Archaeology seeks to understand and explain ancient and recent past human societies through the study of their material remains. Focusing on the reconstruction of those societies through the interpretation of material culture, archaeology spans both the prehistoric and the historic periods. A minor is also offered. 

Students who major in archaeology often pursue careers as curators, conservationists, historians and archivists, and in higher education.

What You'll Study

  • As an archaeology major, you'll design your own curriculum according to your specific area of concentration. Because there are no prerequisites for entry to archaeology courses, it is even possible for you to complete requirements in reverse order.
  • While certain archaeology courses originate within the program, you'll find others cross-listed in the departments of Anthropology, Art and Art History, Classical Civilization, American Studies and History, as well as in the Medieval Studies Program.

  • Archaeological fieldwork will allow you to explore the history and material culture of a region in greater depth, and in some cases even to conduct research on primary materials from a site which can then serve as the basis for the required senior honors thesis or senior essay or capstone project.
  • Majors in archaeology are encouraged to spend a semester abroad, usually in the junior year. Many programs provide opportunities to tour archaeological and historical sites in addition to coursework.

Minor Requirements

  • The archaeology minor requires a minimum of six credits in archaeology, including one designated gateway course, one designated Thinking through Archaeology course and one course in each of four areas (anthropology, classical civilization, art history, and methods and theory).