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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Frequently Asked Questions

What are your deadlines for Graduate applications?

  • Our target application date for either Summer or Fall admission is Feb. 15. This is not a deadline, since we have rolling admission, but applying by this date ensures that we will still have space and that you will be fully considered for possible scholarships. We have a small number of scholarships, and they are nominated based on applications. For Spring admission, the target date is November 1.

What are your GPA or GRE cutoffs?

  • We do not have cutoffs for either the GPA or GRE in that we review the entire application regardless of the numbers. If one or both is low, we look for strengths that might compensate. If the GPA is below 3.0 or the GRE scores are below 150, these are considered low, but an applicant with strong signs of potential for improvement still has a chance for admission.

What makes SU's program in Forensic Science unique?

  • Forensic Science and National Security Sciences Institute (FNSSI) incorporates a wide range of disciplines, from medicine, sciences, social sciences, humanities, law and other professional fields.
  • The master’s degree program in forensic science at Syracuse University is a 36-credit hour course of study.
  • M.S. in forensic science offers students a global perspective and opportunities for in-depth study at the graduate level in forensic science.
  • Designed with input from forensic science professionals, the program features specialized courses developed and taught by experts in the field, a growing number of institutional partnerships, and internship opportunities for students.
  • Courses are taught by professionals active in their respective fields. You will be exposed to current practices and theories by the same people who are actively researching and applying these concepts.
  • Flexible course of study that can be applied to a variety of future careers or academic programs. Through one-on-one advising, you will be able to design a course of study that is appropriate for your specific career goals.
  • Close proximity to the Onondaga County Wallie Howard Jr. Center for Forensic Sciences, and numerous relationships with local and federal forensic organizations.  SU is a leader in the field of training forensic scientists, providing valuable insights, expert instructors, and feedback about the strengths of the program and the success of our graduates to achieve positions in the field.
  • Unlike many forensic science programs with a basis in criminal justice, SU’s M.S. in Forensic Science is based in Chemistry and places a strong emphasis on the study of science for forensic applications. 

Is there an Online Program?

  • Unfortunately, an Online Degree is not offered at this time.

What opportunities exist for independent study, research, and internship?

  • Internships are possible locally, such as at the Onondaga County Center for Forensic Sciences; the New York State Police Forensic Investigation Center; the FBI Laboratories, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and any other federal, state, or local facilities.  Students submit their own off-campus internship applications with the support of the program through professional partnerships, recommendation letters, and internship advising.
  • Students learn about or arrange to participate in new or existing research projects with affiliated faculty of the Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute by speaking directly with those faculty members.

How does National Security Science fit into the program?

  • For individual students interested in pursuing a career in National Security Sciences, the program can be tailored to suit your career goals with additional courses in Political Science and Law.

How many students are accepted each semester?

  • In order to provide individualized attention and ensure that there are enough opportunities for local internships and research, class sizes are kept relatively small.

What are the application requirements for the Graduate Program?

  • Complete the Application form 
  • For International Students, a Financial Form and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores are required. For more information please Click here!

What are the application deadlines for the Graduate Application?

  • Our target application date for either Summer or Fall admission is Feb. 15. This is not a deadline, since we have rolling admission, but applying by this date ensures we will have spce and that you will be fully considered for possible scholarships. We have a small number of scholarships, and they are nominated based on applications. For Spring admission, the target date is November 1.

What are the GPA or GRE cutoffs for Graduate Applications?

  • We do not have cutoffs for either the GPA or GRE in that we review the entire application regardless of the numbers. If one or both is low, we look for strengths that might compenstate. If the GPA is below 3.0 or the GRE scores are below 150, these are considered low, but an applicant with strong signs of potential for improvement still has a chance for admission.

I am an SU undergraduate student. Do I need to take the GRE?

  • No, SU undergraduate students are exempt from the GRE requirement.

Does it make sense to apply for more than one Forensic Science Program?

  • No, there is no need to pay the application fee twice.  If you are not sure which M.S. program to apply for, just make your best choice (ask us if you need advice!) and apply for that.  If you decide later that you want to swich, that is easy to do.  If you want to earn an M.S. and a Certificate of Advanced Study, just apply to the M.S. Once matriculated, it is easy to add the Certificate.  You might note in your personnel statement that you are interested also in the other program, but that is sufficient!

How long does it take to complete the program?

  • The M.S. in forensic science is a 36-credit course of study.  A full-time graduate student typically ranges from 9-12 credit hours a semester, meaning a typical student will complete the program in 3-4 semesters. Through careful planning, it is possible to complete the program in one year (2 regular semesters and both summer sessions).
  • Part-time course loads of 3-6 credit hours are also possible.

What are the program requirements?

  • For current program requirements visit each program page.

What housing options exist?

  • You will find several options available to at orangehousing.com and cusehousing.com.  We can assist with questions about housing arrangements or neighborhoods near the university.
  • Click here for general campus maps.

What is there to do in Syracuse?

  • Syracuse has a lot to offer in regards to student life. Make sure to visit downtown for the MOSTice-skating in the winter, and Dinosaur BBQ. The Fairgrounds is home to the New York State Fair at the end of summer and Fright Nights in October. Marshall Street (only a few steps away from campus) has all you need for a great night out. Be sure to check out The InnComplete on Skytop Road too. The Carrier Dome is the host to many various events throughout the year, as well as all home football and basketball games. Syracuse University’s traditional Winterfest is held at the end of February. Click here for more about Syracuse.

How can I schedule a visit?

  • Contact the Forensic Science office to schedule a visit.

Student Involvement

  • Forensic Science: Code Orange (FSCO) is a graduate student organization.  Once per year, FSCO presents "Murder 201", a forensic science event for the public with a "murder" storyline.  FSCO students also help to give tours for FNSSI Open House events. 
  • Want to get involved with campus events and student activities? Click here!
  • Office of Multicultural Affairs Click here!
  • Graduate Student Organizations Click here!

Additional Resources