Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute

Graduate Certificate Program in Forensic and Biological Anthropology

The Applied Forensic Sciences Program at Mercyhurst University, Erie, Pennsylvania will be introducing a new facet to its already distinguished program- a year-long Graduate Certificate Program in Forensic and Biological Anthropology. Starting Fall of 2014, the program will open its doors to students wishing to complement their undergraduate education with additional training in specific areas of interest that may not have been available at their undergraduate institution, in preparation for graduate school applications. The new program will also be useful for those students interested in acquiring practical experience in the specific methods of Forensic Anthropology.

The curriculum of the new program is based on Mercyhurst’s faculty experience with their successful Masters of Science Program in Forensic and Biological Anthropology. In particular, the Graduate Certificate Program in Forensic and Biological Anthropology is aimed at addressing the most common training gaps and needs observed among the applicants to those programs. For example, students with strong backgrounds in archaeology, may need to improve their training in osteology or quantitative skills, and vice versa. In this manner, students enrolled in the newly created Graduate Certificate program will be able to construct a personalized curriculum of courses in the current Mercyhurst graduate catalogue spanning a variety of subjects including forensic anthropology, forensic archaeology, forensic taphonomy, bioarchaeology, skeletal biology, skeletal trauma, zooarchaeology, and biostatistics. Students will also have the unique opportunity of participating in actual forensic cases conducted by the Mercyhurst Forensic Anthropology Laboratory, both during the recovery of evidence from a variety of outdoor forensic scenes, including surface scatters, buried bodies, and fatal fire scenes, as well as the forensic anthropological analysis of human biological tissues in the laboratory.

To complete the Graduate Certificate program, students will construct their own curriculum for the school year according to their research interests to meet a minimum 5-course requirement. Courses will run from late August to late May with the option to stay on during the summer to provide help with cases, complete summer courses and conduct research. A BA or BS in a relevant field is recommended to apply; further application instructions can be found on the department website, or contact the Mercyhurst Graduate Admissions Office (814-824-3351). It is expected that 8-10 students will be accepted every year.

Cost and Career Information

In compliance with the “gainful employment” regulations under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, as amended, Mercyhurst is disclosing certain cost and career information to prospective students. You can view this information by clicking here.

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