College of Arts and Sciences

Pre-Forensic Science

Pre-Professional Programs Leading to an M.S. in Forensic Science

If your career plans include the field of forensic science, Arcadia offers two options for undergraduates who plan to pursue the Master of Science in Forensic Science (M.S.F.S).

  • 4+2 Program
  • 3+2 Accelerated Degree Program

Students who successfully complete the pre-requisites may qualify for assured admission into Arcadia's master's degree program in Forensic Science. The Arcadia University program is one of only 11 graduate forensic science programs in the nation accredited by the Forensic Science Education Program Accreditation Commission (FEPAC).

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.

About the 4+2 Forensic Science Program

  • Bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Forensic Science in six years
  • Rigorous scientific foundation for a career in forensic science
  • One of the first FEPAC-accredited program 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
  • Top scores on national Forensic Science Assessment Test
  • Opportunity to attend autopsies and visit Forensic Science laboratories
  • Opportunity to participate in U.K. field trip
  • Opportunity to become recognized by the American Board of Criminalistics (ABC) by taking the Forensic Science Assessment Test (FSAT) prior to graduation
  • 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)

4+2 Program Requirements

All students are required to complete a bachelor's degree in either Biology or Chemistry along with the following prerequisites. Transfer students must meet additional guidelines.

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About the 3+2 Accelerated Forensic Science Program

  • Highly selective program for academically talented students
  • Bachelor’s degree in Biology or Chemistry 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 visit Forensic Science laboratories 
  • 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.

3+2 Program Requirements

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Admission to the 3+2 Accelerated Program

Students are reviewed for admission to the 3+2 program directly from high school. Students should indicate an interest in Forensic Science on the admissions application.  Students that meet the minimum criteria for 3+2 admission will be contacted by Enrollment Management and asked to submit the 3+2 FS admission essay. Highly selective admissions criteria are used to select academically talented students capable of handling the accelerated schedule.

If you are currently enrolled or matriculating in a degree program, you will not be accepted into the 3 + 2 program; you may follow the 4+2 Forensic Science program leading to assured admission in Arcadia’s master’s program for qualified students.

VIEW REQUIREMENTS