Texas Tech University

Program Information

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.

The Forensic Sciences program is a 39-hour Master's of Science Program, with the option of completing a research thesis or a comprehensive written exam. For students choosing to complete a thesis, only 24 hours of course work plus 6 hours of thesis hours are required for graduation.

Students are admitted into the program twice a year, once in the Spring and once in the Fall. The application deadline for Spring admission is September 30 and the deadline for Fall admission is February 1. 

Students from various undergraduate backgrounds may pursue either of two tracks within the program: The Scientist track or the Investigative track. Complete course requirements available in the forensic science program student handbook.

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

Scientist Track:

Designed for students who have a hard science background (i.e., chemistry, biology) and wish to work in a traditional laboratory setting. Core courses include:

Forensic courses (All required)

  • FSCI 7000 – Introduction to Forensic Science
  • FSCI 5352 – Ethics in Forensic Science
  • FSCI5331 – Forensic Science and the Law
  • FSCI 5353 – Research Methods in Forensic Science
  • ENTX 6351/6351 – Analytical Toxicology and Lab
  • FSCI 5354 – Introduction to Forensic Drug Chemistry
  • FSCI 5355 – Instrumental Methods for Trace Evidence Analysis
  • FSCI 5360 - Report Writing and Expert Testimony
  • FSCI 5350 – Crime Scene Investigation

Statistics Courses (Only one required)

  • BIOL 6309 - Advanced Topics in Quantitative Biology
  • STAT 5302 - Applied Statistics I

Thesis Hours

  • FSCI 6000 - Thesis

Investigative Track:

Designed for students who have a social science background (i.e., psychology, sociology, criminal justice) and intend to work in a non-laboratory setting. Core courses include:

  • FSCI 7000 – Introduction to Forensic Science
  • FSCI 5351 – Serial Crimes
  • FSCI 5353 – Research Methods in Forensic Science
  • FSCI 5352 – Ethics in Forensic Science
  • FSCI5331 – Forensic Science and the Law
  • FSCI 5350 – Crime Scene Investigation
  • FSCI 5355 – Instrumental Methods for Trace Evidence Analysis
  • FSCI 5360 - Report Writing and Expret Testimony
  • Thesis (FSCI 6000) or Internship (FSCI 6031)

Statistics Courses (Only one required)

  • PSY 5480 - Experimental Design
  • SOC 5331 - Quantitative Methods in Sociology
  • STAT 5302 - Applied Statistics I

Brief course descriptions:

FSCI 7000 – Introduction to Forensic Science: This is an introductory lecture course covering forensic science topics, specifically general principles of criminalistics, examination of physical evidence, and guest lectures by experts.

FSCI 5331 – Forensic Science and the Law: Students will experience real-world topics specific to legal issues

FSCI 5351 – Serial Crime: Develop an understanding of the constructs of deviant behavior and how they relate to criminal activity and the impact that deviant behavior has on victims and society as a whole. Case studies and related research topics in these areas will be covered.

FSCI 5352 – Ethics in Forensic Science: A survey of ethics and professional standards in forensic sciences. Critical thinking and communication are emphasized.

FSCI 5353 – Research Methods in Forensic Science: A survey of research methods in forensic science. Emphasis is on critical aspects of designing, conducting, and critiquing experiments; and interpreting and communicating results.

FSCI 5354—Introduction to Forensic Drug Chemistry: An introduction to the basic principles and uses of forensic drug analysis. Concepts include various drug categories and appropriate analytical techniques for valid identification.

FSCI 5350 – Crime Scene Investigation: Relevant issues and the principles of forensic science will be examined. Concepts of identifying, preserving, and collecting of evidence as it relates to solving crimes will be emphasized.

FSCI 5354 – Introduction to Forensic Drug Chemistry: An introduction to the basic principles and uses of forensic drug analysis. Concepts include various drug categories and appropriate analytical techniques for valid identification.

FSCI 5355 – Instrumental Methods: This course covers the theory and application of analytical chemistry concepts and methodology to the analysis of physical evidence.

FSCI 5360 - Report Writing and Expert Testimony: Seminar in effective report writing and provision of expert testimony. Emphasis on critical aspects and execution of written reports and practical experience of providing testimony.

ENTX 6351/6352 – Analytical Toxicology: Lecture: Theory of isolation, detection, identification, and quantification of toxic substances and their transformation products in environmental and biological samples. Lab: Extraction, cleanup, and quantitative analysis of environmental chemicals and their degradates. Reinforces and applies theories taught in ENTX 6351

 

For more information, please contact Dr. Robert Paine at robert.paine@ttu.edu

 

 

 

 

 

This is a picture of an evidence collection bag.

This is a picture of fingerprinting materials.

 

This is a picture of shoe impressions.

 

 

This is a picture of a mock crime scene.

 

 

 

Contact

Institute for Forensic Science