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Because you’re fascinated by the field of forensic science we see you furthering your education at Cedar Crest College.  

Our Master of Science in Forensic Science degree is a full-time, two-year program designed to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century by providing:

  • Theoretical and practical background in all areas of criminalistics
  • Meaningful forensic science research experience
  • Develop and practice excellent written and oral communication skills to present research and courtroom testimony
  • The program is fully accredited by the Forensic Science Educational Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

As a graduate student in the Master of Science in Forensic Science program, you will learn the foundational principles of forensic science and apply them in all aspects of your instruction. You will perform research and laboratory coursework in state-of-the art laboratories using instrumentation for pattern analysis, crime scene reconstruction, microscopy, and more.

You will learn from faculty members with over 75 years of experience in forensic science who are renowned experts in the field: They routinely conduct research, publish in peer-reviewed publications, give presentations at national and local conferences, and testify in the courtroom.

Our Master of Science in Forensic Science is specifically designed for students who have a solid background in the natural sciences and currently hold a bachelor’s degree in a natural or forensic science.

Upon completion of the Master of Science in Forensic Science, students will:

  1. Have the necessary theoretical and practical background in all the primary areas of criminalistics for a career in forensic science. These topics include crime scene reconstruction, pattern analysis, microscopy, forensic molecular biology and forensic chemistry and toxicology.
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in laboratory skills necessary for a career in Criminalistics.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to analyze and interpret scientific data.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to provide proper scientific expert witness courtroom testimony.
  5. Demonstrate professional conduct and the personal characteristics expected of professionals in the Forensic Science community.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to be research scientists.
  7. Demonstrate proficiency in oral and written communication skills.
  8. Demonstrate knowledge of current policy, legal, and ethical guidelines for professional forensic science practice

Number of Entering Students 38
Number of Graduates 33
Number of Current Students 16
Number of Students Who Did Not Complete Program 7


Employment (Graduates and students who have completed all coursework and who are professionally employed): 37

Forensic Science Laboratory (Public and Private Sector) 22
Death Investigation/Crime Scene Processing/Law Enforcement 1
Genomics Biological Research or Testing (Private Sector) 1
Analytical Testing Laboratory (Non-Forensic) 6
Scientific Research in an Academic Setting 2
Ph.D or Professional School. Student 2
Primary, Secondary Education or College Teaching 2
Instrumental Service Engineer 1

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Dive A Little Deeper

Program of Study for the M.S. in Forensic Science

During the first year of academic study, students are required to write a research proposal and select their thesis committee as part of the 2-credit Thesis Prospectus course (FSC 500) which is offered during the spring semester.  The research committee will consist of a primary mentor and two other individuals.  All members of the research committee must have at a minimum a master’s degree. The primary mentor must be a member of the Cedar Crest College faculty and the second reader must be external to the Forensic Science Program and the Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences.  The selection of the second reader may, for instance, be a faculty member from another department at Cedar Crest College, a faculty member from another institution, or a forensic science practitioner.  The role of the second reader is to provide the student with technical guidance in consultation with the primary reader.  The third reader must be a faculty member from the Cedar Crest College Forensic Science Program.  The composition of the research committee must be approved by the faculty.

Undergraduate prerequisites include biochemistry and genetics.  Students accepted into the program without these courses must register for these courses at the undergraduate level normally during the first year.

Students will be required to perform the bulk of their master’s research during the summer between the first and second year.  Research can be performed on campus or at an external laboratory (requires prior approval from the Program Director and faculty).

During the second year Graduate Seminar course, each student will be required to present a one-hour seminar on the results of their research as part of FSC 504 (Seminar).  However, the seminar will only be conducted with the approval of the primary mentor.  Students requiring additional time to prepare for the seminar may do so as long as they do not exceed the required timeframe for completion of the degree.  A committee of faculty is responsible for writing a review of the seminar and providing a grade to the instructor of the Graduate Seminar.  Students will also be required to write a thesis or manuscript for publication during the second year.  The progress of the writing will be monitored during the Seminar Course.  Students requiring additional time to complete the thesis or manuscript may do so as long as they do not exceed the required timeframe for completion of the degree.  Students are also required to register for 1 credit of research in both semesters under FSC 599 in the academic year immediately after summer research.

