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About the Forensic Anthropology Minor


What is forensic anthropology?

Forensic anthropology is the application of bioanthropology to the legal system and humanitarian matters. Forensic anthropologists apply standard scientific techniques to locate and recover suspicious remains, then work to evaluate the age, sex, ancestry, stature, and other individualizing characteristics of a decedent from the skeleton.


Why minor in Forensic Anthropology?

Forensic anthropology is burgeoning and so is student awareness of the discipline. A minor in forensic anthropology complements any existing major. Majors in criminal justice and anthropology will certainly benefit from the coursework and experience this minor offers.


The minor will accommodate those with an interest in law enforcement, students who intend to work as crime scene technicians, and students who are planning to pursue post-graduate education in legal or forensic science fields. The minor will also prepare students for graduate work specifically in forensic anthropology or another specialization in bioanthropology.


What will you learn?

Forensic anthropology students will gain firsthand experience in the basics of forensic anthropology and put that knowledge to work with actual human remains in a laboratory setting. The focus is on the discovery, recovery, and interpretation of material evidence, emphasizing the significance of context.


The application of these findings as evidence in legal cases is pertinent to the curriculum. The required courses build on the traditional knowledge of anthropology and criminal justice. Students are also provided with a range of relevant options in criminal justice and anthropology to generate greater intellectual and applied breadth and also to situate forensic anthropology in a broader disciplinary context.


What can you do with a minor in forensic anthropology?

A Forensic Anthropology Minor will open doors to fieldwork opportunities, as well as participation in law enforcement practices and forensic lab experiences. Forensic anthropology skills are also in demand in educational settings, museums, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), law enforcement agencies, medical examiner and coroner offices, private companies, or as part of federal level response teams such as a Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT).



The Forensic Anthropology Minor is offered in three tracks, depending on a student's major:

Track One: For Criminal Justice majors.


Track Two: For Anthropology majors.


Track Three: For all other majors.



Want to Learn More?

Dr. Misty A. Weitzel

Office: HSS 223



Criminal Justice Program 503-838-8733 | or e-mail: