Forensic Anthropology: Who is Jane/John Doe?

Course Description

Forensic anthropology, a subdiscipline of biological anthropology, focuses on the study of skeletal remains within legal cases. Forensic anthropologists use methods from skeletal biology, osteology, and anthropology to evaluate age, sex, stature, ancestry, trauma, and pathology. By combining all of these, forensic anthropologists are able to establish a profile of an unidentified victim.

Students will learn tools and methods in analyzing a crime scene, determining the cause of death, and missing persons. This will include fingerprint, skeletal, and trauma analyses - and much more! Students will also learn anthropological models used in many forensic cases. We will use interactive modules, examination of evidence images, skeletal comparisons, case studies, and textual research to help us with this case. By the end of this course, students will be able to formulate a biological profile for a Jane/John Doe case using these tools and methods. The majority of the course will take place in an asynchronous online format with the option of participating in 1-2 "live" sessions each week.

Learning Objectives and Outcomes:

  • Understand methods and techniques for analyzing human skeletal remains in a forensic context
  • Recall major skeletal features and identifiers
  • Identify common bone pathologies and traumas
  • Establish a biological profile


There are no prerequisites for this course. Students with interests in anthropology, crime, and forensics would find the course of interest. Please note that students are expected to be able to tackle college-level material in readings, online "labs," essays, and other assignments.


One Section Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: June 27, 2022 - July 15, 2022
Duration: 3 Weeks
Meeting Times: Online - Mostly Asynchronous
Status: Closed
Format: Online
Instructor(s): Michelle Farley
Course Number: 10405