Online Paleoanthropology

ASM 246 - Human Origins

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The course will take you on a fascinating journey through the scientific evidence for human evolution. Dr. Donald Johanson, the paleoanthropologist who found the famous skeleton “Lucy,” will guide you through an overview of the hominin fossil record as well as introduce you to evolutionary theory. Take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to dive deeper into the world of paleoanthropological field research from Dr. Johanson’s perspective.

Course prerequisites and requirements

To be successful in this course, we recommend English language fluency and computer literacy. We also encourage you to make sure your laptop or desktop computer meets the technical requirements.

Quick facts

Next start date:

Jan. 11, 2022

Jun. 7, 2022

  • Credits: 3
  • Length: 8 weeks
  • Cost: $25 + $400

What you’ll learn

  • Outline the nature of science and explain how scientific research is conducted.
  • Identify humans’ place in the natural world from taxonomic/phylogenetic perspectives.
  • Define the role of paleoanthropologists in human origins research.
  • Identify how paleoanthropologists use the scientific method to formulate hypotheses and strategically conduct research.
  • Articulate differences between scientific evidence for human evolution and non-scientific, non-testable, explanations for human origins.

What to expect in class

Video and Audio Lectures, readings, quizzes, midterm exam, final exam, interactive mastery exercises, discussion boards, introductions, and a course readiness course

Exams and grading


Quizzes (8)


Midterm Exam


Final Exam


Content Mastery (7)


This course appears on your transcript identically to how it appears on the transcript of an enrolled ASU student who has taken the course on one of ASU’s campuses.

This course satisfies 3 credit hours toward the Social-Behavioral Sciences (SB) General Studies requirement at Arizona State University. It is strongly encouraged that you consult with your institution of choice to determine how these credits will be applied to their degree requirements prior to transferring your credit.

Faculty and course staff

Dr. Donald C.

Dr. Donald C.


Founding Director, Institute of Human Origins Virginia M. Ullman Chair in Human Origins

Professor, School of Human Evolution and Social Change

Arizona State University

Why take ASU Universal Learner Courses

  1. Credit you receive is from a regionally accredited university
  2. Your credit is highly transferable
  3. You only pay the $400 course cost if you pass

Related degrees

Online BA Anthropology

Online BS Anthropology

Online BA Global Studies