Forensic Sciences Program Outcomes

The forensic sciences program is competency-based and successful graduates will demonstrate proficiency in specific laboratory skills as well as a mastery of the academic material. It is required that the graduates of this Master of Science in Forensic Sciences (MSFS) program achieve the relevant cognitive, skills (psychomotor) and affective performance objectives specified below.

Upon completion of the Master of Science in Forensic Sciences, graduates will be able to

Cognitive Domain - demonstrate mastery of the academic material/knowledge specific to forensic science.

  1. List and describe the steps in collecting and processing evidence, including trace evidence, that may be available at a crime scene.
  2. Evaluate a given crime scene and select the appropriate steps to be followed in collecting and processing evidence.
  3. Describe the toxicology and analytical chemistry relevant to isolating and identifying drugs and toxic substances.
  4. Explain the science underlying DNA analysis and describe the performance of laboratory analysis of DNA.
  5. Describe quality assurance and accrediting requirements as they pertain to operating forensic science laboratories.
  6. Describe the criminal justice system, including specific procedures relating to the provision of expert testimony and limitations placed on the admissibility of evidence.
  7. Cite, apply, and interpret statutory, regulatory, and case law pertinent to forensic science.

Skills Domain - demonstrate an acceptable standard of competency/proficiency in the relevant motor skill sets necessary for operating instruments, running experiments, assuring quality, etc.

  1. Collect evidence from a crime scene according to established legal and scientific protocols.
  2. Photograph and sketch a crime scene according to established legal and scientific protocols.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in performing the molecular biological techniques relevant to examining evidence.
  4. Demonstrate proficiency in using the microscope to identify evidence.
  5. Demonstrate proficiency in performing the analytical chemical techniques relevant to examining evidence.
  6. Demonstrate proficiency in collecting latent prints and processing firearms for trace evidence, and compare the crime scene evidence to the records in established databases.
  7. Demonstrate mastery of quality control and quality assurance practices.
  8. Provide expert testimony in a moot court of law.
  9. Demonstrate compliance with safety protocols in the laboratory.
  10. Analyze, interpret, and evaluate evidence for presentation in both written and oral formats.
  11. Write a comprehensive review of the scientific literature on a topic in forensic science.
  12. Formulate a hypothesis, and plan and execute a research project (following the tenets of the scientific method).
  13. Write a master's thesis that demonstrates analysis and interpretation of data, evaluation of results in the context of the scientific literature, and formulation of novel suggestions for further study in the field.

Affective Domain - demonstrates the emotions, values, and attitudes that we expect to see in graduates of our program.

  1. Adhere to the ethical standards established for forensic scientists and enforced by the law.
  2. Collect, process, and report evidence ethically and honestly.
  3. Evaluate scientific journal articles in terms of their scientific merit and their ethical, societal, and global implications.
  4. Demonstrate professional conduct at all times.
  5. Display strong interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills.
  6. Recognize and act upon the need for continuing education.