Where Can I Find Free Online Archaeology Courses?

MIT and Dartmouth College are two accredited schools that offer free online archaeology courses. Class topics range from traits of specific civilizations to Neolithic cultures. Keep reading to find out what other topics are included in these noncredit courses. Schools offering Social Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Are you fascinated by ancient cultures? If so, you might be interested in the study of archaeology. Fortunately, several colleges and universities offer free online courses and materials that enable you to learn about basic, intermediate and advanced archaeology principles and areas of study. To access course materials, you'll likely need a PDF reader, and you might have to purchase a textbook to complete some of the optional readings. One class involves several lab exercises, so you may not be able to fully understand concepts that on-campus students were able to learn through hands-on practice.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology

You can access two archaeology classes on MIT's OpenCourseWare (OCW) website: The Human Past: Introduction to Archaeology and Research Seminar in Deep Sea Archaeology. You won't be able to communicate with instructors, but you can access course materials at any time and study at your own pace.

The Human Past: Introduction to Archaeology

This undergraduate, non-credit course features lecture notes, lab topics, assignments and study materials in Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

What Topics Are Included?

The course materials include 25 lectures on a variety of archaeology topics, including traits of specific civilizations, cultural behaviors and early technologies. The lab sessions discuss the techniques used to examine stone, bone materials and artifacts. You'll also explore an examination of early civilizations, agriculture and culture.

What Materials Will I Need?

You'll need a computer program capable of displaying PDF files, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader. The course also includes one required textbook, which is listed in the syllabus section.

What Assignments Will I Complete?

The three assignments for this course require you to write a paper on archaeology topics discussed in the included lectures and lab sessions. Subjects involve the origins of agriculture, a historical reconstruction and a discussion of the collapse of early civilizations. A list of assignment lecture readings are provided, but since this is a non-credit course, reading them is up to you.

Research Seminar in Deep Sea Archaeology

This graduate-level OpenCourseWare (OCW) class combines required and recommended textbook lists and related resources in the form of off-site links. A list of readings on 13 topics are also included.

What Topics Are Included?

This course emphasizes the techniques and methods used by scientists to study the archaeological evidence in the deep sea, such as underwater robotics, submarines and digital data. Information about oceanography and engineering technology used by archaeologists to excavate shipwrecks and survey the landscape is also included.

What Materials Will I Need?

One textbook is listed on the syllabus requirements section, and the scheduled readings include information about which chapters are assigned each week. The book material is not provided and can be purchased by the student, if so desired. The related resources links may require additional materials.

How Will These Materials Help Me?

Oceanography and engineering topics offer insight into a unique aspect of the study of archaeology, especially in relation to studying the Aegean Sea, western Sicily, and other deep-sea excavations. You could use the course materials as a study guide or as an example of alternative areas of archaeology you may want to explore professionally.

Dartmouth College

This free Web tutorial on Aegean Prehistoric Archaeology offers text-based archaeology lessons, images and bibliographies. Since it's not a full, for-credit course, how you use these materials is up to your discretion.

What Topics Are Included?

Course materials include 29 lessons on archaeology topics, such as Mycenaean pictorial art, shaft graves, Minoan religion and the Neolithic cultures of Thessaly. You can read about the history of archaeology, environmental connections, chronology and terminology.

What Materials Will I Need?

Materials are presented over a series of Web pages, so you will need an updated browser and an Internet connection. Access to the reference materials and textbooks might be helpful, but isn't required to utilize the tutorial.

How Will These Materials Help Me?

This Web tutorial covers a wide range of archaeological topics, which you could use as a study guide or reference if you are a student. You'll learn about different branches and periods of study, which may be helpful if you are exploring new avenues in education or professional options.

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:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado State University Global

    Colorado State University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado State University Global:

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  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

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  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master
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  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Ohio Christian University

    Ohio Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ohio Christian University:

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  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

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  • Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

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  • Penn Foster High School

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  • New England College

    New England College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at New England College:

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