Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences

Degree Programs

Master of Science in Forensic Sciences
(Specializations – Thesis Tracks)

The M.S. Forensic Sciences offers specialization for individuals pursuing careers in crime laboratories, investigative agencies, or teaching and research in the forensic sciences. Available fields of study are:

  • Death Scene Investigation
  • Forensic Biology/DNA
  • Forensic Chemistry
  • Forensic Psychology

The applicant should have a college major or equivalent coursework as a foundation for graduate studies in the chosen specialization, known as a track.

The degree requires satisfactory completion of 39 graduate credit hours, a research project, participation in graduate seminars, and a comprehensive examination. The maximum time to complete the degree is seven years. Throughout the program, the student must maintain a 3.0 or better grade point average.  Specialization students dedicate six of the required credit hours to research, for which they publish, present and defend a Master’s thesis in the final semester.

Full-time students taking nine credit hours per semester may graduate in two to three years. Part-time students enrolling in six credit hours per semester may complete the program in three-and-one-half to four years. With at least 21 of the required graduate hours available online, full-time students in all tracks other than Forensic Chemistry, may relocate to the Tulsa area after their second semester (Forensic Chemistry students are required to be on campus at the beginning of their first semester.). At least two or three semesters on campus are required for advanced studies and thesis research.

The Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences has accredited the OSU Master of Science in Forensic Sciences degree in the areas of Forensic Biology/DNA and Forensic Chemistry. See http://fepac-edu.org/accredited-universities  for more information.

Master of Science in Forensic Sciences
(Options – Non-Thesis Tracks for Professionals

Options in the M.S. Forensic Sciences degree are for individuals already engaged in careers related to the forensic sciences. These options allow practitioners to complete a Master’s degree while remaining active in their careers. Participants typically attend part-time, taking six credits per semester to complete the program in three-and-one-half to four years.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and at least one year of professional experience. No particular college major is required, but the professional experience must provide a foundation that supports the track they choose.

Degree requirements for all Non-Thesis options include satisfactory completion of 39 graduate credit hours, a creative experience such as research that will result in a document written to academic standards, participation in graduate seminars, and a comprehensive exam. The maximum time to complete the degree is seven years. Throughout the program, the student must maintain a 3.0 or better grade point average. The creative experience for students in these options covers one to three course credits, depending on the weight of the project. During the final semester, the student will present information on the creative experience in a public forum, which can be facilitated via videoconference or other electronic means, and will field questions from the audience. Afterward, the student will meet privately to discuss the project with their Graduate Advisory Committee.

The option in Arson and Explosives Investigation (AEI) offers graduate-level education for law enforcement and military investigators in support of their professional mission. Admission requires a related professional background, appropriate clearance, and prior approval of the track lead for this option. This option consists mainly of online classes but has some hybrid courses that have a combination of online sessions and on-site activities.

The option in Forensic Document Examination (FDE) provides academic studies for individuals pursuing apprenticeship or journeyman programs that prepare document examiners, trainees, and laboratory interns for certification. Because FDE certification involves two years of training under the mentorship of a qualified document examiner, applicants must either have training in or professional experience with FDE. This degree does not result in professional certification. This degree option consists entirely of online courses.

The option in Forensic Science Administration helps professionals improve job performance, build toward management positions, or expand knowledge of the forensic sciences. The degree works only in conjunction with appropriate experience in the acquisition of skills and knowledge necessary for successful management within a forensic agency, laboratory or organization. This degree option consists entirely of online courses.

See admission requirements for complete information on degree requirements by option.

For Forensic Document Examination and Forensic Science Administration only, waivers for the non-resident portion of tuition may be available for residents of Academic Common Market (ACM) states. Besides Oklahoma, the ACM states are Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Consultation with your respective state coordinator  for eligibility will be required upon admission to the program.

Arson and Explosives Investigation Graduate Certificate

A graduate certificate is an academic credential earned after completing a short program of focused study. Graduate certificate programs can serve both as a stepping stone onto more advanced study leading to a master’s or doctoral degree, or as a standalone educational achievement to assist an individual in their career.

The Graduate Certificate in Arson and Explosives Investigation (AEI) provides graduate-level education for law enforcement and military investigators in support of their professional mission.  Admission requires a related professional background, appropriate clearance, and prior approval of the lead instructor for this option.  This option consists mainly of online classes but has some hybrid courses, which have a combination of online sessions and on-site activities.  The Certificate consists of two Core and two Advanced/Elective graduate courses in the M.S. Forensic Sciences AEI program, for a total of 12 credits.  Courses taken in the Certificate (GCRT) program also count toward the M.S. Forensic Sciences AEI program.

Non-Degree Admission and Enrollment

Individuals not pursuing the Master’s degree may apply to enroll in courses not filled by M.S. Forensic Sciences students. Course openings are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis according to the date of admission as a Non-Degree Seeking Graduate Student. Applicants must provide a transcript showing an undergraduate degree conferred.

Admission for Non-Degree Seeking Graduate Student applicants is for college graduates in these categories:

  • Individual interested in a specific course
  • Qualified applicant not admitted to the Master’s program because of limited space
  • Potential applicant wanting to take a trial course before applying.

At least one month prior to the start of the semester:

  • Apply online at OSU Graduate College online application
  • Choose Non-Degree Seeking on the screen asking for the Degree Program and Admission Type.
  • Within the application, scan/upload transcripts, including one showing the undergraduate degree conferred. This action speeds up the application by allowing provisional admission and enrollment before official transcripts arrive.
  • Make any changes before you submit and pay. Information cannot be changed afterward.
  • Send notice of your completed application to forensic@okstate.edu
  • Watch for admission letter by e-mail from the OSU Graduate College.
  • Have official transcripts sent directly by each college/university attended to:
    OSU Graduate College, 202 Whitehurst, Stillwater, OK 74078-1019

To enroll:

After completing your admission, the School of Forensic Sciences will e-mail you a “welcome” message with complete directions for OKEY (OSU system) access, online enrollment, and the required online orientation.

Automatic holds restrict enrollment by non-program students. You may ask to have the hold removed after setting up the OKEY by e-mailing the information below to forensic@okstate.edu:

  • On the subject line, write “OKEY and hold removal”
  • In the message, provide your name, CWID, names/numbers of desired courses, and a request to have the advising hold removed.

Confirm that you have enrolled by sending either a screenshot or a cut-and-paste copy of your schedule to forensic@okstate.edu.

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