Students of history are usually interested in a career in archeology, but finding top ranking colleges for archeology takes a little effort, as this is not a common field.
We are constantly striving to learn more about our past. Our race has traditionally done this by excavation and analysis of the things that our ancestors left behind. Archeologists help us to learn more about the society and culture of our past.
Selecting Archeology Schools
When you elect to pursue an archeology major in the United States, it is in your best interests to consider first the kind of degree you would like. Many, even some of the top ranking colleges for archeology, only offer a bachelor's degree or an associate degree in anthropology or archeology. This will place severe limitations on your potential for advancement in your field.
Many schools also offer doctoral or master's-level archeology programs. This type of degree can take you into the role of a supervisor on field digs or into the position of curator at a museum. Seriously consider how far you want to go with your archeology degree prior to considering one school or another.
Archeology takes ideas and studies from a wide array of disciplines. Essential studies for a career in archeology would be geology, geography, history, and chemistry. Most practicing field archeologists will have an advanced degree in anthropology. Some schools will focus on a basic education for anthropology or archeology, but many will teach primarily geographically-focused information.
One aspect of determining the best school for your needs will be what race or time period, or even which culture you're most interested in. You can then select top ranking colleges for archeology based on specialization. Some will be better for learning about the ancient Celts or Egyptians, while others are best for Chinese or Native American history. Select your school based on those criteria too, to gain the best educational experience for the area of study that you are planning to focus on.
The Three Top Ranking Colleges for Archeology
Among the top ranked schools to pursue an advanced archeology degree in the United States are these:
Harvard University is the number one ranked school for an advanced degree in archeology or anthropology, Harvard needs no explanation or introduction. Placing about 76% of their graduates, Harvard is the top ranked school in the United States for archeology careers.
University of Michigan is known for placing about 59% of their graduates immediately, making it the second ranked school for advanced degrees in archeology or anthropology.
Stony Brook University, located in New York, ranks number three for advanced degrees in archeology. Staffed by specialists from many different disciplines, Stony Brook offers an outstanding archeological program.
Additionally, Kaplan University offers online courses that lead to a bachelor's degree in anthropology, and the school is well known and widely lauded for these classes. It is possible to take about 80 percent of your anthropology and archeology classes in an online learning venue. While some classes will be done on site or on campus, for the major portion you will attend your classes via the computer, which is helpful for those students who have difficulty attending more structures and formal classes.
Other Schools Offering Degrees in Archeology
- Arizona State University
- Ohio State University
- University of Florida
- University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
- University of Central Florida
- The University of Texas at Austin
- Texas A & M University
- Michigan State University
- University of South Florida
- Pennsylvania State University
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- New York University
- University of Wisconsin - Madison
- University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
- Indiana University - Bloomington
- College of Southern Nevada
- University of Washington - Seattle Campus
- Florida State University
- University of California - Los Angeles
- University of Arizona
Careers and Resources for Further Learning
The American Anthropological Association offers prospective archeology students a guide, "The 2001-2002 AAA Guide", that gives information about all of the higher learning centers in the United States that will offer you a B.A., M.A. or Ph.D. in Anthropology with a view toward an archeology career.
A career in archeology could see you doing exciting fieldwork in other countries or at home in the United States. You might also elect to be the curator of a museum or a traveling exhibit rather than fieldwork. To accomplish any of these goals and to have the best chance at advancement in your chosen career, an advanced degree will be a necessity.
While the basic classes can essentially be done at any good school of higher education, it is recommended that you select your archeology classes carefully, basing the final decision on the geographic area you have in mind. You might also want to consider the staff who teach at the universities you are considering and then to select a top ranking college for archeology based on all of your findings.