DO/MS Forensic Medicine Dual Degree Track
Students who have successfully completed the first year of the Doctor of Osteopathic
Medicine (DO) degree program at PCOM—at either the Philadelphia, PA or Suwanee, GA
campuses—may apply for the Master of Science (MS) in Forensic Medicine dual degree
program provided by the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, Immunology and Forensic
Medicine. This dual degree program leads to both a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
degree and a Master of Science in Forensic Medicine degree. During an extended second
year in the DO degree program, students complete forensic medicine coursework through
the Philadelphia, PA campus weekend courses and online instruction. Combined, the
DO/MS dual degree program is five years in length. The DO/MS dual degree program provides
a core foundation in the theory, principles, ethics, professional practice and legal
aspects of forensic medicine.
At the completion of the Master of Science in Forensic Medicine portion of the dual
degree program, the student should be proficient in the following skills:
Technical aspects of death scene investigation as well as identifying, preserving
and protecting custody of forensic evidence;
Differentiating accidental and intentional injuries in both living and dead persons;
Determining potential forensic value of written and photographic records; and
Interpretation of research in forensics and skills in utilizing information technology
to access information in the forensic sciences.
Application & Curriculum Guidelines
A currently enrolled DO student at PCOM may make application for the dual degree program.
The student must be in good academic standing and must have successfully completed
the first term of the first year of the DO degree program.
After completing the necessary application materials, an interview with the Forensic
Medicine Program Director is required.
All first year DO degree remedial coursework must be satisfactorily completed in order
to be accepted into the dual degree program.
The dual degree program starts in the winter term of the student's second year of
DO degree studies. The student will be required to decelerate his/her second year
of the DO degree program to allow for the additional MS degree coursework. The DO/MS
dual degree program extends the second year of the DO curriculum over two years.
Applications to the DO/MS dual degree program are available by contacting the program
office at 215-871-6161.
The following criteria must be met to maintain good academic standing in the DO/MS
dual degree program:
- A cumulative 3.0 GPA or greater is required to be awarded the MS degree. If a student
does not attain a 3.0 after all coursework is completed, the student will be required
to remediate coursework to increase his/her GPA for degree candidacy.
- Failure to achieve a 2.0 GPA at the end of any term will result in academic probation
from the MS in Forensic Medicine degree program.
- Students who fail a course must repeat the course the following year and pass it.
Students who do not pass the second attempt at the course will be dismissed from the
MS portion of the dual degree program.
Scheduling of coursework for the MS in Forensic Medicine degree is as follows:
Forensic medicine courses are offered once annually and commence in the winter semester
for the DO/MS dual degree.
The sequence of coursework is: 501, 502, followed by one of the online courses (504,
506, 513). The order of the online courses is subject to change and may be extended
over the third and fourth years of the DO degree. View the course descriptions.
The Capstone Integrated Experience (FMED 508) project must be approved of by the forensic
The following forensic medicine courses will be awarded credit, as they are fulfilled
via the DO degree program: FMED 500-Pathology and FMED 505-Bioethics.
* Credits fulfilled and granted via the DO curriculum. Total credits = 40 (32 MS track
+ 8 DO degree).