A bachelor’s in archaeology can provide a solid foundation for lucrative careers as anthropologists, archaeologists, curators, archivers, and geographers. Such a degree is an attractive option for undergraduate students as the study of archaeology is a hands-on process that provides plentiful opportunities for field work and study abroad experiences. Whether you’re interested in studying archaeology in order to prepare for entry-level positions in the field or for graduate school, it’s wise to select a program that provides the best value education your tuition dollar can buy. This ranking explores the top 20 values for a bachelor’s in archaeology degree in 2017.

Ranking Methodology
Tuition Points:
• Under $30,000—1 point
• Under $25,000—2 points
• Under $20,000—3 points
• Under $15,000—4 points
• Under $10,000—5 points
Students Receiving Financial Aid:
• 60%–1 point
• 70%–2 points
• 80%–3 points
• 90%–4 points
Customization Options
• Content Customizations (e.g. Concentrations and Specializations)—1 Point Per Customization Option
• Format Customizations (e.g. Hybrid/Online, Full-time/Part-Time, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option
Wow Factor
• 1 point awarded for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us

Best Value Colleges for a Bachelor’s in Archaeology
To determine the 20 best value schools for a bachelor’s in archaeology, our editors began with an initial pool of 45 colleges and universities from College Navigator. Using College Navigator’s data regarding tuition and financial aid as well as information from each program’s website, we then narrowed the pool to the following 20 schools based on the methodology above.

#20 – Mercyhurst University

BA in Archaeology; BS in Archaeology

Erie, Pennsylvania

Mercyhurst University bachelor's degree in archaeology

Mercyhurst University’s bachelor’s in archaeology students can choose from BA or BS tracks.

Website
Points: 5
Mercyhurst University offers two bachelor’s in archaeology programs: a BS and a BA in Archaeology. Students in this program can choose between concentrations in Archaeology and Bioarchaeology, and both of these concentrations give students opportunities to specialize further through training and research in a variety of related topics. All students are expected to participate in field experiences. Participation in research is also highly encouraged, even at the undergraduate level. Bachelor’s degree in archaeology students have access to several facilities, including the Archaeological Artifact Processing Lab and the Lithic Analysis Lab.
Tuition: $33,314

#19 – University of Evansville

Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology

Evansville, Indiana

University of Evansville archaeology degree

The University of Evansville offers a unique, interdisciplinary bachelor’s in archaeology program.

Website
Points: 5
The University of Evansville’s bachelor’s in archaeology is one of the few programs in its region to focus on the Mediterranean, Near East, and Western Europe. The program is also meant to be interdisciplinary, and many students double major or use their minor to complement their archaeology studies. Students are offered multiple opportunities to study abroad, complete internships, and even participate in archaeological excavations. Archaeology degree students who graduate from this program are well-prepared to enter a graduate program or a variety of careers in the field.
Tuition: $32,946

#18 – La Sierra University

Bachelor’s in Archaeology

Riverside, California

La Sierra University bachelor's degree in archaeology

La Sierra University’s bachelor’s in archaeology program approaches the subject from a Christian perspective.

Website
Points: 5
La Sierra offers a bachelor’s in archaeology degree in keeping with the school’s Christian base. The archaeology program is part of the School of Religion and covers topics such as Sacred Texts, Old Testament Archaeology, and New Testament Archaeology. The university is also very involved in archaeology projects in Jordan. However, it still focuses enough on the basic principles of archaeology to be useful to bachelor’s degree in archaeology students who want to apply the subject to more secular settings.
Tuition: $30,471

#17 – University of Indianapolis

Bachelor of Science in Archaeology

Indianapolis, Indiana

University of Indiannapolis bachelor's degree in archaeology

University of Indianapolis’ bachelor’s in archaeology students enjoy small class sizes.

