Forensic Anthropology Schools: Coming from the Greek words “anthropos” and “logia” which mean “human being” and “study of” respectively, anthropology refers to the study of human beings. To be specific, this field is concerned with the different aspects of human beings ranging from their evolutionary history, general biology, and social behavior.
Because of its extensive scope, anthropology has different sub-fields and applications in other related disciplines.
For instance, one of the most widely known applied fields of anthropology is forensic anthropology. This discipline involves the application of the techniques of biological anthropology to medicolegal issues.
This field is actually an emerging field; in fact, the field of anthropology is also relatively new. Furthermore, its application in forensic science has only become widespread in the ’70s.
If you’re interested in pursuing a degree in this field, you’ve come to the right place. Listed below are the top 12 US universities that offer degree programs in Forensic Anthropology, along with descriptions of their top-notch programs.
Table of Contents
- Best Forensic Anthropology Schools In The USA
- 1. Eastern New Mexico University (Roosevelt County, New Mexico)
- 2. Mercyhurst University (Erie, Pennsylvania)
- 3. The University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg, Mississippi)
- 4. Texas State University (San Marcos, Texas)
- 5. Boston University (Boston, Massachusetts)
- 6. The University of Montana (Missoula, Montana)
- 7. Western Carolina University (Cullowhee, North Carolina)
- 8. Michigan State University (East Lansing, Michigan)
- 9. University of Florida (Gainesville, Florida)
- 10. California State University (Los Angeles, California)
- 11. Loyola University (Chicago, Illinois)
- 12. Arkansas State University (Jonesboro, Arkansas)
Best Forensic Anthropology Schools In The USA
1. Eastern New Mexico University (Roosevelt County, New Mexico)
While the school does not offer a specific degree program in forensic anthropology, the Eastern New Mexico University in Roosevelt County, New Mexico, offers a related curriculum. The school offers a degree program in Forensic Science with an emphasis in Forensic Anthropology that is based on the demand of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences’ Forensic Education Program Accreditation Commission (FEPAC). Aside from assisting academics, the school also offers their students help in finding and applying for jobs.
Further Reading: Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science – ENMU
2. Mercyhurst University (Erie, Pennsylvania)
Instead of an undergraduate program, the Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania offers a Master’s degree program in Anthropology with a Forensic and Biological Anthropology track (Other alternative tracks are the Archaeology track and Geoarchaeology track). This program is the first ever program in the country that covers bioarchaeological anthropology with an emphasis on the field of forensic anthropology. Its subfields include forensic taphonomy, forensic archaeology, forensic osteology, skeletal trauma, and biostatistics.
Further Reading: Graduate Studies in Anthropology – Mercyhurst University
3. The University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg, Mississippi)
The University of Southern Mississippi is one of the few universities in the United that offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Forensics, with anthropology as your major (Aside from this field, students could also choose chemistry, biology, or criminal justice). Here, students will be introduced and engaged in different field and laboratory forensic techniques, as well as be familiar with the usage of forensic testimonies.
Further Reading: Forensics – University of Southern Mississippi
4. Texas State University (San Marcos, Texas)
Located in San Marcos, Texas, Texas State University is a premier university that offers a graduate degree in Anthropology. While there is no specific program for forensic anthropology, students could major in fields like biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and archaeology. Aside from that, the department houses the famous Forensic Anthropology Center which is committed to the study of the said field, as well as research.
Further Reading: Department of Anthropology – Texas State University
5. Boston University (Boston, Massachusetts)
Located in Boston, Massachusetts, Boston University is another university that offers a graduate program in Forensic Anthropology. BU offers a full-time MS program (42 credit units) that encompasses the fields of anthropology, osteology, and anatomy to study biological remains. Interestingly, this graduate program is the sole graduate program in the US that is both a part of a medical center and a department of anatomy. Such environment further aids students in having accessible research facilities and laboratories.
Further Reading: MS in Forensic Anthropology – BU
6. The University of Montana (Missoula, Montana)
The next university in this list is the University of Montana which offers an undergraduate degree in Anthropology. By taking this degree program, students have the choice to pursue a track in Forensic Anthropology. Here, students will learn about various related fields like skeletal biology, forensic pathology, and odontology. Aside from that, students are also expected to learn about law enforcement topics.
Further Reading: Forensic Anthropology – University of Montana
7. Western Carolina University (Cullowhee, North Carolina)
The West Carolina University offers an undergraduate degree in Anthropology with an emphasis on Forensic Anthropology, and alternatively, a minor in Forensic Anthropology. The school specializes in helping their students find careers related to their major, as well as other related fields like medicine, death investigation, and medicine. Aside from that, at WCU, students have the freedom to choose their minors: biology, history, chemistry, criminal justice, or foreign language.
Further Reading: Forensic Anthropology Program – WCU
8. Michigan State University (East Lansing, Michigan)
The next university in this list is the Michigan State University in East Lansing Michigan. While it does not have a specific degree program with a major in Forensic Anthropology, MSU offers a Physical Anthropology graduate degree with three fields of specialties: forensic anthropology, bioarchaeology, and the human biology of contemporary populations. Students engaged in the Forensic Anthropology track have the opportunity to work in the university’s dedicated consulting, teaching, and research facility–the MSU Forensic Anthropology Laboratory. If you want to explore the research side of Forensic Anthropology, MSU is a good choice.
Further Reading: Department of Anthropology – Michigan State University
9. University of Florida (Gainesville, Florida)
The University of Florida’s Master’s degree program in Forensic Anthropology is considered as one of the best in the US. The university works with C. A. Pound Human Identification Laboratory (CAPHIL), an academic laboratory that specializes in forensic anthropology service, teaching, and research. By employing specialized production and documentation techniques in the said field, students of UF become directly engaged with activities like the process of human remains, legal testimonies, and more.
Further Reading: Forensic Anthropology – UF
10. California State University (Los Angeles, California)
It is important to note that this graduate program is not a degree specialized in Forensic Anthropology but rather a program with an emphasis on forensic applications. Taking this track at California State will not only engage students in anthropology but also in other fields of law enforcement. MA Graduates of Forensic Anthropology are involved in various careers like being forensic scientists, forensic technicians, teaching staff, and others.
Further Reading: Forensic Anthropology – California State University
11. Loyola University (Chicago, Illinois)
The next university in this list is Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois. While it does not have an individual program dedicated to the study of forensic anthropology, it offers a Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science with combined coursework from anthropology and other fields like biology, and criminal justice. This program is one of the less than 20 undergraduate programs in the United States that has been fully accredited by the Forensic Education Programs Accreditation Commission.
Further Reading: BS in Forensic Science – Loyola University
12. Arkansas State University (Jonesboro, Arkansas)
The Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas does not have a specific degree program for Forensic Anthropology, but you could choose to enroll in an Anthropology degree with a major area of study. You could choose from three major fields: biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and archaeology. Among these three, biological anthropology is the closest since it also encompasses the principles of forensic anthropology, as well as other areas like biomechanics, dental anthropology, and various quantitative techniques.
Further Reading: Biological Anthropology – Arkansas State University
Indeed, the field of forensic anthropology can be highly specific but at the same time, interdisciplinary. People with this degree can work in the excavation and relocation of human remains, analysis of dental and skeletal evidence, as well as the presentation of expert testimonies in legal trials.
So what are you waiting for? Start your forensic anthropology journey now!
- “What is Anthropology?”. Accessed June 21, 2018. Link.