Criminalistics Programs

Minor in Forensic Science (for students majoring in biology, chemistry, bio-chemistry or physics)

Criminalistics Masters of Science Degree

Click here for instructions on applying to the Criminalistics graduate program.

FAQ Sheet

Want more details about the application process?

Here is a link to the university’s application for graduate admission: CAL STATE APPLY

Here is a link to the School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics graduate application: Criminalistics Program Application

Does the program offer graduate student support?

The School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics supports a limited number of Graduate Assistant (GA) positions. Additional information on campus employment is available at the Student Employment Office

Does the program offer internships?

Yes, students enrolled in the criminalistics program are encouraged to apply for an internship. Opportunities are available with several private and public laboratories.

What is the cost of attendance?

All information on tuition and payment can be found on the Cal State LA Financial Aid website: 2018-2019 Cost of Attendance

Does the criminalistics program course schedule accommodate working professionals?

Yes, the majority of courses in the criminalistics program are evening courses, which are offered 4:30-8:45 p.m. Some elective courses are only available as day courses.

Is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) required for admission?

The GRE is not required for admission to the program.

What undergraduate degree is acceptable in order to be eligible for admission to the criminalistics program?

Applicants must hold a baccalaureate of science (BA or BS) in one of the natural or physical sciences (examples include chemistry, biology, biochemistry, molecular genetics, physics or related disciplines) from an accredited university.

My degree is in an unrelated discipline but I have taken quite a few science courses. Am I eligible to apply?

No. A strong science background is required for admission to the criminalistics program (as well as future employment in a forensic science laboratory). An applicant's degree must be in a natural or physical science. Unrelated disciplines include psychology, anthropology, criminal justice or similar.

What is the average class size for the graduate courses?

Admission to our Criminalistics Graduate Program is competitive. A typical cohort consists of 14-18 students.

Are there specific undergraduate courses that must be completed prior to admission?

Applicants must have successfully completed the equivalent of the following Cal State LA STEM courses. Please refer to the Cal State LA ecatalog for more information on course equivalency: University Catalog

  • BIOL 1100 - Principles of Biology I, BIOL 1200 - Principles of Biology II
  • BIOL 3000 - Biostatistics
  • CHEM 1100 - General Chemistry I, CHEM 1110 - General Chemistry II
  • CHEM 3500 - Quantitative Analysis*
  • CHEM 2200 - Organic Chemistry I, CHEM 3200 - Organic Chemistry II
  • CHEM 2201 - Organic Chemistry Laboratory I, CHEM 2211 - Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
  • PHYS 2100 - General Physics I: Mechanics, PHYS 2200 - General Physics II: Electromagnetism and Circuits

*Quantitative Analysis may be taken concurrently with graduate coursework if not already satisfied.

What degree is earned after completing the criminalistics program?

Students earn a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Criminalistics.

Is a thesis required in order to graduate from the criminalistics program?

Yes, a research project is the capstone course for graduation.

Will I be able to park near my classes?

The School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics is located within the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center. A student parking pass can be purchased (daily or on a semester basis) for use in the adjacent lot (Parking Lot A) after 4 pm.

Please direct any further questions to Dr. Katherine A. Roberts (krobert2@calstatela.edu), Director, Criminalistics Program.