The Master of Science in Forensic Science within the School of Criminal Justice consists of a minimum of thirty (30) hours of coursework to include six hours of research culminating in a defensible thesis project. Areas of focus include biology, chemistry, physics, criminal justice and anthropology. Eighteen (18) hours of graduate courses taken must be at the 600 level or higher. The degree is designed to provide specialization in a designated area of interest to meet professional needs. A 3.0 GPA is required to graduate and successful completion of a comprehensive exam.
Admission Requirements to the Master's Degrees/Programs:
- Admission decisions are based on a balancing of a variety of factors. These include official competitive scores on the verbal, quantitative and analytical writing portions of the Graduate Record Examination's General Test and undergraduate grade point average (both overall and in undergradaute natural science courses). In addition, applicants are to submit in writing a general essay concerning their research interest within their emphasis area along with three letters of recommendation from members of their undergraduate faculty.
- Applicants granted regular admission that have an undergraduate major in a non-natural science must have achieved a grade point average of 3.0 overall and in their respective field of study. Any deficiencies noted for successful completion of the degree program must be addressed prior to the student continuing with formal coursework toward their degree. Such students may be required to complete stemwork prior to beginning their graduate coursework.
- Applicants may be granted conditional admission in cases where qualifications for success other than grade point averages indicate a 2.5 GPA on the last 60 hours. In these cases, the school may, at its discretion, grant conditional admission to undergraduates. Students admitted under conditional admission must maintain a 3.0 GPA in all course work and remove any deficiencies during the first two semesters. Conditionally admitted students may be required to complete stemwork prior to begininng graduate coursework.
- Students from all underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged to apply.
Continuous Enrollment Requirement: Students must meet the requirement specified in the front section of this Bulletin.
Plan of Study. Students must submit their signed, official Plan of Study Form to the Graduate School by the end of the second semester they are enrolled. The Plan of Study Forms are available at www.usm.edu/graduateschool/planofstudy.php - click on the "Plans of Study" link.
Responsible Conduct of Research Training
All faculty holding Regular or Associate graduate faculty status, must complete RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments. All graduate students must complete the RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments the first semester there are enrolled in graduate school. The RCR policy and training information are found on the Graduate School web page – www.usm.edu/graduateschool. Contact the Dean of the Graduate School if you have any questions regarding the policy of training information.
Students must meet the general requirements set forth in the Graduate School of the University of Southern Mississippi. A 3.0 GPA is required to graduate. Other major additional requirements are listed below:
- Student must arrange for a graduate advisor in their emphasis area by the end of the first semester.
- Submit a written thesis prospectus for approval by a three-member thesis graduate committee by the end of the second semester.
- Pass a comprehensive oral and/or written examination by the end of the fourth semester.
- Meet continuous enrollment requirements of the graduate school.