What is Forensic Anthropology?
Forensic anthropology is the application of the science of physical or biological anthropology to the legal process. Physical or biological anthropologists who specialize in forensics primarily focus their studies on the human skeleton.

Fictional and non-fictional television shows have introduced the public to various aspects of forensic anthropology, and many students have become interested in forensic anthropology as a result of this highly glamorized Hollywood interpretation of the field. To be a practicing forensic anthropologist you need a Masters Degree or Doctorate in Physical or Biological Anthropology, which usually takes between six and ten years.. There are very few opportunities for persons with a Bachelors degree to practice forensic anthropology. The majority of forensic anthropologists are employed by either academic or research institutions and consult on cases when and if the need arises. Others are employed in medical examiner's offices and the armed forces. Still others occasionally work for ad hoc tribunals and non-government organizations as part of teams investigating war crimes involving mass graves. Relatively few people practice forensic anthropology on a full–time basis.

Does this mean you should not think of becoming a forensic anthropologist? Of course not, but you should realize that while there will always be a need for forensic anthropology the highly specialized nature of the field means that there has never been a high demand for the services of a forensic anthropologist. To be competitive, a student interested in forensic anthropology should consider obtaining a broad education in physical/biological anthropology or related fields.


To learn of Forensic Anthropology programs featuring certified Diplomates click on the appropriate university listing.

Boston University School of Medicine, MS in Forensic Anthropology, Boston, MA

California State University, Chico, CA

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN

Mercyhurst University, Erie, PA

Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

Texas State University - San Marcos

Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC

Please Note: Skeletal images used on this site do not represent actual human remains.

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