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Academic Qualifications to Be An Archaeologist

By: Grahame Johnston - Updated: 16 Feb 2018 | comments*Discuss
Archaeology Academic Qualifications

Academic institutions are broadly divided into three groupings.

  1. Government operated universities offering graduate programmes.
  2. Private universities offering graduate programmes
  3. Community Training Centres offering undergraduate programmes leading to degrees.
Professional in archaeology work in all of the above institutions and in schools museums, government departments, and as private consultants for independent companies or as freelance operators.

Inter-Disciplinary Science

Generally speaking, professional archaeologists will teach, both applied archaeology and other subjects; conduct field excavations on site in their home country or abroad; analyse artefacts, collate and classify them; and write and publish the results of their own research investigations whether individual or in association with others.

What You Need To Be A Field Archaeologist

The minimum academic qualification to work in archaeology as an on-site, field archaeologist is a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) or a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. Students will need to major in either archaeology or anthropology and have already participated in at least one season of archaeological excavation work on-site. The digging experience will most likely have been accomplished during the undergraduate studies as a volunteer placement, usually at a site hosted by the university.

The same archaeology or anthropology degree is necessary for employment as a basic technician in an archaeology laboratory.

How To Become A Field Supervisor

Although an academic qualification will be sufficient to permit paid work as a member of an archaeological field crew it is not a satisfactory academic qualification to allow the upper move into archaeology supervision on the excavation site. Supervisory roles nearly always require a graduate degree and supervisory positions demand either a Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Science (M.Sc.) or a Ph.D. in archaeology or anthropology.

An M.A. or M.Sc. usually takes one to two years of further study beyond the B.A. or B.Sc. degree. Some institutions will require a thesis while others offer a non-thesis degree programme. The graduate degree is sufficient to direct field staff and gain many government positions but is not enough to become the site director.

A Doctoral Degree In Archaeology

A Ph.D. is a prerequisite academic qualification for archaeology teaching positions at universities although many community training centres will employ M.A. and M.Sc. graduates to teach their undergraduate certificate and diploma courses. Most museums of any national importance will prefer academic qualifications at a master's level for employees and a doctoral degree for a museum director.

The direction of archaeological field projects by excavation directors is limited to those holding a doctoral degree.

Variety of Specialisation In Archaeology

The education, training, and specialisation requirements for different types of archaeology work vary from position to position. University anthropology departments will employ archaeologists with appropriate academic qualifications as one of the four sub-discipline sectors within their department. Consequently, there are few independent archaeology departments and more commonly archaeology degree graduates will work alongside experts of other fields of study.

For the student going for an archaeology degree who desires to specialise in ancient or classical civilizations the specific undergraduate major is not important. However, as the languages of ancient Greek and Latin are commonplace in understanding these cultural times at least an elementary grasp of the written language is essential.

Archaeologists who wish to be members of the Society of Professional Archaeologists will need at least an academic qualification of a masters degree with an original research thesis and no less than one year of laboratory or archaeology field experience.

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I am a Sophomore in high school and i am doing a job profile i want to be a field Archaeologist.
Crawdad - 16-Feb-18 @ 2:38 PM
I am a commerce graduate .Am i eligible for Archaeology? Thankyou
Ruchi - 9-Feb-18 @ 5:11 PM
Sir/madam... I am studying degree in mstcs stream (b.sc) . I was passionate to work as an archeologist.. So i wish to know what to do to become a archeologist
chaithu - 13-Jan-18 @ 8:37 AM
Sir, I completed my bachelor of technology from mechanical engineering stream. But now I want to make scope in archeology. So please suggest me that what can I do after B.tech in archeology field ?
Amit - 8-Jan-18 @ 8:21 AM
Sir; I currently hold a BA of Science (Recreation Therapy) as well as an AA in Liberal Arts. Stones and minerals have been my passion since my youth. How can I use what I have and/or add to my acquirements to become a part of the archeological professional?
Madame Phoenix - 14-Dec-17 @ 3:11 AM
Sir im Studying BSC CBZ i want to became an Archeologist so on basis of 2nd puc PCMB and i wish to became archeologist please suggest me
Acchhu - 19-Nov-17 @ 2:19 PM
Sir how do we work in a foreign country as archaeologists exmaple..,USA
Pooja - 22-Oct-17 @ 1:49 PM
Sir I have completed BSC in geology.Is Itpossible for me to complete msc archaeology without completing BSC in that stream
riju - 1-Oct-17 @ 3:04 AM
Sir I m the student of commerce stream. Can I do the archeology and beacome archaeologist or no
Ajju - 29-Sep-17 @ 5:00 AM
Sir, I am a 10th grade student and I have a desire to make archaeology my aim and career. My strong subjects are english and history but I lack in mathematics. Will it be okay to continue studying archaeology after 12 without mathematics and science?
Aaisna - 9-Sep-17 @ 9:21 PM
Sir,I am a student of political science.can I become an archeologist?
Murad - 30-Aug-17 @ 9:02 PM
Sir i completed my bachelor degree with science.now how can i study archeology
Kavya - 26-Aug-17 @ 2:43 PM
Banuu - Your Question:
Sir I am pursuing 3rd btech in electrical nd electronics engineering and I have interested in archeology.sir is there any scope for me to become an archaeologist after completion of Btech??? sir would you please guide me ????

