Combined BS/MFS in Forensic Chemistry

A woman using lab equipment.

Forensic chemists study the science behind investigative crime work. An undergraduate degree in chemistry is a prerequisite for most forensic chemistry programs; the combined dual Bachelor of Science in Chemistry/Master of Forensic Sciences with a concentration in forensic chemistry (BS/MFS) degree helps students complete the master’s on an accelerated track.

After building a foundation in chemical science, BS/MFS students take courses in a variety of topics to prepare for careers in crime scene investigation and analysis. Class material includes examining arson accelerants and textile fibers, examining the effects of drug abuse on users, practicing infrared spectrometry, tracing evidence and assessing court testimony.


How to Apply to the Combined Degree Program 

Interested GW students should consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Chemistry Department ([email protected]) during the fall semester of their junior year before applying to the Combined Degree Program. All students must complete a Columbian College Combined Bachelor’s/Master’s Program Application for Admission in spring of their junior year (after completing at least 75 credits). The form must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies in Forensic Sciences and then submitted to the Columbian College Graduate Admissions Office. Once the form has been processed, the student will receive a formal admission letter and their student record will be updated accordingly.

Combined Degree Application


Course Requirements

All requirements for both the BS in Chemistry and the MFS in Forensic Chemistry must be completed — with the exception that 12 graduate credits may be taken as part of the undergraduate program.

Please note:

  • Two Writing in the Disciplines (WID) courses are required in addition to the basic University Writing course required of all Columbian first-year students (UW 1020).
  • 24 credit hours in General Education Curriculum (GEC) courses are required of all Columbian College students. Chemistry majors normally fulfill the requirements in mathematics (quantitative reasoning) and natural and/or physical laboratory sciences (scientific reasoning) with the prerequisite courses for the major. The remaining requirements are six credits of social sciences, six credits of humanities and three credits of the arts.
  • Students must complete FORS 6225, 6020, 6210, 6292, and 6240. Up to 12 graduate credits may count for both undergraduate and graduate requirements.  Admission to the M.F.S. degree program cannot be finalized until the Spring of Year 3 at the earliest.  Therefore, only those FORS courses taken in Year Three Spring or Year Four can apply to the 12 credits.

  • Candidates pursuing an American Chemical Society-certified degree must take research laboratories CHEM 4123 and CHEM 4195 (three credits each) in addition to the required courses.

  • A course in a structured computer programming language is recommended.


Suggested Program of Study