Master of Science in Forensic Science
Taylor is a first year Master of Science in Forensic Science student. She earned a B.S. in biochemistry with a concentration in forensic science from Cedar Crest College.
November 17, 2009
I was asked to do a blog about what it’s like to be a forensic science master’s student. My initial thought was “uh, I haven’t written anything non-scientific in over four years… how in the world can I do this!?”
I guess I’ll start with some basics. I completed my undergraduate degree in biochemistry with a concentration in forensic science from Cedar Crest College in January of 2009. I knew I wanted to continue on to get my master’s degree and had been, happy at Cedar Crest. I was worried about the amount of work involved and the cost, but after a little coaxing from Dr. Quarino (the director of the program,) I decided to stay. Because of my January graduation, I started classes in the spring of 2009 and will be finished in May 2010.
Last semester I only had four classes: Thesis Prospectus (you develop a thesis topic and put together your thesis committee), Recent Advances in Forensic Biology (new developments in the area of forensic DNA testing), Molecular Biology, and Advanced Microscopy (a two-weekend course that goes over various types of microscopy including photomicrography). Biology and genetics have not always been my strong suit, but I was able to keep up with the readings and pulled through with strong grades (which my parents were overjoyed to hear!)
This semester I have a full workload with 15 credits—a total of 6 classes plus thesis research. Time management has become so important to ensure that everything is on time and to still have a little time each week to myself—I’m so glad I figured that out as an undergrad; I don’t know how I’d be making it otherwise. Just as college is not the same as high school, I’ve found that graduate school is not the same as college (even though I’m still at the college I attended for undergrad)
In addition to school, I, along with the majority of the other students, have a part-time job. I have been working at Old Navy for the past 7 years. My first semester I was working anywhere from 30 to almost 40 hours a week on top of my school schedule (which was fairly light). This semester I cut my hours drastically to weekends and one night during the week because of the amount of work involved in this semester.
For now, I will be updating this about once a month—perhaps twice if I’m feeling ambitious! Next semester (starting mid-January) I should have more time as I will only have three classes and my thesis to complete so I will, hopefully, be able to update weekly. If there are any specific questions about being a graduate student at Cedar Crest, feel free to email me—I’ll do my best to answer them either through emails or in my next blog.