The IUP Applied Archaeology MA program is the first academic program in the United States recognized by the American Cultural Resources Association.

The American Cultural Resource Association recently began recognizing academic programs that prepare students for success in Cultural Resource Management. There are currently only two recognized programs, and IUP was placed first on the list. All recognized programs are evaluated by ACRA professionals to determine how well the program prepares students for a career in CRM.

ACRA is a national network of CRM professionals that advocates for the cultural resource management industry. ACRA and the CRM industry in general are increasingly concerned about the lack of properly trained archaeologists. By some estimates, the US will need 5,650 new archaeologists with MA degrees by 2031 to meet the growing demand, but universities are only on track to educate 3,250 archaeologists by then. Many of these new archaeologists will not have the necessary skills to succeed in cultural resource management. IUP is unique in its focus on preparing students for CRM careers. ACRA created the Recognized Universities program to direct students to programs, like IUP’s, that prepare students for these careers.  

When asked about ACRA starting the list of Recognized Universities with the Applied Archaeology MA program, Anthropology Chairperson Ben Ford said, "We are honored that ACRA recognized the quality of the IUP program. We have been training students for careers in cultural resource management for more than a decade and have over 100 graduates working in all sectors of the industry. As the fastest growing field in archaeology, cultural resource augment is a great career choice for archaeologists, and IUP is a great school to launch that career."

IUP students engaged in multiple forms of archaeology