PCOM Forensic Medicine Dual Degree Track | DO/MS in Forensic Medicine
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Dual Degree Track

Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine/Master of Science in Forensic Medicine

Forensic Medicine/Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine 
Dual Degree Track

Students who have successfully completed the first year of the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree program at PCOM may apply for a dual degree program which leads to both a DO degree and a Master of Science in Forensic Medicine degree.


The DO/MS dual degree program provides a core foundation in the theory, principles, ethics, professional practice and legal aspects of forensic medicine. During an extended second year in the DO degree program, students complete forensic coursework through the Philadelphia campus weekend courses and online instruction. Combined, the DO/MS dual degree program is five years in length.

Gregory McDonald, DO ’89, chair of the forensic medicine program and dean of PCOM's School of Health Sciences, is a member of the Vidocq Society, an organization of forensic experts who help law enforcement agencies solve cold cases. [Read more].

Application process

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 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.
Apply now

Applications to the DO/MS dual degree program are available by calling 215-871-6760.

Curriculum guidelines

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.

Scheduling of coursework for the MS 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) and the capstone course (508). The order of the online courses is subject to change and may be extended over the third and fourth years of the DO degree. To view course descriptions, view the latest course catalog.
  • The Capstone Integrated Experience (FMED 508) project must be approved of by the forensic medicine faculty.
  • The following courses will be awarded credit, as they are fulfilled via the DO degree program: FMED 500-Pathology and FMED 505-Bioethics.

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 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.

The DO/MS in Forensic Medicine dual degree program prepares graduates for careers such as forensic pathologist, coroner, medical examiner and expert witness. Learn more about forensic careers.