BA/MA in Archaeology
Archaeology is a global discipline in which a comparative perspective is brought to bear on all types of material culture in the pursuit of understanding people of the distant and recent past. To this end, the Archaeology Program provides education and training in the recovery, analysis, and interpretation of the material remains of the human past, including the application of scientific techniques, as well as the study of archaeological heritage.
Students graduating with a major in Archaeology are able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of archaeological theory and of the archaeological record of multiple world regions.
- Use analytical methods from archaeology to understand past human cultures.
- Conduct archaeological field research and scientific analyses to investigate material remains.
- Discuss contemporary debates concerning the study and understanding of the past, including ethical issues relevant to preservation.
Students graduating with an MA in Archaeology will also be able to:
- Synthesize and apply core knowledge pertaining to archaeological research topics, methods, theory, and ethical practices to their own research in order to create an independent research project.
Students must complete all the requirements of the BA degree with a major in Archaeology and an additional 32 credits of graduate work in Archaeology, or in related disciplines with permission of their advisors. A total of 160 credits will be required. The specific graduate-level course requirements beyond requirements for the BA in Archaeology are:
- GRS AR 891 Contemporary Theory in Archaeology (4 cr)
- GRS AR 893 World Archaeology (4 cr)
- GRS AR 894 Scientific Methods in Archaeology (4 cr)
- An additional 20 credits of graduate-level coursework chosen in consultation with a student’s advisor
Foreign Language Requirement
Reading proficiency in one modern or ancient foreign language must be demonstrated by the end of the first semester of the fifth year of study. The specific language and the mode for demonstrating proficiency must be detailed in the student’s program of study developed on entry into the program.
The language requirement is fulfilled by successfully completing a graduate reading course offered through a department at Boston University or by a written translation examination prepared by faculty members. Departmental foreign language exams may also be arranged in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies.
The master’s project will consist of a substantial piece of research and writing. There is no specific format and style; both will depend on the nature of the project. Students must work with their Advisory Committee to craft a project prospectus. An initial prospectus must be included in the student’s program of study. The final prospectus must be approved by the Advisory Committee, and submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies for review by the Graduate Studies Committee, by the eighth week of the second semester of the fifth year of study.
Advisory Committee and Program of Study
On entry into the program, all students must form an Advisory Committee, which shall comprise two members of the Archaeology graduate faculty. The student is responsible for working with his or her Advisory Committee to craft a program of study. The student is responsible for submitting the names of his/her Advisory Committee members to the Director of Graduate Studies. One of these members should be named as the student’s advisor of record.
The student should work with his/her Advisory Committee to finalize a full program of study. The program should propose how the student plans to complete all course requirements as well as outline a master’s project. Students must submit the program of study by the end of their senior year. The program of study will then be reviewed by the Graduate Studies Committee for approval. Once approved, it will be entered in the student’s file.
This program may be changed subject to approval of the student’s Advisory Committee and the Director of Graduate Studies. All such modifications must be finalized in writing to ensure that no misunderstandings arise.
In planning their program of study, students and their advisors should be attentive to upcoming faculty leaves and projected course scheduling (e.g., noting that not all survey courses, in particular, are offered every year). Students are responsible for maintaining regular contact and communication with their advisors. Every spring, the full faculty will meet to review and evaluate graduate student progress. A student’s continuation in the program is contingent upon satisfactory progress.
For general BA/MA information for prospective students and application instructions, please refer to BA/MA and BA/MS Programs section of this Bulletin.