2023-2024 Graduate Course Catalog 
    
    Feb 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Course Catalog

Forensic Science, MS


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Contact:

Michael Sponsler, sponsler@syr.edu, 1-133 Center Sci & Tech, 315-443-4880
Professor of Chemistry, Director of Curricular Programs for the Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute at Syracuse University

Faculty

Kathleen Corrado, James Crill, Deepika Das, Ulrich Englich, James Hewett, Michael Marciano, Natalie Novotna, Maria Pettolina, Robert Silver, James T. Spencer, Michael B. Sponsler

The Masters of Science in Forensic Science is a 36-credit hour program of study designed to offer students both a global perspective and an opportunity for in-depth study at the graduate level in forensic science. The degree provides students with a fundamental understanding of the concepts and principles involved in the application of scientific techniques to forensic investigations and to the criminal justice system. Recent advances in basic scientific research have had a rapid and dramatic impact on these fields and it is only through an understanding of these critical scientific concepts that those in the legal system may be effective in criminal investigations and judicial proceedings. A graduate M.S. degree in Forensic Science offers a strong complement for people interested in a focus on criminal justice as related to major areas of study such as anthropology, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, psychology, engineering, journalism, education, medicine, and law.

Students can choose to enroll in the advanced or general track. Note that for jobs in the fields of forensic chemistry, forensic toxicology, or forensic DNA analysis, the advanced laboratory track is more applicable. For jobs in the fields of fingerprint analysis or firearms analysis, the advanced or general track is recommended. For jobs in crime scene investigation, the general track is recommended. 

Student Learning Outcomes


Forensic Science MS

1.   SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE AND PRINCIPLES - Apply the scientific foundational principles of forensic science in the criminal justice and national security realms.
2.a RESEARCH AND CRITICAL THINKING - Identify needs for research in forensic science and critique empirical scientific studies as they relate to the reliability, accuracy, and limitations of forensic practices.
2.b RESEARCH AND CRITICAL THINKING - Use a rationale-based approach to evaluate and analyze a situation and/or in problem solving.
3.   ETHICS and QUALITY - Assess and apply ethical standards, integrity, professionalism, and quality assurance protocols and standards in the field of forensic science.
4.   COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION - Effectively communicate scientific principles with objectivity and transparency to stakeholders, including scientists and non-scientists.
5.   PRACTICAL IMPLEMENTATION - Investigate evidence using various analytical techniques. Apply forensic science principles in research or an internship.

Forensic Science MS (Advanced Track)

1.   SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE AND PRINCIPLES - Apply the scientific foundational principles of forensic science in the criminal justice and national security realms.
2.a RESEARCH AND CRITICAL THINKING - Identify needs for research in forensic science and critique empirical scientific studies as they relate to the reliability, accuracy, and limitations of forensic practices.
2.b RESEARCH AND CRITICAL THINKING - Use a rationale-based approach to evaluate and analyze a situation and/or in problem solving.
3.   ETHICS and QUALITY - Assess and apply ethical standards, integrity, professionalism, and quality assurance protocols and standards in the field of forensic science.
4.   COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION - Effectively communicate scientific principles with objectivity and transparency to stakeholders, including scientists and non-scientists.
5.   PRACTICAL IMPLEMENTATION - Investigate evidence using various scientific instrumentation and analytical techniques and interpret the results obtained. Participate fully in a research project, including communicating findings both orally and in written forms.

Forensic Science MS (Nuclear Forensics Track)

Demonstrate safety measures and analysis procedures regarding nuclear materials

Program Requirements


Advanced Track


II. Electives - 10 Credits Required


At least 9 elective credits must be a part of a designated concentration. Student-specific concentrations, potentially including FSC 690 , may be allowed by petition.

Crime Scene Investigation Concentration

Forensic Anthropology Concentration

Psychiatry & Behavioral Science Concentration

Full Electives List

III. Research - 3 credits required


Each student is required to participate in original research, write a detailed report of publishable quality, and successfully defend the results in front of a committee of three faculty members in a public seminar. This research should be conducted as part of an on- or off-campus research project, internship, or independent study. Additional credits of independent study or internship may be used to satisfy elective credit or concentration credit by petition.

IV. Seminar Requirement


Each student is required to participate in the FNSSI seminar program by attending at least 50% of the seminars during their semesters as an M.S. student in Syracuse.

General Track


II. Electives - 18 Credits Required


At least 9 elective credits must be a part of a designated concentration. Student-specific concentrations, potentially including FSC 690 , may be allowed by petition.

Crime Scene Investigation Concentration

Forensic Anthropology Concentration

Psychiatry & Behavioral Science Concentration

Full Electives List

III. Internship or Independent Study Research - 3 credits required


  • FSC 670 - Experience Credit
  • FSC 690 - Independent Study 1-6 credits

(additional credits maybe used to satisfy elective requirements).

IV. Seminar Requirement


Each student is required to participate in the FNSSI seminar program by attending at least 50% of the seminars during their semesters as an M.S. student in Syracuse.

Comments


  1. Law courses are open to MS in Forensic Science students by consent of the instructor. Although these courses are usually held once a year (Evidence is offered every semester), the law college cannot guarantee that these courses will be offered every year, but instead offered irregularly on a demand basis within the law school. MS students should also be aware that the law school’s calendar is somewhat different from the rest of the campus and students enrolled in LAW courses will be expected to take exams and complete work based upon the law college’s academic schedule (although the Law College exempts non-law students from the application of their grading curves).

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