Forensic Biology

College

  • Center City Campus
  • College of Life Sciences

Degree Earned

  • Master of Science

Program Length

2 years

Program Type

  • On Campus

Prerequisites

BS | See more
 

Contact Information

Leadership

Name: Kevin Legg, PhD
Position: Program Director, Forensic Biology Program

Program Information

Name: Alexandra Whitman
Position: Program Coordinator

Contact Admissions

Contact Number(s):

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Research & Internship Opportunities

hand holding dna strand

Jefferson  and The Center for Forensic Science Research & Education (CFSRE) have developed a program that offers science and management courses that give our students the knowledge to be leaders in the field of Forensic Biology. But what differentiates us from other programs is the hands-on and experiential learning we provide for our students. Our partners at the CFSRE provide specialized training for new-hires in collaboration with local operational forensic laboratories. This same professional training is concentrated into the required clerkship (internship) degree component, offering access to identical equipment and supplies utilized by working professionals.

Provided at The CFSRE’s state-of-the-art facility in Willow Grove, PA, the guaranteed internship is designed to provide students with hands-on learning of laboratory and case-assessment skills introduced in the required coursework. This intensive internship program allows students to analyze cases using both serological and nuclear DNA testing techniques.  Cases typically involve homicide, sexual assault, breaking and entering, and kinship analysis, exposing students to the variety of cases they would be faced with in an actual forensic biology case-working laboratory.

In addition to the laboratory component, this experience also includes:

  • Working under chain of custody
  • Competency testing exercises
  • Data analysis and critical assessment of results
  • Forensically defensible report writing and testimony  

This internship provides career preparation through development of laboratory, management, and communication skills needed for advancement in forensic biology.   

Research Opportunities

Student conducting research

In addition to the required internship and coursework, a thesis-based research project will further shape students into independent scientists capable of applying the scientific method to practical problems, developing skills in experimental design, critical analysis, and innovative thinking. These crucial skills provide students with an in-depth knowledge of methods in forensic biology, preparing for success in a leadership role within the field. The CFSRE boasts a rigorous federally-funded research agenda, having received recurring grant funding from the National Institute of Justice and Department of Defense. Ground-breaking advancements made by staff researchers in the areas of next generation serology, sexual assault kit processing, and genetic profiling have helped shape the forensic biology community. Students will be afforded the opportunity to conduct independent projects with experienced research scientists and are encouraged to submit abstracts for presentation at academic conferences to showcase their research.