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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 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, two academic/professional reference letters and a resume are required.

Is work experience required?

Not for admission into either program.

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

Traditional forensic science programs often offer only a few courses, or portions of courses, in the comparative sciences. This requires graduates to complete additional, potentially expensive, training in latent fingerprints and other related disciplines. The Master of Science in Forensic Pattern Analysis at Loyola focuses on latent print analysis (including development and recovery), but also offers coursework in firearms and toolmarks analysis, questioned documents and trace evidence, and quality assurance. Loyola’s curriculum has been developed in consultation with forensic practitioners at several local, state, and federal agencies. The goal is that students will graduate with the advantage of having already received much of the course and lab work that is required by such organizations, thus increasing the potential for hire, and reducing the time it takes to be trained.

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?

Beginning fall 2024, students in the Forensic Pattern Analysis program will complete between 39 and 42 credits, depending on the elective courses taken. Students in the Biological Forensics program will complete between 38 and 41 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



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Contact Us

Graduate Admissions

Theresa Allen
Director of Program Operations
Forensic Science Graduate Programs