Forensic Science Program Adds New Master’s Degree

Nebraska Wesleyan University’s accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission, authorized the university’s Forensic Science Program to confer Master of Science in Forensic Science (MSFS) degrees to students graduating from the program’s biology and chemistry track. Students graduating from the behavioral sciences and investigative sciences tracks will continue to receive Master of Forensic Science degrees.

Associate Professor of Forensic Science Melissa Connor described what the additional degree means. “The MSFS has become a common way for schools to recognize natural science coursework. We’re actually doing nothing differently,” Connor explained. “The MSFS didn’t exist when this program started. ”

She said the MSFS degree focuses on the biological and chemical aspects of forensic science, such as DNA analysis, toxicology and accelerants. And the MFS degree includes the behavioral sciences, death investigation and pattern analysis such as fingerprints, blood spatter and tire tracks.

No matter what the degree is called, Nebraska Wesleyan’s forensic science graduates leave prepared to do important work. Five NWU forensic science alumni were recently hired by American Systems in Lorton, Va., as latent fingerprint technicians. Two serve currently in Afghanistan (“Lowering the Boom,” fall 2011). And many others serve as investigators and technicians in agencies and labs across the country.