Student pipetting in lab

We are committed to a holistic application review process in which all aspects of a student’s application materials are given careful consideration as an indicator that the applicant possesses the skills and experiences necessary for conducting research and has the academic qualifications needed for successful degree completion.

Applications are due by March 1 for consideration for early admission. Any later submissions will be considered for rolling admission until the entering class is full.

All applicants for admission are required to have a baccalaureate degree in anthropology or archaeology from an accredited university. Preference is given to students with a concentration in biological or physical anthropology. Students with a baccalaureate degree in biology or chemistry and a minor in anthropology or archaeology will also be considered for admission.

Applicants are also encouraged to complete courses in:

  • Anatomy
  • Osteology
  • Biological Anthropology
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Statistics
  • Experimental Design

Minimum required GPA for admission is a 3.50 though applications with lower GPAs will be reviewed.

Our students are engaged in coursework, field exercises and research in various facets of anthropology, anatomy and osteology. Students in the program join us from many parts of the United States and Canada and have impressive undergraduate records. Many joining the program come with experience in archaeological field experience and have completed internships with medical examiners, law enforcement and forensic anthropologists.

MS in Forensic Anthropology Admissions Process

All applicants are required to submit the following:

  1. Unofficial English language transcripts (unofficial evaluations for international transcripts and transcripts not in English) must be uploaded into your application. Official transcripts or official evaluations are only required upon matriculation.
    • BU Graduate Medical Sciences | 72 E. Concord Street, Room L-317 | Boston, MA 02118
      Attn: Teresa Garrison
  2. A minimum of three letters of recommendation from faculty members in your proposed field
  3. A Personal Statement: Please describe what you intend to accomplish as a graduate student in the forensic anthropology program and plans for your thesis research. Relatedly, which of the forensic anthropology faculty you would you like to work with and why?  In addition, please describe your academic accomplishments to date and your future education and/or career goals.  Specifically, what coursework, research opportunities, fieldwork and/or other activities did you complete during your undergraduate studies that will benefit you in this program and your future plans?  In your statement, please do not describe your lifelong dream of being an anthropologist or how you have been influenced by popular media about pursuing a career in anthropology.  We want to hear about your experiences, research ideas, plans as a graduate student while at Boston University, and your long-term goals.  Therefore, you should include some discussion about specific coursework in our program and how this will help you with your research and future plans.  When writing your statement, please highlight how you, your experiences, and professional goals will contribute to the field of forensic anthropology and the program.
  4. Writing Sample: For submitted examples of academic writing, please avoid including papers with only a single reference (such as book reports) or with only a few references, especially those that rely heavily upon web pages. Writing samples that use peer-reviewed academic papers downloaded from internet sources are entirely acceptable.
  5. Thesis Topic: Students are strongly encouraged to submit a proposed thesis topic with their applications. Students are required to complete an acceptable thesis proposal by the end of their 1st semester in the program.

International Students

International students are considered for admission to the MS in Forensic Anthropology. In addition to the application material listed above, international students must also submit:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for applicants whose native language is not English
  • International Student Data Form for international applicants

International applicants must complete all information in the International Student Data Form section of the online application (required for non-United States citizen). As a requirement of the U.S. Government, all international applicants must submit documentation of all sources of financial support for a minimum of one year. A Financial Sponsorship Certification for International Students should also be submitted to the Division Office. See more.

Financial Aid

Boston University participates in the Federal Direct Stafford/Ford Program. Graduate students receive their Direct loans through this program which has the same loan limits, interest rates and fees as the Federal Stafford Loan Program.

Read about current tuition rates.

Contact the Graduate Medical Sciences for more specific information regarding admissions and applications.

Scholarships and Teaching Assistant Positions

A limited number of Work Study and Peer Tutor positions  are available for students. Work study opportunities include maintain the program’s social media platforms, communicating prospective students and responding to inquires from junior and senior high students. Peer tutor opportunities are available in Human Anatomy and Osteology, Crime Scene Investigation and several Forensic Anthropology courses.

The Boston University Women’s Guild scholarships awards scholarships to women enrolled in graduate programs at Boston University. For more information please visit the Boston University Women’s Guild website.

Travel awards are available to students traveling to other Universities, Institutions or Museum to conduct their thesis research project. Travel awards will be granted based on the merit of the thesis proposal and will be granted by the Graduate Student Committee.

Apply Now

Visit our online application to begin the application process. For more specific information regarding admissions and applications, please visit the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences website.