Undergraduate Archaeology Degree: Top 20 Values

Undergraduate Archaeology Degree: Top 20 Values
The badge awarded by College Values Online to the top degree programs

An undergraduate archaeology degree 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 fieldwork and study abroad experiences. Whether you’re interested in studying archaeology 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.

Featured Programs

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 Archaeology Schools Ranked and Reviewed

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 undergraduate methodology for undergraduate programs.

Editor’s Note: This ranking/article was originally published in 11/16 and was last updated in 1/23 The updates may affect the ranking order, but the list has not been re-ordered.

#20 – Mercyhurst University

Erie, Pennsylvania

Mercyhurst University logo

BA in Archaeology; BS in Archaeology

Website
Points: 5
Mercyhurst University offers two bachelor’s in archaeology programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in Archaeology
  • Bachelor of Arts 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. Research participation 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: $42,680

#19 – University of Evansville

Evansville, Indiana

University of Evansville logo

Undergraduate Archaeology Degree

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
  • 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: $39,806

#18 – La Sierra University

Riverside, California

La Sierra University logo

Bachelor’s in Archaeology

Website
Points: 5
La Sierra offers a bachelor’s degree in archaeology 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
  • 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 applicable to bachelor’s degree in archaeology students who want to apply the subject to more secular settings.
Tuition: $34,218

#17 – University of Indianapolis

Indianapolis, Indiana

University of Indianapolis logo

Bachelor of Science in Archaeology

Website
Points: 5
The University of Indianapolis offers a unique bachelor’s degree 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 can accumulate much 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: $33,520

#16 – Pennsylvania State University

University Park, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania State University logo

Undergraduate Archaeology Degree

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
  • 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: $18,898

#15 – University of Texas at Austin

Austin, Texas

University of Texas at Austin logo

Bachelor’s in Archaeology

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: $11,752

#14 – Cornell College

Mount Vernon, Iowa

Bachelor’s in Archaeology

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 provides 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: $47,726

#13 – Sweet Briar College

Sweet Briar, Virginia

Sweet Briar College logo

Bachelor’s in Anthropology: Archaeology

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: $23,080

#12 – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill- logo

Undergraduate Archaeology Degree

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 can personalize their degree plans to fit their career goals best. Experiential learning is considered a significant part of students’ education. All students are required to participate in laboratory and excavation experiences, and students have opportunities to:

  • study abroad
  • complete internships
  • 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: $9,028

#11 – College of Charleston

Charleston, South Carolina

College of Charleston logo

Bachelor’s in Archaeology

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
  • 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: $12,978

#10 – Southern Adventist University

Collegedale, Tennessee

southern adventist university logo

Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology

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: $23,210

#9 – University of California-Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, California

University of California - Santa Cruz- logo

Bachelor’s in Anthropological Archaeology

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 will also learn 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: $14,070

#8 – Western Washington University

Bellingham, Washington

Western Washington University

BA in Anthropology: Archaeology

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 can explore a variety of topics. Students also enjoy many enrichment opportunities outside of formal classes, such as:

  • internships
  • research
  • community service
  • 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: $8,703

#7 – CUNY-Hunter College

New York, New York

CUNY Hunter logo

Bachelor’s in Anthropology: Archaeology

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
  • 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 excellent for students who desire a broader approach to the field. Students who want to become more specialized or conduct a lot of fieldwork may prefer another program.
Tuition: $7,382

#6 – University of Missouri-Columbia

Columbus, Missouri

University of Missouri logo

Bachelor of Art History and Archaeology

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: $11,475

#5 – SUNY College at Potsdam

Potsdam, New York

SUNY Potsdam logo

Bachelor’s in Archaeology

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
  • museum exhibit preparation

his bachelor’s degree in archaeology program is a good fit for students who want a variety of ways to get involved in the department.
Tuition: $8,712

#4 – Brigham Young University-Provo

Provo, Utah

BYU Provo logo

Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology: Archaeology

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
  • systems and institutions

On top of these requirements, students can choose between:

  • museum courses
  • internships
  • related electives

All students also participate in at least one field school experience. By the time they graduate, students are expected to be well-versed in history, diversity, research methods, and social theory.
Tuition: $6,120

#3 – University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, Ohio

University of Cincinnati - logo

Bachelor’s in Archaeology

Website
Points: 10
The University of Cincinnati offers a bachelor’s in archaeology program with concentrations in:

  • Geoarchaeology
  • Landscape Archaeology
  • 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 geospatial 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: $12,598

#2 – University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

La Crosse, Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire- logo

BA in Archaeology; BS in Archaeology

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 requirements for these programs are identical. However, the general education requirements for the BA degree are broader, 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: $9,915

#1 – SUNY College at Cortland

Cortland, New York

SUNY College at Cortland logo

Bachelor’s in Archaeology

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 specializing 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: $8,815

CVO Staff

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