Loyola University Maryland

Forensic Studies

M.S. Forensic Pattern Analysis Academics

Forensic Pattern Analysis encompasses a range of academic disciplines that apply the knowledge, techniques, and technology to the investigation of crime and the courts of law.

Flies on an object in a glass box for observationTraditionally, graduate forensic science programs focus heavily on preparation for students for careers in forensic biology, toxicology, and crime scene investigation. What makes Loyola’s program unique is an emphasis on comparative sciences, especially latent prints. The Forensic Pattern Analysis curriculum encompasses six departments of academic focus, providing both breadth and depth in education and training. Students engage with subjects ranging from philosophy to biology and take courses such as introductory and advanced topics in fingerprints, mock trial, forensic entomology, quality control and assurance, writing, and ethics.

Loyola graduates are poised for competitive internships and job placement in one of the top regions in the country for forensics work. In fact, the Baltimore–Washington, D.C., metro area is among the fastest-growing hubs for biotechnology and biohealth, forensic psychology and counseling, criminal investigation and justice, and counterterrorism.

Demand for professionals with comparative sciences training has never been greater—in public, private, and nonprofit organizations across the country.

Employers seek graduates who not only have knowledge in and understanding of the field, but who can apply their breadth of understanding, interdisciplinary approaches, critical understanding, ability to work as a member of a team, excellent communication, and deductive reasoning to their work. These are the very skills Forensic Pattern Analysis students acquire through the classroom, extra- and cocurricular involvement, and internships and job experience.

Program Requirements

Required courses: 32 credits
FO 500

FO 530
FO 610
FO 630 
FO 650
FO 675
FO 710
FO 780 
FO 790
WR 626

Forensic Studies Seminar Series+

Introduction to Criminalistics
Introduction to Fingerprints
Biological and Forensic Science Laboratory Quality
Control and Assurance
Forensic Pattern Evidence
Mock Trial for Forensic Pattern Evidence
Advanced Topics and Techniques in Fingerprints
Pattern Evidence Recognition & Statistical Methods
Forensic Pattern Analysis Capstone*
Technical Writing

1 cr. (3 cr. total)

3 credits
4 credits
3 credits

4 credits
3 credits
4 credits
1 credit
4 credits
3 credits

 Elective Courses: choose three (3) courses from the below list 

9-14 credits 
BL 628
BL 651
BL 655
FO 600 
FO 690
FO 750
GB 705
PL 611
ST 510
ST 565
ST 681
ST 776    
WR 625 
Forensic Entomology w/lab
Forensic Biology w/lab
Crime Scene Investigation
Topics in Forensic Science#
Forensic Cognitive Psychology
Leading and Managing People
Introduction to Statistics `
Biostatistics `
Probability and Statistics `
Bayesian Inference 
Professional Writing   
3 credits
5 credits
5 credits
4 credits
3 credits
3 credits
3 credits
3 credits
3 credits
3 credits
3 credits
3 credits
3 credits 
    Total 41-46 credits
`Only one course may count for credit from ST510, ST565, ST681; Closed to students who have course credit as an undergrad.
+FO 500 A minimum of three seminars are required. 
#FO 690 May be repeated once for credit.
*FO 790 Capstone can be fulfilled by an internship, research, or an independent study approved by the graduate program director.


Course Descriptions Frequently Asked Questions

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.