Archaeologists explore past civilizations by finding and studying historical artifacts, skeletal remains and building ruins. They work outdoors in the field, sometimes under rigorous and/or remote conditions, as well as in labs or offices to consolidate and analyze their findings.
In addition to coursework, students in an archaeology bachelor's degree program complete independent projects. Graduates are qualified for job duties that include assisting with research projects and archaeological digs, working in museums, serving as consultants and teaching archaeology. Applicants to these programs must have a high school diploma or GED and submit letters or recommendation, an essay and SAT or ACT scores.
Bachelor's Degree in Archaeology
Students in a 4-year Bachelor of Science program in archaeology study a wide variety of subjects and can expect a lot of hands-on work. Classroom instruction is combined with field trips and projects that can take place at dig sites around the world. These projects are usually one month to six weeks long. Independent study projects and study-abroad programs are also available. Classroom-based course topics include the following:
- Botanical analysis
- Archaeology and religion
- Global heritage and languages
- Greek art
- Ancient wars and civilizations
Popular Career Options
Graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Archaeology aren't limited to jobs as archaeologists. Other fields that have opportunities for archaeology graduates include K-12 education, law and government; for example, an archaeologist may be asked to consult on a planned construction project to ensure that no historical sites are damaged. Some of the most popular careers in the field include:
- Field technician and supervisor
- Crew chief or dig manager
- Academic, public or project archaeologist
- Principal investigator
- Computer specialist in archaeology
- Laboratory supervisor
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Earning a bachelor's degree in archaeology can lead to work as an archivist, curator or museum worker. The number of employed archivists, curators and museum workers is projected to increase 7% between 2014 and 2024, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which was about as fast as average when compared to other jobs. These professionals earned a median of $46,710 per year as of 2015, according to the BLS.
Students often go on to perform graduate work and obtain a master's degree or Ph.D. in Archaeology to prepare for a career in higher education or field research. Students may also wish to pursue an additional undergraduate degree in anthropology, sociology or history to enhance their knowledge and skills.
Bachelor's degree programs in archaeology educate students through in-class coursework in such topics as botanical analysis and geology as well as field experiences that may take place in international locations. Graduates are prepared for a variety of careers assisting archaeologists at dig sites or fulfilling educational and consulting roles.