Top Archaeology Graduate Schools

Read about three top-ranked schools with graduate archaeology programs, and find out what degrees each school offers in this field. Review some important considerations for selecting a school with a strong graduate program in archaeology. Schools offering Social Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Should I Look for in a Top Archaeology Graduate School?

Because archaeology is classically considered a sub-discipline of anthropology, you'll want to select a top anthropology department with at least two active archaeologists on staff. At least one faculty member that specializes in your area of interest is ideal. Field and laboratory work is crucial in this discipline, so look for active field projects, artifact collections and the proper laboratory equipment for analyzing artifacts. You might be encouraged to pursue a Ph.D., even though master's degrees are sometimes available, because most career opportunities require a doctorate. Investigate the placement records of the schools you're considering.

What Are Three Top Graduate Schools for Archaeology?

Boston University (BU) in Boston, MA

Boston University's archaeology department offers three master's degrees and a doctoral program. Sample fieldwork locations includes Crete, Syria, Central Lydia, Guatemala and Mersa/Wadi Gawasis in Egypt. You'll have resources like the Archaeology Slide Library; BU's Gabel Museum of Archaeology; the International Center for East Asian Archaeology and Cultural History; and microstratigraphy, zooarchaeology and paleoethnobotany labs. BU has an East Asian Archaeology Library and the Stone Science Library - housing mostly GIS and archaeology materials. The BU Center for Remote Sensing is the only such facility in the world that primarily supports archaeological work.

The Journal of Field Archaeology editor is a faculty member of the BU archaeology department. The Archaeological Institute of America - the major professional association for this field - is headquartered at BU; the institute offers a quarterly American Journal of Archaeology. Graduate archaeology degrees offered at BU include:

  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Archaeology
  • M.A. in Heritage Management
  • M.A. in Geoarchaeology
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Archaeology

Indiana University in Bloomington, IN

Indiana University's department research is underway on four continents, with archaeological emphasis on the Americas and particular strength in Native American cultures.

You'll access the Mathers Museum of World Cultures and research centers like the Center for Archaeology in the Public Interest (CAPI), the Stone Age Institute and the Glenn Black Laboratory of Archaeology Center for Research into the Anthropological Foundations of Technology. Some lab facilities include ancient DNA, osteology and paleopathology, clay and ceramics, zooarchaeology and the archaeology of the eastern U.S. woodlands. Graduate archaeology degrees at Indiana University include:

  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Anthropology (Archaeology Major)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Anthropology (Archaeology Major)
  • Ph.D. in Archaeology and Social Context

University of Washington in Seattle, WA

The University of Washington in Seattle (UW)'s anthropology department features coursework in tandem with archaeology faculty members. The archaeology program has relationships with UW's Quaternary Science Center, an environmental anthropology program, and the Burke Museum, which houses one million archaeological and natural history artifacts.

Field projects or schools are underway in the Banda Islands, Southeast Asia, the Philippines, the Australian desert and Laos. UW's graduate program in archaeology leads to the following degree:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Anthropology

Ten More Archaeology Graduate Schools

College/University Institution Type LocationEstimated Graduate In-State Tuition*
University of Chicago Private, not-for-profit, 4 year or above Chicago, IL$59,000
University of Missouri-ColumbiaPublic, 4 year or aboveColumbia, MO$10,000
The University of Alabama Public, 4 year or above Tuscaloosa, AL$11,000
University of California-Berkeley Public, 4 year or above Berkeley, CA$14,000
Harvard University Private, 4 year or above Cambridge, MA$47,000
University of Iowa Public, 4 year or above Iowa City, IA$12,000
University of Texas-Austin Public, 4 year or above Austin, TX$12,000
Arizona State University-Tempe Public, 4 year or above Tempe, AZ$12,000
University of Wisconsin-Madison Public, 4 year or above Madison, WI$12,000
University of California-Los AngelesPublic, 4 year or above Los Angeles, CA$13,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

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