Why study Archaeology?

Archaeology students learn how to examine archaeological sites, landscapes, and material culture to make inferences about people in the past. Archaeology majors develop research skills that enable them to investigate problems, analyze and evaluate data, and infer aspects of ancient human behavior and modes of organization.  

The Archaeology BA program provides students with interdisciplinary training in archaeological methods (for example, how to survey, excavate, document, and interpret archaeological sites and past landscapes), theoretical approaches, laws, and ethics. A core requirement of this program is the completion of an archaeological field school or public archaeological internship where students gain valuable hands-on experience with field and laboratory methods that prepare them for future careers. Students pursue a unified curriculum while focusing their major elective coursework across or within one of the following three Concentration Areas: 

Environmental and Landscape Archaeology. Explore topics from landscape and spatial archaeology, GIS, environmental anthropology, historical ecology, bioarchaeology, agricultural systems, human–environment interaction, cultural landscapes, and sustainability through interdisciplinary coursework in Anthropology, Environmental Studies, Geology, and Geography. 

Archaeology of Social Complexity. Explore topics from regional archaeologies (North America, Mesoamerica, Europe, Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean, and the Near East); the development of agriculture, complex societies, and cities; and material culture through interdisciplinary coursework in Anthropology, Architecture, Africana Studies, and Classics. 

Material Culture, Cultural Heritage, and Museum Studies. Explore topics from public archaeology, archaeological laws and ethics, material culture, heritage studies, and strategies for representing ancient and modern cultural practices through interdisciplinary coursework in Anthropology, Architecture, Classics, and History. 

Admission Requirements

Freshmen applicants, please visit the Admission Requirements page for more information.

With its emphasis on research and professional training, the program provides undergraduate students with opportunities to directly participate in scholarly research through hands-on activities. The program incorporates information about recent discoveries and current interpretations of archaeological research in order that students will appreciate the evolving nature of knowledge and theories in the field. The program also integrates core values of citizenship, cultural diversity, cultural heritage appreciation and historic preservation.

Students graduating with an Archaeology BA can expect to obtain jobs in the fields of cultural resource management, public archaeology, historic preservation, museum studies, and natural resource management. Graduates of the UC Bachelors in Archaeology program who choose to continue their study in MA or PhD. programs will be well prepared for graduate level work.

There is a critical need in the U.S. for individuals trained in archaeology to address the demand created by development and infrastructure expansion. In addition to cultural resource management and environmental assessment firms, many local,state and national government agencies employ archaeologists (ex. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management, US Army Corps of Engineers, National Park Service, the US Forest Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Ohio Department of Transportation, among others.

Websites that highlight employment opportunities in archaeology worldwide include the following: 

Minors are not available in the archaeology program. Students interested in a related minor or certificate might consider the following:

  • Minor in anthropology
  • Certificate in historic preservation
  • Certificate in Mediterranean archaeology 
  • Certificate in GIS

The University of Cincinnati has strong relationship with community partners such as the Cincinnati Musuem Center, the Archaeological Research Institute, and local CRM firms, that offer opportunities to enrich students' training in field methods, public archaeology, curation, and other areas of archaeological practice. 

Students in the UC College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) enjoy many benefits afforded through study at a research-intensive institution ranked among the nation's top 25 public research universities. UC's urban, Tristate location offers exciting opportunities for global education, research and service learning, while its student-centered focus includes an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, a nationally recognized Center for Exploratory Studies and a highly successful First Year Experience program that teaches critical skills for first-year students and provides connections with important campus resources.

The University of Cincinnati Center for Field Studies (UCCFS) is an off-campus resource located on 17.6 acres of South Shaker Farm in Miami Whitewater Forest, Hamilton County, Ohio. It is connected administratively to the UC College of Arts and Sciences and the Departments of Anthropology, Biological Sciences, Geography, and Geology and the School of  Enviornment and Sustainability. Designed to serve the Greater Cincinnati region, the UCCFS provides a base of operations for on-site and regional field research, a protected area for long-term environmental research and a training center for interdisciplinary research and education activities.

To graduate from the UC College of Arts and Sciences, students must:

  • Earn at least 120 credits. This can include transfer credit, AP credit and free electives, but does not include preparatory coursework. Students who have met all other degree requirements must continue earning credit until the total number of their earned hours comes to at least 120.
  • Attain a 2.0 grade point average for all courses taken at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Be in good academic standing, that is, not on either academic probation or disciplinary probation or suspension.
  • Complete the residency requirement by earning at least 30 credits after matriculating into the college.
  • Complete all of the requirements of at least one major (see major requirements above).
  • Complete the College Core Requirements.
  • Submit an application for graduation to the registrar's office by their posted deadline.

Admission to A&S is generally available for any off-campus student who was admissible directly from high school and has 2.0 GPA cum and a 2.0 in the most recent institution.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours earned
  • at least a 2.0 GPA cum and a 2.0 at most recent institution

For more information, Pathways Advising and Student Success

Transfer students should apply using our transfer student online application

Admission to A&S is generally available for University of Cincinnati students enrolled in other colleges if they were admissible directly from high school, have a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 in their most recent UC college.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • at least a 2.0 GPA in all college-level courses (both at UC and at other institutions)
  • successfully completed one semester of English composition or its equivalent
  • successfully completed one semester of math with a grade of C- or higher that minimally meets on of the following:
    • Mathematical Literacy (MATH 0029)
    • Intermediate Algebra (MATH 0034)
    • Algebra for College (MATH 0039)
    • Students may also take the UC Math Placement exam, but must score an MPT of 420 or higher

Application Deadlines

While midyear admission is possible, fall semester is generally the best time to enter the college, since many course sequences begin in that semester. Applicants to the UC College of Arts and Sciences who are enrolled or who were previously enrolled as degree-seeking students in A&S or in other UC colleges should apply for admission directly to A&S (in French West, 2nd Floor). All other applicants who wish to earn an undergraduate degree from A&S should apply through the Office of Admissions (3rd Floor, University Pavilion).

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Contact Information

Stephanie Sadre-Orafai
481 Braunstein Hall
PO Box 210380
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0380
(513) 556-3569

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Program Code: 15BAC-ARCL-BA