Course Sequence

Fall I:
FSC 503 Professional Communication 2 credits
FSC 505 Chemical Separations 2 credits

FSC 506 Analytical Spectroscopy 2 credits
FSC 513 Advanced Microscopy 3 credits

FSC 515 Advanced Pattern Analysis 3 credits
CHE 307 Biochemistry I* 3 credits

*only required if not taken at the undergraduate level.   If students need to take CHE 307, they should not register for FSC 508.  If students have successfully completed biochemistry at the undergraduate level, they should register for FSC 508.

Spring I:
FSC 500 Thesis Prospectus 12 credits
FSC 510 Recent Advances in Forensic Biology 4 credits
FSC 511 Molecular Biology 3 credits

FSC 548 Research Design and Statistics 3 credits
BIO 313 Genetics* 3 credits
*only required if not taken at the undergraduate level

May I:

FSC 519 Using Multivariate Statistics in Forensic Analysis 1 credit

FSC 501 Research 6 credits

Fall II:
FSC 507 Forensic Chemistry 3 credits

FSC 508 Forensic Toxicology and Pharmacology 3 credits
FSC 516 Forensic Chemistry/Toxicology Laboratory 2 creditsFSC 599 Continuing Research 1 credits

Spring II:

FSC 504 Seminar 1 2 credits
FSC 509 Crime Scene Reconstruction 3 credits

FSC 517 Forensic Quality Assurance, Control & Management 2 credits

FSC 518 Legal, Ethical, and Administrative Issues in Forensic Science 3 credits

FSC 599 Continuing Research 1 credit

Upcoming Admissions Events

Jul 08
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Jul 15
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Jul 22
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Crime Scene Investigations Camp Learn More
Jul 27
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Bruce Moon: Notes from the Studio Learn More
Aug 01
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Aug 05
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Graduate Nursing Virtual Info Session Learn More
Aug 07
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Master of Nutrition Online Information Session Learn More
Aug 17
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Summer Open House Learn More
Aug 22
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August Orientation Learn More

Master of Science in Forensic Science Mission Statement

To teach and continually emphasize forensic science foundational principles in all aspects of instruction to help produce a future generation of competent, credible and ethical forensic scientists.

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How To Apply

Ready to apply as a graduate student?

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FEPAC Accreditation

The undergraduate bachelor’s degree program and the Master of Science in Forensic Science program are fully accredited by the Forensic Science Educational Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

Advisory Committee

The Forensic Science programs have assembled a group of distinguished forensic science professionals who periodically provide comments about the program and suggestions for program improvement. The Advisory Committee is comprised of:

  • Laura Tramontin, Chair, Deputy Director, New Jersey State Police, Office of Forensic Sciences, Hamilton, N.J.
  • Pasquale Buffolino, Ph.D., Director, Nassau County Office of the Medical Examiner Department of Forensic Genetics, East Meadow, N.Y.
  • Deborah Calhoun, Laboratory Director, Office of Forensic Services, Pennsylvania State Police
  • Lisa Mundy, Toxicology Supervisor, Philadelphia Chief Medical Examiner’s Office, Philadelphia, P.A.
  • Peter Pizzola, Ph.D., Director (retired), New York City Police Department Crime Laboratory, Jamaica, N.Y.
  • Ted Schwartz, Instructor, University of New Haven,
  • Ken Williams, J.D., Assistant Chief Forensic Scientist, New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences, Hamilton, N.J.
  • Matt Wood, Ph.D., Director, Ocean County (NJ) Sheriff’s Forensic Science Laboratory, Toms River, N.J.

Faculty & Staff

Who’s teaching you is as important as the curriculum you choose.
Let’s put a face to some of the names you’ll be seeing on the course listings!

Assistant Professor  Staff Headshot

Andra Lewis  

Assistant Professor
Office Manager Staff Headshot

Renee Romig

Office Manager
Pool Science Center 119
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