I completed my MSc in Forensic Science while working full time in a hospital clinical lab. The professors and TAs were all very helpful any time I had a question. Emails were responded to promptly, usually within 24 hrs. Coursework was graded promptly, again usually within 24 hours of the submission deadlines. The instructors gave valuable feedback on assignments when something was missed or misunderstood. The communication between students was excellent and a valuable part of the whole experience. I obtained my undergrad degree in the traditional classroom setting and my Master's degree via UF's online program. I believe the communication between instructors and students was just as good or maybe even better in the online program. The coursework was very challenging...this is not a fluff degree, you must work hard and study often to earn a decent grade. The lack of hands-on laboratory experience was compensated by providing detailed photos and links to online tutorials and such to gain a better understanding of laboratory processes. Most of the core courses in the program have some overlap with the other core courses, so material is reinforced in that manner. Also, many of the elective courses reinforce the basic principles as applied to the specific discipline being studied.
I had some serious medical issues during my last two terms of study and the instructors were very accommodating in allowing me to make up work that I missed while in the hospital. The degree of concern and compassion of the instructors was refreshing.
I would recommend this program to anyone interested in the forensic science field.
Post On: August 24, 2009
As a lab rat in a forensic toxicology laboratory, I felt it was my duty to go back to school to seek a higher degree. I was referred to this program by a highly skill forensic toxicology and a CEO of a nationally known forensic toxicology laboratory. So far, this program has not disappointed. Thanks UFL! I'm halfway to a master's degree in Forensic Toxicology.
Name: M. Mclellen
Post On: August 23, 2009
As a person who was already working in forensics with a B.S. in chemistry , I can say without any reservation this was a excellent program. It is part of the university of Florida, that is where I did my finals ,and graduated from and what my degree states. I had the same professor as on campus students with the same books, test and homework. The main difference was I read the lectures instead of listening to them. I graduated with a double major in forensic chemistry and toxicology. My professor were very helpful, and the staff was great with any issues that came up. I am proud to say this program made me want to proclaim...it great to be a gator.
Post On: August 21, 2009
As a graduate of the Forensic Toxicology program (part of the veterinary program at U of F) I found the program to be totally high quality. The professors were all readily available and have extensive knowledge. This was my first experience with the U of F and I now I consider myself a full fledged gator even though I live miles away. At 67 years of age I hold 3 BS degrees, 3 MS degrees, a PhD and I am working on a 2nd PhD ... therefore I would say I am familiar with education. My professional life has been and is in the fields of environmental health, safety, nursing, and psychology. The forensic program I undertook I rate at the top of my education. The program is professional. You are expected to be a student that can work independently and not be spoon fed the answers. Because of the aspect that this is a distance program and you don't have a fellow student sitting next to you, you must be willing to recognize when you need assistance and be prepare to ask for help. When I was in the program I had a world of fellow students that were all very willing to assist with problems or questions ... this was also true of every professor or instructor. The textbooks are the standard books used in the profession. The knowledge I gained from my U of F program I am using daily in my position as a Environmental Health & Safety Coordinator and also as a PhD student in Veterinary Science (Not at the U of F only because of distance and research interest). I routinely advise students to contact the U of F about the forensic program. This is not a give me program ... be prepared to take your education into your own hands and grow into a lifetime learner.
Post On: August 21, 2009
I completed the Graduate Certificate in Forensic Toxicology in August 2009. My experience with the UFL online programs in Forensic Science was definitely a positive one and I do recommend this school. I read a previous comment by someone whose experience with UFL apparently was not as positive as mine and I would like to make the following comments:
1. To this date, UF does not award a masters in environmental forensics. Therefore, any comment made in regards to a "masters in environmental forensics" is questionable because UF offers a graduate certificate in this specialty only. There is no masters program for this type of study.
2. From my experience, all the faculty members bent over backwards for their students. They always replied to student emails promptly and in a courteous manner. The faculty members are of a high caliber that have earned their graduate and professional degrees at accredited and often renowned institutions. They pass on their knowledge and professional expertise to their students. They are accessible and will always respond to questions that students may have. As a matter of fact, the program coordinator (who is not really an "accounting lady") will forward any questions of prospective and current students to the appropriate faculty members. Typically, however, UF forensic science students will address any questions of academic nature to their faculty and not the program coordinator.
3. The program offers different links for those who are looking for employment. Not all online programs do that. In addition, faculty members are also willing to write letters of recommendation (so I was told) for their students, whereas faculty of other distance learning/online programs refuse to do because they never met the student face-to-face (in my opinion, letters of recommendations are almost useless because they do not predict the success in grad school or at a work place and that's why most accredited European universities or employers do not require them; nonetheless, in the US it seems to be a "must have...").
4. Official Transcripts are issued by University of Florida at Gainesville. That should be an indication that the online forensic degrees are part of the University of Florida and not of some external institution of dubious existence. As a matter of fact, I can check my grades on the UF homepage just like any other UF student whether he/she is an online student or a resident student at the main campus in Gainesville.
In summary, in my opion UF programs in forensic science are a good value for the money, faculty are always accessible and interested in each student's academic progress and technical support is wonderful. I can highly recommend any of the forensic programs offered by ufl.