Admission to the 3+2 Accelerated Program

Students must apply for admission into the 3+2 program directly from high school. Highly selective admissions criteria are used to select academically talented students capable of handling the accelerated schedule.

Applicants must submit an essay of approximately 500 words that answers the following two questions:

  1. What interests you in the field of forensic science?
  2. Why do you want to be a forensic practitioner?

Before writing the essay, students are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the field of forensic science by exploring the American Academy of Forensic Sciences Web site ( Essays should be emailed to Marci Oster, at

Matriculated students will not be accepted into the 3 + 2 program. (Note: Matriculated students can follow the 4+2 Forensic Science program leading to assured admission in Arcadia’s master’s program for qualified students.)

The profile of the typical successful candidate includes the following:

  • High school laboratory science courses in biology, chemistry and physics; Advanced Placement courses if available
  • A college-prep math course in each year of high school
  • Combined SAT scores of at least 1800, with no individual score below 600
  • Students need a “B” average or better to be considered

At the completion of the third year of undergraduate study, students will be evaluated to ensure that they meet the qualifications to begin graduate coursework. At this point the students must have met the following criteria:

  • Completed all major and Undergraduate Curriculum requirements (with the exception of the following courses: BI 340, CH 404, BI 333, BI 490 and CH 490).
  • Maintained a 3.25 GPA and have received no less than a “B” in any of the required courses for the graduate program in Forensic Science. If a C or C+ is earned in a required course, it may be repeated one time only with the adviser’s permission. No additional C's will be permitted in required coursework).
  • Earned at least 112 semester hours by the end of the third year.

Students who meet these requirements are permitted to begin graduate coursework in their fourth year of study and enter into the Master of Science in Forensic Science program without having to take the GRE exam.

Students who do not meet these requirements can continue on with their undergraduate education in their fourth year and then apply to the M.S.F.S. program upon completion of their undergraduate degree following standard application requirements.

4+2 Program: Since the 3+2 program is highly accelerated, students who choose to participate at the traditional pace may transfer to the 4+2 program, completing the undergraduate degree in four years with assured admission in the master’s program for qualified students.

Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Honors

Each student meets with an adviser after enrolling to review how his or her Advanced Placement credits, International Baccalaureate credits, and/or other college-level credits may apply to the program requirements.

Advanced Placement

Students who have earned scores of 3 or higher on Advanced Placement examinations of the College Board will be awarded credit toward the bachelor's degree. Those interested in learning more about Advanced Placement courses or examinations should obtain information from their high school guidance office or by contacting the College Board by phone at 609-771-7300 or online at

Another means by which incoming students can earn advanced credit is through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) or Excelsior College Examinations (formerly known as ACT PEP and Regents Examinations). Inquiries about advanced placement and credit should be addressed to the Arcadia University Registrar at 215-572-2100.

International Baccalaureate

Arcadia University reviews and evaluates International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level courses on an individual basis. Normally, University course credit is granted for scores of 5 or higher in courses that are applicable to the degree program. Full IB diploma holders also are evaluated on an individual basis. No credit is given for subsidiary-level courses.

Honors Program

Incoming freshmen are evaluated for possible acceptance into the Honors Program based upon the strength of their admissions applications. To be considered for the program, freshman applicants must score 1870 or better on the SAT or 28 or better on the ACT and graduate in the top 10 percent of their class (if their high schools rank students).


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