MSFS Program Requirements

The mission of the Forensic Science program is to provide our students with a comprehensive graduate level educational and research experiences in the forensic sciences and to prepare them for careers in public and private laboratories. Students completing the program are also provided a foundation for further graduate studies. The program's emphasis is to develop students' laboratory, medico-legal, and public policy skills through a series of required and elective courses, and through selecting and completing a research project.

In addition to completing a series of forensic science courses, students in the MSFS program are required to take courses in chemical instrumental analysis, biochemistry, quantitative analysis, and recombinant DNA technology offered by the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Biology. Students are encouraged to design a course of study (in consultation with their faculty advisor) with a specific concentration to meet their professional goals.

Levelling Courses

The following courses are required, but students who have taken the equivalent course as an undergraduate may opt out of one or more. Since we primarily accept students with biology and chemistry backgrounds, it is expected that applicants will have taken at least two of these courses as at the sophomore or above level:

Biochemistry

Typical course description of a biochemistry course: Overview of biochemical principles; chemistry of aqueous solutions, biochemical building blocks including amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleotides; examination of metabolic pathways and enzymes that mediate catabolic and anabolic metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids, and nucleic acids. Application of clinical correlations of metabolism to human nutrition and disease.

Cellular and Molecular Biology

Typical course description of a cellular and molecular cell biology course: Molecular and Cellular Biology I and II introduce the fundamental molecular processes that occur in living organisms. The seminars emphasize the structure and organization of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, DNA replication, gene expression and regulation, protein biochemistry, signal transduction and the extracellular matrix. Experimental techniques used to study the topics under discussion are emphasized with particular reference to the development of pharmaceuticals. Case studies illustrate the important concepts and show how breakdown in the proper functioning of these systems may lead to human disease.

Instrumental Chemistry Instrumental Analysis (with lab)

  • Typical course description of an instrumental chemistry course: Focus on modern analytical chemistry instrumentation including chemical separations, spectroscopies (atomic absorption, infrared, UV-visible, fluorescence), mass spectroscopy, and thermal analysis.
  • The typical lab includes: Focus on modern analytical chemistry instrumentation including chemical separations, spectroscopies (atomic absorption, infrared, UV-visible, fluorescence), mass spectroscopy, and thermal analysis.

Quantitative Chemistry (with lab)

Typical course description of a quantitative chemistry course: Principles of analytical measurements, statistical and volumetric techniques, spectrophotometric analysis, and chromatography, with emphasis on equilibrium and applications. Lecture and laboratory.

Course Catalog

A complete list of program requirements and courses are available in the UAB Graduate Catalog.

Ready to Apply?

All the information you need to apply can be found on UAB's Graduate Admissions Hub.