Online Archaeology Schools and Courses

Archaeologists investigate human behavior through discovery and analysis of such artifacts and other material remains of cultures. Archaeology degrees aren't available online in the U.S., so learn about class options. Schools offering Social Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Are There Online Schools Offering a Degree in Archaeology?

Undergraduate archaeology programs in the U.S. are often offered as concentrations for anthropology majors. Online undergraduate and graduate programs in archaeology are extremely rare and aren't typically offered in the U.S. You may complete a fully online bachelor's degree in general anthropology with classes in archaeology. Web course offerings in archaeology are usually mainly theoretical and typically do not include any sort of hands-on experience handling or excavating artifacts.

What Online Courses Are Available?

Introductory coursework in archaeology is available via anthropology distance education programs. Since archaeology is interdisciplinary in nature, you might find relevant Web courses in related programs such as geography or art history. For example, courses in ancient Egyptian and medieval art are available online. Some anthropology Web courses cover:

  • Italian archaeology
  • Historical development of modern archaeology
  • Archaeology and sustainability
  • Survey of ancient civilizations
  • Pre-urban society and domestication
  • Forensic anthropology
  • Physical anthropology

If you're a practicing archaeologist, you may elect to enroll in online graduate and professional development courses that introduce you to new geospatial technologies currently being used in the field for locating and mapping archaeological sites. Such courses include:

  • Geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Geospatial databases and analysis
  • Remote sensing with light detection and ranging (LIDAR) technology
  • Global positioning systems (GPS) and global navigation satellite systems (GNSS)

Will I Still Need Hands-On Training?

The National Parks Service's website lists professional standards for archaeologists and historians as defined by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior ( These requirements stipulate that professional archaeologists employed by federal, state and tribal agencies need to have earned a minimum of a master's degree specializing in archaeology. Archaeology master's degrees usually include some sort of hands-on experience handling, searching for or recovering real archaeological artifacts. In addition to a graduate degree, the Secretary of the Interior's requirements for professional archaeologists include a minimum of one year of research or administrative experience in the field and at least four months of fieldwork in North American archaeology.

This fieldwork requirement can be met through participation in a field school or other excavation experience. You can find out how to participate in excavations or research projects by consulting the Archaeological Fieldwork Opportunities Bulletin, which is accessible online and updated annually by the Archaeological Institute of America (

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

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