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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Archaeology

Majors Overview January 26, 2015

Receive information about bachelor’s degree programs in archaeology and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor Degree Program in Archaeology

Students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program in archaeology are introduced to past cultures and societies via a combination of humanities, social science, and the natural sciences, including geology, among others.

Ways of relating the modern world to their studies about the past are also taught to students. Those that graduate from a bachelor’s degree program in archaeology can seek numerous jobs, including providing assistance with archaeological excavations and research projects, consulting assignments, employment in museums, and as teachers of archaeology.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma, in addition to submitting ACT or SAT scores, a written essay, and letters of recommendation. The SAT Reasoning Test is the only criterion for admission to some programs, while others require the subject exams. Schools also accord importance to strong grades and upper-level class standing, especially in high school classes in science and history.

Coursework

Coursework includes a broad range of subject areas and a predominance of hands-on work. Extended field projects and field trips augment classroom instruction; field trips lasting between a month and six weeks can cover excavation sites worldwide. Schools also offer study-abroad programs and independent study projects. Classroom instruction revolves around topic areas such as the following:

•Prehistory
•Languages
•Colonialism
•Ancient civilizations
•Archaeology and religion
•Geology
•Botanical analysis
•Global heritage
•Greek art
•Ancient wars

Career Choices

Those that complete a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Archaeology can seek careers other than that of an archaeologist, such as in law, government, or K–12 education.

For instance, promoters of a planned construction project may want to prevent damage to historical sites by consulting an archaeologist. These professionals may seek these popular career options:

•Dig manager
•Principal investigator
•Project archaeologist
•Public archaeologist
•Field supervisor
•Crew chief
•Field technician
•Laboratory supervisor
•Computer specialist in archaeology
•Academic archaeologist

Those that complete a bachelor’s degree program in archaeology may also seek a job as a museum technician.

Job and Wage Outlook

A slower-than-average job growth rate of 7% has been predicted for museum technicians and conservators over the 2010 – 2020 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, these professionals brought home an average annual wage of $44,330 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Those that complete a bachelor’s degree program may opt for continuing education by enrolling in a master’s degree program or Ph.D. in Archaeology, which could lead to a career in research or academia. Additionally, students could build on their skills and knowledge by earning an undergraduate degree in history, sociology, or anthropology.

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