M.A. Program

The Master of Arts in Applied Archaeology is a professionally oriented program designed to prepare students for middle- and upper-level careers in the archaeological sector of the cultural resource management (CRM) industry. The program provides training in anthropological archaeology with a focus on developing a solid background in archaeological method and theory combined with practical experience in field and laboratory studies. Students are then trained how to use that background in an applied setting through courses focused on CRM regulations and practice, along with on-the-job training through an internship with a federal or state agency, a private firm, or a tribal entity that conducts archaeological investigations in the context of CRM. Students earning their MA through this program will have the background regulatory and practical knowledge to enter the field of CRM or pursue a Ph.D. degree as a competitive candidate with a solid training in anthropological archaeology. 

The program is designed to accommodate students who work full-time. Classes are predominantly scheduled between 6 and 10 p.m.

Program Highlights

  • Program focus on a foundation of Anthropological Archaeology and training on how that is used in the applied setting.
  • Active field and lab research opportunities on prehistoric and historic sites on the California mainland and islands.
  • Graduate assistantships are available each academic year.
  • You can utilize your existing work in the cultural resource management field to satisfy some program requirements.
  • Graduates are prepared for a variety of positions with the cultural resources management industry, including federal and state agencies, private consulting firms, tribal entities, and museums.  
  • Students will earn the skills and theoretical basis to continue on for a Ph.D. in anthropological archaeology at another institution if they choose to do so. 

As a Student You Can Expect

  • Specialized training on the regulations that govern historic preservation in the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
  • A robust background in archaeological theory and the history of the discipline
  • Training in research proposal and grant development and opportunities for research project development and execution
  • Experience in conducting archaeological analysis for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of historic preservation regulations at the local, state, and national level
  • Internship opportunities with federal, state, private, and tribal entities within California
  • Training on the technical writing necessary for producing cultural resources management reports

Program core faculty include archaeologists with extensive CRM experience who have active research projects in California and Mesoamerica. Select the name for full faculty profile:

Dr. Nicholas P. Jew
Program Director

Research Focus: Island and coastal archaeology, maritime hunter-gatherers societies, paleoenvironmental reconstruction, human-environmental interactions

Program Expertise: California archaeology, CRM law and practice, lithic analysis, archaeometry, quantitative analysis, stable isotopes

Dr. Guy Hepp
Program Core Faculty

Research focus: Mesoamerica, early complex societies

Program expertise: Archaeological theory

Dr. Peter Robertshaw
Program Core Faculty

Research focus: Africa, pre-colonial history, and state formation

Program expertise: Archaeological research design