Updated at: 13-03-2023 - By: Eden Wise


Degree Programs in Forensic Anthropology: The term “anthropology” is derived from the Greek words “anthropos” and “logia,” which mean “human being” and “study of,” respectively. Human biology, social behavior, and our long and complex evolutionary past are just a few of the specific topics studied in this academic subfield.

Because of its breadth, anthropology encompasses numerous subfields and finds use in a variety of related fields.

Forensic anthropology, to name just one example, is a well-known subfield of applied anthropology. Biological anthropology methods are applied to medical and legal problems in this field.

This is a relatively new area of study, much like anthropology itself. More importantly, it was not until the 1970s that its use became commonplace in forensic science.

You’ve found the right place if you want to learn more about earning a degree in this area. Following is a list of, and brief description of, some of the top universities offering degree programs in Forensic Anthropology.

Best Forensic Anthropology Schools

Best forensic anthropology schools

Eastern New Mexico University (Roosevelt County, New Mexico)

Eastern New Mexico University (Roosevelt County, New Mexico)

Although a forensic anthropology degree program is not offered at this institution, students interested in this field may find relevant coursework at Eastern New Mexico University in Roosevelt County. The Forensic Education Program Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences has mandated that this university provide a degree program in Forensic Science with a concentration in Forensic Anthropology. The school does more than just help students succeed in the classroom; they also provide assistance in the job market.

The University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg, Mississippi)

In addition to anthropology, students at the University of Southern Mississippi can also major in chemistry, biology, or criminal justice as part of their Bachelor of Science in Forensics program, making it one of the few schools in the country to offer such a degree. In this course, students will learn about and practice a variety of forensic methods used in the field and laboratory, as well as become accustomed to utilizing forensic testimony.

The University of Montana (Missoula, Montana)

The University of Montana comes up next because it is one of the few schools on this list that offers an anthropology major at the undergraduate level. There is an option in this degree program to specialize in Forensic Anthropology. Skeletal biology, forensic pathology, and odontology are just a few of the interrelated topics covered in this course. Students also have a responsibility to educate themselves on law enforcement issues.

Michigan State University (East Lansing, Michigan)

The next institution is Michigan State University, located in nearby East Lansing. While MSU does not offer a graduate degree in Forensic Anthropology, students can choose from one of three concentrations within the Physical Anthropology program: forensic anthropology, bioarchaeology, or the human biology of modern populations. Forensic anthropology students at Michigan State University have access to the university’s specialized consulting, teaching, and research facility, the MSU Forensic Anthropology Laboratory. MSU is a great place to look into Forensic Anthropology’s research potential.

Arkansas State University (Jonesboro, Arkansas)

Arkansas State University (Jonesboro, Arkansas)

Although Forensic Anthropology is not listed as a degree option at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, you can still pursue a degree in the field by selecting Anthropology as your major. Bioanthropology, cultural anthropology, and archaeology are the three main subfields of anthropology from which to select. Biological anthropology is the most similar to the other two because it includes forensic anthropology’s core concepts along with those of biomechanics, dental anthropology, and other quantitative approaches.

Columbia University, New York

Our next pick for the top forensic anthropology program is New York’s Columbia University. The university ranks #32 out of 1,715 schools in the United States, making it the #5 most well-known in New York. The low student-to-teacher ratio of the school (only 6:1) is particularly noteworthy because it facilitates effective learning.

Goals of the program include providing students with the foundational skills and knowledge necessary to pursue a career in forensic anthropology. One can earn a bachelor’s, master’s, or even a doctorate in forensics through the various degree programs currently available.

New York University, New York City

The New York University in the Big Apple ranks among the top institutions for the study of forensic anthropology. The university ranks 130th among the 1,715 most prestigious schools in the world and provides the standard fare of forensics degrees.

That there will be nine teachers for every student is another way in which this policy encourages high-quality education. The average salary increase for graduates is around $10,388 compared to the average salary increase for non-graduates who took the same course.

University Of Virginia, Main Campus

This is another one of the best universities for forensic anthropology. It is ranked #42 out of 1,715 public universities worldwide. The school is located in a suburban area of Charlottesville and has a sizable student body.

The school provides an excellent learning environment in which students can earn degrees from the bachelor’s to the doctoral level in forensics. The hourly tuition rate for in-state students is $423, while the rate for international students is $1,552.

Brandeis University, Waltham, MA

One of the best forensic anthropology programs is the one we’ve highlighted here. Brandeis University, a private institution, tops our list of the best universities for forensic anthropology. Located in Waltham, the university’s building is not overly large but adequate for its needs. It is a non-profit educational institution that holds a respectable position among its peers.

Brandeis also offers graduate-level education at the master’s and doctoral levels. Brandeis University’s forensic anthropology major leads to a $4,488 annual salary premium compared to similar majors at other universities.

The annual cost to attend Brandeis University is $57,615. Brandeis is the most recognizable university in the Bay State. The degrees available start at the Bachelor’s level and go all the way to the Doctorate.

University of California, Los Angeles

University of California, Los Angeles

This fourth list of top Forensic Anthropology Schools includes the University of California, Los Angeles.

This is followed by a visit to the University of California, Los Angeles. It’s the most attended college in California and ranks 65th in the country out of 1,715 schools. Recent statistics show that there are about 254 anthropology majors among UC Berkeley’s alumni.

Students at the University of California can expect to earn an average of $29,000 within the first few years of their careers. Every level of education from bachelor’s to doctorate is covered by the University of California.

