Overview

A master’s degree in forensic science is well-suited for professionals employed in crime laboratories and medical examiner’s offices looking for further education, or professionals in related areas aspiring toward a career in crime scene investigation or evidence analysis. Forensic scientists analyze physical evidence to determine significance in a criminal investigation. Forensic scientists may specialize in ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, or biochemistry. They must be detail-oriented, analytical, and capable of communicating their findings through written reports, to law enforcement workers, and sometimes in expert testimony in court.

Students can expect coursework in biology, chemistry, and mathematics. Course work may include forensic toxicology, criminalistics, instrumental analysis, and molecular biology. Further coursework may depend on specialization, but some coursework includes crime scene investigation, DNA analysis, law and ethics, and trace evidence analysis. The following are some specific courses that a forensic science graduate student may expect to take.

Degree holders can work as forensic medical examiners, crime laboratory analysts, forensic scientists and analysts. In addition, many go on to work as crime scene investigators and work with law enforcement.

Yes. The key is to find an accredited program that suits your specific scheduling needs.

Most online degrees are accepted by employers and universities. Many highly respected programs now offer online degrees.

A master’s in forensic science takes around 2 years to complete. However, some students complete their degrees faster by taking more credit hours.

A career in forensic science isn’t the most financially lucrative path, but it is undeniably valuable. In addition, it allows forensic scientists to help solve crimes.

Students in this master degree program can expect careers as scientists, administrators, and other professional employment in crime laboratories, medical examiner’s offices, and public safety areas. Forensic scientists are mainly employed by county and state governments and federal agencies. Forensic science technicians undergo extensive training on the job before working cases independently.

For more more resources and career information related to this degree, please read our career guide here.

Best Online Masters in Forensic Science Programs

We took a deep-dive and analyzed every online Masters in Forensic Science program in the nation. Below are the results of our analysis and list of the 10 best online Forensic Science programs.

Read about our methodology here.
Graduation Rate
88%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$625 per credit
Most Comprehensive

The University of Florida offers a comprehensive master's in forensic science program, covering numerous topics to give students a broad range of skills for advancing their careers. The coursework covers everything from forensic medicine to criminalistics, preparing graduates to excel in any position in their chosen line of work.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Pharmacy
Program Name: Master of Science in Pharmacy
Available concentrations: Forensic Science
Accrediting body: Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree in a science subject
Credit Requirements: 32 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 2-3 years
Program start dates: Spring, Summer, Fall

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Spring 2019: November 19, 2018; Summer 2019: April 1, 2019; Fall 2019: July 29, 2019
GPA: 3.0

Address:

Gainesville, FL 32611

352-578-3052

School Type
Public
Tuition
$360 per credit
Best for Career Professionals

The University of Oklahoma's master's degree program in forensic science is ideal for career professionals who have full-time jobs but want to earn their master's degrees for career advancement. Working professionals are encouraged to participate on a part-time basis and have up to four years to graduate from this program.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Forensic Sciences
Program Name: M.S. in Forensic Sciences
Accrediting body: Higher Learning Commission

DeliveryFormat: Online, Hybrid

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 39 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Part-time
Program Length: 3-4 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: July 1; Spring: October 1
GPA: 3.0
Work Experience: Job-related experience

Contact:

Samantha Rankin

Admissions Contact

Address:

1111 W. 17th Street

Tulsa, OK 74107

918-561-1145

School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$430 per quarter unit
Best Alumni Network

National University provides exceptional networking opportunities for students in the Master of Forensic Sciences program. With more than 150,000 alumni worldwide, students are able to network with professionals across the globe for gaining additional skills, knowledge and employment opportunities during and after college.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Letters and Sciences
Program Name: Master of Forensic Sciences
Available concentrations: Criminalistics, Investigation
Accrediting body: WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

DeliveryFormat: Online, On-campus

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Monthly

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 2.5

Address:

11255 N Torrey Pines Rd

La Jolla, CA 92037

855-355-6288

School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $4,165 per term, Out-of-state: $9,079 per term
Best in Real-World Training

Florida International University prepares graduates for successful careers through hands-on learning and capstone internships in the master's in forensic science program. Graduates emerge with the practical skills and knowledge to use what they've learned to excel in their chosen professions.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Arts, Sciences & Education - School of Integrated Science and Humanity
Program Name: Professional Science Masters in Forensic Science
Accrediting body: SACSCOC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 32 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 16 months
Program start dates: Fall

