Purpose and Design

The Historical Archaeology M.A. program has a dual purpose: (1) to begin a student’s advanced degree path with coursework, research, and training that will successfully prepare her or him for completing graduate work at the PhD level and (2) to provide solid methodological, theoretical, and topical grounding for students seeking jobs in cultural resource management, museums, nonprofit organizations, secondary education, government agencies, or community colleges. These purposes are fulfilled with guided but diverse and flexible course offerings, many opportunities for laboratory and field research, and careful advising. The Historical Archaeology Graduate Program has an outstanding track record of positioning graduates to be competitive both for top-rate PhD programs (such as University of Pennsylvania, University of California Berkeley, Boston University, Yale University) and for exciting museum, heritage, public history and archaeology, historic preservation, and cultural resource management jobs.

The Historical Archaeology Master’s Program is designed as a two-year program with four required courses, four electives, a graduate-level archaeological field school, a thesis preparation course, and careful supervision of the master’s thesis process from proposal to final product. See links to the left for more details. Master’s theses are based on research with primary data sources such as archaeological collections, historical archives, or ethnographic information. Completed and current thesis projects have covered topics such as zooarchaeology, palynology, macrobotanical analysis, architectural history, ceramic analysis, lithic studies, archaeoparasitology, spatial analysis, studies of object of personal adornment, and archival study from places as diverse as the African Meeting House in Boston; Sylvester Manor on Shelter Island in New York; the Eastern Pequot Reservation in North Stonington, Connecticut; Hassanamessit Woods in Grafton, Massachusetts; Cape Cod, Massachusetts; and heritage sites in Brazil. Please browse a list of recent theses for more details.