A directed research experience is a core requirement for the MS curriculum and is listed as FRSC 793 Forensic Science Research Experience. This is a semester course with variable laboratory hours (1-3 credits). Three credits or a minimum of 300 hours of supervised laboratory work is required for graduation.
Students will work with their academic advisors and/or Instructors to identify either an accredited forensic laboratory or university research laboratory in the geographical area of their choosing. Students choosing off-campus directed research will also select a faculty mentor, who will help lead the evaluation committee and student through the process. After a mentor and/or faculty mentor and laboratory has been identified, students must apply to the Graduate Director; this application must be submitted one semester in advance of enrollment.
The FRSC 793 directed research requirement serves as the capstone course in the MS curriculum and will combine foundational knowledge gained from the core coursework into a single research experience. Thus, students typically can not register for this course until after completion at least one semester of the curriculum; students may complete this requirement during the summer, fall, or spring semester.
For this experience, students are required to conduct independent research analyses in a specialization area of interest; all projects must have a valid, original research component and be of publishable quality. Through this process, student will gain valuable research experience while gaining practical experience in forensic laboratory practices and methods. This experience culminates in a research presentation at a campus seminar and/or professional conference, a written technical report, and formal evaluation by a committee of faculty and forensic science practitioners. Students and mentors are strongly encouraged to submit their research work for publication where feasible.