Archaeology Colleges and Universities in the U.S.

Depending on the degree-level and specialization, an archaeology degree program can prepare a student to become a museum curator, preservation specialist, laboratory technician or researcher. Programs vary by specializations, fieldwork and laboratory experiences offered.

How to Choose an Archaeology Program

Four-year colleges and universities commonly have archaeology programs.

Important considerations:

  • Consider education level and career aspirations when selecting a bachelor's, master's or doctoral program.
  • Look for curriculum that has fieldwork and laboratory training alongside traditional classroom learning.
  • Some schools operate archaeology dig sites for a chance at hands-on experience.
  • Programs may have specializations or else provide a broad overview of different areas under archaeology; students should tailor their search to find what most interests them.

Archaeology Program Overviews

Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology

Generally, an archaeology bachelor's degree program prepares students to work in a lab or continue on to a graduate program. Most involve fieldwork and lab components, as well as a research project. Coursework covers:

  • Ancient civilizations
  • Foreign languages
  • Anthropological archaeology

Master of Arts in Archaeology

Archaeology master's degree programs typically allow deeper specialization. Available concentrations may include African prehistoric archaeology, old world archaeology or new world historical archaeology. Most programs include comprehensive exams and require a thesis or completion of a master's project. Graduates may be prepared for careers in museum curation or historic preservation. Courses might include:

  • Politics and archaeology
  • Biblical archaeology
  • Greek archaeology
  • Zooarchaeology

Doctor of Philosophy in Archaeology

Doctoral programs in archaeology train students to become researchers, educators or museum curators. Students complete courses, fieldwork and laboratory work in their specialties, and receive additional training in quantitative methods, biology and physical science. Students must pass qualifying exams and complete a dissertation. These programs take 4-6 years to complete. Coursework comprises:

  • Archaeological theory
  • Research methods in archaeology
  • Ancient urbanism

10 Schools with Archaeology Programs

College/University Institution Type
Pennsylvania State University 4-year, Public
University of Texas 4-year, Public
University of Missouri 4-year, Public
Brigham Young University 4-year, Private
New York University 4-year, Private
University of California - San Diego 4-year, Public
University of Southern California 4-year, Public
University of Akron 4-year, Public
University of North Carolina 4-year, Public
Boston University 4-year, Public

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