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ANTH203 - Introduction to Forensic Anthropology

Course Details

Course Code: ANTH203 Course ID: 4273 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

Forensic anthropology is the application of physical anthropology in a medico-legal context; forensic anthropologists use the tools of archaeology and physical anthropology to discover, recover and identify human remains. Students will be exposed to the interdisciplinary, scientific basis of forensic anthropology, along with legal and ethical issues forensic anthropologists face. The course is designed to give students a broad overview of the field by introducing them to the process of human remains identification; the archaeological and laboratory methods incorporated in human remains recovery; and, a review of the work forensic anthropologists work do with law enforcement, forensic pathologists and odontologists in recovering and collecting victims of foul play as well as those of mass fatalities, such as the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
02/24/20 - 07/31/20 08/03/20 - 09/27/20 Summer 2020 Session I 8 Week session
04/27/20 - 10/02/20 10/05/20 - 11/29/20 Fall 2020 Session B 8 Week session
06/29/20 - 12/04/20 12/07/20 - 01/31/21 Fall 2020 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

CO1: Recognize the role of forensic anthropology in criminal justice
CO2: Demonstrate basic knowledge of anatomy and osteology
CO3: Compare and contrast human versus non-human remains
CO4: Demonstrate a basic understanding of human osteology by learning to identify markers of sex, age, pathology and ancestry
CO5: Explain lab techniques such as PCR and gel analysis
CO6: Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical issues that are faced when working with human remains
CO7: Identify procedural issues in recovering human remains
CO8: List career options for forensic anthropologists


Participation in classroom dialogue on threaded Forums is required in some weeks. Forums are found in the Forums tab in the classroom. Initial posts must demonstrate comprehension of the course materials, the ability to apply that knowledge in the real world. Learners will engage with the instructor and peers throughout the learning week. Initial Forum posts are due Thursdays, peer responses are due Sundays. To motivate engaged discussion, posts are expected to be on time with regular interaction throughout the week. All posts should demonstrate college level writing skills. To promote vibrant discussion as we would in a face to face classroom, formatted citations and references are not required. Quotes should not be used at all, or used sparingly. If you quote a source quotation marks should be used and an APA formatted citation and reference provided. Specific instructions and the grading rubric are located on each Forum.

This course includes Assignments. Instructions and specific grading rubrics are found under the Assignments tab in our classroom.

Extra Credit:

Extra credit is not offered in this course.

APA formatted reference for our books:

Byers, S.N. (2011). Introduction to Forensic Anthropology, 4th Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson.

Steadman, D.W. (2009). Hard Evidence: Case Studies in Forensic Anthropology, 2nd Edition.

Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Book Title:Hard Evidence: Case Studies in Forensic Anthropology-E-book available in the APUS Online Library; hard copy not available from the APUS Bookstore, please try other sources.
Publication Info:Taylor & Francis
Author:Dawnie Wolfe Steadman
Unit Cost:$68.40
Book Title:Introduction to Forensic Anthropology-E-book available in the APUS Online Library; hard copy not available from the APUS Bookstore, please try other sources.
Publication Info:Taylor & Francis
Author:Steven N. Byers
Unit Cost:$137.21
Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.