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

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

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.


Graduate Successes

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 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.

A. Karl Larsen, PhD

Director of Graduate Studies, Forensic Program

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