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Forensic Chemistry

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Master of Forensic Sciences (M.F.S.)
Location(s): Mount Vernon Campus - Northwest DC

Program Overview

As part of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences’ natural, mathematical and biomedical sciences programs, the forensic sciences program provides an understanding of the integration of forensic disciplines with the investigation of criminal activity, along with an overview of the analytical methods, procedures, equipment and data used by forensic specialists. Coursework emphasizes the identification and analysis of evidence as well as the interpretation and reporting of the results.

Forensic Chemistry teaches students to be lab analysts in drug chemistry and trace evidence analysis to include analysis of hairs and fibers, glass and soil, ignitable liquids and explosive residues. With five full-time faculty members, GW now boasts the world’s largest group of forensic chemists located at a university. The department has also acquired mass spectrometers and a new laboratory to support chemistry and toxicology.

Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:

Fall – April 1 (February 1 for applicants applying for assistantships/fellowships)

Standardized test scores:

GRE general test (institutional code 5246) required; waived for applicants who hold a J.D., M.D., or Ph.D.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the PTE Academic is required of all applicants except those who hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university in the United States or from an institution located in a country in which English is the official language, provided English was the language of instruction. 

Minimum scores for the M.F.S. program are:

  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 6.0 with no individual score below 5.0; or
  • TOEFL: 550 on paper-based or 80 on Internet-based;  or
  • PTE Academic: 53

Recommendations required:

Two (2) recommendations

Prerequisite requirements:

An undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university, with a major in chemistry or equivalent.

Prior academic records:

Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.

If transcripts are in a language other than English, English language translations must be provided. The English translation alone should be uploaded into your application.

Statement of purpose:

In an essay of 250 – 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in your chosen field. Include your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application.

International applicants only: 

Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW, and English language requirements. 

For more information on the admission process, please visit the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences – Graduate Admissions Office
 The George Washington University
 801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 107
 Washington DC 20052

Contact for questions:
 askccas@gwu.edu ~ 202.994.6210 (phone) ~ 202.994.6213 (fax)
 8:30 am – 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday