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Prospective Students - FS

Students wishing to apply to the forensic science graduate program for Fall admission should submit an application to the University of Illinois at Chicago by January 15.

Applicants to this program should understand that it is highly competitive. In recent years, an admitted student profile has consisted of a chemistry or biochemistry major from a strong undergraduate program with a GPA of at least 3.40 / 4.00 and minimum GRE scores of 310 out of 340 (verbal score + quantitative score) and 5.0 or higher in analytical writing. We do not encourage and do not normally admit students on non-degree or limited standing status, and we admit only to the fall semester.

Applicants for this master's degree program must have an earned bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in chemistry or biological sciences. Those whose interests tend towards drug chemistry, toxicology, trace evidence / materials analysis, and other aspects of forensic chemistry are advised to major in chemistry. Those whose interests tend toward biological evidence analysis and DNA are advised to major in Biochemistry. Biological science majors should take analytical chemistry (quantitative analysis), instrumental analysis, and a semester each of biochemistry and physical chemistry, to strengthen their applications. Students who are interested in forensic DNA analysis should take one course each in biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology. 


  • A minimum overall GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale for undergraduate work is required. Applications are strengthened by GPAs of 3.25/4.00 in basic science and mathematics courses. Official transcripts of undergraduate study and graduate courses must be mailed to the department.
  • The GRE General Test is required, with a minimum GRE scores of 310/340 (verbal score + quantitative score) and 5.0 or higher in analytical writing.
  • International applicants must submit the results of a TOEFL iBT Examination or the IELTS. 
    • The TOEFL iBT recommended scores are Writing 22, Speaking 23, Listening 21, Reading 21, and a total score of 87 or higher.
    • The IELTS recommended scores are minimum of 6 on all subtests, and a total score of 6.5.
  • A one-page statement of purpose should be submitted, concisely describing why you seek admission to this program, and how you believe its completion will further your educational and career plans. Our goal is to educate and train forensic scientists for the nation's forensic science laboratories. The program is not appropriate for students whose interests are in forensic medicine, anthropology, entomology, psychology, psychiatry, criminal profiling, or crime scene investigation.
  • Three letters of recommendation are required.  They should preferably be strong, persuasive letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with your academic background and ability, and who can judge your potential for graduate study.

 A complete application consists of the following:

  • The online application and application fee,
  • Official transcripts must be sent directly from the issuing college or university to the department,
  • GRE scores (Institution Code 1851; Department Code 0999),
  • TOEFL scores (if applicable) that must be sent directly from the testing service (Institution Code 1851; Department Code: 47); EILTS scores should be mailed directly from the testing service to: UIC Office of Graduate Admissions (MC 018), Chicago, Illinois 60680-7994
  • A personal Statement of Purpose
  • THREE letters of recommendation.

You may also send a letter asking to be considered for a graduate assistantship, and indicating why you believe you are qualified for an assistantship. In order to apply for a graduate assistantship please complete the Application for Graduate Appointment Form.

Send official transcripts and requests for graduate assistantships to:

Director of Graduate Studies, Forensic Science Program (M/C 865) 
UIC College of Pharmacy, Room 335
833 S. Wood St. 
Chicago, IL 60612-7231

We strongly recommend that you follow up to insure that items have been received by the deadline of January 15th. All materials must be in our hands by this date in order for the application to be receive full consideration.

Applicants with truly outstanding academic credentials, GRE scores, and undergraduate research experience, may be nominated as competitive candidates for university fellowships. At our discretion, those nominated for fellowships will be notified directly, and will receive early acceptance into the program. Competitive applicants for fellowships are typically chemistry or biochemistry majors from larger, competitive undergraduate institutions, with overall GPAs of 3.5 or better (on a 4.0 scale), GRE verbal and quantitative scores that sum to 320 or higher and undergraduate research experience.

Costs and Financial Aid

Tuition and fees information for the current graduate base rate may be found on the Admissions and Records web site

Limited financial aid for forensic science graduate students is available directly through the program.  Graduate assistantships are available on a competitive basis once a year. Forensic science generally has a Teaching Assistantship (TA) providing for ~20 hours/week of work, a monthly stipend, and a tuition and fee waiver. Assistantship waivers do not cover the following charges: general fee, CTA transportation fee, student-to-student fee, sustainability fee, office of international services student fee (international students only), the reminder of the cost of health insurance. In addition, the program may have one or two full tuition and waivers available.  Students with the strongest academic records receive preference in our selection of TA and waiver recipients.

Other graduate fellowships and scholarships are available from sources within and outside UIC. Consult the Graduate College fellowships page for more information. Nominations for University and Abraham Lincoln fellowships are made by the departments and students cannot directly apply for them.


Although the number of assistantships and waivers available to the Forensic Science program are limited, there are other opportunities for assistantships on campus. If we hear about such positions, we will contact accepted students.  Usually both research and graduate assistantships are available. "Research" generally involves working in a laboratory, doing experiments and other laboratory work. "Graduate" assistantships generally involve office work. These assistantships are usually "50%," ~20 hours per week, with a monthly stipend. They may be for Fall, Spring, or both. Summer semester appointments may be separate. The university's main web site regularly posts available positions on the Office of Career Services page.