Forensic Science 3+2 Accelerated Program

Admission | Degree Requirements

About the 3+2 Accelerated Forensic Science Program

  • Highly selective program for academically talented students
  • Bachelor’s degree and master's degree in Forensic Science in five years
  • Rigorous scientific foundation for a career in forensic science
  • One of the first FEPAC-accredited programs in Forensic Science
  • Guaranteed internship with nation’s premier forensic scientists
  • Arcadia University-sponsored student participation in professional meetings
  • State-of-the-art laboratory facilities
  • Personal attention from faculty advisers
  • Active research programs in various forensic science disciplines
  • Opportunity to attend autopsies and consult on cold case investigations
  • Curriculum aligned with guidelines from the DNA Advisory Board (DAB), Scientific Working Group for the Analysis of Seized Drugs (SWGDRUG) and the American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT)

This program provides an accelerated pathway through the Undergraduate Curriculum into Arcadia’s master’s degree program in Forensic Science.

During the first three years of study, a student takes prerequisite coursework and Undergraduate Curriculum requirements. In the fourth year of study, the student completes the Senior Seminar and Capstone requirements for the undergraduate degree and begins graduate coursework, which is completed in the fifth year.

In addition to courses in chemistry and biology, graduate courses concern both general and specific topics in forensic science. The fifth year of the accelerated program includes certain common courses as well as specialization in chemical, biological, and toxicological coursework. Students also complete an internship and independent research project. The University sponsors student participation in professional meetings in the final year of the program.

This pathway allows a student to fulfill all of the Undergraduate Curriculum and major requirements (including completing 128 undergraduate credits) and the requirements of the Master of Science in Forensic Science (38 to 70 credits) in five years. The 3+2 program provides a pathway to ensure that the undergraduate coursework taken by the student meets the expected prerequisites and required background knowledge for the master’s program in Forensic Science at Arcadia University.

Arcadia's FEPAC-Accredited Master’s Program in Forensic Science

Forensic science is the application of science to the purposes of law. It is highly interdisciplinary by nature and has become a vital part of the judicial and regulatory system in America. Practicing forensic scientists, law enforcement personnel, and criminal justice professionals all recognize the growing need for highly qualified specialists who can execute established and appropriate techniques in the collection, preservation, analysis, and presentation of forensic evidence.

The Arcadia University Master of Science in Forensic Science (M.S.F.S.) program is nationally accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Arcadia University is one of only a select few institutions in the country to hold this accreditation which recognizes the high quality graduate forensic science curriculum offered through this program.

The M.S.F.S. degree is offered by Arcadia University in partnership with the Center for Forensic Science Research & Education and in collaboration with NMS Labs, one of the nation’s premier ASCLD-LAB and ISO 17025 accredited forensic science laboratories. This alliance provides a source of adjunct instructors, a forensic library, invaluable links to the forensic science community and guaranteed internships with some of the nation’s premier forensic scientists. State-of-the-art laboratory equipment and facilities are provided in nearby Willow Grove, Pa.


Each student admitted into the program is assigned a faculty adviser in either the Biology or Chemistry department. The adviser in involved in helping the student to take the prescribed coursework for admission into the master’s program while completing the Undergraduate Curriculum and major requirements necessary for completion of the bachelor’s degree. The Director of the Forensic Science program also assists each student with questions and advises him or her.

Expert Graduate Seminars

The fourth year features 1-credit seminars in which forensic experts address key issues in their fields.

Summer Project of Internship

After the fourth year, students engage in a summer research project mentored by a faculty member affiliated with the University or its partners. At this time, students may also participate in a summer internship experience with one of the University’s affiliated laboratories. This is in addition to the guaranteed internship offered in the Spring semester of the fifth year.


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