcohol use and abuse screening; review of credit reports; interview of friends, teachers, and supervisors; and possibly a polygraph examination. Issues derived from background investigations often preclude internships and employment in forensic science or related fields. Even though law enforcement agencies may differ in specific policies, tolerance levels, and practices related to the background investigation, it is unlikely that a candidate failing a background check will be accepted for an internship or able to secure employment in the forensic science field.