Our Response:
You need to contact your chosen place of study to find out. The UCAS website is useful for this.
ArchaeologyExpert - 10-Aug-17 @ 2:00 PM
Ariana - Your Question:
I'm doing A level now. So what course I should take if I want to be an archeologist?

Our Response:
Please see the response to @mini below.
ArchaeologyExpert - 10-Aug-17 @ 11:50 AM
Sir I am pursuing 3rd btech in electrical nd electronics engineering and I have interested in archeology.....sir is there any scope for me to become an archaeologist after completion of Btech???..... sir would you please guide me ????
Banuu - 9-Aug-17 @ 10:35 PM
I'm doing A level now. So what course I should take if I want to be an archeologist?
Ariana - 9-Aug-17 @ 1:42 PM
mini - Your Question:
I am a 10grade student and want to be an archaeologist. What specific subjects in arts should I take in my 11,12,degree??

Our Response:
Most degree course insititutions (according to the UCAS website) simply ask for 3 A levels. Archaeology is a broad subject requiring aspects of research, critical analysis, science and anthropology - software/technology is also used, so a combination of an essay based subject such as history or english together with another two subjects like maths/ICT and science at A level would work well.
ArchaeologyExpert - 2-Aug-17 @ 11:45 AM
I am a 10grade student and want to be an archaeologist. What specific subjects in arts should i take in my 11,12,degree??
mini - 30-Jul-17 @ 7:18 AM
I am in class 11 now, what should I do after class12 in order to become a marine archaeologist.
raenden - 9-Jul-17 @ 1:12 AM
Sir, i am a science student of class 11 and i want to become an archaeologist. What should i do after 12rh standard.
Payel - 16-Jun-17 @ 2:17 PM
i have just completed my 12th and will be pursuing either civil or ex engg, as i aspire to become an archaeologist what should i opt for?
anika - 9-Jun-17 @ 8:59 AM
sir i am a non medical student in class 12. i am become a scientist but my interest in archeology. i become a Archaeologist in the age of 30 what classification it need. in this way my both dream is complete
niku - 6-Jun-17 @ 2:20 PM
I have taken CEC in intermediate for becoming an archaeology
Chintu - 12-May-17 @ 5:30 PM
Sir I am persuing my bachelor's degree in medical... And i am interested in archeology.. so sir is there any chance of scope to be an archaeologist after my medical degree??I mean after taking my bachelor's degree. Would you please guide me??
Sakshi - 11-May-17 @ 6:03 PM
Sir I have taken economics&political science as my combinations in degree now can I eligible to archeology
Rangarao - 4-May-17 @ 5:45 AM
I am doing bsc.geology and is it a correct path for an archaeologist?if it is, (what should I opt for my PG studies).if not should I change my course
Shabz - 16-Apr-17 @ 3:20 PM
my study in diploma civil engineering but I completed in 12th class i hope that it's must filed please help me......I wait u...
nilu - 4-Apr-17 @ 5:27 PM
Am studying b.a in degree i want become an archelogist next what did i have to sir
Nag - 2-Apr-17 @ 6:13 PM
Sir, now Iam doing my PG in chemistry. But Iam very much interested in archeology. Is there any possibility to become an archeologist?
Jithu - 20-Mar-17 @ 7:29 AM
I want to be a marain archeolagist .lam stading in 12 stand i choosed sience in 12what i do tobecome under water archeolagist which deggry i want to choose
eragon - 30-Jan-17 @ 7:22 PM
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