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: June 1
GPA: 3.0

Contact:

Sara Casado-Zapico, PhD

Admissions Contact

Address:

11200 SW 8th St, ECS 450

Miami, FL 33199

305-348-7014

Graduation Rate
70%
School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $370 per credit, Out-of-state: $1,194 per credit
Most Innovative

The University of Central Florida is an innovative leader in higher education and provides working professionals with an advanced master's degree program in forensic science. This program is compromised of three different concentrations to hone the students' skills in a particular area of interest to grow their careers in the field.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Sciences
Program Name: Master of Science in Forensic Science
Available concentrations: Forensic Analysis, Forensic Biochemistry, Forensic Professional
Accrediting body: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 32 credits with master thesis or 34 credits (non-thesis)

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, Part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: July 1, Spring: December 1, Summer: April 1
GPA: 3.0
Work Experience: A minimum of three years in an operational forensic laboratory

Address:

12716 Pegasus Dr

Orlando, FL 32816

407-823-2766

School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$889 per credit
Best in Career Development

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine offers a full master's degree program in forensic science to prepare students for successful careers after school. Through rigorous coursework and expert training, graduates develop the skills to seek advanced careers as medical examiners, crime scene investigators, forensic accountants and more.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Forensic Medicine and Pathology
Program Name: Master of Science in Forensic Medicine
Accrediting body: COCA

DeliveryFormat: Online, On-Campus

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
Credit Requirements: 40 credits
Field Education Requirements: 112 hours

Program LengthProgram Options: Half-time
Program Length: 24 months
Program start dates: Summer, Fall

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0

Address:

4170 City Ave

Philadelphia, PA 19131

215-871-6100

School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$425 per credit
Best in Distance Education

Nova Southeastern University is a leader in distance education and provides a top-notch master's degree program in forensic science for online learners. This program caters to distance learners and provides them with all the necessary and relevant tools, resources and support to succeed not only in the virtual classroom but also in their professional careers.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences
Program Name: Master Of Health Science
Available concentrations: Forensic Investigative Technology
Accrediting body: SACS

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university
Credit Requirements: 40 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time
Program start dates: January 2, 2019; April 1, 2019; June 24, 2019; September 23, 2019

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: December 1, 2018; March 1, 2019; June 1, 2019; August 15, 2019
GPA: 2.75

Address:

3301 College Avenue

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314

800-541-6682

School Type
Private
Tuition
Partnership: $536 per credit, Standard: $670 per credit
Best Faculty

Stevenson University educates students in the master's in forensic science program through intensive coursework and expert training from industry professionals. The faculty members are not only academic scholars but also forensic specialists who share their knowledge and expertise to develop the students' skills for success in their own careers.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Master's in Forensic Science
Available concentrations: Biology, Chemistry
Accrediting body: Commission on Higher Education, Middle States Association of Colleges and Universities

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree in a natural science field such as Biology or Chemistry from a regionally accredited institution.
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Spring 2019: January 28

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0

Address:

100 Campus Circle

Owings Mills, MD 21117

877-531-7118

School Type
Online For-profit
Tuition
$705 per credit
Most Customizable

Ashford University offers a customizable master's degree program in forensic science for professionals who want to take specialized classes that align with their personal interests and career goals. Students can tailor the program to their needs and develop the necessary skills to advance their careers upon earning their degrees.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Liberal Arts
Program Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Available specializations: Cybercrime and Technology, Forensic Science, Homeland Security, Law Enforcement and Corrections Administration. Note, a specialization consists of 9 credits
Accrediting body: WSCUC-accredited

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree or post-graduate degree
Credit Requirements: 30 credits (39 credits with specialization)

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Address:

8620 Spectrum Center Blvd

San Diego, CA 92123

866-711-1700

School Type
Private For-profit
Tuition
$11,700 per program
Best Value

Aspen University's master's degree program in forensic science is a great value for students seeking an affordable program with flexible scheduling, fantastic student support and online convenience. The tuition is lower than the national average, and the overall program offers benefits such as part-time class scheduling with specializations to enhance the students' degrees.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Professional Studies
Program Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Available concentrations: Forensic Sciences
Accrediting body: Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's Degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years
Program start dates: September 4, 2018; January 8, 2019

Address:

1660 S Albion St Suite 525

Denver, CO 80222

800-373-7814