Forensic Anthropology

Program Description

Forensic anthropology is the use of anthropological techniques to assist law enforcement, with the focus on the study of the human skeleton. Generally, physical anthropologists concentrate on the recovery and identification of human remains, most often where the victim’s remains are in advanced stages of decomposition. There are two main foci: osteology (the study of bones) and taphonomy (the study of how organic matter decays). An osteological analysis of a skeleton assesses the age, sex, ancestry, stature, and unique features of an individual from the skeleton. The study of taphonomy helps to determine a post-mortem interval and what happened to a body from the time of death to the time of discovery. The minor is suited to those majoring in criminal justice or biology with an interest in death investigation.

Contact Information

Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Lowell Heiny Hall 413
970.248.1696

FOAN 296 Topics:1-3 Credits

Course may be taken multiple times up to maximum of 15 credit hours.

FOAN 396 Topics1-3 Credits

Course may be taken multiple times up to maximum of 15 credit hours.

FOAN 475 Human Remains Detection and Recovery for Medico-Legal Investigations3 Credits

Archaeological techniques applied to detection and recovery of recent human remains. Includes practical experience of approximately 6 hours on an announced date.

Prerequisites: BIOL 410, or experience in law enforcement or a coroner's office and permission of instructor.

FOAN 499 Internship1-6 Credits

Opportunities to apply theoretical principles in a structured research or organizational environment. Required clock hours dependent upon credit hours.

Prerequisites: Junior or senior status, BIOL 410, permission of instructor, Hepatitis B vaccinations, and a TB skin test before and after class.

Course may be taken multiple times up to maximum of 15 credit hours.