MS in Biomedical Forensic Sciences

Visit the BU Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine for more information.

The Biomedical Forensic Sciences (BMFS) program trains aspiring and midcareer professionals in a variety of forensic disciplines applied to crime scene investigation and evidence analysis. Professionals trained in these disciplines are crucial to today’s comprehensive forensic investigations. Completing this degree will qualify graduates to work as forensic scientists, DNA analysts, chemists, death investigators, and crime scene responders at the local, state, and federal levels. The MS in Biomedical Forensic Sciences is a FEPAC-accredited graduate program. FEPAC (Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Committee) maintains and enhances the quality of forensic science education through a formal evaluation of college-level academic programs. The primary function of the committee is to develop and maintain standards and to administer an accreditation program that recognizes and distinguishes high-quality undergraduate and graduate forensic science programs.

Forensic Science Education at the Aram V. Chobanian & Edward Avedisian School of Medicine

All of our faculty remain actively involved in casework and commonly utilize their own experience to teach students about science and the application of science to the law.

The forensic curriculum and courses at the Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine are specially developed for forensic science education. A significant number of courses are designed such that there is a laboratory or practical component included. This ensures that our students obtain a significant amount of hands-on experience not available through lecture classes alone. The master’s degree program is a 38-credit program that can be completed in two years.

The BMFS program is housed in the Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, and the master’s degree awarded is an MS in Biomedical Forensic Sciences from the Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine. Therefore, our students primarily take courses and perform research in University facilities and laboratories.

Our criminal law classes (Criminal Law I and II) are taught by practicing attorneys. This allows our students to get a real sense of expert testimony while receiving advice and expertise from the attorneys who regularly practice direct and cross examination.

All students actively engage in independent research. Experience gained through this endeavor has allowed our students not only to present at conferences and publish in journals, but also to develop expertise in a field of study not accessible through courses alone.

These requirements, experiences, and in-depth laboratory practice are what allow us to offer high-quality, graduate-level, research-grade, forensic science education to MS students at Chobanian & Avedisian SOM.

Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with an MS in Biomedical Forensic Sciences are expected to:

  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the applications of biology and chemistry to the collection and analysis of forensic evidence.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of specific laboratory processes and procedures, acquired from the program-required laboratory courses in two chosen disciplines of interest, that includes a practical demonstration of competency in the technical procedures, data interpretation, and reporting of results.
  • Show an in-depth understanding of the interface between science and law and their ethical obligations related to examination of evidence and role as an expert witness.
  • Produce a written thesis that demonstrates the application of the scientific process through use of critical thinking applied to project experimental design and data analysis.
  • Participate in a portfolio of professional development activities that include attendance at seminars, participation in regional and/or national forensic science meetings, or internship activities.

Program Requirements

Core Curriculum

  • GMS FS 700 Criminal Law and Ethics (2 cr)
  • GMS FS 701 Crime Scene Investigation (3 cr)
  • GMS FS 702 Forensic Biology (3 cr)
  • GMS FS 703 Forensic Chemistry (3 cr)
  • GMS FS 707 Trace Evidence Analysis (3 cr)
  • GMS FS 720 Molecular Biology of Forensic DNA Analysis (3 cr)
  • GMS FS 800 Criminal Law II-Mock Court (2 cr)
  • GMS FS 830 Forensic Toxicology (3 cr)
  • GMS FS 870 Directed Research and Professionalism in Biomedical Forensic Sciences (2 cr)
  • GMS FS 970 Research in Biomedical Forensic Sciences (2 cr)

Forensic Laboratory Courses

Each student is required to complete 4 credits of laboratory coursework. The BMFS program offers the following laboratory courses throughout the year.

  • GMS FS 704 Forensic Biology Laboratory (2 cr)
  • GMS FS 708 Forensic Instrumental Analysis Laboratory (2 cr)
  • GMS FS 721 Forensic DNA Analysis Laboratory (2 cr)
  • GMS FS 831 Forensic Toxicology Laboratory (2 cr)


  • GMS FS 706 Pattern Evidence Analysis (2 cr)
  • GMS FS 713 Bloodstain Pattern Analysis (2 cr)
  • GMS FS 715 Forensic Pathology and Medicolegal Death Investigation (2 cr)
  • GMS FS 730 Advanced Topics in DNA Analysis (2 cr)
  • GMS FS 735 Ignitable Liquids and Explosives (2 cr)
  • GMS FS 740 Analysis of Controlled Substances (2 cr)
  • GMS FS 803 Advanced Topics in Forensic Chemistry (2 cr)
  • GMS FS 840 Case Practicum in Forensic Biology-DNA (2 cr)
  • GMS FS 871 Internship in Biomedical Forensic Sciences (2 cr)
  • GMS FS 971 Publication and Communication of Research in Biomedical Forensic Sciences (2 cr)

Transcript Designation

Students may choose to focus their elective courses and thesis research on one general scientific area (e.g., forensic biology/DNA, forensic chemistry/toxicology, or forensic medicine/death investigation). If a student completes a designated Specialty Track curriculum and passes a topic-specific competency exam, the achievement will appear on their transcript.

All BMFS students must pass a general competency exam to graduate. This achievement will appear on student transcripts.