Website
Points: 5
The University of Indianapolis offers a unique bachelor’s in archaeology program. Unlike many of its counterparts, this program does not focus on a specific geographical location. Most of the university’s activity is based in North America, but students’ field experiences and education are designed to be applied in other settings. Students are able to accumulate a large amount of hands-on experience conducting their own research and participating in department activities. The school’s archaeology degree students also enjoy small classes and direct contact with faculty members.
Tuition: $26,290

#16 – Pennsylvania State University

Bachelor’s in Archaeology

University Park, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania State University archaeology degree

Penn State’s bachelor’s in archaeology program emphasizes a specific time period.

Website
Points: 5
Penn State University’s bachelor’s in archaeology program does not focus on a specific geographical location, but on a time period. Students in this program primarily learn about the origin and development of ancient cultures. Topics studied include agriculture, complex state civilizations, and urbanism. The program is multidisciplinary and encourages students to approach archaeology from different perspectives. This interdisciplinary approach prepares bachelor’s degree in archaeology students to study a wide variety of archeology topics both as part of a graduate program and as part of their chosen career path.
Tuition: $17,514

#15 – University of Texas at Austin

Bachelor’s in Archaeology

Austin, Texas

University of Texas at Austin archaeology degree

The University of Texas at Austin offers a dynamic bachelor’s in archaeology degree program.

Website
Points: 5

The bachelor’s in archaeology degree program at the University of Texas at Austin boasts an active community of faculty members and graduate students, as well as strong links with other departments at the university. These connections and faculty interests allow students to explore a variety of specializations. Students also benefit from resources located off campus. The university’s location, especially its proximity to the Texas Archaeological Research Lab, gives archaeology degree students opportunities to gain hands-on experience and network with Austin, Texas’ active community of archaeologists.
Tuition: $9,806

#14 – Cornell College

Bachelor’s in Archaeology

Mount Vernon, Iowa

Cornell College bachelor's degree in archaeology

Cornell College’s bachelor’s in archaeology program emphasizes flexibility.

Website
Points: 6
Cornell College’s bachelor’s in archaeology program is unique in the amount of flexibility it offers. Students can develop a personalized degree plan under the guidance of faculty members. It also offers a “One Course at a Time” format that gives students more time to participate in large projects and off-campus experiential learning activities. Students have opportunities to study abroad in places such as Greece, but there are also exciting opportunities available closer to campus. Cornell maintains a strong relationship with Iowa’s State Archeologist, which gives bachelor’s in archeology degree students opportunities to gain field experience collecting artifacts.
Tuition: $38,700

#13 – Sweet Briar College

Bachelor’s in Anthropology: Archaeology

Sweet Briar, Virginia

Sweet Briar College archeology degree

Sweet Briar College’s bachelor’s in archaeology program features a standout course in the archaeology of gender.

Website
Points: 6
Sweet Briar College offers a bachelor’s in archaeology program that takes a primarily anthropological approach to the field. Topics studied include social evolution and the archaeology of gender. Students also learn about the technical aspects of archaeology, which can be applied to other topics. All archaeology degree students are expected to participate in either a field program hosted by the department or an internship. Students also have opportunities to study abroad and present their research at conferences.
Tuition: $34,935

#12 – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Bachelor’s in Archaeology

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

UNC Chapel Hill archaeology degree

UNC Chapel Hill’s bachelor’s in archaeology degree students take advantage of study abroad and independent study programs.

Website
Points: 6
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s bachelor’s in archaeology program is broad and offers courses in a variety of archaeological topics. Students are able to personalize their degree plan to best fit their career goals. Experiential learning is considered a major part of students’ education. All students are required to participate in laboratory and excavation experiences, and students have opportunities to study abroad, complete internships, and study independently. Bachelor’s degree in archaeology students who take advantage of these opportunities to gain real-world experience are typically successful in their careers and graduate programs.
Tuition: $8,591

#11 – College of Charleston

Bachelor’s in Archaeology

Charleston, South Carolina

College of Charleston bachelor's degree in archaeology

College of Charleston’s bachelor’s in archaeology degree students enjoy experiential learning experiences.

