Master of Forensic Science

The Master of Forensic Science prepares students for leadership positions in forensic science as law enforcement, crime scene investigators or forensic laboratory specialists. The MFS degree provides two tracks:

Both tracks emphasize hands-on learning. For most students, the program takes two and a half years to complete. The MFS program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Focus on Experiential Learning: Nebraska Wesleyan’s forensic science graduate program focuses on building real-life experiences. The university offers a designated Crime Scene House adjacent to campus. Here, faculty and advanced students (or “faux felons”) develop scenarios and create mock crime scenes. Students from all three tracks work together to process the scene, analyze blood spatter, collect DNA evidence, develop latent fingerprints and reconstruct the crime. Over the course of 10 months, students identify a suspect and testify before a mock grand jury.

Research Facilities: A former microbiology lab has been reconfigured into a research lab equipped with microscopes, freezers and cameras. Students enjoy space that can be devoted to conducting their own research.

Career Opportunities

Investigative Science: Graduates from this track have been employed as firearm examiners, latent fingerprint technicians, sworn officers, detectives and crime lab technicians.

Behavioral Science: Graduates have been employed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Lincoln Police Department, the Lincoln Regional Center, and by a variety of other agencies as latent fingerprint technicians, sworn officers, detectives and crime lab technicians.

Note: A career as a forensic psychologist requires a Ph.D. Any applicant wishing to become a forensic psychologist should check with their intended doctoral program to coordinate plans for their doctoral degree.

Special Aptitudes

People planning a career in forensic science should have an aptitude for mathematics and be able to analyze, compare, and interpret facts and figures quickly. In addition communication skills, critical thinking, listening, nonverbal communication, and problem-solving abilities are valuable assets. Because legal decisions are made on the basis of their statements and services, they should have high standards of integrity.

Degree Requirements

Nebraska Wesleyan University offers a 42-credit-hour forensic science program through which graduate students may earn a Master of Forensic Science (MFS). The first year curriculum focuses on giving graduate students a broad-based knowledge of the forensic sciences. Over the next summer, they complete a two-week internship with a medical examiner or coroner.

During the second year, students choose between two tracks of specialization. They also participate in a yearlong crime scene investigation that counts for two credits. The last class for most students is “Forensic Science 599”. This course involves research and internship work relevant to students’ individual interests and concentrations.

For most students, the program takes two and a half years to complete.

Investigative Science Track
The investigative science track provides coursework in:

  • crime scene investigation
  • death investigation
  • forensic science methods
  • human remains location and recovery
  • fingerprint comparison
  • document analysis.

Behavioral Science Track
The behavioral science track provides coursework in:

  • crime scene investigation
  • death investigation
  • forensic science methods
  • criminal investigative analysis.

See all forensic science degree requirements and course descriptions.

MFS Prerequisites

The graduate forensic program-wide requirements include:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
  • Desired 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • A grade of B- or better for prerequisite courses (see below)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Goal statement
  • Application for admission
  • Clearance of a criminal background check (upon acceptance into the Forensic Science Program).

In addition, Master of Forensic Science (MFS) students must meet the specific program requirements for their chosen track, as described below. Upon request, requirements may be waived after evaluation of transcripts and/or work experience.

Investigative Science Track Prerequisites

  • One semester of statistics
  • One semester of research methods
  • Recommended: human anatomy and physiology
  • Recommended: photography

Behavioral Science Track Prerequisites
Applicants should have strong undergraduate background in psychology, as well as coursework in statistics, research methods, anatomy, biology, and chemistry. Following is a list of the required prerequisite courses:

  • One semester of statistics
  • One semester of research methods
  • Recommended: one semester of abnormal psychology
  • Recommended: one semester of personality psychology.

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