Undergraduate Archaeology Degree: Top 15 Values 2024

Undergraduate Archaeology Degree: Top 20 Values

Key Takeaways:

  • Rankings are based on tuition costs, financial aid, and unique program features like fieldwork opportunities.
  • Programs vary in focus, offering BA and BS degrees with concentrations like Biological Anthropology and Archaeological Sciences.
  • Top ranked schools provide robust fieldwork, research opportunities, and diverse courses tailored to archaeology.

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.

Best Archaeology Schools Ranked and Reviewed

To determine the 15 best value schools for a bachelor’s in archaeology, our editors began with an initial pool of 43 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 15 schools based on the undergraduate methodology for undergraduate programs.

Featured Programs

Types of Archaeology Degree Programs Mentioned in this Ranking

  • BA/BS in Anthropology: Archaeology Certificate
  • BA in Anthropology: Archaeology
  • BA in Liberal and Interdisciplinary Studies: Archaeology
  • BA in Anthropology: Archaeology and Biological Anthropology
  • BA/BS in Archaeological Sciences
  • BS in Archaeological Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology

#15—University of Wisconsin – Madison

Madison, Wisconsin

BA/BS in Anthropology: Archaeology Certificate

Website

Points: 9

Tuition: $10,796

Students interested in pursuing an archaeologist’s education from the University of Wisconsin – Madison can earn either a BA or BS in Anthropology with a certificate in Archaeology. The certificate consists of seven courses in the field, including:

  • Archaeology and the Prehistoric World
  • The Emergence of Human Culture
  • The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Rome
  • Archaeological Methods of Curation

A field course in archaeology as well as a capstone course is also required.

#14—University of Montana

Missoula, Montana

BA in Anthropology: Archaeology

Website

Points: 9

Tuition: $7,719

The bachelor’s in archaeology from the University of Montana is a BA option in Anthropology with an emphasis in Archaeology. The curriculum for the program emphasizes experiential learning and includes several study abroad opportunities. Once enrolled, students will take courses such as:

  • Ethnographic Field Methods
  • Archaeological Wonders of the World
  • Cultural Resource Management
  • Archaeology of the Southwest United States

The school also offers graduate programs in anthropology, including master’s and PhD options. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has accredited the University of Montana to offer this undergraduate archaeology degree.

Related: Bachelor’s in Anthropology

#13—University of North Carolina – Greensboro

Greensboro, North Carolina

BA in Liberal and Interdisciplinary Studies: Archaeology

Website

Points: 9

Tuition: $7,498

The bachelor degree in archaeology from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro is an interdisciplinary program affiliated with four different departments within the university. Core courses required for the program include:

  • Introduction to Archaeology Through World Prehistory
  • Methods in Archaeology
  • Introduction to Geographic Information Science
  • Introduction to Greek Archaeology

After completing core requirements, students may also select classes from an array of electives such as:

  • The Archaeology of Roman Daily Life
  • Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • Gender Archaeology
  • The Ancient World

Study abroad and field research opportunities are also available to undergraduate archaeology students.

#12—Indiana University – Bloomington

Bloomington, Indiana

Bachelor’s in Anthropology: Archaeology

Website

Points: 10

Tuition: $11,447

The archaeology degree for undergraduate students at Indiana University is a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology with a concentration in Archaeology. The curriculum for the program features upper-level coursework in archaeology such as:

  • Archaeology of Ancient Mexico
  • Invention and Technology
  • Prehistoric Diet and Nutrition
  • Laboratory Methods in Archaeology

Indiana University offers this bachelor in archaeology from its College of Arts and Sciences. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the school to offer this undergraduate archaeology degree.

#11—California State University – Sacramento

Sacramento, California

BA in Anthropology: Archaeology and Biological Anthropology

Website

Points: 9

Tuition: $7,484

Sacramento State University offers an affordable bachelor degree in archaeology from its College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies. Requirements for this unique program include:

  • Introduction to Biological Anthropology
  • Ethnographic Analysis
  • Great Basin Archaeology
  • Language, Culture, and Critical Thinking

Students who elect the Archaeology and Biological Anthropology concentration will take additional courses such as:

  • Archaeological Method and Theory
  • Evolution of Human Behavior
  • Comparative Primate Morphology
  • Anthropology of Hunters and Gatherers

The WASC Senior College and University Commission has accredited Sacramento State to award this archaeology degree for undergrads.

#10—University of Wisconsin – La Crosse

La Crosse, Wisconsin

BS in Archaeological Studies

Website

Points: 10

Tuition: $9,232

For students seeking an archaeologist’s education, the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse is a solid option. The school offers a Bachelor of Science in Archaeological Studies from its renowned College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities. Required courses for the undergraduate degree include:

  • Historical and Theoretical Perspectives in Archaeology
  • Research Methods in Archaeology
  • Archaeology: Discovering Our Past
  • World Archaeology: Origins and Development of Human Culture and Society

As a culminating element of the program, students may complete an honors thesis or senior capstone project.

#9—University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Bachelor’s in Anthropology: Archaeology

Website

Points: 10

Tuition: $6,381

Offered through the university’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the archaeology degree from the University of Florida is a bachelor’s degree in anthropology with an archaeology concentration. To fulfill the requirements for this concentration, enrolled students must take a foundational course entitled Introduction to World Archaeology. They can then choose from a wide range of elective classes, including:

  • African American Archaeology
  • Environment and Cultural Behavior
  • Development of World Civilization
  • The Inca and Their Ancestors

A supervised independent research project is also encouraged as part of this bachelor’s degree program. Graduates are job-ready but may also pursue advanced degrees such as archaeology master’s degrees or PhD programs.

