Thesis or Non-Thesis?

The Forensic Medicine program offers both a Thesis and a Non-Thesis option. Both are 37-credit Master of Science degrees.

Which track is right for you?

  • Thesis: Begin or advance your academic career. Writing a thesis is good preparation for future academic work or a Ph.D. program. If you are interested in engaging in supervised research that could be published in scientific journals, the Thesis option is for you!
  • Non-Thesis: Explore specialized sub-fields of forensic medicine and apply this knowledge to your career. By taking additional electives to reach the 37-credit degree requirement, you will have the opportunity to discover areas of interest in forensic medicine. Examples include taking Principles of Osteology, then Applied Osteology, then an osteology lab class (coming soon!), or taking a series of electives on psychology. If you are interested in finding your niche and exploring it at a greater depth, the Non-Thesis option is for you!

Thesis Requirements and Considerations

Thesis vs. Non-Thesis Required Courses

Course #Course NameCreditsRequired for Non-Thesis Track?Required for Thesis Track?
GMS6360Principles of Forensic Medicine 14XX
GMS6361Principles of Forensic Medicine 24XX
GMS6362Principles of Crime Scene Investigation3XX
GMS6352Artifacts of Decomposition3XX
GMS6354Communication Skills in a Forensic Context3XX
GMS6351Trauma Analysis3XX
GMS6363Principles of Osteology3XX
GMS6905Independent Studies in Forensic Medicine (Literature Review)*2XX
GMS6905Independent Studies in Medical Sciences (Final Exit Exam)**1XX
GMS6971Research for Master’s Thesis***6X
Elective Course 13XX
Elective Course 23XX
Elective Course 33X
Elective Course 43X

*Thesis students may submit the literature review portion of their formal master’s thesis as the program literature review for this course; they do not need to complete a separate literature review paper for this course if also completing a thesis to submit to the Graduate School.

**Thesis students will complete a defense of their master’s thesis in their final semester but will also be expected to complete a comprehensive exit exam in their final semester as well.  This exam will be different than the comprehensive exit exam taken by non-thesis students.

***Thesis students must take a minimum of 6 credit hours of GMS6971 in order to meet the Graduate School’s thesis requirements.  They may take more if they so choose. We recommend students take the first batch of GMS6971 credits early-on in their progress through the program to begin planning and work on their thesis.  The last batch of credits must be taken in their graduating semester wherein they will defend their thesis project to their committee and submit the finalized thesis to the UF Graduate School.  If graduating in Fall or Spring semester, a minimum of 3 credits of GMS6971 must be taken in the terminal semester.  If graduating in Summer semester, a minimum of 2 credits of GMS6971 must be taken in the terminal semester.  As such, students who plan to graduate in Fall or Spring semester should split their thesis credits into 2 batches of 3-credits and 3-credits.  Students who plan to graduate in Summer semester have the option to split their thesis credits into 2 batches of 4-credits and 2-credits, or 3 separate batches of 2-credits each.  However, for consistency, we recommend all thesis-students take 2 batches of 3-credits each of GMS6971, one batch at the beginning of their degree and another in their graduating semester.

The UF Graduate School offers tips and resources for writing your thesis.