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Academic Qualifications to Be An Archaeologist

By: Grahame Johnston - Updated: 16 Apr 2017 | 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 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
I am in 10 .If I choose the stream to become archaeologist will I be able to go for abroad for freer and wat should I do for it.
Gentle - 12-Jan-17 @ 4:40 PM
I am studing 11 with bio-math group i want to became a archeology can i decome an archeology pls help me......
Jay - 7-Jan-17 @ 2:38 PM
Akhil - Your Question:
Sir Iam pursuing 12th standard and I want to do archeology and iam intrested in it Could you please me to what next in degree courses and Iam an average studying student.

Our Response:
If you want to be an archaeologist, then an archaeology degree would be useful. Choose subjects like sciences, history and geography at A level.
ArchaeologyExpert - 15-Dec-16 @ 12:50 PM
Sir Iam pursuing 12th standard and i want to do archeology and iam intrested in it Could you please me to what next in degree courses and Iam an average studying student.
Akhil - 14-Dec-16 @ 3:12 PM
Sir I am going to finish my BE degree in mechanical engineering.I like to study archeology. if it possible to study archeology .
praveen - 30-Nov-16 @ 6:34 AM
Im on the verge on applying for uni I want to persue a career in archeology, any recommendation before I do because I have the basic qualification history isn't on of them.
alkebulan - 19-Nov-16 @ 1:57 PM
sir, im studying medicine...is der any way fr me to become archeologist?? im very interested to do that .....so pls say me a way....
tej - 28-Oct-16 @ 2:11 PM
Sir/madam, I completed my B.Tech in civil engineering. As I am very much interested in archeology. I want choose my career in archeology. But as per the details only history students can apply.is there any possibility to be an archaeologist, please kindly intimate me.
Malavika - 10-Oct-16 @ 5:27 AM
i have done my B.E from pune i want to do masters in archaeology from US is dt posible?
payu - 6-Oct-16 @ 3:20 PM
Is cad is important to became an archeologist?
yash - 1-Sep-16 @ 4:56 PM
Sir, it it possible for me to study archeology after 12th if I'm a science student and not studied history at 10+2 level ? I want to do b.sc +m.sc in archeology
prince - 30-Aug-16 @ 7:41 AM
I have selected medical can I become a archaeologist
nihu - 25-Aug-16 @ 5:49 PM
my parents don't want me to be an archeologist.They say am a failure am 16 years old. I have always wanted to be an archeologist
Obiwale1 - 19-Aug-16 @ 9:32 AM
Sir, I'm in 12th year of high school studying commerce, I've come to know that commerce students can study archaeology. I'm highly interested in marine archaeology, can I study bsc archaeology and take masters in maritime archaeology.
Asma - 15-Aug-16 @ 6:13 PM
Sir i am a science student, I'm in std.12 right now. Sir i wanna get by B.A degree in archaeology but i have seen that only history student can apply to it is it true? If yes then how topursue my career in archaeology?
honey - 11-Aug-16 @ 5:05 AM
I have completed my B.E degree in Electronics and communication field. I am working in an IT firm. I am much interested in this field. Please tell me the possibility and way to get into this. Thanks.
Nivetha - 16-Jul-16 @ 7:29 AM
I'm doing B.A program from University of Delhi... I've history and political science as a disciplinary subject... can i become a archaeologist??
Mehwish - 1-Jul-16 @ 2:33 PM
I m a graduate in english....is there any possibility to become an archaelogist...please reply me...
mahi - 30-May-16 @ 4:15 PM
i am a student reading in class 10 so after it what stream should i take and what further steps???? please
tanmoy - 29-May-16 @ 10:25 AM
I was completed b com in 2005 now i want to study archelogy can i do the same if yes what should i do
neha - 24-May-16 @ 6:05 PM
Akshay Rajgor - Your Question:
I did MBA with HR specialization, now I want to become a archaeologyst, so what should I jave to do? can I become archaeologyst after MBA? please reply me,

Our Response:
Science/Geography A levels or equivalent qualifications should get you onto an archaeology degree course. The UCAS website is useful reference for exact entry requirements.
ArchaeologyExpert - 4-May-16 @ 1:59 PM
i did MBA with HR specialization,now i want to become a archaeologyst,so what should i jave to do?can i become archaeologyst after MBA?please reply me,
Akshay Rajgor - 2-May-16 @ 12:22 PM
sabaan - Your Question:
I am doing my plus two(biology science),I want to be an archeologist whom do I refer to got information?

Our Response:
Check out the UCAS website for more information on the institutions that offer archaeology courses and their course requirements.
ArchaeologyExpert - 20-Apr-16 @ 10:17 AM
I am doing my plus two(biology science),I want to be an archeologist whom do I refer to got information?
sabaan - 18-Apr-16 @ 5:14 AM
Sir Iam doing b.tech EEE now is there possibility to study archeology
Raju - 1-Apr-16 @ 2:41 PM
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