#8—University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, Ohio

BA in Archaeology

Website

Points: 11

Tuition: $13,176         

The versatile bachelor’s degree in archaeology from the University of Cincinnati features three distinct concentrations:

  • Environmental and Landscape Archaeology
  • Archaeology of Social Complexity
  • Material Culture, Cultural Heritage, and Museum Studies

The curriculum for the program is comprehensive and features course titles such as:

  • Techniques of Historic Preservation
  • Introduction to Geographic Information Sciences
  • History and Theories of Cities
  • Curation Methods in Archaeology

A field research component is also required prior to program completion.

#7—University of Washington

Seattle, Washington

BA/BS in Archaeological Sciences

Website

Points: 11

Tuition: $12,242

Students interested in pursuing a bachelor degree in anthropology from the University of Washington may elect a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) track. For high-achieving students, an honors program is also available. Sample course titles associated with the archaeology degree may include:

  • Archaeology of the Americas
  • The Archaeology of Extinction
  • Research Ethics in Archaeology: Conservation, Accountability, and Stewardship
  • Special Problems in Archaeology

Research opportunities are abundant for undergraduate archaeology students. A scholarship is also available for students who excel in research endeavors.

#6—Western Washington University

Bellingham, Washington

BA in Anthropology: Archaeology

Website

Points: 11

Tuition: $8,967

Western Washington University offers an undergraduate archaeology degree from its College of Humanities and Social Sciences. This Bachelor of Arts program in Anthropology features a formal concentration in Archaeology that emphasizes regional prehistoric and historic archaeology. Requirements for the bachelor’s degree include course titles such as:

  • Archaeological Analysis and Interpretation
  • Museology Studies
  • The Ecology of Human Variation
  • Religion and Culture

A field course in archaeology is also recommended as an experiential learning component.

#5—Hunter College

New York, New York

Bachelor’s in Anthropology: Archaeology

Website

Points: 11

Tuition: $7,382

Hunter College offers an undergraduate archaeology degree from its distinguished School of Arts & Sciences. This bachelor’s degree in anthropology features a concentration in archaeology, which can be fulfilled through a combination of foundational anthropology courses and elective and advanced courses in archaeology. Sample course titles include:

  • Methods in Archaeological Science
  • Human Ecology
  • Archaeology of North America
  • Archaeology of Colonialism

A minor in archaeology is also available. Students who wish to graduate with honors must maintain a 3.5 minimum GPA and complete a senior thesis project.

#4—University of California –San Diego

La Jolla, California

BA in Anthropology: Archaeology

Website

Points: 12

Tuition: $14,906

The undergraduate archaeology degree from the University of California – San Diego is a versatile Bachelor of Arts option in Anthropology with a concentration in Archaeology. Once enrolled, students will take three required courses:

  • Humans Are Cultural Animals
  • Sociocultural Anthropology
  • Foundations of Social Complexity

Students will also take elective classes as well as courses specific to the archaeology concentration. Some of these classes may include:

  • Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Anthropologists and Archaeologists
  • Documenting Climate Change: Past and Present
  • Cyber-Archaeology and World Digital Cultural Heritage
  • Ancient Mediterranean Civilization

A field experience is required, and numerous study abroad opportunities are available.

#3—Colorado State University

Fort Collins, Colorado

Bachelor’s in Anthropology: Archaeology

Website

Points: 12

Tuition: $12,874

The standout bachelor degree in archaeology from Colorado State University is an undergraduate major in anthropology with a concentration in archaeology. The program emphasizes archaeology of the Americas across time and features specific course titles such as:

  • Archaeology and the Public
  • Archaeology and Cultural Resource Management
  • History of America’s National Parks
  • Archaeological Investigation

A variety of career pathways are available to archaeology students who wish to customize their archaeologists education. Field school experiences, practicums, and internships are also available.

#2—University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology

Website

Points: 12

Tuition: $8,989

The archaeology degree from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill is a rigorous BA offering featuring an optional honors track. Prospective students will take core courses such as:

  • Method and Theory in Classical Archaeology
  • The Identification and Analysis of Historical Artifacts
  • Great Discoveries in Archaeology
  • Introduction to World Prehistory

An archaeological practice field requirement is also required prior to graduation. Transfer students are welcome, but they must complete at least half of the major-specific coursework at UNC-Chapel Hill. The school is home to the first study center for North Carolina archaeology, the Research Laboratories of Archaeology (RLA).

#1—Texas A&M University

College Station, Texas

BA in Anthropology: Archaeology

Website

Points: 13

Tuition: $13,239

A top school for archaeology, Texas A&M University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology with an emphasis in Archaeology. The program requires upper-level courses in archaeology in addition to fundamental anthropology coursework. Some of these classes may include:

  • Archaeological Theory
  • Nautical Archaeology
  • Environmental Archaeology
  • Ceramic Artifact Analysis

A supervised field research component is also required of archaeology majors.

CVO Staff

This concludes our ranking of the top 15 values for a bachelor’s in archaeology degree.