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Phone: (920) 424-4406

Jordan Karsten, Associate Professor

Forensic Investigation Minor

This minor brings together some new and existing Anthropology, Criminal Justice, and Geology courses to create a program designed to prepared students for careers in medicolegal death investigation, law enforcement, forensic anthropology, forensic pathology, and other forensic sciences. Students that complete the minor will learn how to appropriately process a crime scene, process a death scene using the methods of forensic anthropology to ensure the accurate recovery of human remains, work in medicolegal death investigation, employ the methods of forensic anthropology, geology, and odontology, describe criminal law in Wisconsin, establish the chain-of-custody, and work with legal professionals to present information via courtroom testimony.  

What skills can I obtain in the Forensic Investigation minor?

Understand the legal requirements for evidence to be acceptable in the court of law.

Describe the types of information forensic anthropologists can provide law enforcement from human skeletal remains.

Collect appropriate photographic and videographic documentation from forensically significant scenes and objects.

Understand how scenes form and the taphonomic processes that impact scenes

Recognize forensically significant skeletal remains relative to those of non-human animals and archaeological osteological elements.

Describe the forensically appropriate way to recover skeletal remains from death investigations.

Understand how to document and maintain the chain of custody

How to process crime scenes and collect evidence

How to employ the methods of forensic odontology


The minor includes 21 total credits. These are divided between 15 credits of required courses and six credits of electives. The required courses include the following:

ANTHRO/CJ 199: Introduction to Forensic Investigation (3 credits)

CJ 270: Introduction to Criminal Law (3 credits)

CJ 319: Criminal Courts: Proof of Guilt (3 credits)

ANTHRO/CJ 377: Forensic Anthropology (3 credits)

ANTHRO/CJ 365: Crime Scene Documentation and Evidence Collection (3 credits)

The six credits of elective courses are chosen from the following list:

ANTHRO/CJ 357: Forensic Odontology

ANTHRO/CJ 374: Human Osteology

ANTHRO/CJ 361: Forensic Burial Recovery

Geology 317: Forensic Geology

What can I do with a Forensic Investigation Minor? 

News and stories of Forensic Investigation around UWO.

UWO anthropologist assists authorities in identifying human remains

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UW-Oshkosh professor helps identify dead body found in 2022, police release more info

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Winnebago Co. authorities: Man found dead in 2015 finally identified

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UWO students dig into 1983 disappearance

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