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Forensic Medicine FAQs

Q: Can the MS program be taken on a full or part time basis? When are classes held?
The 40 credit MS curriculum requires that candidates take one 4 credit course per 14 week term, which is a half time schedule.  Half time students do qualify for financial aid, however. In the first year of the program, courses are held one three-day weekend per month from mid-August to June (Friday-Sunday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm).  The second year of the program consists of a 112 hour integrative capstone project and an on-line course from June to the following July.  It is possible for a candidate to have a full time job while completing this entire program.

Q: What is an “integrative capstone project”?
As the M.S. degree is a non-thesis track Masters degree, the capstone integrative experience project is a project that could involve field experience and/or research in the area of forensic medicine. The objective is to afford students the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired through their academic course work in a real life setting in an area of personal interest within the scope of forensic medicine.  This project will culminate in a final paper at the conclusion of the experience.

Q: What kind of field experience can I expect in the first year of study, before the capstone year?
Students taking the course courses of Forensic Medicine I & II will have ample practice labs and in class instruction. Hand-on labs are conducted in the following: Fingerprinting, Blood-spatter, Mock-Crime Scene, Forensic Anthropology, Forensic Entomology, Ballistics, Firearms, and Clandestine Graves.

Q: Where can I find the curriculum for the programs?
Search on the PCOM website (www.pcom.edu) for “catalog” and an Adobe .pdf image will appear for easy review and printing.

Q: What is the cost of tuition?
For the 2012-2013 academic year, candidates are paying $764 per credit.

Q: What is the prerequisite coursework?
Candidates applying for admission to the master's degree program need to have completed a bachelor's degree AS WELL AS 8 credits in General Biology, 8 credits in Inorganic Chemistry and 8 credits in Anatomy and Physiology in order to enroll. It is acceptable to have any of those courses "in progress" so long as an acceptable grade and degree is earned prior to the start of classes in August. Candidates with a bachelor's degree lacking a science background can apply for admission through the Pathway Program.

Q: What is the Pathway Program? 
Pathway is a 14 week Pass-Fail summary course in the basic principles of Biology, Chemistry and Anatomy & Physiology. It is for candidates who have bachelor’s degrees in non-science fields such as Criminal Justice, Sociology, etc.  If a candidate passes this 3 credit Summer term course, he/she is admitted to begin the MS program in the Fall term immediately following.  Pathway courses are taught from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm three evenings per week from late May to mid-August.

Q: What is the deadline to apply for admission?
PCOM operates on rolling admissions basis, and therefore it is strongly encouraged that candidates for admission submit their completed applications EARLY. Interviews begin in September for enrollment the following Summer or Fall terms. 

Q: Is an interview required?
Interviews are a required part of the admissions and are conducted on-campus from September through April for Pathway enrollment, and September to July for MS enrollment. 

Q: What are the minimum admissions requirements?
Every candidate for admission is reviewed on an individual basis but we do require an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.  Standardized test scores are not required.  The required recommendation letter and autobiographical statement should reflect a candidate’s understanding of the diverse field of forensics and prove a candidate’s readiness to take on the challenge of the required fieldwork.  Each candidate is expected to have investigated the field and understand one’s career opportunities in it.

Last Updated: 10/13/14