Major Option: Archaeological Sciences

Archaeological Dig

The Archaeological Sciences option is recommended to students who are interested in an in-depth study of archaeological methods and theories. More specifically, it seeks to introduce students to the rigorous study of archaeological data. The required courses in this option will equip students with specialized laboratory, analytical and field skills, and will provide them with the historical context needed for understanding contemporary issues in archaeological sciences.

Special emphasis is put on teaching students the logic and rationale behind archaeological arguments. Students who complete this option will be well-equipped to pursue careers in archaeology-related fields both in private (e.g. cultural research management firms) and public (e.g. National Park Service, Forestry Service) sectors and to pursue graduate studies in archaeology.

The Archaeological Sciences option is a transcripted option that allows students’ academic work and expertise in archaeology to be recognized on their official academic transcript, which may help them in their applications to graduate programs or to gain employment.

This option is non-competitive and open to all Anthropology majors. 

Field experience is strongly recommended, especially with a UW-faculty led archaeology field school. Five credits of ARCHY 270 will count towards the 'approved courses' credits. Other kinds of field experience, such as participation in non-UW research projects or Cultural Resource Management (CRM) projects, can also be credited towards the 'approved courses' list. Students should consult with the archaeology faculty before undertaking field experience to ensure that it is appropriate for the ASc. The curriculum forecast is a useful tool to help with scheduling to fulfill the option's course requirements. 

Archaeological Sciences (ASc) option requirements

In addition to completing the core courses for anthropology (BIO A 201, ARCHY 205, and any 5 credit, 200-level ANTH course) and one statistics course (choosing from CS&SS/SOC/STAT 211, STAT 220, STAT 311, or Q SCI 381), Archaeological Sciences students are asked to take the following courses to complete their 55 anthropology credits:

  1. Three classes from ARCHY 372/3, 465, 467, 472/3, 480, 481, 482, 483, 484, 486, 495, 561 or BIO A 487
  2. 15 credits from the approved Archaeological Sciences course list (below)

Approved Courses for Archaeological Sciences (ASc)

(Number of credits in parentheses)

Strongly recommended:

  • ARCHY 303 Archaeology of Africa and Eurasia (5)
  • ARCHY 304 Archaeology of the Americas (5)
  • ARCHY 309 Archaeology of Mainland Southeast Asia (5)
  • ARCHY 319 Archaeology of Australia (5)
  • ARCHY 320 Prehistory of the Northwest Coast (5)
  • ARCHY 325 Archaeology of Island Southeast Asia and the Pacific (5)
  • ARCHY 369 Special Problems in Archaeology (3-6, max 12)
  • ARCHY 377 Archaeology of the Arctic (5)
  • ARCHY 378 Prehistory of the Arid West (5)
  • ARCHY 401 Archaeology of Human Origins (5)
  • ARCHY 402 Archaeology and Social Difference (5)
  • ARCHY 403 The Archaeology of Landscapes (5)
  • ARCHY 467 Research Ethics in Archaeology: Conservation, Accountability, and Stewardship (5)
  • ARCHY 469 Special Studies in Archaeology (3-6, max. 18)
  • ARCHY 470 The Archaeology of Extinction (5)
  • ARCHY 486 Geoarchaeology Laboratory (5)
  • ARCHY 489 Archaeology Practicum (2-9, max. 15)
  • ARCHY 490 Museum Curation Practicum: Archaeology (1-5, max. 15)
  • ARCHY 499 Undergraduate Research (max. 12)
  • ARCHY 270 Field Course in Archaeology. Note that five credits of this course will count to the ASc option. Credits may also be granted for other relevant field experience, please consult with a member of the archaeology faculty before undertaking field experience to ensure that it is appropriate for the ASc.

Also recommended:

  • ANTH 461 Historical Ecology
  • BIO A 388 Human Fossils and Evolution I (5)
  • BIO A 389 Human Fossils and Evolution II (5)
  • BIO A 487 Human and Comparative Osteology (5)
  • BIO A 491 Issues in Human Paleontology (5)
  • CL AR 340 Pre-Classical Art and Archaeology (3)
  • CL AR 341 Greek Art and Archaeology (3)
  • CL AR 342 Roman Art and Archaeology (3)
  • CL AR 343 Hellenistic Art and Archaeology (3)
  • CL AR 447 The Archaeology of Early Italy (3)
  • CL AR 448 The Archaeology of Italy (3)
  • ESRM 413 Soil Genesis and Classification (5)
  • ESRM 416 Field Survey of Wildland Soils (5)
  • ESS 455 Stratigraphy (5)
  • ESS 456 Depositional Environments (5)
  • ESS 459 Environmental Isotope Geology (5)
  • ESS 461 Geological Time (5)
  • ESS 554 Paleoclimate Proxies (5)
  • ESS 589 Paleoclimatology: Data, Modeling and Theory (5)
  • Q SCI 381 Introduction to Probability and Statistics (5)
  • Q SCI 482 Statistical Inference in Applied Research I: Hypothesis Testing and Estimation for Ecologists and Resource Managers (5)
  • Q SCI 483 Statistical Inference in Applied Research II: Regression Analysis for Ecologists and Resource Managers (5)

Course Substitutions

Students may also petition the department advising office to have other courses approved for the option, such as courses offered by the Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences or study abroad courses with a substantial archaeological component.

In their petition, the student must submit:

  1. a syllabus of the course that is not on the lists here
  2. a one-page justification of why the course is suitable to be counted toward the ASc option
  3. an explanation of why the student did not take a relevant ASc course when it was offered (for example, it conflicted with a major or minor requirement) and
  4. a copy of their academic transcript showing successful completion of the course to be credited toward the ASc option.

Please understand that petitions for waiving core credit requirements (15 credits from ARCHY 480, 481, 482, 483, 484, 495, 561) will only be approved in cases of compelling scheduling conflicts and for substitute courses of comparable relevance to Archaeological Sciences.