GMU Forensic Science Program

The Forensic Science Program at George Mason University offers a Master’s Degree, Graduate Certificate, Bachelors Degree, & Minor in Forensic Science.

Forensic Science is the application of scientific principles and techniques to the legal process. It is a blanket term for many fields and disciplines, all related to the application of science to the law. The Forensic Science Program at George Mason University offers a Master’s Degree, a Graduate Certificate, a Bachelors Degree, and a Minor in Forensic Science. These programs will prepare student

Operating as usual


Today is , Patriots! The university’s is a 24-hour period where all Mason supporters - alumni, friends, volunteers, faculty, staff, parents, and students - are encouraged to come together to make a difference by supporting one of Mason’s many causes.

As part of the : Power the Possible Campaign, please consider supporting the College of Science. Your donations to the College of Science Vision Fund play a crucial role in allowing us to meet our college’s most urgent and important needs, from groundbreaking research to student support, community/alumni engagement events, and departmental operational costs.

Your generosity will directly contribute to advancing our mission of excellence in education, research, and innovation.
Every contribution, no matter the size, makes a significant difference in empowering to thrive.

Join us today in making a difference and helping us reach our goals. Together, we can create a brighter future for the College of Science and all its members.

Give to the College of Science:


Today! The Women Leaders in STEM committee is hosting a workshop for everyone today on Thriving in STEM in Exploratory Hall room 3301 from 2-4 pm.

Do you feel like you are currently thriving or surviving in STEM?


Calling all Mason STEM undergrads to showcase your research work!
Mark your calendars for the 13th annual College of Science Undergraduate Research Colloquium on May 6! This event provides you with a unique platform to present your research to faculty, staff, and fellow students, showcasing your contributions to the field.

All Mason undergrads who've done STEM research (independent study, course-embedded, faculty-mentored) are welcome to particpate.

Submit your abstracts by April 10.

Learn more here:



Our HR team had great conversations with students at the career fair at George Mason University this week!


🚨 TIME CHANGE: The screening will now start at 6 p.m. on Monday, February 26, in the Johnson Center Cinema. 🚨

On Monday, February 26, the College of Science STEM Accelerator, Women Leaders in STEM, and Mason Arts' Visiting Filmmakers Series at Mason are pleased to collaborate on a free screening and discussion of the feature film: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the story of an African-American woman from Roanoke, Virginia whose cells were used without her consent to create the first immortal human cell line.

This screening and discussion is free and open to the public! Register on Mason360:


Looking for a rewarding career? Join us on Thursday, February 22, to learn more about becoming a STEM Educator at the Noyce Ask Me Anything: STEM Secondary Education. Come and hear teachers share their experiences, meet others who want to inspire the next generation of science and math students, and learn how to earn $10k a year in scholarship funds.

Register to attend:

College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University


Are you a current high school student interested in majoring in one of our 19 undergrad programs? Join us and George Mason University Admissions for a College of Science Information Session & Tour on Thursday, February 15 at 2:30 p.m.

It's not too late to register: #/esr?eid=a1J6S00001H5ubyUAB

Photos from College of Science at George Mason University's post 01/29/2024
Podcast - Ep 55: Where the bodies are buried 01/29/2024

Podcast - Ep 55: Where the bodies are buried Mary Ellen O’Toole, director of the Forensic Science Program in Mason’s College of Science, gives a behind-the-scenes look at the university’s new “body farm,” an outdoor research and training laboratory on its SciTech Campus that will allow crime-scene research in forensic science and for...


Are you interested in ? If so, you should definitely plan to attend this workshop on Friday! Sponsored by the Women Leaders in STEM but open to ALL identities!

Photos from Virginia Missing's post 07/20/2023


Photos from GMU Forensic Science Program's post 05/23/2023

Congratulations class of 2023! We are so proud of you!

Women Leading the Field of Forensic Science 04/22/2023

“Women are increasingly playing a bigger role in solving crimes — not just with a badge, but through science. News4’s Mauricio Casillas shines a light on the next generation of scientists who will play a role in helping solve crimes.”

Women Leading the Field of Forensic Science Women are increasingly playing a bigger role in solving crimes — not just with a badge, but through science. News4’s Mauricio Casillas shines a light on the next generation of scientists who will play a role in helping solve crimes.


A reminder to all students that the Health and Science Career/Internship Event hosted by Career Services is coming up this week! There will be a Forensic Scientist from at the Cool Science Event on Monday the 27th. Don’t miss it!


GMU FRSC students, if you would like to learn more about the Bachelor Accelerated Masters (BAM) in Forensic Science, please come to the info session! Register at

To be eligible for the FRSC BAM, students are required to have an overall GPA of 3.0 and must earn a B or higher in each of the following courses: FRSC 200, 201, 302, 303, BIOL 213, CHEM 211/213, & CHEM 212/214.



is hosting their first webinar for students and those who have recently graduated on Wednesday, February 22nd at 10AM CST/ 11 AM EST/ 8 AM PST!

During this interactive and informal forum you will be able to ask questions about what comes next after graduation - everything from what to put on a resume to what you can expect once you're hired.

Space is limited so register soon! The link is in our stories!


Congratulations class of 2022! We are so proud of you!!


