The Forensic Science program at the University of Illinois at Chicago encompasses a broad knowledge of the basic areas of forensic science laboratory disciplines (biology/biochemistry; chemistry and trace evidence analysis; drug identification and toxicology; and pattern evidence) with emphasis on the integration of analytical and interpretative skills. 


The master’s program in Forensic Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago is administered by the Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences. The role of forensic laboratory sciences in justice system processes is an integrating theme. There is an opportunity for some specialization through the selection of electives.

Forensic science is a broad field in which physical, biological, medical and even behavioral sciences are utilized to analyze and evaluate physical evidence (and sometimes people) in relation to matters of the law. In the broadest sense, the forensic sciences encompass forensic medicine, psychiatry, psychology, dentistry, anthropology, entomology, chemistry, biology, biochemistry, toxicology, along with fingerprint technologies, questioned documents, firearms and toolmark examination, and other pattern analyses. Criminalistics is a branch of forensic science, generally seen as encompassing those analyses typically carried out in forensic science laboratories. The forensic science program at UIC is designed to provide graduate education and advanced training for people who seek careers in forensic science and criminalistics.

It is important that applicants to forensic science programs understand that many of the forensic science employment opportunities are in law enforcement agencies; many of these agencies have strict rules about what constitutes an acceptable background for employment in their organization. They usually do thorough background investigations of individuals who apply for employment or for internships. Some of them also conduct polygraph tests, as well as the testing of urine and hair for drugs, as part of the pre-employment background.  Many agencies have guidelines with respect to past drug use. We remind you of these facts in case they affect you. If so, you may wish to be sure you will qualify for most of the law enforcement agencies for whom you may want to work as a forensic scientist. As a general guideline, most agencies tolerate very limited marijuana use in your past, but usually no 'hard' drug use. In addition, if you are not a citizen of the United States or a Permanent Resident, you may have difficulty finding employment in law enforcement agency laboratories.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Forensic Science: Survey and Foundations
  • Forensic Analysis of Biological Evidence
  • Forensic Chemistry and Trace Evidence Analysis
  • Physical Pattern Evidence Analysis
  • Forensic Drug Analysis and Toxicology
  • Expert Witness Testimony and Courtroom Demeanor

          Detailed Programme Facts

          English Language Requirements

          You only need to take one of these language tests:

          • Minimum required score:


            The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

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          • Minimum required score:


            The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

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          • Minimum required score:


            The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

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          Academic Requirements

          You need the following GPA score:

          Required score: 3

          Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to 3 on a US 4.0 grading scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on a 4.0 scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

          Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

          • This programme accepts GRE® scores. However, it does not provide a recommended score range.

            The GRE® General Test is a widely administered admissions test that measures the skills needed in today's graduate and business school programs worldwide. The GRE® General Test contains three sections - Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Three scores are reported: a Verbal Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, a Quantitative Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, and an Analytical Writing score on a 0 - 6 score scale in half-point increments.

          • Baccalaureate Field - BS in physical, biological, or pharmaceutical sciences (chemistry or biochemistry recommended). Minimum of one semester analytical chemistry and one semester physical chemistry. Instrumental analysis, biochemistry, and additional physical chemistry desirable.
          • Minimum English Competency Test Score
          • Letters of Recommendation - Three required.
          • Personal Statement Required.

          Tuition Fee

          • International

            11950 USD/semester
            Tuition Fee
            Based on the original amount of 11950 USD per semester and a duration of .
          • National

            5830 USD/semester
            Tuition Fee
            Based on the original amount of 5830 USD per semester and a duration of .
          We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

          Living costs for Chicago

          • 1297 - 2500 USD/month
            Living Costs

          The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


          Check the programme website for information about funding options.

          Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

          The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

          Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.