IUPUI to Offer State's First Master's Degree in Forensic Science

Release Date: 
Aug 8 2008

August 8, 2008 - The Indiana Commission for Higher Education has approved the state's first master's degree program in forensic science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).

The program, which leads to a degree from Purdue University, will enhance further collaborations between IUPUI and law enforcement, such as a partnership with the Indiana State Police to study what happens to explosive devices during a detonation. Faculty and student research will help law enforcement with future investigations.

As Indiana emerges as a national leader in high tech and life sciences business, the demand for highly trained scientists will grow. According to Jay A. Siegel, director of the Forensic and Investigative Sciences program, students with graduate degrees in forensic science will be sought as leaders and managers.

"The forensic science M.S. will increase the state's pool of talented, highly-skilled professionals who will lead the life sciences economy," said Siegel

"Students will be educated in the natural, physical and social sciences and will be trained to apply these sciences to the criminal justice system. We will prepare students for careers in forensic science but also for careers in public health, environmental science, pharmaceutical sciences and others."

The degree is a 35 credit-hour program and will have two concentrations-biology and chemistry. All students will complete a core program in forensic science along with courses in ethics and law, which are tailored for forensic science students. Enrollment in the program is expected to reach 10 students in the first year and increase in subsequent years.

Job prospects for graduates of the new master's program are excellent, said Siegel. Forensic science labs across the nation face serious case backlogs because of personnel shortages. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a 21 percent increase in employed forensic professionals through 2010. The program is expected to begin in the fall of 2009.