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Not accepting applications

Please note: the College of Pharmacy is no longer accepting applications for the MS Forensic Science program.

Program Heading link

The M.S. program in Forensic Science at the UIC College of Pharmacy is fully accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission. The program covers a broad range of laboratory disciplines with an emphasis on analytical and interpretative skills for people who seek careers in forensic science and criminalistics.

About the Field Heading link

Faculty writing on white board

Forensic science is a broad field in which different scientific fields are used to analyze physical evidence in relation to matters of the law.

Forensic sciences encompass:

  • forensic medicine
  • dentistry
  • anthropology
  • entomology
  • chemistry
  • biology/DNA
  • biochemistry
  • toxicology
  • fingerprint technologies
  • questioned documents
  • firearms and toolmark examination
  • Trace analysis
  • and other pattern analyses.

Criminalistics is a branch of forensic science generally including the analyses carried out in forensic science laboratories.

A Word on Background Checks Heading link

Faculty speaking to student

Most, but certainly not all, forensic science opportunities are in law enforcement. These agencies conduct rigorous background checks which may include:

  • polygraph tests
  • testing of urine for drugs
  • testing of hair for drugs
  • guidelines to past drug use

This is true for employment as well as for internships.

As a guideline, agencies generally tolerate limited marijuana use in your past and typically prohibit hard drug use.

In addition, if you are not a citizen of the United States or a Permanent Resident, you may have difficulty finding employment in law enforcement agency laboratories as well.


Mission Statement Heading link

The Master’s of Science in Forensic Science has been in existence since 1996. Since then, it has been our goal to advance the field of forensic science and produce graduates who will become leaders in the field.

Our mission is to train quality students of high moral character who desire to make a career of forensic science, serving the field and the public to the best of their ability. Our graduates are able to enter forensic science laboratories and serve as exemplary employees dedicated to the improvement of the field.

Program Goals and Outcomes 

Goal 1: The graduates of the MS in Forensic Science program will be effective professional scientists, expert witnesses and academicians who will be able to 1) apply a broad range of scientific principles, and testing in the disciplines of forensic science; 2) communicate through both oral and written means the complex technical and scientific information involved in their field, and present in the academic and professional arenas to educate others in the scientific, technical and professional aspects of their field.

Goal 2: Independently conduct new research in the disciplines of forensic science

Graduate Successes Heading link

Students in lab

Our graduates are employed by such places as:

  • DEA labs
  • U.S. Army CID lab
  • New York City Medical Examiner lab
  • Navy Investigative Services
  • FBI lab
  • And laboratory systems all across the United States.

The Past 7 Years
The students from the UIC Masters of Science in Forensic Science have found success in their careers. From 2015 until 2022:

  • 49 students have enrolled in the program including 10 students who are a part of our new class beginning August of 2021
  • No new students were accepted in 2022
  • Three students dropped out
  • 37 Students have graduated
  • Two students will graduate in December of 2022

Of our graduates during this time:

  • 22 are actively working in forensic science laboratories
  • two have joined the military as was their plan and hope to eventually work in military forensic labs
  • one teaches forensic science in high school in the Chicago area
  • one is working in scientific industry sales and service
  • the rest are employed in research and testing laboratories

A. Karl Larsen, PhD Heading link

Director of Graduate Studies, Forensic Program

833 S. Wood Street, Room 333, University of Illinois at Chicago, MC 781, Chicago, Illinois 60612