Program Tracks

The UC Davis Forensic Science Graduate Program offers two academic emphases—Forensic DNA and Forensic Criminalistics—in addition to the core curricula required for all students. These specialty tracks consist of a separate curriculum each of which is tailored to provide in-depth education within the specialty. The Forensic DNA track focuses on molecular biology and DNA courses, while the Forensic Criminalistics track emphasizes chemistry and instrumental analysis. Graduate students in one track can take courses from the other track and use these courses to satisfy the elective requirements. Moreover, students may choose to complete the academic requirements in both tracks to specialize in two areas of forensic science.

Core Curriculum

FOR200 Fundamental Concepts of Forensic Science
FOR210 Personal Identification Methods in Forensic Science
FOR212 Scientific Evidence and Courtroom Testimony
FOR240 Homicide Crime Scene Investigation
FOR290 Seminar Series (Fall and Winter)


Forensic DNA Track

Graduate students can specialize in the methodologies, applications and interpretation of forensic DNA analysis. Through scholarly coursework and research, graduate students will be well prepared for forensic case work and meet the National DNA Advisory Board’s recommendation for DNA Technical Managers or Leaders. dna

DNA Track Courses
FOR278 Molecular Techniques
FOR280 Forensic DNA Analysis
FOR289 Survey of Forensic Science
Any 200-level Genetics or Bioinformatics Course (e.g., FOR283 Forensic Biology)

DNA Laboratory Course
FOR281 Principles and Practices of DNA Typing


Forensic Criminalistics Track

Graduate students can specialize in the methodologies, applications and interpretations of forensic instrumental analysis, trace evidence, drug chemistry, and toxicology. Through scholarly coursework and research, graduate students will be well prepared for forensic casework in government and private laboratories.

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Criminalistics Track Courses
FOR205 Microscopy and Microanalytical Methods in Forensic Science
FOR207 Advanced Spectroscopy
FOR220 Analysis of Toxicants

Criminalistics Laboratory Course
FOR221L Forensic Science Analytical Instrumentation

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