Forensic Medicine (MS) – Philadelphia Campus

The Master’s Degree in Forensic Medicine program is intended for professionals who desire advanced knowledge, skills and credentialing in this specialized health area. Law enforcement professionals, nurse practitioners, paramedics and other mid-level health professionals seeking a graduate degree can benefit from this program, which is scheduled on the weekends sessions to accommodate the working professional. The forensic medicine program focuses on the emerging demand for medico-legal investigations by medical examiner staff and provides a foundation in forensic investigations and autopsy skills.

Forensic Medicine Pathway Program

The Pathway program is designed for non-science majors who are interested in forensic medicine and who possess a bachelor’s degree in a forensic-related field (e.g., criminal justice, psychology, sociology or anthropology). This program is designed to allow those without a strong science background to receive the necessary preparation for the Master of Science in Forensic Medicine program. The Pathway program is a 14-week online preparatory course in general biology and human anatomy and physiology that lasts from May to August. Upon successful completion, the student will enter the Master of Science in Forensic Medicine degree program starting the following Fall term. (Please note that no degree or certificate is awarded upon completion of the Pathway program.)

Students who have not been assigned a specific biology requirement to complete will be required to take FMED 499 Basic Human Biology in Forensic Medicine in the Summer. This is a three credit pass/fail course but does not count towards the requirement for the MS in Forensics Program. This requirement must be successfully completed to continue to the Fall term.

All first year courses are on-campus courses.

All second year courses are online courses.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Term 1Hours
FMED 500 Pathology for Forensic Medicine 4
Term 2
FMED 501 Principles of Forensic Medicine I 6
Term 3
FMED 502 Principles of Forensic Medicine Ii 6
Second Year
Term 1
FMED 504 Research Design & Methodology (on-line course) 4
Term 2
FMED 506 Evidence-Based Approach to Forensic Medicine (on-line course) 4
Term 3
FMED 505 Bioethics in Professional Practice (on-line course) 4
Term 4
FMED 513 Law and Evidentiary Procedure (on-line course) 4
Term 5
FMED 508 Capstone: Integrative Experience 8
 Total Hours40

Master of Science in Forensic Medicine (MS, Pathway) 

All applicants to the Master of Science in Forensic Medicine must have successfully completed a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale prior to matriculation.

The Forensic Medicine Admissions Committee will determine the applicant's start date and program level (MS or Pathway) based on submitted application materials and the admissions decision will reflect any change necessary.

Classes begin for each program as follows:

  • Pathway: Summer term only
  • Master of Science in Forensic Medicine: Fall term only

The degree program is a 40-credit program leading to a Master of Science in Forensic Medicine. It provides a solid foundation in the theory, concepts and principles of forensic medicine, the medico-legal and technical aspects of death scene investigations and clinical pathology skills. The emerging demands, roles and responsibilities of medico-legal investigators and clinical forensic specialists are also addressed. Please note that a strong health care and/or law enforcement background is recommended to apply directly to the MS degree program.


The Pathway program is designed for those who are interested in forensic medicine and who possess a bachelor’s degree in a forensic-related field (i.e., criminal justice, psychology, sociology or anthropology) but lack coursework in the core sciences (biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology). This online course was devised to allow those without a strong science background to receive the necessary information to be successful in the Master of Science in Forensic Medicine.  Candidates requiring the Pathway program will be admitted to the MS degree program contingent upon completion of the Pathway program.

The forensic medicine programs utilize a rolling admissions policy. Therefore, applications will be considered throughout the year as received until the desired enrollment has been achieved. The online application will be available beginning in the fall 2021 term at

The Faculty Committee on Admissions screens the applications, invites some applicants for an interview, evaluates the applicants, and selects the new students. Following completion of the admissions process, applicants will be notified of the Admissions Committee’s decision in writing, including any conditions that must be satisfied prior to or following enrollment.

Once your application has been processed, you will be contacted via email with a confirmation of its receipt including reminders of the appropriate steps to complete the application process.

The Faculty Committee on Admissions for Forensic Medicine uses the following information in making decisions concerning admission:

  • Application, including autobiographical statement and institutional application fee of $50.00.
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework
  • One letter of recommendation
  • A general autobiographical statement explaining your interest in the Forensic Medicine program as it relates to your career goals (in 500 words or less)
  • Writing sample (preferably graded)
  • Resume
  • Current professional, state or federal license, certificates or registration documents, if applicable

All materials must be forwarded to PCOM’s Office of Admissions.

Note that official college transcripts from all colleges/universities schools attended must be sent directly to:

​Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Office of Admissions
4170 City Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19131

We will accept electronic transcripts via email from Parchment Services and National Student Clearinghouse to Letters of recommendation can be sent directly to PCOM Admissions in PDF format to All other admissions documents can be sent to

Letters of Recommendation can be sent through the evaluator portal on the application or directly to PCOM Admissions in PDF format to Recommenders can be directed to our “For Recommenders” page for guidance.