Loyola University Maryland

Department of Forensic Science

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any prerequisites required?

A student is expected to have successfully completed a college-level introductory science course prior to acceptance into the program. Students without an appropriate science background may satisfy the prerequisite by taking FO 101/BL 101 Introduction to Forensic Science (undergraduate), or FO 230 Introduction to Criminalistics, or an approved introductory science course at another institution. The pre-requisite must be completed with a non-deficiency grade (C or higher) prior to acceptance into the program.

Are GRE scores required?

No - the Forensic Pattern Analysis and Biological Forensics graduate programs do not accept or review GRE scores as a part of the admission process. In addition to completing an online application and application fee, official transcripts, essay, and at least one academic/professional reference letter (no more three letters) are the basic requirements. Applicants are also strongly encouraged to submit a resume.

Is work experience required?

Not for admission to the program.

What distinguishes the Forensic Pattern Analysis program from other Forensic programs?

Traditional forensic science programs offer only a few courses in the comparative sciences, requiring graduates to take extensive and expensive additional training in latent fingerprint and related disciplines. Loyola’s curriculum has been developed in consultation with forensic practitioners at several local, state, and federal agencies. The Master of Science in Forensic Pattern Analysis at Loyola focuses on latent print analysis (including development and recovery). Students will graduate with the advantage of having already received the course and lab work required by many private, local, state, and federal organizations.

What type of background do I need to apply?

There is no mandatory background required for the program, although a BS in one of the natural sciences can be advantageous in preparation of the lab work and analysis. Interest and motivation for the program are keys to success, and we encourage students from diverse backgrounds to apply for the program. The faculty and staff are committed to the education of students, centered around the belief that all people—across all ages, cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, and abilities—should be afforded the opportunity to serve in the growing world of Forensic Pattern Analysis.

How many credits do I need to complete the program?

Students in the Forensic Pattern Analysis program will complete between 41 and 46 credits, depending on the elective courses taken. Students in the Biological Forensics program will complete between 42 and 46 credits, depending on the elective courses taken.

How long to complete the program part-time and full-time?

Full time students will be able to complete the program in 2 years. Part time students have up to 5 years to complete the program.

Are there any courses offered online?

There are some lecture-based courses that are offered online. However, the majority of the courses are designed for hands-on training through laboratory and/or field experiences and are offered in-person at the Evergreen Campus.

How many days a week and times are the courses offered?

All the required courses are offered in late afternoon/early evening, on weekdays to accommodate the work schedules of students. Due to the nature of field work, some elective courses have afternoon labs with morning lectures. There are no weekend courses at this time.

What kind of jobs am I qualified for after completing the program?

Graduates will be competitive candidates ready to enter, or advance within, a variety of challenging and evolving careers, including public and private forensic laboratories, crime scene investigation, law enforcement, academia, bio health industries, research fields, military, civil service, and several others.

Do you offer financial aid or other funding for the program?

There are loans, as well as a limited number of partial merit-based scholarships and grants available to applicants each start term. Please see the website for additional financial aid information.

Is it possible to complete an internship during the summer in order to meet the capstone requirement?

Yes. Internships can be completed at any time during the program. Students will work with the Director of Program Operations and/or Graduate Program Director to ensure the internship opportunity that they are seeking meets the requirements of the program.

Have more questions? Contact us!

Graduate Admissions

Theresa Allen
Director of Program Operations
Forensic Science Graduate Programs



David Rivers

David Rivers, Ph.D.

Biology professor David Rivers, Ph.D., is committed to training the next generation of biotechnologists

Students measure drops of blood for a lab assignment.
Course Snapshot

Exploring Biology 101: Introduction to Forensic Science

Learn about the field of forensics and acquire the lab techniques needed to conduct crime scene investigations.