Website
Points: 7
The bachelor’s in archaeology program at the College of Charleston emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to archaeology. Core courses are taught by faculty from four different schools, so students learn to approach the field from multiple perspectives. Students have several opportunities to explore their interests and gain real-world experience through field schools, internships, and research. All students are expected to participate in at least one of these as part of their capstone. Archaeology degree students who complete this program are equipped with the education and experience needed to be successful in their chosen career path.
Tuition: $11,322

#10 – Southern Adventist University

Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology

Collegedale, Tennessee

Southern Adventist University bachelor's degree in archaeology

Southern Adventist University’s bachelor’s in archeology degree emphasizes religion.

Website
Points: 8
Southern Adventist University offers a bachelor’s in archaeology with concentrations in Near Eastern Studies and Classical Studies. The Near Eastern Studies concentration focuses on the ancient Near East, whereas the Classical Studies concentration focuses on the Greco-Roman world. Both of these concentrations include a Middle East study tour, which gives students an opportunity to participate in excavations in places such as Israel. Both concentrations also have strong ties to Christianity and include courses in religion, such as Old Testament Studies and Biblical Exegesis.
Tuition: $20,650

#9 – University of California—Santa Cruz

Bachelor’s in Anthropological Archaeology

Santa Cruz, California

University of California - Santa Cruz archeology degree

The University of California–Santa Cruz offers a diverse bachelor’s in archaeology degree program.

Website
Points: 8
The University of California–Santa Cruz’s bachelor’s in archaeology offering is technically a major in anthropology that includes the anthropological archaeology subfield. Students in this program learn not only about archaeology, but also about Cultural Anthropology and Physical Anthropology. One benefit of this program is that it cultivates a higher appreciation of diversity than most programs that focus only on archaeology.
Tuition: $13,461

#8 – Western Washington University

BA in Anthropology: Archaeology

Bellingham, Washington

Western Washington University archeology degree

Bachelor’s in archaeology students at Western Washington University benefit from the school’s Anthropology Club.

Website
Points: 8

Western Washington University’s bachelor’s in archaeology program is actually a BA in anthropology with a concentration in archaeology. Faculty involved in this program have interests in a variety of regions and time periods, so students are able to explore a variety of topics. Students also enjoy many enrichment opportunities outside of formal classes such as internships, research, community service, and Anthropology Club activities. Bachelor’s degree in archaeology students are highly encouraged to participate in these opportunities to gain real-world experience, especially if they plan to enter the field professionally.
Tuition: $8,611

#7 – CUNY—Hunter College

Bachelor’s in Anthropology: Archaeology

New York, New York

CUNY- Hunter College bachelor's degree in archaeology

CUNY–Hunter College’s bachelor’s in archaeology program emphasizes pluralism and diversity.

Website
Points: 8
CUNY–Hunter College’s bachelor’s in archaeology offering is an anthropology degree program that includes the archaeology subfield. This program places a strong emphasis on pluralism and diversity and requires students to take courses related to this topic, such as Archaeology of Colonialism and Language, Sex, and Gender. Students have opportunities to participate in fieldwork and independent study. However, these experiential learning opportunities are not as integral to this program as they are to many other programs. This bachelor’s degree in archaeology program is great for students who desire a broader approach to the field, but students who want to become more specialized or conduct a lot of field work may prefer another program.
Tuition: $6,782

#6 – University of Missouri—Columbia

Bachelor of Art History and Archaeology

Columbus, Missouri

University of Missouri- Columbia bachelor's degree in archaeology

University of Missouri–Columbia’s bachelor’s in archaeology students may pursue dual or double majors.

