There are different training and educational requirements for archaeology, since there are several branches in archaeological studies. In the US, archaeology is one of the four subjects that are taught by the department of anthropology, and the other subjects are cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, and linguistic anthropology.Other than majoring in archaeology, there are a few other subjects that you can study to become an archaeologist, such as geology, art history, criticism, classics, history, conservation, zoology, or anthropology. A bachelor’s degree will get you entry-level jobs in the field of archaeology. Some common archaeology-related professions that require a bachelor’s degree include market analysts, research assistants, management trainees, and writers. It is beneficial for graduates to learn some of the ancient and modern languages such as Latin, Greek, German, and French, since having fluency in ancient and modern languages will increase the chances of you getting employed in laboratories or as a field archaeologist.
These days, it is common to find interdisciplinary programs that combine archaeological studies with other subjects. For instance, if you want to study ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean, South Asia, and the Middle East, you may have to take an interdisciplinary approach, wherein your subjects will include courses in ancient and modern languages, theology, history, art, and architecture. Then again, if you prefer to study the Roman historical period, you may have to combine vernacular architecture, archaeology, folklore, and research on oral history.
After completing your B.A or B.S., you can pursue graduate training in archaeology. Having a master’s degree in one of the above mentioned subjects will enable you to work in the private sector, teach in colleges, or get employment in a museum. The M.A or M.S. degree takes about two years to complete. The course is comprised of course work and a written thesis, among others. After successful completion of the course, you will be awarded the M.A. degree. Although there are certain programs that offer a non-thesis M.A degree in archaeology, it is recommended that you pursue one that requires a thesis, because it carries more value. It is important to note that the Society of Professional Archaeologists only certifies those who have a thesis M.A/M.S. degree and at least one year’s lab experience.
If you can get a PhD, most of the high profile archaeology positions will be available to you. A PhD requires you to study for an additional two to three years after completing your M.A. or M.S. To earn your PhD, you need to prepare a dissertation that you may have to defend orally. The dissertation needs to cover a topic in the field of archaeology.
There are certain graduate programs that will allow you to bypass a master’s degree and get on with a PhD right away. Furthermore, most foreign governments usually do not permit non-PhDs to work in an excavation site. Therefore, a master’s degree may not allow you to get involved in direct field projects that are outside the boundaries of the United States.
To get a degree in archaeology, you will have to spend a lot of time and money. If you already have good knowledge of archaeology and you wish to avoid the hassle of getting a degree, you can get a fake degree or a fake certificate in archaeology.