Forensic Medicine Program Application Requirements | PCOM
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Forensic Medicine 
Application Requirements

The forensic medicine program at PCOM allows students to explore the rapidly growing field of forensics. Designed for the working professional, courses are offered in a combination of weekend and online sessions. These courses cover aspects of forensic medicine, forensic pathology, death scene investigation and clinical pathology skills.


Quick Facts: Forensic Medicine Program

  • Duration: 2 years, full-time
  • Credits: 40
  • Location: PCOM
  • Start Term: Fall (August), Pathway students start in Summer (June)
Forensic Medicine students take notes at mock crime scene
GPA requirements

All applicants to the forensic medicine program must have completed a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better.

Please review the descriptions in the below sections to determine the option for which you qualify. If you are unsure, simply submit the application for that which seems most appropriate. The Forensic Medicine Admissions Committee will determine the applicant's start date and program level based on submitted application materials and the admissions decision will reflect any change necessary.

Forensic Medicine Pathway overview

The Forensic Medicine Pathway online course is designed for those who are interested in forensic medicine and who possess a bachelor's degree in a forensic-related field (i.e. criminal justice, psychology, sociology or anthropology) but lack coursework in the core sciences (biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology). This course was developed to allow those without a strong science background to receive the necessary information to be successful in the Master of Science in Forensic Medicine program. Candidates requiring the Pathway option will be admitted to the MS degree program contingent upon completion of the Pathway preparatory course.

The Pathway is a 10-week course in general biology and human anatomy and physiology, which lasts from June to August. Once completed and successfully passed, the student will continue in the Master of Science in Forensic Medicine degree program in the fall term. (Please note that no degree is awarded upon completion of the Pathway course.)

Master of Science in Forensic Medicine program overview

The degree program is a 40-credit program leading to a Master of Science in Forensic Medicine. Applicants to the program will have a strong foundation in biology, chemistry and anatomy and physiology. It provides a solid foundation in the theory, concepts and principles of forensic medicine, the medico-legal and technical aspects of death scene investigations and clinical pathology skills. The emerging demands, roles and responsibilities of medico-legal investigators and clinical forensic specialists are also addressed.

Please note that a strong health care and/or law enforcement background is recommended to apply directly to the MS degree program.

When is the deadline to apply?

This academic program operates on a rolling admissions basis. The application closes on Friday, August 2, 2024, but an early application is highly recommended.

How to apply

Prospective students may submit their application through PCOM's online application management system. Additional details, including application availability and instructions, are available on the application portal.

Where do I send my college transcripts?

Official college transcripts from all colleges/universities/schools attended must be sent directly to:

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Office of Admissions
4170 City Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19131

We will accept electronic transcripts via mail, eScript and/or Parchment Services and National Student Clearinghouse.

Where do I send my letters of recommendation?

Letters of recommendation can be sent through the PCOM application portal or directly to PCOM Admissions in PDF format to Recommenders can be directed to our "For Recommenders" page for guidance.

What are the next steps?

Once your application has been submitted, you will be contacted via email with a confirmation of its receipt including reminders of the appropriate steps to complete the application process. Note that there is no institutional application fee to PCOM.

Your application will be processed and assessed by the Faculty Committee on Admissions only after the receipt of:

  • Official transcript(s) of all undergraduate and graduate coursework
  • One letter of recommendation
  • A general autobiographical statement explaining your interest in the Forensic Medicine program as it relates to your career goals (in 500 words or less)
  • Writing sample (preferably graded)
  • Resume
  • Current professional, state or federal license, certificates or registration documents, if applicable
When is the application deadline?

There is no hard deadline to apply as we use a rolling admissions process, however, applicants are encouraged to apply early. The Admissions Committee screens the applications, evaluates the applicants and selects the new students.

Does the committee require an interview?

Interviews are not conducted for admission into the forensic medicine program.

When do the forensic medicine programs begin?

Classes begin for each program as follows:

  • Pathway: Summer term only (June start)
  • Master of Science in Forensic Medicine: Fall term only (August start)
Criminal background check requirement

The College requires a criminal background check for all program applicants and enrolled students. The PCOM Office of Admissions will facilitate a criminal background check prior to matriculation processed by a PCOM vendor of choice. Subsequent criminal background checks can occur during enrollment, including but not limited to, when the student is conducting internships, clerkships, clinical coursework, or other types of coursework that occur off campus. Any student charged, convicted of, or who pleads guilty or no contest to a misdemeanor or felony crime after the date of the original application submission is required to notify the dean of the program in writing within 10 business days of the occurrence. This communication should be sent by certified mail to the dean at the address on the acceptance letter.

Other considerations

The Admissions Committee reserves the right to accept or reject applications to the chosen program based on merit. Following completion of the admissions process, applicants will be notified of the Admissions Committee's decision in writing, including any conditions that must be satisfied prior to or following enrollment. Once admitted, candidates who wish to enroll are asked to review and acknowledge PCOM's Technical Standards for Admission (PDF) and Matriculation along with a $150 non-refundable deposit. The acceptance packet will contain all materials required for enrollment.


Visit the Forensic Medicine Frequently Asked Questions page for further information.

Should you have any questions, please contact us via email at


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