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UCO Launches Doctorate in Forensic Science, First Doctoral Degree in School History

The outside of the FSI building on UCO’s campus.

Oct. 16, 2023

Media Contact: Deirdre Steiner, Assistant Vice President, UCO University Communications, 405-974-2307,

UCO Launches Doctorate in Forensic Science, First Doctoral Degree in School History

The University of Central Oklahoma recently received approval from the Higher Learning Commission, UCO’s accrediting body, to launch the Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) in forensic science, the first-ever doctoral degree offered by the university. 

Housed within UCO’s W. Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute, classes for the doctoral program will begin fall 2024.

“This is a landmark moment for the University of Central Oklahoma. I thank former UCO Forensic Science Institute Director Dwight Adams for building the premier forensic science program in the nation. His efforts, alongside the FSI faculty and the Academic Affairs team, positioned UCO for this recognition and achievement,” said UCO President Todd G. Lamb. 

“UCO is now unquestionably the destination for forensic science education at every level, leading the way in developing the workforce in this important area.”   

The Doctor of Science in forensic science is an interdisciplinary applied science degree designed to provide students with the critical-thinking ability, problem-solving skills and advanced discipline-specific knowledge to allow them to advance into leadership positions. It will provide students with an additional 60 hours of graduate courses and research beyond a master’s degree. The program is designed to produce graduates for forensic science and management positions at all levels of government and private industry where there is currently great demand. 

Central’s unique program will offer a balance of internships, seminars and management leadership training as part of the curriculum. 

Coursework in the doctoral program will be offered on a flexible schedule to serve working students who hold full-time day jobs. Students can expect to finish the program in approximately three to four years.

“This new doctoral program marks a significant milestone for UCO and the W. Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute solidifying our position as one of the nation's leading institutions for forensic science education. At UCO, we are committed to workforce development, and the Doctor of Science in forensic science stands as a testament to that dedication,” said Mark McCoy, Ed.D., interim director and dean of Central’s FSI. 

“Through this program, we envision a future where our graduates will occupy leadership positions in Oklahoma and across the country playing a pivotal role in shaping policy and driving advancements that make a lasting impact on the field of forensic science.”

Prospective students interested in the program must apply for admission by April 15. 

The doctoral degree is the latest in a string of successes for the institute that included national rankings for programs and historic Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) accreditation for all graduate degrees offered through the institute.

The institute has overseen the undergraduate and graduate forensic science programs at Central since 2009. The 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.

To learn more about UCO’s FSI, visit


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Cutline: The University of Central Oklahoma will launch the Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) in forensic science, the first-ever doctoral degree offered by the university. Classes will begin in fall 2024.