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
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
- 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
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.
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 5 Years
- Between 2015 and 2018 the Forensic Sciences program accepted 36 students.
- Seven students will graduate in the spring of 2020.
- Of the 25 program graduates between 2013 and 2018:
- 21 are working in forensic science laboratories across the country.
- 2 are engaged in Ph.D. research.
- 2 are working in research laboratories.