The MS Program in Forensic Science at Arcadia University provides high quality, competent and professional master’s level forensic science education and training in the areas of forensic biology, chemistry, toxicology and trace evidence analysis. Students in this program complete coursework in all four areas of forensic science listed above. This generalist approach to graduate study in forensic science makes for a comprehensive educational experience. This two-year program requires completion of graduate level research in addition to coursework and culminates in a required internship experience.

Program Structure

Our curriculum is unique in that it covers a variety of specialties, unlike other graduate programs that require a commitment to a single field of study, making for more well-rounded forensic practitioners. The curriculum involves classroom and laboratory exposure to the field of criminalistics including forensic biology, chemistry and trace analysis as well as forensic toxicology. Coursework emphasizing the development of problem solving abilities is designed to encourage a concentration in these forensic science specialty areas and expose students to both relevant laboratory techniques and relevant medico-legal developments.

Hands-on Experiences in the Lab

An emphasis on laboratory coursework provides students with significant hands-on experiences. Students are afforded the opportunity to reinforce their laboratory skills via internship arrangements with practicing forensic laboratories, including CFSRE in Willow Grove, PA and the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office. An internship practicum at The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education is guaranteed for all students. These experiences, coupled with the completion of an independent research project, ensure that Arcadia graduates are well prepared for careers in forensic science and that they are well received by the forensic science community.

Focus on Forensic Biology, Chemistry, Toxicology, and Trace Evidence Analysis

The M.S.F.S. program focuses primarily on the fields of forensic biology, chemistry, toxicology, and trace evidence analysis.

Forensic Biology involves the analysis of biological fluids and tissues collected at crime scenes and from articles of physical evidence for the purpose of identification and individualization. A forensic biologist employs a wide range of laboratory methods and instruments for body fluid identification and forensic DNA analysis.

Forensic Chemistry involves the forensic application of chemical theories, techniques, and instrumentation to the analysis of illicit drugs, arson, explosives, and other trace evidence materials.

Forensic Toxicology involves the detection and characterization of chemical substances exhibiting adverse or toxic physiological effects. A forensic toxicologist uses a wide range of laboratory methods, which may include spectrophotometric and chromatographic analyses.

Trace Analysis involves the proper collection, preservation identification and comparison of items such as glass, paint, hairs, fibers and soil. A forensic trace evidence examiner will use instrumental, mechanical, chemical and visual techniques to analyze these types of trace evidence.

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