General Requirements for Graduate Degrees


Forensic and Investigative Sciences, MS

The M.S. Program in Forensic Science, which awards a Purdue University degree, requires 35 credit hours of study beyond the baccalaureate level. It is designed for students seeking careers as professional forensic scientists who desire employment in the criminal justice field or a related area.

The admission requirements are as follows:

  • A Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in chemistry, biology, forensic science, pharmacology/toxicology, or a related science
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 for all undergraduate work
  • A score in the upper one-half in the GRE general exam

The program will serve full time students who meet the above requirements as well as students who are presently employed full time in a forensic science laboratory or other analytical laboratory.

A non thesis option is permitted only for those students who must enroll part time in the program because they are employed full time in a forensic science or related laboratory. These students will be permitted to complete a lab based project if they wish, including one that does not rise to the level of a thesis but, in addition, all students in this category must complete a literature based research project, write it up and report it orally to the faculty and students of the FIS program in the manner that one would defend a thesis.

How to Apply

Application to the program can be done completely online and this is the preferred way to apply although hard copies of forms will be accepted. The online application is called the "eApp Online Admissions Application."

You will be directed to create an account to begin your application. The application can be filled out in stages and saved along the way so you can return to it later. The eApp has provisions for uploading your personal statement and listing contact names for three letters of recommendation.

These people will automatically be emailed and asked to input their letters of recommendation.

The Forensic and Investigative Sciences Program accepts applications once a year for beginning matriculation in the fall semester. The deadline for applying to the program is January 15 of the year you wish to start. Applications must be complete by January 15 or they will not be considered. Applicants must submit the following:

  1. The completed application which will also require
    • Three (3) letters of recommendation. These would normally be from professors who can evaluate your ability to successfully complete graduate work in forensic science
    • A personal statement that discusses your educational and work background, interest and experience (if any) in forensic science, and research interests if you are full time. For part time students, also include your current work experience.
  2. Official final transcripts from all higher education institutions that you attended.
  3. Applicants must arrange to have the testing agency send their GRE scores (and TOEFL, if applicable) directly to the university (University code is 1325).

Applications are not normally considered on a rolling basis. They are generally considered en masse after the January 15 deadline. You will be notified within a few weeks after the decision is made.