Forensic Science PhD Program

A PhD program with Forensic Science emphasis is now available!

A PhD in chemistry/biochemistry with forensic science emphasis has recently been implemented at FIU. While this is a new initiative on our part, it is important to understand that forensic scientists at FIU have been graduating students with PhDs for several years. This new program formalizes the degree and is an outgrowth of our current AAFS accredited MS program in forensic science. We presently have students obtaining advanced degrees in all areas of forensic science. Associated with this program is a limited number of teaching and research assistantships for support of incoming students.

The focus of the graduate program at FIU is unique in that it involves advanced research in the forensic sciences, and research performed here involves collaborations with a wide variety of local, state, national and international forensic science agencies. Projects range from ultratrace detection of materials found at crime scenes, to DNA typing in mass disasters, to canine screening for explosives. Advanced instrumentation including electrospray and atomic mass spectrometry, capillary and microfluidic electrophoresis, laser induced fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy is available. Another advantage of coming to FIU is the wide variety of cultural, ecological, and athletic opportunities here in Miami , from South Beach to the Florida Keys and the Everglades . We have a large and very active group of faculty here at FIU. Please feel free to check the web pages of individual faculty members at for more information.

The Ph.D. in Chemistry with a Forensic Science track consists of a minimum of 90 credits, including a dissertation based upon the student's original research. Students must choose either the Analytical (Emphasis on trace or toxicological analysis) or the Biochemistry (Emphasis on DNA typing) concentration. Coursework will include classes in forensic chemistry, toxicology, trace analysis, and DNA typing as well as related classes in chemistry, biology, and biochemistry. A maximum of 36 credits may be transferred from another completed graduate program with approval of the Chemistry graduate committee; however, only six credits can be used to substitute for the courses identified as required by the two concentrations. A list of courses taught in our program can be found at

Contact person: Dr. Bruce McCord or Dr. Yong Cai