Admission Requirements for Forensic Science, MS
- A Forensic Science application, including personal statements, must be completed online.
- 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. Students attending Arcadia University for their undergraduate studies only require two letters of recommendation.
- Test scores are not required of applicants with a cumulative science GPA of 3.4 or greater. Test scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), taken within the last five years are required for all other applicants.
- 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.
- Arcadia Undergraduate students desiring assured admission must submit their completed applications by November 1 of the academic year of graduation from Arcadia University.
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. Find more information at www.arcadia.edu/life-arcadia/campus-services/health-wellness-services/student-health-services/health-forms/forensic.
Completed applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and should be submitted by January 15th. Those received after January 15th will be reviewed based on availability of space in the attending class.
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.
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 parttime program, the coursework will continue to be offered at existing times. Students will generally take one to two 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.