10 Best Grad Schools with Online Master’s in Forensic Science

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Updated: January 2, 2024, Reading time: 18 minutes

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Prospective students who want to transition to the forensic science field and working professionals who wish to advance their forensic science careers in the area may want to consider earning an online master’s in digital forensics science.

In this online master’s degree, students can expect to tackle basic human anatomy, trace evidence, components of crime investigation, digital evidence, fingerprint analysis, and more. Usually, the program draws on several hard sciences, including organic and physical chemistry, molecular biology, and physics.

The Labor Statistics Bureau says forensic science technicians earn a median pay of $61,930. Their earning potential can increase with a Master’s in Forensic Science, allowing them to advance their career in a dynamic and evolving field.

Additional Information:


The successful completion of an online Master’s in Forensic Science degree will help forensic science graduates in their efforts to achieve career advancement. A Forensic master’s degree can prepare them for their future careers as crime scene investigators, forensic scientists, and other positions in a variety of work settings, including entering law enforcement organizations and the criminal justice system.

If you are passionate about forensic analysis and other aspects of crime scene investigations, then a Forensic Science online program is an ideal choice.


The field of forensics is expected to grow over the next decade. This field contains a variety of careers that are exciting and challenging, but also serve a vital societal function: that of serving the interests of justice and security. Given its unique pivotal role, those planning to enter and advance in this field need the best and most comprehensive advanced education that they can get.

We’ve got you covered! Check out our list of 10 graduate schools that offer the best online Master’s in Forensic Science degree programs, selected according to the following characteristics:

Check out our Methodology page to explore the details of our ranking process.

Best Online Master’s in Forensic Science

online masters in forensic science

University of Central Florida

University of Central Florida

Orlando, Florida

Master of Science in Forensic Science

Founded in 1963, the University of Central Florida has 13 colleges and more than 240 degree programs to offer. This metropolitan research university leverages innovative learning while fostering social mobility and developing skilled talent for career advancement and beyond.

On top of various regional locations, UCF also offers online programs, from bachelor’s degrees to certificates. The university currently enrolls more than 68,000 students.

Standout Features:

Students can choose a concentration to focus more on the areas of forensic science that they are most passionate about. This includes concentrations such as forensic professional, forensic analysis, and forensic biochemistry. Choosing a concentration allows students to customize their learning in a way that prepares them to meet their career goals.

Did You Know?

Leading in academic, research, and partnership, the University of Central Florida is a recognized institution in numerous fields such as engineering and computer science, modeling and simulation, business, public administration, education, video game design, and hospitality management, among others.

Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, Oklahoma

Master of Science in Forensic Sciences

Since its establishment in 1890, Oklahoma State University has been making college education more accessible. Home to more than 35,000 students across five campuses, the university features seven academic colleges along with a veterinary school and an osteopathic medical school.

Students can explore 200 undergraduate majors, 79 master’s programs, and 45 doctoral programs. Some of these programs are available online.

Standout Features:

The online master’s in forensic science degree at Oklahoma State University offers several learning tracks of emphasis. This includes Arson, Firearm and Tool Mark Investigations, Explosives, Forensic Investigative Sciences, and Forensic Psychology.

Did You Know?

This nationally ranked university is recognized for having the most Truman Scholars in Oklahoma. Since the university is a land-grant institution, OSU makes it a point to provide access to affordable education. In fact, more than 50% of Oklahoma State University have graduated with zero student loan debt.

Champlain College

Champlain College - Online

Burlington, Vermont

Master’s in Digital Forensic Science

Champlain College has been providing a career-driven approach to higher education since its foundation in 1878. This small, not-for-profit private college emphasizes academic excellence, innovation and leadership, and an ideal learning environment. This regionally accredited higher learning institution has been a leader in online education for almost 30 years.

Standout Features:

The online program in digital forensics requires the completion of 30 to 36 credits. Their rigorous coursework includes Information Technology and Security, Digital Forensic Science, the Practice of Digital Investigations, Scripting for Digital Forensics, Incident Response and Network Forensics, and Mobile Device Analysis, among others.

Did You Know?

