[X] Close Window Print this Page

Master Syllabus

Print this Syllabus « Return to Previous Page

Administrative Unit: Criminal Justice Administration and Human Services Department
Course Prefix and Number: FRSC 305
Course Title: Forensic Anthropology
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Anthropological principles and knowledge applied within the legal system. Examination of the basics of bone biology, methods of skeletal analysis, signs of pathology and trauma, and postmortem interval. Prerequisite: Junior standing.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): Junior standing.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Occasional offering.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Many suitable textbooks are available from various publishers and the following list is not comprehensive. Other textbooks may be judged by individual instructors to be more suitable in meeting course objectives. Given the nature of the course, the instructor may want to adopt more than one textbook. Many current textbooks have companion websites, and the instructor is encouraged to enhance the course experience for the student by utilizing available technology.

Flesh and Bone: An Introduction to Forensic Anthropology.
By Nafte (Carolina Academic Press)
Introduction to Forensic Anthropology, A Textbook
By Byers (Allyn & Bacon)
Hard Evidence: Case Studies in Forensic Anthropology
By Steadman (Prentice Hall)
Course Objectives
  • To broaden the student’s knowledge of and appreciation for the history and evolution of the discipline of forensic anthropology.
  • To enhance the student’s understanding of the role of the forensic anthropologist in the criminal justice system.
  • To expose students to common terminology, methods and procedures connected with the discipline of forensic anthropology.
  • To examine the practical, theoretical and ethical dilemmas faced by individuals involved in criminal investigations involving skeletal remains.
  • To enhance critical thinking, research and writing skills on issues relevant to forensic anthropology.
    Measurable Learning Outcomes:
  • Describe the history and evolution of the discipline of forensic anthropology.
  • Explain the role of a forensic anthropologist in a criminal investigation and the relationships between the forensic anthropologist and other entities in the criminal justice system.
  • Evaluate and analyze crime scenes involving skeletal remains.
  • Explain and apply the procedures and methods involved in making race, age, and sex determinations from skeletal remains.
  • Describe the role of dental records (odontology) in death investigations.
  • Define, interpret and apply relevant scientific, medical and legal terminology to real and hypothetical issues, problems and case studies.
  • Appraise and interpret current literature, case studies, materials and developments regarding forensic anthropology.
    Topical Outline: In an effort to better prepare students for future educational pursuits and professionalism in their chosen fields, it is highly recommended that all courses bearing the CJAD prefix contain both a writing and a speech communication component. Formal writing projects should be prepared in APA format.
  • Introduction to forensic anthropology
  • Determination of the forensic interest
  • Issues regarding the human skeleton
  • Gender determination for skeletal remains
  • Odontology
  • Age assessment
  • Race/ethnic determination for skeletal remains
  • Stature estimation
  • Pathology
  • Trauma
  • Crime scene assessment and analysis
  • Case study assessment and analysis

    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 20

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Barry Langford Date: November 22, 2013
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

    Office of Academic Affairs