Educational Goals and Objectives

Following completion of the of the master's program in Forensic and Biological Anthropology, students will be able to engage in many aspects of the field of Forensic Anthropology:


Forensic Archaeology:

  • Apply contemporary archaeological techniques during the identification, documentation, and collection of all outdoor forensic scenes, including surface scatters, buried body, fatal fire, and mass fatalities.
  • Critically evaluate the significance of in situ physical evidence at a variety of crime scenes.
  • Know how to operate an electronic Total Station and GPS unit.

Forensic Osteology:

  • Conduct themselves as expert osteologists with the ability to identify complete and fragmentary human remains, as well as distinguish human from non-human remains.
  • Determine chronological age, sex, stature, and ancestry of human remains.
  • Understand the range of human variation and their associated evolutionary processes.

Skeletal Trauma Analysis:

  • Differentiate between antemortem, perimortem and postmortem skeletal trauma.
  • Provide biomechanical interpretations for traumatic forces producing defects in bones.

Forensic Taphonomy:

  • Interpret taphonomic modification of bones due to decomposition, heat alteration, water transport, and burial factors.

Biostatistics and Data Analysis:

  • Apply appropriate statistical techniques to the analysis of human skeletal remains.
  • Know how to properly use and apply the computer program FORDISC 3.0.
  • Understand rules of evidence and the basics of the American criminal justice system.
  • Understand the Daubert criteria as applied to the analysis of evidence and presentation in courts as well as its implications on expert witness testimony.
  • Critically evaluate literary sources for valid methodologies, appropriate results and applicability to topics under discussion.
  • Conduct research and investigation of human remains under the strict ethical guidelines currently in place in the disciplines of general science, forensic science, and forensic anthropology.