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Master’s Degree in Forensic Science

  • Master’s Degree in Forensic Science

    The Forensic Science concentration is provided by UF’s College of Pharmacy. This degree program consists of 18 credits of required courses and 14 credits of electives covering a wide range of forensic disciplines. Please note: of the 14 elective credits required for the degree, at least 4 credits need to be a PHA course number. Courses in forensic medicine, forensic anthropology, drug analysis, toxicology, entomology, criminalistics, environmental forensics, biological evidence, blood spatter, and forensic DNA analysis are available.

    This program may be of interest to those currently working or seeking employment in the following areas:

    • Crime laboratories
    • Medical Examiners’ Offices
    • Police departments
    • Criminal defense firms
    • Prosecution attorneys’ offices
    • Hospital and clinical chemistry laboratories
    • Pharmaceutical companies
    • High school science programs

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

    Forensic Science Master’s Program - Course Overview

    Core-Required Courses

    Core-required courses must be completed before your final semester and must be completed before the required courses.

    Course # Course Title Credits Spring Summer Fall
    PHA 6853 Biological Evidence and Serology 3 x x
    PHA 6850 Principles of Forensic Science 3 x x x
    VME 6613 Forensic Toxicology I 3 x x
    VME 6766 Laboratory QA/QC 3 x x x
    PHA 6935 Applied Statistics for Data Analysis 3 x x x

    Required Courses

    Required Courses must be completed in your final semester.

    Course # Course Title Credits Spring Summer Fall
    PHA 6936 Literature Survey (Forensic Science) 2 x x x
    PHA 6936 Special Topics in Forensic Science 1 x x x

    Elective Courses

    At least 14 elective credits must be taken in addition to the above 18 credits. Of the 14 elective credits required for the degree, at least 4 credits need to be a PHA course number. Electives can be taken in any semester prior to the final semester.

    Course # Course Title Credits Spring Summer Fall
    PHA 6535 Principles of Nucleotide Activity 2 x x x
    VME 6614 Forensic Toxicology II 3 x x
    PHA 6534 Toxicology of Chemical Weapons 3 x
    PHA 6935 Advanced Criminalistics 3 x
    PHA 6856 Blood Distribution and Spatter 3 x x
    PHA 6425 Drug Biotransformation & Molecular Mechanisms of Toxicity 3 x x
    PHA 6935 Biosecurity and Microbial Forensics 3 x
    PHA 6935 Crime Scene Investigation 3 x
    PHA 6851 Forensic Analysis of DNA 3 x x x
    PHA 6935 Forensic Analysis of DNA 2 3 x x x
    PHA 6855 Forensic Genetics 3 x x x
    PHA 6854 Forensic Immunology 3 x x
    PHA 6471 Synthetic Medicinal Chemistry 3 x x
    VME 6605 Toxic Substances 3 x x
    PHA 6935 Organic Structure Elucidation 3 x x
    PHA 6417 Pharmaceutical Analysis 2 3 x x
    VME 6602 General Toxicology 3 x x
    PHA 6852 Mammalian Molecular Biology 3 x x
    PHA 6840 Medicinal Chemistry of Drugs of Abuse 3 x x
    PHA 6935 Fingerprint Detection and Identification 3 x
    PHA 6935 Metabolic Biochemistry 3 x x
    PHA 6354 Natural Medicinal Products 3 x x
    PHA 6935 Environmental Forensics 1 3 x
    VME 6650 Principles of Mammalian Pharmacology 4 x x
    PHA 6935 Forensic Anthropology I 4 x x x
    VME 6934 Introduction to Forensic Medicine 1 4 x x x
    PHA 6861 Introduction to Forensic Medicine 2 4 x x

    Recommended Course Order

    The following is a recommended course order for students pursuing a master’s degree in forensic science:

    • Forensic Toxicology I, Biological Evidence and Principles of Forensic Science should be completed early in the program.
    • Introduction to Forensic Medicine 1 should be completed before Introduction to Forensic Medicine 2.
    • Principles of Forensic Science should be completed before Advanced Criminalistics.
    • Special Topics and Literature Surveys must be completed 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.

    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. 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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