Forensic Science

Admission Requirements Degree Requirements

Mailing Address:
Forensic Science Program (MC 866)
833 South Wood Street
Chicago, IL 60612-7231

Campus Location: 452 PHARM
Program Code: 20FS1274MS
Telephone: (312) 996-2250
Web Site:
Head of the Program and Director of Graduate Studies: R. E. Gaensslen

The master’s program in Forensic Science is administered by the Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences. The program encompasses a broad knowledge of the basic areas of forensic science laboratory disciplines (biology/biochemistry; chemistry and trace evidence analysis; drug identification and toxicology; and pattern evidence) with emphasis on the integration of analytical and interpretative skills. The role of forensic laboratory sciences in justice system processes is an integrating theme. There is an opportunity for some specialization through the selection of electives.

Admissions Requirements

In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program requirements:

Master of Science

  • Baccalaureate Field BS in physical, biological, or pharmaceutical sciences (chemistry recommended). Minimum of one semester analytical chemistry and one semester physical chemistry. Instrumental analysis, biochemistry, and additional physical chemistry desirable.
  • Grade Point Average At least 3.00/4.00 overall. Applications are strengthened by 3.25/4.00 overall GPA and 3.00/4.00 GPA in core science and mathematics courses.
  • Tests Required GRE General Test; applications are strengthened by scores corresponding to 65th percentile or higher in verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing.
  • Minimum English Competency Test Score
    • TOEFL 600 (paper-based); 250 (computer-based); 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21 (new Internet-based TOEFL). Recommended score of 87, with subscores of Reading 21, Listening 21, Speaking 23, and Writing 22. OR
    • IELTS 6.5, with subscores of 6.0 for all four subscores.
  • Letters of Recommendation Three required.
  • Personal Statement Required.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, students must meet the following program requirements:

Master of Science

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required 38.
  • Course Work Required Courses: BPS 580, 581, 582, 583, 584, 588, and a minimum of two semester hours of 587.
  • Electives: 9–12 semester hours that may be selected in the student’s area of interest; may include 2–4 hours of internship (BPS 592), or up to 12 hours of residency (BPS 590) for those interested and who are accepted by the host agencies.
  • Comprehensive Examination Required for students choosing to fulfill the research requirement with BPS 597.
  • Thesis, Project, or Course-Work-Only Options Thesis or project. No other options are available.
  • Thesis: Thesis students must earn at least 6 hours in BPS 598.
  • Project: Project students must earn 3 hours in BPS 597. Those electing the project option must also take a comprehensive exam.