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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree in Archaeology

Majors Overview March 12, 2015

Get information about a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree program in Archaeology and its education requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree Programs in Archaeology

Students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program in archaeology are primarily taught about ways of searching for ancient human societies and identifying material artifacts from those findings. An equal number of history and science classes are required of students, who also learn about the essential features that help identify past cultures. Students are also expected to learn the research methods behind archaeological studies, the scientific methods used in archaeology, and the history of archaeological thought.

A particular concentration in the field is required to be selected by incoming students to some programs; these include New World archaeology and Mediterranean archaeology. When an intensive concentration is taken by students, it helps them attain a stronger grasp of one specific, small-scale human society. Learning at least one foreign language is mandatory for admission to some programs.

Education Requirements

Prospective archeologists must seek admission to an accredited four-year bachelor’s degree program. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. Before they are allowed to begin core coursework, incoming students are required to complete classes in social sciences, history, communication, mathematics, and science.

Coursework

The coursework related to a bachelor’s degree program in archaeology is primarily focused on the scientific methods and history of the archaeological process. Core coursework may include topic areas such as the following:

•Human origins
•Archaeological methods and research design
•Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
•Ancient art and archaeology
•Archaeological skills
•History of archaeological thought
•Prehistoric archaeology
•Historic archaeological sites
•Social and cultural anthropology
•Human osteology
•Archaeology of ritual and religion

Job and Wage Outlook

A higher-than-average job growth rate of 19% has been predicted for archaeologists and anthropologists over the 2010 – 2020 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, about 7,200 archaeologists and anthropologists gained employment in the country. In 2012, these professionals brought home an average annual wage of $57,420 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Those who complete a bachelor’s degree program in archaeology can seek continuing education through enrollment in both doctoral and master’s degree programs in the field. Students enrolled in either program can expect to gain advanced knowledge about a particular sub-field of anthropology or archaeology.

It is mandatory in some programs for incoming students to perform actual archaeological fieldwork through examination of historical digs or a search at locations believed to contain ancient artifacts of uncovered ancient civilizations. Those who complete advanced degree programs can seek employment in academia or research.

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