Champlain College Online offers more than 80 degrees and certificates that are 100% fully online. These online programs provide students with 24/7 access to coursework. Online students can expect to sign up with the help of dedicated academic advisors to guide them in meeting their academic goals.

Champlain College has been designated by the DHS-Department of Homeland Security and the NSA-National Security Agency as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense.

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo, Florida

Master’s in Criminal Justice – Forensic Science

Established in 1889, Saint Leo University has always been committed to providing students with a transformative, values-centered education. The university offers more than 40 majors and minors, serving more than 14,000 students in the U.S. and beyond.

Online programs are also available at Saint Leo University, aiming to provide high-quality, accessible, and flexible learning experiences and help students get the most out of their education.

Standout Features:

The forensic science program specialization gives students the opportunity to learn how to assist with operations during incidents where forensic science is needed. It uses modern, hands-on instruction, taught by an expert faculty with demonstrated experience in the field of forensic science.

Did You Know?

Recognized as one of the leading providers of higher education to military servicemen and servicewomen, Saint Leo University was one of the five national recipients chosen by the Military Child Education Coalition to receive the Pete Taylor Partnership of Excellence Award in 2014. The award recognizes successful partnerships and projects that can be benefited from by military-connected children.

University of the Cumberlands

University of the Cumberlands

Williamsburg, Kentucky

Master’s in Digital Forensics

In 1913, the University of the Cumberlands was founded. Since then, this higher learning institution has served students from the heart of Appalachia. The university offers more than 40 majors, along with pre-professional, graduate, and doctoral degrees. At present, it has enrolled more than 19,000 students.

Standout Features:

In this program, students will be able to choose among two specializations. This includes Cybersecurity and Criminal Justice. The learning tracks will allow online students to focus their degree on their interests and career goals.

At the end of the program, students are expected to complete a Digital Forensics Capstone. This capstone project will help them design a cybersecurity incident and create a response plan. Alternatively, students can pursue an applied learning practicum like an internship in lieu of a capstone project.

Did You Know?

The University of the Cumberlands is considered one of the largest and most affordable private universities hailing from Kentucky. It takes pride in providing innovative academic programs that utilize hands-on, experiential learning and research.

University of Florida

University of Florida - Forensic Science

Gainesville, Florida

Master of Science in Pharmacy – Pharmaceutical Sciences, Concentration in Forensic Science

The University of Florida (UF) is a public, land-grant, research university located in the city of Gainesville. The university has four predecessor institutions, the oldest being the East Florida Seminary, established in 1853.

Currently, the University is composed of 16 colleges, and over 150 research centers and institutes, and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”. It is also one of the country’s largest universities in terms of student population, at around 56,500.

Standout Features: 

Unlike any other Forensic Science master’s program, the UF graduate degree is designed and offered as a Master’s Degree in Pharmacy, and this is reflected in the program curriculum, which features a wide range of elective courses on a number of related areas that include Forensic Immunology, Forensic Biochemistry, Synthetic Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Analysis, and more.

Did You Know?

The University of Florida also offers more focused Master’s Degrees in Forensic Toxicology, Forensic DNA and Serology, and Forensic Chemistry. The university also offers these master’s programs as Graduate Certificates, along with a Graduate Certificate in Forensic Death Investigation

Florida International University

Florida International University - Online

Miami, Florida

Professional Science Master’s (PSM) in Forensic Science

Florida International University is a public research university in Westchester, part of Miami-Dade County. A part of the State University System of Florida, the university was first founded by the Florida Legislature in 1965, with the first classes being held in 1972.

FIU is composed of 23 colleges and schools offering over 190 academic programs, and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”. FIU is also among the largest public universities in the country in terms of enrollment, with a population of over 55,600 students.  

Standout Features:

This program is ideal for prospective students who are interested in STEM education and are working in federal, state, or private crime laboratories. The program features a multidisciplinary design that augments advanced knowledge of key areas in forensics with skills in business administration and management that prepare them for management roles in their field.

Did You Know?

