Image of the Tempietto in Kogan Plaza during cherry blossom season

Forensic Sciences

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Master of Forensic Sciences (M.F.S.), Graduate Certificate
Location(s): Mount Vernon Campus - Northwest DC, Online Learning

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.

The M.F.S. program offers the following concentrations: forensic chemistry, forensic toxicology, forensic molecular biology, and friction ridge analysis.  An M.S. degree is available in two fields of study: crime scene investigation and high technology crime investigation. The program’s location in Washington, D.C., provides students with opportunities to interact with federal, state and local agencies.  The M.S. in high technology crime investigation is offered at the Graduate Education Center in Arlington, VA.

The Graduate Certificate in forensic investigations is offered online.

Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:

Fall – April 1 (February 1 for M.F.S. applicants applying for assistantships/fellowships)

Standardized test scores:

GRE general test (institutional code 5246) required for M.F.S. program; waived for applicants who hold a J.D., M.D., or Ph.D. GRE not required for graduate certificate program.

Recommendations required:

One (1) recommendation

Prerequisite requirements:

Master of Forensic Science: an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university, with a major in a natural science or forensic science. 

Forensice Chemistry concentration: an undergraduate degree with a major in chemistry or an equivalent.

Forensic Molecular Biology concentration: an undergraduate degree with a major in biological sciences. Applicants must have completed 12 credit hours in biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology or molecular genetics, and statistics or population genetics. 

Forensic Toxicology concentration: an undergraduate degree with a major in biological sciences or chemistry.

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.  Certificate program only: international applicants who require a student visa from GW are not eligible to apply for admission to the certificate program.

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: ~ 202.994.6210 (phone) ~ 202.994.6213 (fax)
 8:30 am – 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday