Top Schools with Forensic Anthropology Graduate Programs in the U.S.

Learn about school rankings for three top schools with forensic anthropology graduate programs. Find out about the program requirements and research facilities at these schools. View article »

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  • 0:50 Boston U School of Medicine
  • 1:40 Mercyhurst College
  • 2:32 California State…
  • 3:35 Top Graduate Schools

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School Overviews

Forensic anthropology is a highly interdisciplinary field that combines studies in biology, physical science, and the law. Graduate programs most often lead to master's degrees. Boston University, Mercyhurst College, and California State University-Chico offer outstanding master's degree programs for forensic anthropology.

The Boston University program is offered through its medical school, where students have access to many medically-related research facilities. The Mercyhurst College program is offered through its archaeological institute, and students have the option of concentrating in forensic and biological anthropology. At CSU-Chico, the program is offered by the anthropology department. Each of these three schools was nationally or regionally ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

Boston University School of Medicine in Massachusetts

School Highlight: Boston University offers an outdoor research facility, providing unique research opportunities.

Ranked 29th in U.S. News and World Report's 2016 review of medical research schools, Boston University School of Medicine offers a master's program in forensic anthropology. Students can practice investigation skills, forensic photography, skeletal remains recovery, and mapping techniques at the school's 32-acre outdoor research facility and human gross anatomy lab. Additionally, students can conduct their thesis research at these facilities. The program requires completing 42 credits, including 14 required courses that focus on technique and procedure, human anatomy, death investigation, research, osteology, and witness testimony.

Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania

School Highlight: Mercyhurst College holds the 61st place among regional universities in the North, according to U.S. News and World Report in 2017.

The Archaeological Institute at Mercyhurst offers a Master of Science in Anthropology with a concentration in forensic and biological anthropology. This is a traditional 2-year master's program, and students take a 2-day comprehensive exam at the end of their first year. A thesis is required by the end of the second year. Throughout the two years of instruction, students become skilled in the five educational objectives of the program, including forensic archaeology, forensic osteology, skeletal trauma analysis, forensic taphonomy, and biostatistics and data analysis. These objectives are reinforced through field experience and laboratory training.

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California State University - Chico in Chico, California

School Highlight: Graduate students work in the school's Human Identification Laboratory to perform forensic anthropological analysis for police organizations.

The department of anthropology at Cal State - Chico offers a Master of Arts in Physical Anthropology with a focus in forensic anthropology. Students in this program complete traditional coursework in the field and conduct research leading to a final master's thesis. Graduates can find entry-level work at coroner's offices, museums, and archaeology firms; or they pursue further study at the doctoral level.

Graduate students also host an annual Forensic Anthropology Conference that consists of a lecture series. For undergraduates, the school offers a Certificate in Forensic Identification program. Students who are majoring in biological sciences, chemistry, or political science commonly enroll in this program. For 2017, the school was ranked #37 among regional universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report.

Top Graduate Schools

Here are two more schools with graduate offerings in forensic anthropology:

School Name Location Distinction
Michigan State University East Lansing, MI Students can participate in bioarchaeological research projects in Central America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and East Africa, as well as human biology research projects in Africa and South America
University of Florida Gainesville, FL Graduate students intern at the District Medical Examiner's Offices in Gainesville and Miami

Students who are looking for graduate-level programs in forensic anthropology can find master's degree programs in relevant fields at well-regarded universities. Most programs offer the opportunity for hands-on research in the field.

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