For those who have a fascination with studying bones (or watching the popular prime time TV drama with the same name), you probably have wondered how to become a forensic anthropologist.
Forensic Anthropology Careers
With a degree in forensic anthropology, you too can study to have that same type of exciting career, piecing together bits and pieces of a puzzle to solve a mystery or a crime. Forensic Anthropologists study bones found at a crime scene to help determine the cause of death and search for any clues that may not be seen at quick glance. Below is some advice on how to become a forensic anthropologist.
First of all, yes, this is a real career, and yes, there are real degree programs that can help you prepare for this kind of career.
As a forensic anthropologist, your job would include helping the medical examiner or coroner with collecting and identifying human remains. Using your knowledge of forensic anthropology, you can determine age, sex, race, and height of someone simply by looking at the bones and remains found at a scene. You will also be able to note if there was any damage to the bones, and may even be able to visit the crime scene itself to “dig up” any other clues you may find.
How to Become a Forensic Anthropologist
Now, in order for you to know how to become a forensic anthropologist, you earn your bachelor’s degree in one of a number of sciences such as biology, anatomy, physiology, anthropology, or chemistry. Then, will need to earn a graduate degree in anthropology or human biology. A PhD degree is also strongly encouraged, as well as some related work experience before being able to become board certified. The more education and certifications you have, the more desirable you will be to prospective employers.
Online Forensic Degrees
Right now, there are a limited number of anthropology and forensic degree programs online, but there are a couple reputable programs including Ashford University, which offers both a Bachelor’s in Cultural Anthropology and a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice – Forensics and Kaplan University offers bachelor’s degrees in Forensic Psychology and Crime Scene Investigation.
Ashford University – Online Bachelor’s in Cultural Anthropology
Ashford University offers accelerated 8 week classes online.
Founded in 1918, Ashford University is not only accredited, but affordable (one of the lowest cost programs online). Degree programs are accelerated, allowing you to earn your degree faster than you think.
Transfer in up to 99 approved credits toward your Bachelor’s program to accelerate your path to completion.
Online Anthropology / Forensic Degrees:
- Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology
- Bachelor of Arts in Social & Criminal Justice – Forensics
Kaplan University – Online Forensics Degree
Kaplan University offers accredited 10-week online classes. With 10-week classes, you gain the benefit of speed and shave 6-weeks off of a traditional 16-week semester. Not too shabby.
Online Forensics Degrees:
- Bachelor’s in Forensic Psychology
- Bachelor’s in Crime Scene Investigation
There are many opportunities for you to study forensic anthropology online, allowing you the freedom to pursue your degree at your time when it is most convenient for you.
Since forensic anthropology doesn’t usually become a major course of study until you are at the graduate level, you can at least complete your bachelor’s degree online before navigating your focus of study to forensic anthropology. As long as you have a computer with an internet connection, you should be ready to know how to become a forensic anthropologist.
Forensic Anthropologist – A Typical Day’s Work
Forensic anthropologists frequently work in conjunction with forensic pathologists, odontologists, and homicide investigators to help identify a decedent, discover previous evidence of trauma, and more. It requires a great deal of critical thinking, testing, and lab work to get some of these answers, and being thorough and precise in your methods is critical.
Once you have earned your forensic anthropology degree, you will be able to use your knowledge and expertise in courts of law as an expert witness, assist with criminal and legal cases, and become a detective in your own right, solving mysteries based on human remains. It can be a very detail-oriented but exciting and thrilling career. If you are willing to take on the training and education needed to qualify for employment, you will definitely be able to take on a forensic anthropology career with ease!