Spotted at ! alum Hajara Chaudhry who is now a visiting research scientist with the FBI 🤩. Go Hajara!!


faculty, students, and alumni at the 33rd annual International Symposium on Human Identification (ISHI) student networking reception 🧬🧬!

ISHI is the largest meeting solely focused on forensic DNA with attendees from all over the world.

Photos from GMU Forensic Science Program's post 10/30/2022

Standing room only at our guest speaker event this week!

Forensic science students were invited to attend an information session to hear about what it is like to be an FBI Agent working criminal matters. Retired Special Agent Andrew Caster spent 28 years in the FBI discussed his work as an agent, working both in the Chicago and Seattle FBI field offices.

He also discussed cold case investigations, organized crime cases and other crimes of violence as well as how he interviewed violent offenders and the role of forensic science in these cases.

Timeline photos 09/30/2022

We continue our GMU Forensic Science Program highlight with a to Lori Mayes, Administrative Assistant. Mayes has been with since 2019 and has enjoyed every second of it. Thanks to her 30+ years of administrative experience, she has the capability to handle anything that comes her way. She relishes in the “family feel” here at Mason, which helps her strive to best assist all the students and faculty members in the program.

Learn more about our Forensic Science Program:




This final GMU Forensic Science Program features our two experts: Emily Rancourt, Professor, Associate Director, and Kimberly Rule, Associate Professor, Undergraduate Coordinator.

Rancourt started at as an adjunct professor while she was the Civilian Crime Scene Investigator for the Prince William County Police Department, where she investigated homicides, police involved shootings, child abuse, serial crimes, and more. Rancourt found fulfillment in being able to piece together the clues that deceased bodies would leave behind at crime scenes to bring their final moments on earth a voice. When a suspect is convicted and justice is served, she sleeps a little easier at night knowing that person will not be given the opportunity to harm anyone else. After leaving the Prince William Police Department to onboard as a full-time faculty member and Associate Director for our Forensic Science Program in 2010, she was one of the biggest contributors to the development of the program. Rancourt helped launch both the M.S. and B.S. of Forensic Science over 10 years ago, with the vision that all faculty would have casework experience in forensic science. Thanks to this approach, our Forensic Science Program has been billed as one-of-a-kind. Outside of the classroom, Rancourt is a wife and a mother to seven children, five of whom were adopted. After a career focused on death and murder, adoption of children in need has helped her see the beauty of a redeemed life through love and medical intervention.

Rule had walked a similar path to find herself at Mason. She began as an adjunct professor while she worked as a Crime Scene Specialist for the Prince William Police Department. As a CSI, she worked hundreds of death investigations, child abuse, sexual assault, robbery, and burglary cases. She was driven by the interest of being able to analyze evidence and deceased victims to help tell the story of what happened in the case, and ultimately to provide justice for the victim and family. In 2011, Rule started teaching full-time and took on the role as undergraduate coordinator. As one of the first full-time faculty members in the program, she helped build and shape the curriculum and its ever-evolving development, as the Program acquired top of the line facilities such as the Crime Scene House and FARO Forensic Lab. When she’s not teaching, Rule serves as a committee member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences Academy Standards Board (ASB), which establishes forensic standards and guidelines in the field of Crime Scene Investigations.

Learn more about the program:


This highlights two of our elite GMU Forensic Science Program scientists: Brian Eckenrode, Associate Professor, and Steven Burmeister, Associate Professor.

Eckenrode is a former research analytical chemist with the FBI’s Research Support Unit in Quantico, VA. He dedicated 23 years of his life to the FBI and went on to earn the FBI Director’s Award for Scientific Achievement. Prior to his work in the FBI, Eckenrode was the director of research at Viking Instruments, where he designed and developed fieldable instrumentation based on mass spectrometry for analytical applications in forensics, international chemical weapons treaty verification, and the environment. He directed the company’s software development team and led the design and implementation of the instrument’s automated fieldable volatile organic chemical (VOC) inlet system. At Viking Instruments, he also developed a training course for gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). He originally came to the Forensic Science Program as an adjunct professor but has since transitioned to a full-time role after retiring from the FBI. Mason was an easy choice for Eckenrode, with his two children being Mason alum, he was familiar with the top-tier education Mason had to offer. In the Forensic Science Program, he continues to research canines, early disease detection, human living and deceased chemistry, and field instrumentation for drug interdiction. Recently, he contributed two chapters to the book, “Canines: The Original Biosensors.” These two chapters add to the 100+ publications and presentations Eckenrode has in the field of analytical chemistry. When he’s not in the classroom or in the lab, you can find Eckenrode playing basketball, playing lead on his electric guitar for a rock band, playing in his church's contemporary band, brewing beer, and taking long walks with his wife JoAnne of 37 years.

Burmeister spent the first few years of his career in different crime and toxicology laboratories. He later entered the FBI as a Special Agent, where he focused on explosive analysis in terrorist cases. Burmeister worked on several high-profile bombing investigations in the U.S., including the World Trade Bombing, the Oklahoma City Bombing, the Unabomber, and more. After years of holding a number of senior executive positions, he established the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytic Center (TEDAC). In this capacity, he worked with all 16 intelligence agencies to accelerate innovation and collaboration of scientific tools into operational systems. Currently, Burmeister spends his time teaching forensic trace analysis and drone photography to aspiring scientists. He also is a part-time police officer for the George Mason Police Department.

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