Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC)

School of Adult and Graduate Education
Blaney Hall 105

Lawrence A. Quarino, Ph.D.
Director/Professor, Forensic Science
610-437-4471 ext. 3567

Nick Laraia

Nick Laraia


A broad definition for the word “Innovation” is one that includes the introduction of new ideas or methods to a discipline, but that definition can vary based upon the discipline which it is applied to. Forensic science is a science of innovation because it is influenced by the dynamic world around it and it is forced to respond to it. A forensic scientist must have an innovative mindset that directs their thought process and decision-making while living in this dynamic world. It is the responsibility of a forensic scientist to be innovative and informed in regard to new methods and techniques available and the Master of Science in Forensic Science program at Cedar Crest College enables someone to do just that.

To become a forensic scientist, an undergraduate degree in a general science is required, such as one in Biology, Chemistry, or a multitude of different disciplines. While these undergraduate degrees can prepare you for a basic workload in the field, they teach only just the beginning of what it means to be a forensic scientist. At Cedar Crest College, the Master of Science in Forensic Science program gives the student an independent platform to conduct work similar to that of the professional forensic scientist. This in combination with guidance from a handful of experienced professors allows for the student to begin thinking as a real forensic scientist does. Through the assigned courses, the Master’s program educates the student in new techniques and information in the forensic science field giving them the tools needed to then formulate their very own thesis project. With the assistance of an advisor of the student’s choosing, they are able to use their own ideas to create and execute a new, possibly groundbreaking, project in the field of forensic science.

With the guidance of my research advisor, I was able to conceptualize a project plan spanning my entire time here at Cedar Crest. My project is based on a new technique in gunshot residue detection and I am confident that it will be successful based on my prior research. However, as with any student’s project, there is a chance my project will be unsuccessful. At Cedar Crest College, the Master of Science in Forensic Science program welcomes students to learn from such failures, hypothesize how to fix the issues, and turn not only your project, but your future into a success. This unique program teaches the student to have an innovative mindset, yielding the ability to adapt to the dynamic world we live in and be the best forensic scientist possible.



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