Florida International University also offers other graduate programs related to the Forensic Sciences. These include the Master of Science in Forensic Science, combined MS in Forensic Science/PhD in Biology Pathway, and the PhD in Chemistry: Forensic Science track.

Stevenson University

Stevenson University - Online

Owings Mills, Maryland

Master of Forensic Science

Stevenson University is a private university with campuses in Owings Mills and Stevenson, both within Baltimore County, Maryland. It was established in 1947 as a one-year school by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur as Villa Julie College and first started offering bachelor’s degrees in 1984.

It earned its university status in 2008, along with the change to its current name. Stevenson University is currently composed of seven schools and has a population of over 3,600 students.

Standout Features:

This program was specifically designed with those from the natural sciences looking to enter the field in mind, and aside from building on their foundations in biology or chemistry with other key skills including evidence processing, ethical reporting, communication, forensic evidence standards, as well as quality assurance & quality control.

Did You Know?

Aside from Forensic Sciences, Stevenson University also offers a number of other related online master’s programs, including the MS in Crime Scene Investigation, Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics, Forensic Accounting, Forensic Investigation, and Forensic Studies.  

Gannon University

Gannon University

Erie, Pennsylvania

Master of Science in Criminalistics

Gannon University is a private university in the city of Erie, Pennsylvania. A Catholic institution, it was first established in 1933 by the Diocese of Erie as Cathedral College, a two-year school. It earned its university status in 1979 and was renamed in honor of Bishop John Mark Gannon, the main proponent of the university’s establishment.

At present, Gannon University is made up of three main colleges and has a population of over 4,500 students and over 300 academic staff.   

Standout Features:

Gannon University’s MS in Criminalistics is only one of a handful of Criminalistics-focused programs offered throughout the country. The program is focused on training in relevant analytical and scientific methods but also covers other key topic areas, including legal issues, expert testimony, crime mapping, and others.

Did You Know?

Gannon University’s expert faculty includes agents from various government law enforcement agencies including the DEA, ATF, FBI, NCIS, FDLE, and NCSBI, with over 90 years of law enforcement experience between them.

DeSales University

DeSales University

Center Valley, Pennsylvania

Master of Criminal Justice: Investigative Forensics 

DeSales University is a private university in the community of Center Valley, Pennsylvania. It is a Catholic university that the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales first established in 1964. It was then known as the Allentown College of Saint Francis De Sales.

Its university status was gained along with the change to its current name in 2000. DeSales University is composed of 6 academic divisions and has a population of around over 2,300 students.

Standout Features:

The program has a special focus on violent crimes and covers crucial techniques in gathering and processing evidence in crime scene settings. Also, all professionals from the criminal justice field applying to the program automatically receive a 20% tuition discount. 

Did You Know?  

DeSales University also offers a Criminal Justice master’s program with a concentration in Digital Forensics. Likewise, DeSales also offers a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, designed for both criminal justice practitioners and academicians.   

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Digital Forensics and Digital Forensics?

Forensic Science can encompass the traditional methods of gathering physical evidence. It is a critical part of the criminal justice system, responsible for assisting in the investigation and prosecution of criminals and helping absolve the innocent from suspicion. It often harnesses the use of scientific methods to investigate and examine evidence.

On the other hand, digital forensics focuses on recovering and investigating evidence left behind on digital devices. Essentially, Digital Forensics is a branch of forensic science that specifically deals with cyber crimes.  

What are the common admission requirements to an online Master’s in Forensic Science program?

Prospective students with a Master’s in Forensic Science degree will need to hold a bachelor’s degree. some universities recommend students to meet a particular grade point average but others are not too strict. Other admission requirements include official transcripts, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, and English Language Proficiency for international students.

Does a Master’s in Forensic Science degree require prospective students to have a specific bachelor’s degree?

Not necessarily. Forensics has an interdisciplinary side to it, and while Bachelor’s degrees in Forensic Science are offered in many universities and are generally the ideal starting point, those coming from other fields like chemistry, biology, pharmacy, and even anthropology can comfortably work in the area, as forensic science programs take a lot of their prior knowledge in this fields and re-orient them to analyze evidence in crime scenes.

Online Master's in Forensic Science - fact

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