Offered every fall semester — maximum enrollment: 310 students (14 lab sections)

Anatomical knowledge is at the core of all medical practice, from nursing to physical therapy to surgery. This course is designed to provide students with a comprehension of essential human anatomy for general knowledge and clinical application. In the course, students explore the basic layout (or bauplan) of the human body, as well as the functions and relationships of the structures of the body. In the course, this is further tied to clinical applications and to disease (pathology).

Please note: this course includes a laboratory component and utilizes prosected human cadavers in addition to models.


Next offered in Spring 2023 (taught by Dr. Steven Lautzenheiser)

Evolutionary studies are essential to biological anthropology, and anthropological disciplines have used concepts derived from evolutionary theory to develop a variety of approaches to research questions. This lecture course provides advanced undergraduate students with a fundamental background in evolutionary biology, both from historical and modern theoretical perspectives. Whenever possible, examples from anthropology are used to illustrate ideas and processes. Concepts covered include the history of evolutionary theory, systematics, variation, forces of evolution, evolution in the fossil record, species & species concepts, pattern and process, and Evo-Devo.

Next offered in Fall 2022
This course qualifies as a Level A course in the Intercollegiate Graduate Statistics Program

This course is designed to introduce advanced students to the basic concepts in frequentist & Bayesian statistics and their application to anthropological questions. Topics covered include standard parametric statistical methods (e.g., linear models), their nonparametric correlates (e.g., rank statistics), and basic Bayesian approaches. The course emphasizes an understanding of what methods are available and when they are appropriately applied to data. Data sets for exploring these statistics are provided in the course for hands on learning.

This course teaches R for statistical analyses. Students wishing to take Statistics II must complete this course with at least a B or get special permission from Dr. Auerbach.

Next offered in Spring 2023

Humans have long sought to bring about ways to "improve" the traits in their populations (or across the species) through the control of reproduction. Few have had the reach, organization, and impact of the eugenics program introduced in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in North America and Europe. Based on a flawed application of biological thinking, and fueled by pre-existing cultural, racial, socioeconomic, and philosophical biases, the eugenic movement resulted in widespread social engineering, sterilization laws, & ethnic cleansing and genocide. The policies that created these outcomes were drawn up by biologists, psychologists, and anthropologists, as well as eugenicists and politicians. Effects of these efforts continue to impact society and eugenic practices continue to be exercised today. This course will focus on understanding the circumstances, individuals, and ideas that brought about eugenics and its implementation, its contributions to race science, as well as highlight the ways in which these continue to influence modern cultures. A central argument in the course is that eugenic ideals comprised a belief system that operated apart from biological realities in order to satisfy the desires of those who instigated and carried out its aims. Students seeking enrollment should have completed ANTH 590, ANTH 596, or have a background in fundamental evolutionary biology.

Next offered TBA

An understanding of biomechanical principles is fundamental in a wide range of studies, especially those involving skeletal anatomy, gross anatomy, and morphological variation. This course introduces graduate students to the developing field of biomechanical research. Starting with a basic understanding of mechanics and the application of these concepts to skeletal remains, students are expected to develop small projects with which to practice data acquisition and analytical techniques. Although research into kinematics and energetics are discussed, this course emphasizes the study of statics.

Students wishing to take Biomechanics should have completed Human Gross Anatomy or get special permission from Dr. Auerbach.

Next offered in Spring 2023
This course presents a critical understanding of the evolutionary processes that shape biological variation, and the effects of those processes on the cellular, organismal, population, and species levels. We make an intense study of basic population genetics, and branch into some quantitative evolutionary genetics. Focus is also placed on the processes associated with evolutionary developmental biology (“evo-devo”), species concepts, phylogenetics, and life histories.

Evolutionary Biology is intended for advanced graduate students. While the course does not have any listed prerequisites, students enrolling in the course should have a basic background in statistics (preferably Anthropological Statistics I and, ideally, Anthropological Statistics II), in biology, and in human evolution.

Next offered in Fall 2023
This course qualifies as a Level B course in the Intercollegiate Graduate Statistics Program

This is an advanced statistics course for doctoral students. Building on the basic analytical methods taught in Anthropological Statistics I, this course focuses on more complex and specialized research scenarios, including survival analyses, resampling statistics, and maximum likelihood analyses. Additional Bayesian approaches will also be introduced in this course. As in Statistics I, this course underscores the appropriate application of these methods to data analysis. Students are encouraged to bring their data sets to this course, in addition to using the data provided for learning techniques. Students enrolled in this course should be familiar with the R programming environment.

Offered in spring semesters of even-numbered years

Human Gross Anatomy provides advanced graduate students with in-depth anatomical training. Using cadaver-based dissection, students experience the best method by which to learn about the structures of the human body, their integration, and, most importantly, variation among humans. This is an intensive course, requiring hours of study both in the lab and from texts. Special emphasis is placed on functional anatomy of the body, though an understanding of development (embryology) and pathology (clinical knowledge) is also stressed. This course is associated with the Special Topics in Anatomy Lecture Series.

Students seeking to enroll in ATH 695 should contact Dr. Auerbach at least one semester before the course, as enrollment in the course is limited and preference is given to senior doctoral students.

Site design by B.M. Auerbach. Last updated: July 2022