MS in Biomedical Forensic Sciences
full-time | part-time
boston university medical campus
A FEPAC accredited graduate program, the Biomedical Forensic Sciences Program (BMFS) trains aspiring forensic scientists in a variety of disciplines applicable to both crime scene investigation and evidence analysis, skills crucial to today’s comprehensive forensic investigations.
The Biomedical Forensic Sciences program’s mission is to teach and model scientific rigor with high professional and academic standards in the various disciplines of the forensic sciences generating confident, competent and ethical future practitioners.
Unique Location and Networking Opportunities
This program is one of the only forensic science programs in the United States based at a major medical center, providing students and faculty access to extensive resources and facilities. It is one of only a few forensic sciences graduate programs in New England, providing a distinct opportunity for individuals to pursue graduate level education in forensic science in Boston: a city that is home to more than sixty universities and several of the world’s top-ranked medical centers.
The campus contains state of the art lecture halls, seminar rooms, sophisticated computerized teaching labs and Boston’s largest biomedical research park. In addition, the campus is within walking distance of the Office of Chief Medical Examiner for Massachusetts and the Boston Police Department Crime Laboratory, providing opportunities for professional advancement beyond the classroom.
Emphasis on Scientific Rigor
Professionals are trained in the basic principles of forensic science with a strong biomedical and chemistry background, providing crucial expertise to forensic investigations. The Biomedical Forensic Sciences program curriculum provides a broad-based learning experience in multiple forensic science disciplines emphasizing topics such as:
- Human Biological Evidence and DNA Analysis
- Toxicology and Controlled Substance Analysis
- Forensic Analytical Chemistry and Trace Evidence Analysis
- Pathology and Medicolegal Death Investigation
- Criminal Law and Ethics
- Crime Scene Investigation
- Pattern Evidence Recognition and Interpretation
Graduates are prepared to pursue a variety of career options in crime laboratories, medical examiner offices, law enforcement agencies, scientific instrument companies and hospital or biotechnology laboratories. Prior graduates have secured positions in city, state, county, federal and private laboratories. Some graduates have pursued advanced degrees in law, medicine and science across the United States.
Instrumentation and Resources
The Biomedical Forensic Sciences program is proud to possess an array of state-of-the-art equipment housed within its Chemistry, Biology, DNA and Microscopy laboratories. The application of innovative methodologies within the field of forensic science has made it imperative for graduates entering the field and those currently working within the field to be proficient in these techniques. All students obtain instrumentation and analytical experience through required laboratory courses and independent research.
All students complete a program of independent research culminating in a written thesis of publishable quality. Data collection and analysis take place in the BMFS laboratories, other departments at BU or at internship sites such as crime laboratories or forensically relevant industries.
Travel grants for students presenting at conferences are available through the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences and the Biomedical Forensic Sciences Program.
Internship and Career Opportunities
Internships in forensic settings are strongly encouraged and depending on hours completed and nature of work may be approved for academic credit. The professional environment supplements classroom learning, introduces students to new skills and provides experience beneficial to future career planning.
Graduates of the MS in Biomedical Forensic Sciences program pursue careers as forensic scientists and toxicologists, DNA analysts, drug chemists, death investigators, trace evidence examiners, serologists, firearms examiners, fingerprint examiners, death investigators and crime scene responders at the local, state and federal levels. Based on data from 2017 and 2018 graduates, 62% had attained employment in a forensic lab or law enforcement, 28% reported jobs in a biomedical or forensic-related scientific field and 10% had enrolled in an advanced degree program or were otherwise employed.
At the 2021 Midwest Association for Toxicology and Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (MATT) annual meeting April 26-30, Kelsey McManus, (’21), will be honored with the Sunshine-Wong Award. This award recognizes young scientists’ significant contributions to the field of toxicology or therapeutic drug monitoring. Kelsey will be presenting her graduate research “Achieving the Standard for the Analytical Scope and Sensitivity of Forensic Toxicology Urine Testing in Drug Facilitated Crime Investigations via Laminar Flow Tandem Mass Spectrometry”.
In addition at MATT, BMFS student Allen Mello, (’21), will present his graduate research “Detection of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Metabolites in the Meibomian Lipids of Tear Samples Through LC-MS/MS. Alumni Yiling Ke (’20) will be presenting Achieving the Standard for the Analytical Scope and Sensitivity Testing in Impaired Driving using Laminar Flow Tandem Mass Spectrometry and Natalie Law, (’19) Comparison of Standard Operating Procedures Used for the Detection of Opioids in Blood.
At the 44th annual Fall meeting of the Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists in Bolton Landing NY, Andrew Ziegler was awarded with the George W. Neighbor, Jr. Memorial Scholarship
We are so proud of alumna Michelle Gordon (’17) for winning the 19th annual Forensic Sciences Foundation Emerging Forensic Scientist Award at the AAFS 2019 meeting in Baltimore based on her research in the BMFS program, “Maximizing the Amount of DNA Recovered: A Study of Mawi DNA Technologies’ iSWAB™-ID Collection Device for Forensic Science Application”