Boston MA Masters in Archaeology Degrees | Archaeology Masters Programs

Students aspiring to a career as an anthropologist or archaeologist need at least a Masters in Archaeology degree to work in these domains. Since a Ph.D. may be needed for jobs that require leadership skills and advanced technical knowledge, earning an Archaeology Masters Degree may be supportive of future doctoral study and occupational versatility. On average, Masters in Archaeology program takes 2 - 5 years to complete, and includes either field or laboratory work, coursework and an original thesis project.

Archaeology Masters Degree Program Information

Masters in Bioarchaeology Graduate Programs Overview

In the U.S., Masters in Archaeology programs are traditionally housed within anthropology departments. Archaeology is the study of the human distant and recent past through investigation of material remains. Students in Archaeology Masters Programs receive an education and training in the recovery, analysis, and interpretation of the material remains of the human past. Bioarchaeology graduate programs include the application of scientific techniques, as well as the study of archaeological heritage.

FUN FACT: Archaeologists held about 7,700 jobs in 2014[i]

By depicting and constructing on a variety of areas in the humanities and social, physical, and biological sciences, anthropologists and archaeologists examine the ways of life, languages, archaeological remains, and physical characteristics of people in different parts of the world. They also examine the customs, values, and social patterns of various cultures.

Is a Masters Degree in Archaeology Right For You?

Enrolling in Archaeology Masters Programs may be a great fit for students who have the prerequisite knowledge, gained from undergraduate study in a related field or through extensive professional experience. Earning a Masters degree in Archaeology may further your understanding of artifact and architectural conservation, site preservation and project management through campus-based or online study.

FUN FACT: Archaeologists often specialize in a particular geographic area, period, or object of study, such as animal remains or underwater sites.[ii]

Typically, students applying to a Masters program in Archaeology must hold a BA, with sufficient course work in archaeology, anthropology, art history, classical studies and/or other related fields, and/or significant field and/or lab experience. Some archaeology graduate programs require demonstration of reading proficiency in one modern foreign language by the end of the second semester.

Choosing an Archaeology Masters Program: Online or On-campus?

GradSchools.com can help simplify your search for archaeology graduate schools and Masters in Archaeology Programs. Studying archaeology may mean you spend time doing heavy fieldwork, which may involve travel. This means that while there are distance-learning Masters programs in Archaeology, you would be advised to check whether they are completely online or have a campus component. In terms of finding a University or College, use the location search to yield listings according to the city, state or country you prefer. Some of these choices might include MSc Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology. Master of Arts in Applied Archaeology or Master of Arts in Anthropology.

Archaeology Masters Potential Curriculum

Students in Archaeology Masters degree programs might expect to learn the fundamentals of archaeological methods and theories are covered. Once this component is completed, students might then concentrate on their specific research interests and geographical specialization. Some of the topics that an Archaeology Masters degree may delve into might include:

  • Field methods in archaeology (excavation techniques)
  • Materials analysis (data collection and identification)
  • Conservation and preservation
  • Historical archaeology
  • Faunal analysis
  • Cultural resource management
  • Laws and ethics
  • Advanced archaeology
  • Advanced archeology field methods
  • Lab methods
  • Ethnographic research methods
  • Archaeological interpretation

Specialization Courses in Archaeology

Some Masters in Archaeology degree programs may allow students the freedom to customize their studies by choosing a specialization within archaeology. For example, a student interested in cultural resource management (CRM) may take courses in project planning and data management. A historical archaeologist might find coursework in recording architecture or site preservation more useful. Aspiring museum curators would focus on art conservation and restoration.

Potential Career Paths in Archaeology

Masters in Archaeology graduates might explore a variety of potential career paths. This will depend on their interests, education level and goals. Archaeologists work in research, cultural resource management firms, government and engineering services. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 4% employment growth is projected between 2014 and 2024. Fierce competition means that job prospects will be best for candidates with a Ph.D. in Archaeology, extensive anthropological or archaeological fieldwork experience, and experience in quantitative and qualitative research methods.[iii]

Some Archaeologists work as Archivists, Curators and Museum Workers. There will be similar competition for jobs; employment is projected to grow 7% from 2014 to 2024[iv]

Ready to Find Bioarchaeology Graduate Programs?

If uncovering, interpreting and preserving material human history fascinate you, earning a Masters in Archaeology may be a rewarding academic choice. Why not review your options on GradSchools.com today!


Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/anthropologists-and-archeologists.htm | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/anthropologists-and-archeologists.htm | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/anthropologists-and-archeologists.htm | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/curators-museum-technicians-and-conservators.htm

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