Marshall University's forensic science graduate program has been ranked first in the nation after students received the highest overall scores on the Forensic Science Assessment Test, a qualifying test offered each year by the American Board of Criminalistics.
A Marshall student also earned the highest test scores from among 179 students representing 15 other participating forensic science programs. Eleven of the top 25 test scores were from the Marshall Forensic Science Graduate Program.
Pamela Staton, coordinator of the program, said the test scores are evidence of the high quality education the program provides.
"The quality of an academic program can be measured by a program's achievement of national accreditation and how well its students perform on national board examinations," Staton said. "The Forensic Science Graduate Program at Marshall University has achieved both of these honorable distinctions.
"This translates to high quality forensic science services to law enforcement, the legal profession and the public as graduates of this program become forensic scientists in the field."
The test is useful in assessing the program's strengths and demonstrating to prospective students and the public the program's ability to meet national standards, said Terry Fenger, director of the program.
"The results demonstrate not only the quality of the program and its students, but the dedication of its full-time faculty and the many adjunct faculty members," he said. "The program greatly benefits from the input of law enforcement and criminal justice system professionals here locally and across the state."
Marshall's program is accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
The exam was administered in Spring 2013, and students who took the exam are now graduates of the program. The exam tested students' knowledge in forensic biology, controlled substances, trace analysis, toxicology, latent prints, questioned documents, fire debris and firearms/tool marks. The test is offered to students in their last semester of study.