Online Forensic Anthropology Degrees

Forensic anthropology degree programs aren't offered online. Read this article to learn about on-campus graduate degree programs in forensic anthropology, which teach you how to identify human remains, typically to aid in solving crimes. Also, learn about common course topics and career options. Schools offering Social Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Kind of Degree Programs Exist in Forensic Anthropology?

Forensic anthropology is a branch of anthropology that uses skeletal biology and osteology to examine human remains and determine the identity and/or manner of death of one or more persons. The odd bachelor's-level course or concentration in forensic anthropology can be found within a few forensic science programs, but if becoming a forensic anthropologist is your career goal, you'll need a graduate degree in anthropology.

While master's and PhD programs in forensic anthropology do exist, they are not plentiful; most are in anthropology with a specialization option in forensic anthropology. For the PhD, it's more common to find a program in physical anthropology. If you decide on the latter, make sure that the program offers you the opportunity to study with a forensic anthropologist and conduct your research in that area.

Degree Options Master's and doctoral programs available, most are in an anthropology department with a specialization in forensics
Online Availability Degrees in physical or forensic anthropology are not offered online, but some introductory undergraduate classes may be available
Common Topics Primatology, human variation, dental anthropology, osteology
Career Fields Law enforcement agencies, academia, consulting firms, medical examiners, laboratories

Is the Degree Program Offered Online?

There are no online graduate degrees offered in physical or forensic anthropology. You may be able to find a few undergraduate classes to introduce you to the subject, but in order to become a forensic anthropologist, you're going to have to attend an on-campus graduate program.

What Will I Learn In a Graduate Degree Program?

As a student in a program offering physical and forensic anthropology, you'll learn about physical anthropology and its subfields, which include primatology, primate and human evolution, human variation and adaptation, dental anthropology, human growth and development, nutrition, osteology (study of the skeleton) and genetics, among others. You'll have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience excavating and recovering human remains and add to the body of research in this area. You'll need to write a thesis for the master's and a dissertation for the PhD.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

Although forensic anthropologists are used in investigation cases, there isn't generally a need for a large number of forensic anthropologists to work in law enforcement. Most people with this degree work in academia conducting research and teaching classes; with a PhD, you're qualified to become a full professor at a college or a university. Forensic anthropologists also provide consultation services; for example, they are sometimes hired by non-governmental organizations to help investigate war crimes. A few are employed by medical examiner's offices or for laboratories run by state or private investigation firms or the FBI. Still others work for museums or with the military.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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  • Harvard University

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