Department of Forensic Science


Sarah Kerrigan, PhD

Patrick Buzzini, Joan Bytheway, Jasmine Drake, David Gangitano, Sheree Hughes-Stamm, Sarah Kerrigan,  Jorn Yu.

Kelsie Bryand, Karen Caldwell, Kristin Ware.

Our mission is to provide students the knowledge, skills and abilities to prepare them for successful careers in forensic science. This mission is accomplished through academic coursework, hands-on experience in the laboratory, research and the completion of an internship in a forensic science laboratory.

Contact Information
Kelsie Bryand, MS.

Academic Programs

The Department of Forensic Science offers two minor degrees, a master’s degree, and a doctoral degree.


The Master of Science in Forensic Science is accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC). The program itself was established in 2001 and was the very first accredited program in Texas. The program gives students the flexibility to tailor a degree toward their individual interests and professional goals while working in a state-of-the art facility. We have been preparing students for careers in forensic science for over a decade, with proven success.

Sam Houston State University offers a PhD in Forensic Science for those seeking leadership positions or intending to pursue careers in research or education.  The doctoral program at SHSU is an interdisciplinary science degree that can be completed in four to five years of full-time study.

The minor in Forensic Science is tailored towards criminal justice majors interested in pursuing investigative or non-laboratory based careers in forensic science (i.e., crime scene investigators) and science majors who may have an interest in traditional (laboratory-based) careers in forensic science.  The minor in Forensic Anthropology provides hands-on training with state-of-the-art technology at the Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science (STAFS) facility.

Career Opportunities

The forensic science program is designed to prepare graduates for successful careers in forensic science. Students not only develop scientific understanding essential to forensic science, but also acquire the practical skills, knowledge and problem solving abilities that will help them advance into leadership positions. Through extensive hands-on and laboratory instruction, students acquire the practical skills that are sought after by potential employers.

Student Organizations and Activities

  • Society of Forensic Science
  • Graduate Student Organization (Criminal Justice)


The Department of Forensic Science partners with numerous accredited crime laboratories and medical examiner's offices for forensic science internships throughout the United States. All students enrolled in one of the graduate programs must successfully complete a forensic science internship.  The department does not facilitate internships for students from other colleges or universities.


Scholarship opportunities, assistantships, and financial assistance are available. Student assistantships and scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis based upon academic performance, GRE scores, letters of recommendation and previous laboratory experience.

Financial awards are available, including out-of-state tuition waivers. University policy requires all students to pay in-state tuition.

Information on graduate assistantships are available by contacting Kelsie Bryand (kelsie@shsu.edu) in the Department of Forensic Science at 936.294.4370.

Information on specific scholarships available in the College of Criminal Justice are available through Cutty Gilbert (cutty@shsu.edu) at 936.294.3755.

Please see the College of Criminal Justice section for information on college and university level scholarships.

Minor in Forensic Anthropology

The minor in Forensic Anthropology requires the completion of 17 credit hours (listed below).  This minor is most suitable paired with Criminal Justice, Biology or Nursing, but is not limited to these majors.

Minor in Forensic Anthropology
FORS 3331 Foundations of Forensic Anthropology I: Physical Anthropology
FORS 3366 Forensic Science
FORS 3420 Human Osteology
FORS 4442 Introduction to Forensic Anthropology
FORS 4343 Advanced Techniques in Forensic Anthropology

Minor in Forensic Science

A minor in Forensic Science requires the completion of 18 credit hours from the following list of courses, of which at least six credits must be 4000-level courses. This minor provides a broad overview of the forensic disciplines. This minor is most suitably paired with Criminal Justice, Biology, Chemistry, Computing Science, Nursing or Psychology but is not limited to these majors.

Minor in Forensic Science
CRIJ 2364 Fundamentals of Criminal Law
CRIJ 2394 The Courts and Criminal Procedure
CRIJ 2362 Criminology
CRIJ 2368 Criminal Investigation
FORS 3366 Forensic Science
FORS 4364 Crime Scene Investigation Techniques
FORS 4380 Ethics and Professional Practice
FORS 4310 Physical Evidence Techniques
FORS 4320 Fundamentals of Forensic Biology
FORS 3380 Introduction to Forensic Chemistry

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