How Do I Choose the Best School for Archaeology?

Misty Amber Brighton

An archaeologist studies past civilizations and follows the history of various groups, primarily by digging for or analyzing artifacts. You are more likely to be successful in this career if you choose a reputable school for archaeology because a degree from the right college may carry more influence. The right degree program should provide a solid foundation in some fundamental courses, and it is usually best to learn from a variety of teaching methods. You might want to know what the credentials of your professors are to make sure you are getting quality instruction. It is normally a good idea to choose a college that offers several degree levels so you can continue to advance your education.

Top programs should balance field work with laboratory study.
Top programs should balance field work with laboratory study.

You might find it helpful to review websites of different archaeologist societies to find out which universities are highly regarded by those in the field, and where the most distinguished professors can be found. It can also be helpful to visit several colleges that offer a school for archaeology in person to get a better idea of their programs and expectations. Graduating from a strenuous archeologist training program could give you an advantage when looking for work because archeologists often recognize these programs and reward their graduates with better career opportunities.

Megalithic sites like Stonehenge are often used to acquaint archaeology students with prehistory.
Megalithic sites like Stonehenge are often used to acquaint archaeology students with prehistory.

The ideal school for archaeology should provide a strong foundation in history, language arts, and science since you will often use these fundamentals on the job. Some of these basic education courses are normally taught in a classroom, but subjects relating to cultural studies could involve analyzing data in a laboratory. You may take part in a hands-on archeological study, which often involves actual participation in an excavation project. Participating in one of these programs can give you a better feel for the type of work you might perform after graduation.

Some schools provide field instruction at an archaeological site.
Some schools provide field instruction at an archaeological site.

Many colleges require professors at a school for archaeology to have at least a doctorate in this discipline, and doing so helps ensure they are knowledgeable in this line of work. A bachelor's degree is typically needed to begin most archeology jobs, but supervisory or research positions could require a master's degree or higher. You might want to know whether an institution offers at least a master's degree and what the requirements for teaching in a particular program are so you can make sure you getting quality instruction that will help you achieve your goals.

The best archaeology programs often have access to major archaeological sites, such as the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu.
The best archaeology programs often have access to major archaeological sites, such as the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu.

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