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Requirements for Admission

Forensic science is a multidisciplinary field, and as such, UC Davis welcomes applications from students with strong undergraduate records in the biological, chemical or physical sciences, as well as those in engineering fields. International and domestic students with diverse backgrounds have been successful in our program.

The following prerequisites must be met in order to be considered for admission to the program:

1. Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree (B.A. or B.S.) in a natural or physical science field from an accredited college or university.


2. Prerequisite Courses

Applicants must have completed the minimum equivalent of the courses listed below. UC Davis is on the quarter system. For reference, the appropriate UC Davis courses and comparable semester-system courses are provided.

  • General Chemistry with lab
    • UC Davis quarter system: 9 quarter units & 6 lab units (CHE 2A/B/C)
    • Semester system: General Chemistry I/Lab (4 cr) and General Chemistry II/Lab (4cr)
  • Organic Chemistry with lab
    • UC Davis quarter system: 6 quarter units & 2 lab units (CHE 118A/B)
    • Semester system: Organic Chemistry I (3 cr) & Organic Chemistry II (3 cr) & Organic Chemistry Lab (2 cr)
  • Physics with lab
    • UC Davis quarter system: 12 quarter units (PHY 7A/B/C)
    • Semester system: Physics I/Lab (4 cr) & Physics II/Lab (4 cr)
  • Calculus
    • UC Davis quarter system: 9 quarter units (MAT 16A/B/C)
    • Semester system: Calculus I (4-5 cr) & Calculus II (4-5 cr)
  • Statistics
    • UC Davis quarter system: 4 quarter units (STA 13)
    • Semester system: Statistical Methods I (3 cr)

For information on course equivalency to UC Davis courses, please refer to the course descriptions. Applicants must list courses taken to satisfy the prerequisites on the application for admission.

If you do not meet all of these requirements, it may be possible to complete them in your first quarter at UC Davis. Please contact us to discuss.


3. Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0

Overall GPA must be 3.0 or higher on a four-point scale. A prerequisite GPA, calculated only for prerequisite courses listed above, must be 3.0 or higher on a four-point scale.


4. English Language Proficiency

Applicants from countries whose official language is not English must provide TOEFL or IELTS scores to demonstrate English language proficiency. TOEFL scores must be 105 or above, with speaking and writing scores of 25 or above. IELTS scores must be 7.5 or above. Applicants who have completed a degree at an institution where English is the sole language of instruction are exempt from this requirement.


Learn more about the application process. If you have any questions regarding the requirements for admission, please contact us.

The University of California, Davis, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy (including pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth), physical or mental disability, age, medical condition (cancer related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or service in the uniformed services (includes membership, application for membership, performance of service, application for service, or obligation for service in the uniformed services) status as a Vietnam-era veteran or special disabled veteran, in accordance with all applicable state and federal laws, and with university policy. As required by Title IX, the University of California, Davis, does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs, admissions, employment or other activities. Click here for resources and more information.