The Forensic Anthropology track started at Cal State Los Angeles
in 1998. At that time, Dr. Elizabeth Miller began consulting work
with the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner (LACDOC). In
with the formation of the Special Operations Response Team at LACDOC,
opportunities for student involvement in active forensic work began.
Students assist in decedent searches and, for more advanced
students, in decedent excavations and analysis of cold cases. There
are three one-year internships with Dr. Miller during which students
participate more actively in current casework.
Forensic Anthropology at Cal State Los Angeles is a graduate option
which requires special admission. You must obtain admission
to the university as well as to the option. For details on the
process and the Forensic
Anthropology option, click the links. The Forensic
Anthropology option is not a degree in forensic anthropology; rather,
it is a degree in Anthropology with a focus on the forensic applications.
also important for the student to realize that employment in
Anthropology is rare, and a Ph.D. is
generally required. Many of those working as Forensic Anthropologists
teach at colleges and universities and consult with law enforcement
agencies outside of teaching. Some graduates in Forensic Anthropology
do find employment in law enforcement or with the military, and
the prospects for the future are encouraging.
An MA degree in Anthropology, with a concentration in Forensic
Anthropology, will prepare the student for alternate careers, including
some in law enforcement (such as Death Investigation), museums (primarily
in Human Osteology and Repatriation), and Junior Colleges (teaching).
Students who have graduated in the physical anthropology MA program
at Cal State Los Angeles are involved in Ph.D. programs around the
country, including Arizona State University, Univeristy of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill, The Ohio State University, and others.
One graduate is employed as a forensic scientist by the FBI, one
is a law enforcement ranger with the Washington state park system,
a few are working bioarchaeologists and others are teaching in Southern
Coursework in the Forensic Anthropology Track
- ANTH 510A Seminar:Anthropological Theory and Analysis
- ANTH 560 Seminar:Physical Anthropology
- ANTH 520 Seminar:Archaeology
- ANTH 563 Advanced Forensic Anthropology
- ANTH 564 Forensic Osteology
- ANTH 598 Graduate Directed Study (Skeletal Analysis)
459 Human Osteology
463 Forensic Anthropology
- ANTH 466 Paleopathology
- ANTH 424 Archaeological Research Techniques
- CRIM 512 Quantitative Applications (to substitute for the language
requirement) or two years of a language
Electives (take a minimum of one of these courses)
- CRIM 409 Forensic Science*
- CRIM 411 Interpretation of Evidence in the Courtroom*
- CRIM 412 Crime Scene Management*
- CRIM 557 Forensic Pathology*
* The Criminal Justice department may require
lower division undergraduate courses as prerequisites, depending
on the student.
It is required that students wishing
to emphasize Forensic Anthropology produce a thesis rather than
taking comprehensive exams.