The Department of Sociology & Anthropology is proud to offer a B.S. in Anthropology with a Forensic Concentration. This degree is the first Bachelor-level Forensic Anthropology concentration in Kansas. Our majors will take classes, and get hands-on training, in our new lab in the state-of-the-art Kansas Bureau of Investigation Forensic Science Center on Washburn’s campus. They will also collaborate with faculty and students in the other forensic programs such as chemistry, biology, criminal justice, and computer science. Students may even have the opportunity to intern with KBI forensic scientists at the new facility.
The Role of Forensic Anthropology
Forensic anthropology applies the scientific knowledge of physical anthropology to the collection and analysis of legal evidence.
Due to training in anthropology, skeletal biology, and osteology, forensic anthropologists serve a unique role in forensic science:
- They determine if the remains are of human origin, from a single or multiple individuals, and the identity (age, sex, stature, ancestry) of the individual(s).
- They document pathological conditions and trauma affecting the remains.
- They can help determine the circumstances surrounding death.
- They analyze soil and vegetation patterns to properly find, excavate, and collect skeletal remains and other physical evidence.
- They work in cases resulting from mass disasters, explosions, fires, homicides, and other types of situations resulting in badly decomposed bodies and highly fragmented, burned, or otherwise unidentified human skeletal remains.
- They have been prominent in the recovery and identification of remains from the Oklahoma City bombing, the World Trade Center, and mass gravesites in places like Iraq, Guatemala, and the former Yugoslavia.
Forensic anthropologists work in laboratories, at crime scenes, in offices, and in morgues. They may work for federal, state, and local governments; international organizations; public and private laboratories; medical examiner’s offices; hospitals; universities; police departments; or as independent forensic science consultants.
Students earning a B.S. in Anthropology (Forensic Concentration) would be eligible for jobs within criminal justice that sought baccalaureate degrees in forensic science or natural science, such as:
- Forensic Crime Scene Specialist
- Police Evidence Specialist
- Crime Scene Investigator
- Crime Scene Technician
Students would also be eligible for jobs outside the criminal justice field, such as:
- Working at Museums of Natural History
- Culture Resource Management (surveying, documenting, and/or excavating sites)
- Working at state historical societies
Many forensic anthropology students go on to earn a Masters or Ph.D. in physical anthropology. Students who obtain their Masters-level degrees would have additional job opportunities, such as:
- Working in Coroner or Chief Medical Examiner’s Office
- Adjunct faculty at a college or university
Board-certified forensic anthropologists have earned a Ph.D. in physical anthropology with an emphasis in skeletal biology. Most are university professors who consult for coroners, medical examiners, and possibly human rights organizations.
For more information, visit washburn.edu/anso, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 785.670.1608.