Subject to approval by the board, the tuition for the 2020-2021 school year is $14,100. The ratio of students to professors at the University of California is 18 to 1. If you are a new student or are interested in continuing your education, the University of California is an excellent option.

Coursework in Anthropology at this school can lead to a bachelor’s, master’s, or even a doctorate. The minimum grade point average required for freshman admission to the University of California is 3.4%.

University of California-Santa Barbara, California

According to our rankings, this is the seventh-best university to study forensic anthropology. On our list of the top forensic anthropology programs, the University of California comes in at number eight. The Santa Barbara campus of a nationally ranked university is famous for its massive enrollment. Totaling 23,349 first-years, the campus covers 989 acres.

The school is rated 133rd best in the nation and 30th overall out of 1,715 universities. University of California, Santa Barbara is the best institution in the United States for studying anthropology.

Over 136 anthropology majors have graduated from the university in the most recent reporting year. Assuming you graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in anthropology, you could potentially earn $27,000 annually.

At the University of California, the ratio of students to teachers is 17 to 1, and annual tuition is $11,442. Keep in mind that you’ll also have to pay for things like food, shelter, and transportation.

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is home to a massive university. The university is ranked #60 overall, out of 1,715 educational institutions. The area is ideal for anyone interested in a forensic anthropology career.

Both a master’s and a doctoral degree in anthropology are available at UNC. Most graduate students at the University of North Carolina are pursuing master’s degrees. Starting salaries for UNC forensic anthropology graduates are around $28,200.

As of the 2021-2022 academic year, UNC’s tuition was $14,882. At UNC, there are fourteen students for every one professor.

Monmouth University

Monmouth University is located in the large New Jersey suburb of West Long Branch. A private institution with a manageable number of undergraduates. After opening its doors in 1933, the university has since attracted students from no less than 33 countries.

For starters, a Monmouth University anthropology degree can bring in an average of $41,600 in salary. As you gain more and more expertise, the sum increases indefinitely. Approximately 27 students have graduated from the anthropology program at the university in recent years.

Monmouth University charges a yearly tuition of $38,880. A ratio of 12 students per professor is standard at the University. There are 1,715 colleges and universities in the United States, and Monmouth University is ranked 487th.

The University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

The University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

The University of Florida can be found in the middle-sized city of Gainesville. When compared to other universities across the country, this one ranks 85th but first in Florida. All of the criteria for inclusion on our 2022 top ten list of the best schools for forensic anthropology are met by the University of Florida.

Those who are serious about pursuing a career in forensic anthropology should consider attending college. Master’s and doctoral programs in anthropology are available at the school. University of Florida graduates can expect to make up to $23,200 in their first year out of school.

UF charges $6,381 per semester for in-state students and $28,659 per semester for out-of-state students. The ratio of students to teachers at this university is 17 to 1.

California State University

Cal State Los Angeles offers a graduate program in forensic anthropology, but admission is highly competitive. Both university and option enrollment are required. The Forensic Anthropology track is part of the Anthropology major, not the Forensic Anthropology major itself. Having a Ph.D. in a related field is typically required for employment in the field of Forensic Anthropology, so students should be aware of this competition. Many people who work in the field of forensic anthropology hold academic positions and also consult for law enforcement. The future looks bright for graduates of forensic anthropology programs who seek work in law enforcement or the armed forces. The graduate with a Master of Arts in Anthropology who chooses to focus on Forensic Anthropology will be well-suited for a variety of related fields, such as the criminal justice system, museum work, and teaching at the secondary level.

Western Carolina University

Human remains are studied using forensic anthropology, which is a branch of biological anthropology used in a legal context. The Department of Anthropology at WCU offers both a Forensic Anthropology Minor and a Forensic Anthropology Concentration Bachelor of Science degree. The Forensic Anthropology Program at WCU is dedicated to preparing students for successful careers in forensic anthropology and related fields like death investigation, law enforcement, and medicine.

Boston University

The Master of Science in Forensic Anthropology program at the Boston University School of Medicine educates students in the principles, techniques, and procedures of biological and skeletal anthropology used in medicolegal death investigations. This 42-credit Master of Science degree program gives students a rare opportunity to apply the principles of anthropology, anatomy, and osteology to real-world situations involving unidentified remains, such as establishing biological profiles, excavating remains, working on criminal cases, and more. Its graduate program in forensic anthropology is unique in the United States because it is housed within the anatomy department of a major medical center rather than a university.


Do forensic Anthropologists work for the FBI?

Forensic anthropologists at the FBI are treated like professionals and given access to state-of-the-art equipment and resources when working on the agency’s most pressing cases. The FBI regularly posts open positions at both the headquarters and its field offices.

What are the Forensic Anthropology Big Four?

In the beginning, forensic anthropologists concentrated on determining the “big four” characteristics of a set of skeletal remains: age at death, sex, ancestry or ethnicity, and height.


Forensic anthropologists perform investigative work similar to that of private investigators. The choice of university is just as important as the time and effort you put in to earn your forensic anthropology degree.

There is currently no introductory forensic anthropology course available at the undergraduate level. Therefore, you should think about the courses offered by a school before enrolling. Schools with both master’s and doctoral degrees in anthropology are among the best options for those interested in forensic anthropology.

You won’t have to waste time and energy searching for a new place to earn your bachelor’s and master’s degrees in forensic anthropology. Our top forensic anthropology programs are an excellent option for anyone interested in pursuing a career in this field.