Master of Forensic Sciences – National University

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Whether you are seeking a career specifically in the forensic sciences or hoping to advance your skills in law enforcement, lab work, law, investigation, or another profession, you’ll learn valuable and applicable skills in this leading-edge field with a Master of Forensic Sciences. The program is grounded in the study of basic human anatomy, components of death investigation, analysis of disease and trauma, and identification of unknown dead persons. You’ll learn how to professionally interact with forensic pathologists and investigators, and how to apply scientific methods to the resolution of legal problems.
The master’s in forensic science program provides two areas of specialization. The specialization in Criminalistics includes courses in trace evidence, advanced forensic toxicology, advanced forensic serology and DNA, forensic anthropology and archeology, and more. The specialization in Investigation focuses on advanced forensic investigative techniques for the field, giving you a comprehensive understanding of the concepts underlying the forensic sciences.
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredits public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the U.S.
Core Requirements
Forensic terminology, anatomy, and physiology of the human body with emphasis on the understanding of the underlying pathology of sudden, unexpected deaths encountered in forensics, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), methods personal identification and different types of injuries with their characteristic features and mechanisms of death.
PrerequisiteFSC 630
The scientific techniques used in Medicolegal investigations of regional injuries and death, firearm injuries transportation injuries, physical injuries, trauma and disease, child abuse, sexual assaults, diagnosis of rape, pregnancy, abortion and delivery. Infanticide, asphyxial and drug deaths. Forensic medical evidence and records for the court.
The study of the application of the methods and techniques of skeletal remains identification and physical anthropology to medicolegal problems. This course presents the protocol of forensic anthropology when analyzing human remains. Assessment of human or non-human; time since death and cause of death.
This principles and techniques of film and digital photography as applied to crime scenes, forensic evidence, identification, and court presentation. Emphasis is on single lens reflex film or digital camera operation with various types of lighting. Legal aspects of forensic photography and courtroom presentations.
A comprehensive study of the techniques and procedures used for approaching and protecting the crime scene, survey and documentation, detailed search of the scene, initial evidence collection and packaging, processing the scene for latent prints and maintaining the chain-of-custody. The legal and scientific principles of crime scene searches and seizures.
Introduction to basic principles and techniques of fingerprints as applied to crime scenes, forensic evidence, identification, and court presentation. Methods of recognition, proper collection of known and latent fingerprints, processing, classification and comparison. Courtroom presentations will be discussed.
This course will provide broad perspective on theory, technique and practice of digital evidence investigation. Different types of digital related crime, including fraud, stalking, identity theft, and internet related crimes. Chain of custody and current legal issues on digital evidence.
This course is an examination of the foundation for understanding Constitutional laws. The course will cover various sections of the Constitution and how law enforcement officials may obtain evidence and conduct a search and seizure.
*Students will be required to obtain their own photographic equipment, which must meet the requirements of the course. All digital cameras to be used must meet the same standards as film based forensic cameras, which includes: interchangeable lenses, manual settings for shutter and aperture, and the ability to use an external, off camera electronic flash attachment.
**This is a two-month, one-meeting-per week course with a significant research component. Grading is by H, S, or U. Students who do not complete the Research Project within the two month period are eligible, at the discretion of the instructor, to receive a grade of “IP” with a maximum of a one time six-month extension. Students who do not complete the project at the end of the extension period will need to retake FSC 662. No grade of “I” (Incomplete) can be given for this course.
Program Electives 
Students can take courses with the preapproval of the Faculty Advisor who should be consulted prior to scheduling of any elective. The following is recommended:
A project-based course where students work under close faculty guidance and supervision on particular topics of interest. Grading is by H, S, or U only.
Specializations
This Specialization in Criminalistics requires that students have an undergraduate degree in physical science (chemistry, biology or chemistry/biology, laboratory science) or approval of the Academic Program Director.  The program culminates in a supervised master’s research project directed by full-time faculty and a committee of associate and core adjunct faculty selected by the students from their program.
Program Learning Outcomes:
Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:
Degree Requirements:
Program Requirements
FSC 632 Trace Evidence 4.50
FSC 633 Advanced Forensic Toxicology 4.50
FSC 634 Forensic Serology and DNA 4.50
FSC 636 Advanced Forensic DNA Analysis 4.50
Prerequisite: FSC 634
This Specialization in Investigation is designed to provide graduate education in the most current and advanced forensic investigative techniques available in the field, with a wide understanding of the concepts underlying the forensic sciences. This program is suitable for those students who are interested in pursuing a career in forensic crime and death investigations. The program also allows individuals who are currently working in forensic investigation areas to develop and upgrade their individual educational skills. The program also includes forensic-related writing and research. The program culminates in a supervised master’s research project directed by full-time faculty and a committee of associate and core adjunct faculty selected by students from their program.
Program Learning Outcomes:
Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:
Degree Requirements:
Program Requirements
FSC 620 Advanced Criminalistics 4.50
FSC 643 Forensic Psychology 4.50
FSC 622 Law and Criminal Procedure 4.50
FSC 631 Major Case Investigation 4.50
To receive an MFS, students must complete at least 54 quarter units of graduate coursework. A total of 13.5 quarter units of graduate credit may be granted for equivalent graduate work completed at another institution, as it applies to this degree and provided the units were not used in earning another advanced degree. Students should refer to the section on graduate admission requirements for specific information regarding application and evaluation.
Students must have an undergraduate degree in a laboratory science in order to enroll in the MFS with a specialization in criminalistics. The MFS with a specialization in investigation does not have a specific major requirement for the undergraduate degree.
For students in the BS in Criminal Justice Administration/MFS transition program, the University will waive the forensic sciences course(s) taken as part of the bachelor’s degree (see BS in Criminal Justice transition program), but these students must still meet the residency requirements for the MFS.
Students should consult the academic director to determine at what point in the sequence they may enter the program.
Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:
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Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.
Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.
NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.
All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.
National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.
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By checking this box as my electronic signature and submitting this form by clicking the Request Info button above, I provide my express written consent to representatives of National University and National University System affiliates (City University of Seattle, Northcentral University and National University Virtual High School) to contact me about educational opportunities, and to send phone calls, and/or SMS/Text Messages – using automated technology, including automatic dialing system and pre-recorded and artificial voice messages – to the phone numbers (including cellular) and e-mail address(es) I have provided. I confirm that the information provided on this form is accurate and complete. I also understand that certain degree programs may not be available in all states. Message and data rates may apply.
I understand that consent is not a condition to purchase any goods, services or property, and that I may withdraw my consent at any time by sending an email to [email protected].
I understand that if I am submitting my personal data from outside of the United States, I am consenting to the transfer of my personal data to, and its storage in, the United States, and I understand that my personal data will be subject to processing in accordance with U.S. laws, unless stated otherwise in our privacy policy. Please review our privacy policy for more details or contact us at [email protected].

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