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University of Central Oklahoma

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Latest University of Central Oklahoma News

University's Forensic Science Program Receives Accreditation for All Graduate Degrees

May 22, 2023

May 22, 2023 Credit: University of Central Oklahoma The University of Central Oklahoma’s W. Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute ( FSI ) received full, five-year accreditation through the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC), the forensic science accrediting body for the U.S. and Canada. The degrees include the Master of Science in molecular biology, chemistry and digital forensics. UCO’s FSI program is only one of two institutions in Oklahoma with graduate-level FEPAC accreditation of any kind. The institute has overseen the undergraduate and graduate forensic science programs at Central since 2009. Under the direction of Dwight Adams, Ph.D., former director of the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, UCO FSI has seen significant growth from its inception—from fewer than 100 students in 2009, to nearly 1,000 forensic science majors. It is the largest forensic science education program in the country. “I work with an incredible group of individuals in the Forensic Science Institute,” Adams said. “Each is very talented and very experienced in their specific discipline and duties. However, this group is more than just an assembly of individuals. They make a difference for students each day. The recognition and accreditation by FEPAC are yet another example of why the UCO Forensic Science Institute is the finest program in the country, as we are accredited in every possible discipline now at both the master’s and bachelor’s degree level.” UCO forensic science graduate students obtain the ability to apply the scientific method to forensic science problems, critically review and interpret forensic science literature, develop well-reasoned, scientifically sound hypotheses, design experiments, analyze data, as well as communicate forensic science information clearly, logically and accurately to the public. Students must complete 36 hours of graduate-level work, including core courses, elective and six hours of thesis research in their major area. Central FSI alumni can be found in numerous local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, the Federal Aviation Administration Forensic Laboratory, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Forensic Science Center, the Missouri State Highway Patrol Laboratory, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation Crime Laboratory, Texas Department of Public Safety and the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office, among others. The UCO FSI program was recognized as the best in forensic expertise by the Journal Record’s 2022 Reader Rankings. Founded in 2004, FEPAC maintains and enhances the quality of forensic science education through formal evaluation and recognition of college-level academic programs. Programs accredited by the commission meet the highest standards for forensic science education.

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