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Forensic Science

For Official Catalog, click this: Academic Catalog

Here is the Website for Forensic Science

This program is now administered by the College of Arts and Sciences.

For more information contact: Dr. Kathy Sperry, Senior Director, Institute for Forensic Science; Dr. Robert Paine, Professor.

The Master of Science in Forensic Science degree program emphasizes extensive learning in the scientific and laboratory skills necessary for application in a modern forensic laboratory. The program offers concentration focuses in areas of forensic investigation and includes exposure to the breadth of forensic disciplines, including the principles, practices, and contexts of science as they relate to specialized forensic topics.

Students from various undergraduate backgrounds may pursue either of two tracks within the program: the forensic Scientist track or the forensic Examiner track. The program offers both theoretical and practical coursework and is designed to allow students to emphasize areas of special interest such as toxicology, DNA, crime scene investigation, computer forensics, and trace evidence.

Students in the Scientist track must take at least 21 hours from the core curriculum, including a statistics, research methods, and law course of their choice. Students in the Examiner track must take at least 15 hours from the core curriculum, including a statistics, research methods, and law course of their choice. The remaining coursework requirements for each track are satisfied by selections from a broad list of approved electives. Students are required to complete a comprehensive component made up of one of the following: thesis, report, internship, portfolio, or a comprehensive exam that is either written or oral or combination of the two.

The non-thesis option is a total of 39 credit hours of graduate-level work while the thesis option is a minimum of 24 hours of graduate coursework plus 6 hours of thesis (6000).

Following the first 9 credit hours of graduate study, each student's curriculum will be formalized through consultation with a graduate faculty member and will reflect the student's area of emphasis. This degree plan will be approved by the program coordinator and the Senior Director of the Institute for Forensic Science before being submitted to the Graduate School. When approved, it will serve as a tool for advising and reviewing to assure completion of degree requirements.

Applicants will be considered for admission to the forensic science program after the following materials are received: three letters of recommendation from persons knowledgeable of the student's professional abilities and career aspirations, a letter of intent, and resume. The program accepts students in the fall and spring semesters. Summer applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Prior to admission consideration, students must complete the appropriate application forms and satisfy all the requirements of the university. Once that process is completed, program admission and competitive scholarship awards are based on the following three general categories of criteria:

       1. Academic Record. All academic records may be considered—60 hours, total, major, post-baccalaureate, etc.

       2. Test Scores. Scores on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) should be no more than five years old. Each                 score is considered separately, with percentile scores viewed by broad major. No test score will be considered the sole criterion.

       3. Individual Profile. Profiles may include recommendations, research background, motivation, undergraduate institution, presentation,              and interviews. Other information that admission committees may consider is work commitment, demonstrated commitment to a                        particular field of work or study, and community involvement.

Interested persons should contact the Institute for Forensic Science of Texas Tech University for information about the program, 806.743.7901, www.depts.ttu.edu/ifs/.

NOTE: Certain criminal, traffic, and civil convictions can disqualify a graduate from obtaining some positions in the law enforcement or criminal justice professions.

Core Courses*

Scientist Track
FSCI 5350, Crime Scene Investigation (3:3:0)
FSCI 5351, Serial Crimes (3:3:1)
ENTX 6351 Analytical Toxicology (3:3:0)
BTEC 5338 Techniques in Biotechnology (3:1:6)
Statistics Course
Research Methods Course
Law Course

Examiner Track
FSCI 5350, Crime Scene Investigation (3:3:0)
FSCI 5351 Serial Crimes (3:3:1)
Statistics Course
Research Methods Course
Law Course

* Minimum grade of 3.0 required for core courses unless otherwise approved by the senior director.