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Department of Archaeology | Faculty of Environment Simon Fraser University Calendar | Summer 2023


Master of Arts

The department offers specializations in archaeometry, art, ceramic analysis, cultural resource management, ethnoarchaeology, forensic anthropology, geoarchaeology, historical archaeology, lithic analysis, palaeoanthropology, palaeoethnobotany, skeletal biology, and zooarchaeology.

In addition to gaining knowledge and expertise in particular areas of research interest, the student will gain a comprehensive understanding of the discipline and strive to acquire a general knowledge of world prehistory, physical anthropology, and archaeological theory and methods. Depending on enrollment, individual or group courses can be arranged in addition to regularly scheduled courses.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must satisfy the University admission requirements as stated in Graduate General Regulations 1.3 in the SFU Calendar.

Program Requirements

This program consists of the following sequential steps for a minimum of 33 units: course requirements, thesis prospectus, colloquium presentation, advancement to candidacy, thesis completion, and defence. The course requirements, thesis prospectus, and the colloquium presentation should be completed by students by the end of the second term.

Students must complete the following

ARCH 871 - Archaeological Theory (5)

Critical evaluation of new approaches to the study of the human past.

ARCH 872 - Graduate Seminar in Archaeology and Prehistory (1)

A seminar on selected problems in archaeological science and prehistory. Grading will be restricted to satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U).

ARCH 873 - Graduate Seminar in Archaeology and Prehistory (1)

A seminar on selected problems in archaeological science and prehistory. Students may take ARCH 873 for credit once in the graduate program. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

ARCH 876 - Research Design (5)

Seminar focusing on the development of thesis research design and data analysis.

and one or more additional courses with a minimum of three units and approval by the supervisory committee

and a thesis

ARCH 898 - MA Thesis (18)

Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 TBD
G200 TBD
G300 TBD

Advancement to Candidacy

A distinction is made between program enrollment and formal advancement to degree candidacy. A candidate is a student who has successfully completed the advancement to candidacy requirements (defined below).

Formal advancement to MA candidacy takes place when the following requirements have been met:

  • Completion of three required graduate courses;
  • Completion of a prospectus and presentation of a colloquium as part of ARCH 876


The thesis should be focused on problem-oriented research, involving the conceptualization of a problem, and the collection, analysis and interpretation of data. It should normally not exceed 100 pages of text.

Program Length

Students are required to complete the program requirements in nine terms, and are encouraged to complete in less time.

Other Information

There are no prescribed language requirements but knowledge of a language other than English is desirable. If knowledge of a language is necessary for field work or reading, however, the student will be required to attain the necessary language proficiency.

Academic Requirements within the Graduate General Regulations

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the Graduate General Regulations, as well as the specific requirements for the program in which they are enrolled.