Forensic Science Admission 
Policies and Procedures

Expenses  |  Financial Aid

Admissions Requirements

In addition to the general admission requirements for graduate students, the following program-specific requirements must be met:

  • A Forensic Science application, including personal statements, must be completed online at www.arcadia.edu/gradapp.
  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or better, with at least a 3.25 in the major. It is expected that students have an undergraduate degree in the natural or physical sciences.
  • One official transcript from each college, university or professional school attended. Transfer credits included on a transcript must include grades earned; if not, an official transcript from the original school must be submitted. Transcripts must be sent from the issuing school in a sealed envelope and contain the appropriate signatures and seals to be considered official.
  • Completion of at least two semesters of general chemistry with laboratories, two semesters of organic chemistry with laboratories, and two semesters of general biology with laboratories.
  • Three current letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s ability to study graduate-level science.
  • Test scores for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), taken within the last five years.
  • International applicants should visit www.arcadia.edu/international for detailed information on admission requirements and application procedures. TOEFL/IELTS results are required for all students for whom English is a second language or who have not earned degrees or diplomas from post-secondary institutions in English-speaking countries (e.g. the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand). A course-by-course evaluation of all transcripts by an independent evaluation service based in the United States also is required.
  • It is highly recommended that prospective undergraduate students have completed coursework in genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, statistics, and instrumental/analytical chemistry.
  • An interview with the Admissions Committee may be required.

General Admissions Procedures

Upon enrollment into their programs, all students must provide proof of medical insurance and also provide information about their health and medical history. If needed, medical insurance can be purchased through the University. Information and applications are available in Student Health Services.

Application Deadline

Completed applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis starting January 15. Those received after January 15 will be reviewed based on availability of space in the attending class.

Deferred Admission

A student admitted to the full-time program and who wants to defer his or her admission for one year must submit a request to do so in writing to the Director. Deferrals will be granted by the Department on an individual basis. Once the deferral is granted, the student must submit the required deposit to reserve his or her seat in the class. This deposit will be credited toward tuition. Students who are granted a deferral must understand that they will be subject to the prevailing tuition at the time of matriculation to the program.

Support Services

Professional counseling services are available through the Arcadia University Counseling Center.

Part-Time Program Admission

Students working full-time may enroll in and complete the M.S.F.S. program on a part-time basis.  Although designated as a part-time program, the coursework will continue to be offered at existing times.  Students will generally take 1 to 2 courses per semester and adjust their work schedule to attend and complete course requirements. Matriculated student requirements are similar to the admission requirements for the full-time program. Students will apply to the program using the same procedure as students applying to the full-time program. Admission to the part-time program may occur in either Fall or Spring semesters. Applicants to the matriculated part-time program with two or more years of relevant laboratory experience at a forensic laboratory may have the GRE requirement waived.

Personal Academic and Professional Ethics

Students interested in the program should be aware of the National Institute of Justice Report entitled “Qualifications for a Career in Forensic Science.”  This document details the personal, professional and academic criteria which will influence a prospective forensic science examiner’s suitability for employment.  With regard to personal characteristics, the document states that “Because forensic science is part of the criminal justice system, personal honesty, integrity, and scientific objectivity are paramount. Those seeking careers in this field should be aware that background checks similar to those required for law enforcement officers are likely to be a condition of employment. The following may be conducted and/or reviewed before an employment offer is made and may remain as ongoing conditions of employment (this list is not all inclusive):  drug tests, history of drug use, criminal history, personal associations,  polygraph examination, driving record, past work performance, credit history, and medical or physical examination.  Personal candor in these areas is critical.

Expenses

  • Tuition 2014–15: $30,000, and includes the following -
    • Registration, travel and hotel accommodations for 1 national and 1 regional forensic science meeting.
    • Registration fee for sitting the FSAT once per year.
    • Personalized lab coat.
  • Fees (registration, parking, technology fee):  $250
  • Books and supplies (estimated): Year one $500; Year two $500
  • Room and Board: Off Campus
  • Travel: Varies

Financial Aid

Scholarships

Several partial-tuition scholarships are available for students in the Forensic Science program. Upon acceptance into the program, students will be reviewed automatically for these scholarships, which are based upon academic achievement and are renewable for two years.  Visit www.arcadia.edu/finaid for more information on other available financial aid.

Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are available on a semester-to-semester basis. Select students automatically are awarded graduate assistantships upon acceptance, but any graduate student may apply for a campus-wide graduate assistantship. Questions regarding graduate assistantships should be directed to the Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies at 215-572-2925. Click here for more information on financial aid.

Federal Loans

Graduate students are eligible to borrow through the federal Direct Stafford Student Loan and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan.  Both are fixed rate, federal loans, deferred until six months following graduation.

Click here for more information.

All financial aid paperwork not submitted online should be sent to the Office of Enrollment Management/Financial Aid. Please e-mail finaid@arcadia.edu or call 1-877-ARCADIA (1-877-272-2342) with additional questions.

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