Forensic Investigation

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Graduate Certificate
Location(s): Mount Vernon Campus - Northwest DC

Program Overview

The Graduate Certificate in Forensic Investigation is designed for forensic sciences professionals who want to enhance their credentials and advance their careers. Proficiency in crime scene investigation and mastery of the techniques used to collect evidence are essential to success in the field. To foster this expertise, students pursue coursework including homicide investigation, forensic pathology and crime scene photography.

As part of GW’s prestigious Department of Forensic Sciences, students in the Forensic Investigation program learn from a faculty comprised of experts and experienced forensic sciences practitioners. Students also have access to the department’s state-of-the-art laboratories, and are in close proximity to federal crime labs and investigatory agencies in the Washington, DC area.

Upon completion of the Forensic Investigation graduate certificate, students can apply to GW’s Master of Science (MS) in Crime Scene Investigation program after taking the GRE examination. Coursework from the Forensic Investigation graduate certificate program can count toward 18 credits of the MS program.


The M.S. in Crime Scene Investigation and the Graduate Certificate in Forensic Investigation are STEM-designated programs.

Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:

Fall – July 1 (April 1 for international applicants who require a F-1 or J-1 visa)

Spring - November 1 (October 1 for international applicants who require a F-1 or J-1 visa)

Standardized Test Scores:

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 Certificate 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

Students who are admitted with the requirement to take an English for Academic Purposes course must be available to take this course in the summer preceding enrollment in the program.

Recommendations required:

One (1) recommendation

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:
 [email protected] ~ 202.994.6210 (phone) ~ 202.994.6213 (fax)
 8:30 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday