M.A. in Applied Archaeology

  • The Department of Anthropology offers a graduate program leading to a degree of Master of Arts in Applied Archaeology. The MA program in applied archaeology is designed to meet a need for increased training of professional archaeologists employed in the fields of historic preservation, cultural resource management, and heritage planning and tourism.

    The program is designed to prepare students to meet the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s standards for professional archaeologists upon graduation (an option for individuals already employed in the field of cultural resource management) or to meet all the requirements except for a full year of experience as a project supervisor (an option for students who enter the program immediately after graduation with a BA degree). Students are trained in the current relevant subjects for professional archaeologists including preservation law, ethics, business, and archaeology, have the writing skills to prepare technical reports as well as publications for the general public, and have specialized training in technical skills such as human osteology, faunal analysis, and geophysical surveys, which are critical to professionals in this field.

    Department resources include faculty members who are experienced teachers and active researchers in different aspects of cultural resource management and applied archaeology. They have held leadership positions in state and national professional organizations. Archaeological Services, an externally funded research center associated with the Anthropology Department, may provide funding and professional experience for students prior to graduation.

    Admission Criteria

    Students who enter the program usually hold a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, history, geography, or a related field. Depending on their undergraduate coursework, students may be required to take courses as a condition of their admission to prepare for the program, especially courses in archaeological theory and artifact analysis and an archaeological field school. Applicants must meet all the requirements of the School of Graduate Studies and Research and must take the General Test of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) before admission.

    Program Requirements

    The degree program requires a minimum of 36 semester hours of credit including the thesis credits. The program includes five core courses: ANTH 610, ANTH 612, ANTH 616, ANTH 618, and ANTH 714 in addition to 15 semester hours of electives, an optional internship, and required thesis. At least 9 credits of electives must be from courses with Anthropology prefixes; the remaining credits may be from related departments. Students may arrange an internship as part of their degree for up to three credits. All students will be required to complete a thesis, which may be in the form of a cultural resource management report or policy study of a cultural resource issue. The internship may be used as preparation for the thesis. Six credits of the electives may be taken from the Geography Department’s Geographic Information System (GIS) courses. Students may elect to take an additional four courses which are not part of the Applied Archaeology degree in order to receive a certificate in Geographic Information Science and Geospatial Techniques from the Geography Department. The Applied Archaeology program advisor will work with students to arrange their schedules to meet the requirements of the GIS certificate program expeditiously; however, there is no guarantee that both programs can be completed within two academic years.

    I Core Program (15 cr.)

    ANTH 610 Archaeological Laws and Ethics 3 cr.
    ANTH 612 Seminar in Cultural Resource Management I: Method and Theory 3 cr.
    ANTH 616 Pre-Columbian North American Archaeology 3 cr.
    ANTH 618 Historical Archaeology 3 cr.
    ANTH 714 Seminar in Cultural Resource Management II: Analysis and Interpretation 3 cr.

    II. Electives (15 cr.)

    (At least 9 credits must have ANTH prefix; at least one of the ANTH courses should be a non-archaeology elective)

    ACCT 502 Foundations of Financial Accounting 3 cr.
    ACCT 607 Management Accounting 3 cr.
    ANTH 514 Native Americans 3 cr.
    ANTH 556 Ethnographic Research Methods 3 cr.
    ANTH 560 Ethnographic Field School 6 cr.
    ANTH 581 Special Topics 3 cr.
    ANTH 584 Specialized Methods in Archaeology 3 cr.
    ANTH 625 Public Archaeology 3 cr.
    ANTH 694 Anthropology Seminar 3 cr.
    ANTH 699 Independent Study 3 cr.
    ANTH 720 Issues in Historic Preservation 3 cr.
    ANTH 730 Archaeology of Pennsylvania 3 cr.
    ANTH 740 Advanced Archaeological Field Methods 3-6 cr.
    ANTH 745 Seminar in Archaeological Interpretation 3 cr.
    GEOG 516 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems 3 cr.
    GEOG 517 Technical Issues in GIS 3 cr.
    GEOG 625 Environmental Planning 3 cr.
    HIST 605 Introduction to Public History 3 cr.
    HIST 606 Topics in Public History 3 cr.
    HIST 614 Research Methods 3 cr.

    Other elective courses may be approved by the faculty on an individual basis.

    III. Internship and Thesis (6 cr.)

    ANTH 698 Internship 3 cr.

    Students may elect to take a faculty-supervised internship either on or off campus with organizations utilizing archaeological skills in nonacademic settings. Off-campus internships may include cultural resource management companies, government agencies, private, nonprofit organizations, tribal governments, and museums. Students who do not elect to take an internship will be required to take 6 thesis credits.

    ANTH 795 Thesis 3-6 cr.

    All students will be required to write a thesis either in the form of a cultural resource management project report or a policy paper on a cultural resource issue.