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Master’s Degree in Forensic DNA & Serology

  • Master's Degree in Forensic DNA & Serology

    The Forensic DNA & Serology concentration is provided by UF’s College of Pharmacy. It is structured to provide students with a strong foundation in serology, blood spatter interpretation, molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, and the theory of DNA analysis. Interested applicants can start with a course or two, then continue on to earn the full master's degree later—if admitted. This master's degree program is designed to meet the guidelines established by the FBI National Standards educational requirements for DNA Technical Leaders and Supervisors. This program may be of interest to those currently working or seeking employment in the following areas:

    • Law enforcement agencies
    • Military services
    • Hospitals and doctors' offices
    • Crime laboratories
    • High school and college science programs

    Upon completion of this program, graduates will earn a Master of Science in Pharmacy with a major in Pharmaceutical Sciences and a concentration in Forensic DNA & Serology, issued by the Graduate School of the University of Florida. Your transcripts will read Master of Science in Pharmacy, graduation date, major Pharmaceutical Sciences, concentration Forensic DNA and Serology. Your diploma will read Master of Science in Pharmacy.

    The courses included in this program have been designed to meet the educational requirements of the FBI National Standards.

    DNA & Serology Master’s Program - Course Overview

    Core-Required Courses

    Core-Required Courses MUST be completed before your final semester.

    Course # Course Title Credits Spring Summer Fall
    PHA 6853 Biological Evidence and Serology 3 x x
    PHA 6856 Blood Distribution and Spatter 3 x x
    PHA 6935 Applied Statistics for Data Analysis 3 x x x
    VME 6766 Laboratory QA/QC 3 x x x
    PHA 6851 Forensic Analysis of DNA 3 x x x

    Required Courses

    Required Courses can be taken in any order and any semester prior to the final semester. Literature Survey and Special Topics must be taken in your final semester.

    Course # Course Title Credits Spring Summer Fall
    PHA 6854 Forensic Immunology 3 x x
    PHA 6855 Forensic Genetics 3 x x x
    PHA 6535 Principles of Nucleotide Activity 2 x x x
    PHA 6935 Metabolic Biochemistry 3 x x
    PHA 6852 Mammalian Molecular Biology 3 x x
    PHA 6936 Literature Survey of DNA and Serology 2 x x x
    PHA 6936 Special Topics in DNA and Serology 1 x x x

    Elective Course

    Course # Course Title Credits Spring Summer Fall
    PHA 6935 Forensic Analysis of DNA 2 3 x x x

    Recommended Course Order

    The following is a recommended course order for students pursuing a master’s degree in DNA & serology:

    • Biological Evidence and Serology and Blood Distribution and Spatter should be taken early and prior to the final semester.
    • Forensic Genetics and Forensic Immunology should be taken before Principles of Nucleotide Activity, Metabolic Biochemistry and Forensic Analysis of DNA, and prior to the final semester.
    • Mammalian Molecular Biology should be taken after all of the above listed courses and prior to the final semester.
    • Laboratory QA/QC and Applied Statistics for Data Analysis can be taken any time prior to the final semester.
    • Special Topics and Literature Survey must be taken in the final semester.

    Course Syllabus Catalog

    The general course policies and the most recent course syllabus catalog are available as a PDF for download here.

    Requirements To Earn Degree

    In order to graduate, you must meet the following conditions:

    • Completion of all required courses and necessary electives (32 total credits)
      • Only courses completed with a grade of C or higher can be counted toward a degree
    • An overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
    • A major GPA of 3.0 or higher

    Grade Requirements

    The only passing grades for graduate students are A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, and C. Please note C+ and C grades count toward the degree only if an equal number of courses numbered 5000 or higher have been earned with B+, A-, or A, respectively. If a grade of C- or below is earned, the student will need to re-take the course when it is offered again to have it count toward an M.S. degree.

    Please also note, as stated below, courses taken before being in the M.S. status must be earned as a B grade or higher to transfer toward the M.S. degree. Grades earned with a B- or less will not transfer.

    Transferring Credits Toward a Master’s Degree

    A maximum of 15 transfer credits are allowed to count toward an M.S. degree. These can include no more than nine credits from institutions approved by UF, with the remaining six credits obtained from non-degree seeking and/or graduate certificate courses at the University of Florida. These courses must be graduate level (5000-7999) and earned with a grade of “B” or higher to transfer. All work counted toward your master's degree must be completed during the seven years immediately preceding the term in which the degree is awarded. To have credits from another university reviewed for transfer, please email the following documents:

    • Copy of your transcript (including a transcript key usually found on the back of the transcript)
    • Course syllabus to review what was covered in the course
    • Course(s) you would like to be considered for transfer and course(s) you think the course(s) will replace in UF’s forensic science program

    We will forward the request to the Supervisory Committee for your major who will then make a decision. Also, if your official transcript is not already on file with the Office of Admissions, please send it to:

    University of Florida
    Office of Admissions
    201 Criser Hall
    Gainesville, FL 32611-4000

    Special Topics Course

    This 1-credit course consists of online, proctored, comprehensive final examinations in fulfillment of the MS program requirements. These closed-book exams will be taken online via ProctorU and our e-learning system. Students should register for this course in their final semester.


    In addition to tests, examinations, and other assessments incorporated in the individual courses, master’s degree students will be required to take a comprehensive final examination on the courses covered in this program.

    Academic Advisor

    The academic advisor for this program is Dr. Donna Wielbo.

    Library Access

    Students taking UF forensic science courses will also be granted online access to UF's Health Center Libraries.

    At a Glance

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