Forensic Anthropology

Forensic anthropology is the study of human remains for legal purposes, which typically involves police investigations. Forensic anthropologists study human remains by applying the science of biological or physical anthropology (such as skeletal or biological analyses) to the legal process in order to solve inquiries, medicolegal issues, and criminal cases.

The study of human remains by a forensic anthropologist aids in the detection of crime as well as the search for identity of human remains. This is accomplished by using theory, methodology, and techniques that result in the documentation of trauma to skeletal remains; a documentation of physical trauma or occurrences on the skeleton ante-, peri-, and post-mortem; assessing age, stature, and sex of a skeleton; assessing ancestry; documenting unique features of skeletal remains; and assessing in victim identification.

  • Processes skeletal evidence for law enforcement agencies
  • Gather information used to determine an individual's gender, physical condition, stature, unique features, and age at the time of death
  • Field work at crime scenes (human remains search, discovery, recovery, and excavation)
  • Follow clear protocol for collecting human remains and data pertaining to complete analyses
  • Assess trauma to skeletal remains
  • Perform dental analyses
  • Present expert testimony in a courtroom setting
  • Provide consultation or advisory services to coroners and forensic pathologists
  • Assist in coordination of fatality response plan during disaster situations, which involve victim identification

A.S. Degree in Forensic Anthropology
Common Courses: Introduction to Forensic Science, Introduction to Criminal Law, Biology, Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology, Introduction to Criminal Justice System, Introduction to Anthropology

B.S. Degree in Forensic Anthropology
Common Courses: Introduction to Criminalistics, Organic Chemistry, Forensic Biology, Forensic Chemistry, Ethics in Criminal Justice, Ethics in Anthropology, Anatomy and Physiology, Human Osteology, Introduction to Archaeology, Physical Anthropology, Native American Cultures, Cultural Ecology, Anthropology Research and Methodology

M.S. Degree in Forensic Anthropology
Common Courses: Advanced Human Osteology and Physiology, Advanced Criminalistics, Advanced Crime Scene Investigation, Human Identity Practicum, Forensic Psychology, Forensic Genetics, Archaeological Field Methods and Labs,

PhD in Forensic Anthropology
Common Courses: Advanced Forensic Anthropology Ethics and Conduct, Advanced Theory and Methodology in Forensic Anthropology, Advanced Methodology in Archaeology, Interdisciplinary Studies in Forensic Anthropology, DNA Analysis, Forensic Toxicology, Advanced Physiology, Advanced Osteology, Advanced Leadership, Forensic Anthropology Residencies