Which U.S. Colleges Specialize in Archeology?

If you want to spend your future excavating the past, a school with a solid archaeology program is part of your path to success. To tell which school is right for you, you'll have to do your research. Learn what archaeology students consider valuable in a program and some of the schools they really dig. Schools offering Social Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Archaeology Schools: Right Program vs. Highest Ranked

If your goal is to work at a Mesopotamian dig site, a program lead by top-ranked experts in Native American archaeology won't offer you the opportunities and studies you need. Knowing which culture you want to study before you begin your search will help you find a program that best suits your needs. In 1993, the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) compiled a report on schools that offered doctorates in archaeology and noted professionals' top concerns when considering a graduate program in archaeology (www.saa.org). Some of the top considerations were:

  • Student research opportunities
  • Student funding
  • Library quality and curriculum
  • Faculty ability to gain funding for research
  • Emphasis on theory and method

University of Michigan

The University of Michigan offers interdepartmental studies in classical art and archaeology. This program focuses on ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean art. To earn your Ph.D. in this program, you'll study both modern and ancient languages of the area. Michigan's department offers you opportunities to do field work in places like Galilee, Egypt and Rome. Some of the courses offered include:

  • Ancient Greek cities and sanctuaries
  • Post-pharaoh Egypt
  • Papyrology research
  • Roman law
  • Geology for archaeologists

University of Arizona

This program is located in the college of Social and Behavioral Sciences with a focus on the Roman Empire and Italy, Mediterranean pre-history and ancient Egypt. As part of the curriculum, you'll be required to master at least one ancient language directly related to your area of concentration. While Arizona doesn't have a direct line to Mediterranean fieldwork, they do offer local field school opportunities at a Hohokam center where you can gain experience in dig techniques and methodologies. Another benefit of this school is that you can follow the same program discipline beginning with your undergraduate studies and continuing through your Ph.D.

University of California - Berkeley

The University of California - Berkeley offers an Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology (AHMA) interdepartmental program. This program draws from resources in many departments, including anthropology, classics, rhetoric, law, art history and theology. There are no specific courses required to attain your doctorate at Berkeley. Instead, you'll work with an advisory committee to design a program with coursework that will best help you attain your professional and academic goals. As an AHMA student, you'll have the opportunity to do field excavation work in places like Sardis, Mycenae, Jordan and Egypt.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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