Criminalistics is an interdisciplinary field, in which the physical and natural sciences are employed to analyze and evaluate physical evidence in a judicial context. The Criminalistics program provides advanced, discipline specific knowledge for those wishing to enter the field of criminalistics. The Master of Science Degree program emphasizes current analytical and scientific methods. A broad understanding of the concepts underlying the forensic sciences is provided through a sequence of required and effective courses.
In addition to University requirements for admission to graduate study, applicants must hold a baccalaureate in one of the natural or physical sciences (examples include chemistry, biology, biochemistry, molecular genetics, physics or related disciplines).
Students are advised that background checks similar to those required for law enforcement officers are likely to be a condition of employment (NIJ Report NCJ 203099 - “Qualifications for a Career in Forensic Science.” PP. 7-10)
Applicants may be admitted to the M.S. degree program in Classified or Conditionally Classified Standing. Classified Standing is granted to accepted applicants who have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in the last 60 semester units and 3.0 in the undergraduate major.
Conditionally Classified Standing is granted to accepted applicants whose grade point average in their last 60 semester units is less than 3.0 with a minimum of 2.75.
Conditionally Classified Students must achieve a 3.0 grade point average after completing four qualifying courses (that have been approved by the Graduate Advisor) by the end of their second semester of graduate study in order to be granted Classified Standing.