Website
Points: 9
The University of Missouri–Columbia’s bachelor’s in archaeology offering is a unique Art History and Archaeology program that focuses on learning about cultures through their artistic monuments. Students in this program are welcome to focus primarily on the Classical Archaeology aspect of the program, but many students take advantage of the opportunity to combine these disciplines. It is also common for students to combine this program with another through a dual or double major. Archaeology degree students who complete this program typically go on to careers in historical museums, art galleries, and cultural heritage offices.
Tuition: $9,509

#5 – SUNY College at Potsdam

Bachelor’s in Archaeology

Potsdam, New York

SUNY -Potsdam archaeology degree

SUNY–Potsdam offers a far-reaching bachelor’s in archaeology program.

Website
Points: 9
The bachelor’s in archaeology program at SUNY College at Potsdam takes a broad approach to the field. Students learn about a variety of geographic regions and time periods and take courses from several different departments. Students also have an impressive amount of opportunities to gain hands-on experience, even at the undergraduate level. These opportunities include internships, field schools, assistantships, anthropology club activities, and museum exhibit preparation. This bachelor’s degree in archaeology program is great for students who want a variety of ways to get involved in the department.
Tuition: $7,923

#4 – Brigham Young University—Provo

Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology: Archaeology

Provo, Utah

Brigham Young University- Provo bachelor's degree in archaeology

Brigham Young–Provo’s bachelor’s in archaeology program requires a field school experience.

Website
Points: 9
Brigham Young University–Provo offers a comprehensive bachelor’s in archaeology degree program. Students in this program take courses in old world archaeology, new world archaeology, ethnography, and systems and institutions. On top of these requirements, students can choose between museum courses, internships, and related electives. All students also participate in at least one field school experience. By the time they graduate, bachelor’s degree in archaeology students are expected to be well versed in history, diversity, research methods, and social theory.
Tuition: $5,150

#3 – University of Cincinnati

Bachelor’s in Archaeology

Cincinnati, Ohio

University of Cincinnati bachelor's degree in archaeology

University of Cincinnati’s bachelor’s in archaeology program features three distinct concentrations.

Website
Points: 10
The University of Cincinnati offers a bachelor’s in archaeology program with concentrations in Geoarchaeology, Landscape Archaeology, and Social Complexity. The Geoarchaeology track uses sedimentology, soil science, and similar methods to interpret the archaeological record. Landscape Archaeology students use GPS, remote sensing, and other geo-spatial approaches to examine how humans have affected the terrain. The Social Complexity concentration examines how a variety of factors affects the structure of a society. This archeology degree program is ideal for students interested in a higher level of specialization.
Tuition: $11,000

#2 – University of Wisconsin—La Crosse

BA in Archaeology; BS in Archaeology

La Crosse, Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin- La Crosse archaeology degree

University of Wisconsin–La Crosse’s bachelor’s in archaeology students pursue either BA or BS tracks.

Website
Points: 11
Bachelor’s in archaeology students at the University of Wisconsin can choose between a BS in Archaeological Studies and a BA in Archaeological Studies. The major requirements for these programs are identical. However, the general education requirements for the BA degree are more broad, whereas the general education requirements for the BS degree are more strictly focused on the major. Archaeology degree students in both programs enjoy close student-faculty interaction, access to advanced lab equipment, and opportunities to gain hands-on experience both locally and abroad.
Tuition: $8,832

#1 – SUNY College at Cortland

Bachelor’s in Archaeology

Cortland, New York

SUNY-Cortland bachelor's degree in archaeology

SUNY–College of Cortland’s bachelor’s in archaeology program features elementary and secondary education tracks.

Website
Points: 11
SUNY College at Cortland offers a bachelor’s in archaeology program with concentrations in Americas Archaeology and World Archaeology. Students in this program enjoy both the benefits of being able to specialize in the topic they prefer and the wide range of career opportunities a broader education provides. This program prepares its students not only for field and lab work, but also careers as elementary and secondary archaeology teachers. Bachelor’s degree in archaeology students also benefit from smaller class sizes, which promote more meaningful discussions and interactions with faculty.
Tuition: $8,050

This concludes our ranking of the top 20 values for a bachelor’s in archaeology degree in 2017.

CVO Staff
April 2017