Requirements for the Undergraduate Major

In addition to the curricular requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences, an undergraduate major in Archaeology requires the successful completion of a total of 12 courses: nine in archaeology, two in anthropology, and one in statistics.

Required Courses (9)

 Students take a core of four required courses:

  • CAS AR 190 Introduction to Archaeology (former AR101)
  • CAS AR 307 Archaeological Science
  • CAS AR 503 Archaeological Field Methods: Survey and Excavation or CAS AR410 Archaeological Research Design and Materials Analysis or CAS AR 556 Archaeological Field Research Experience (or equivalent, for which prior approval is necessary; see Archaeology Field School Policy)*
  • CAS AR 591 Theory in Archaeology (former AR450)

* Note: Non-BU courses that transfer credits to BU are ineligible for Hub units. Only BU-taught courses garner Hub Units.

Students choose five additional courses, distributed as follows, with a maximum of one course at the 100 level:

  • One technical course from: CAS AR 410, 505, 506, 507, 510, 516, 518, 556, 570, or 590
  • One topical course from: CAS AR 150, 200, 202, 205, 206, 208, 215, 222, 262, 280, 290, 305, 353, 369, 375, 393, 395, 396, 430, 435,  500, 507, 508, 520, 533, 570, 577, 580, 590, 592, or 593
  • One area course from: CAS AR 201, 209, 210, 230, 232, 240, 250, 251, 261, 270, 273, 283, 322, 323, 330, 331, 332, 333, 337, 341, 342, 343, 346, 347, 348, 365,  371, 372, 390, 438, or 575
  • Two additional CAS AR courses selected in consultation with the advisor

Required Related Courses (3)

  • One course in statistics (CAS MA 113, CAS MA 115, CAS MA 213, CAS EE 270, CGS MA 113, or CAS AN 588)
  • CAS AN 101 (Introduction to Cultural Anthropology)
  • One additional CAS AN course selected in consultation with the advisor

Archaeology Field School Policy

Every major in Archaeology must participate in an approved archaeological field experience, which may include survey, excavation, laboratory analysis, heritage management, remote sensing, or other research relating to an archaeological project. The field experience requirement may be satisfied by successfully completing AR 503, AR410, AR 556, or another supervised field or lab program. Prior approval from the student’s academic advisor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies is required. If a non-BU field program carries academic credit, prior approval for transfer of at least 4 academic credits at BU should be obtained. A field school is normally expected to be at least 4 weeks in length to meet this requirement. Remember that non-BU courses are not eligible for Hub units. In certain exceptional circumstances, extensive or unusual fieldwork that does not carry academic credit may be used to satisfy the requirement for field experience, but prior approval from the student’s advisor, the director of undergraduate studies, and the director of the Archaeology Program is required.  Faculty advisors will work with students to identify an appropriate field school placement. For details about this policy, majors should consult with their advisor.

Second Major or Minor

Because archaeologists’ study of the human past draws so widely on other fields and links to interests across the liberal arts, sciences, and professions, the major in Archaeology works particularly well in combination with a second major or complementary minor. Recent Archaeology students, with strong encouragement and support from their advisors, have branched out to major or minor in related areas including anthropology, history, and international relations; history of art and architecture, Classical and medieval studies; foreign languages and regional (European, Latin American, Middle Eastern, African, etc.) studies; biology and chemistry, earth and environmental sciences, marine science, computer science and engineering, and medical science; as well as communications and journalism. Many other major-major or major-minor combinations with Archaeology are possible.

Honors in the Major

Qualified students may elect to write a substantial research paper for honors in the major (the equivalent of two regular courses). A written proposal describing the project must be submitted to the undergraduate advisor no later than the end of the junior year. Honors Program Requirements.

Program Assessment

As part of the University’s ongoing efforts to improve its academic programs, the Archaeology Program has identified specific learning outcomes and conducts regular assessments and evaluations of its degree programs.

Learning Outcomes for the BA in Archaeology

Students graduating with a major in Archaeology are able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of archaeological theory and of the archaeological record of multiple world regions
  2. Use analytical methods from archaeology to understand past human cultures
  3. Conduct archaeological field research and scientific analyses to investigate material remains
  4. Discuss contemporary debates concerning the study and understanding of the past, including ethical issues relevant to preservation

Portfolio Guidelines for Archaeology Majors

Major portfolios allow students to document their capstone accomplishments in Archaeology and provide data for the purpose of annual program assessment and evaluation by the faculty.

The AR major’s portfolio contains the following materials provided by the student as PDF files:

  • A paper written in AR591
  • A 2-3 page summary of the student’s field research (AR503 or equivalent)
  • A copy of the student’s honors thesis (if applicable)

The AR major’s portfolio will contain the following other materials provided by faculty/staff:

  • A written evaluation of the student’s performance in AR 591 by the instructor of record
  • A written exit interview provided to the student by archaeology staff prior to graduation (the student’s identity is anonymous in these interviews and all are uploaded by staff to a single folder)

A record of the portfolio will be kept in digital form mounted as a folder on the centralized server maintained by Archaeology.

Server Address

For Macs (write it exactly as it is written below):
smb:// Major Portfolio

For Windows (write it exactly as it is written below):
\\\Archaeology Major Portfolio