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

Heritage Resource Management

Master of Arts

The master's in heritage resource management (HRM) is a professional graduate program that prepares HRM archaeologists to integrate ethical, legal, business, and research priorities in pursuit of desired futures for treasured legacies from diverse pasts. In addition to the thesis, the program consists of an orientation on the Burnaby campus and four online courses that provide intensive preparation in the essential dimensions of HRM archaeology:

  • law and policy
  • ethics and practice
  • business management
  • and research design and methods

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Admission Requirements

Applicants must satisfy the University admission requirements as stated in Graduate General Regulations 1.3 in the SFU calendar. Applications to the program will be accepted from candidates who: 

  • Hold a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in anthropology, archaeology, museum studies, planning, or a related field;
  • Obtained a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0;
  • Professional experience working in heritage resource management or a related field, including at least some experience in lab work, field work, planning and consultation, and project and budget management. 1-2 years of professional employment are recommended. 

The archaeology graduate admissions committee may offer, at its discretion, MA admission to exceptional students without an undergraduate degree in archaeology, anthropology, or a related field. Minimally we require demonstrated competence in field archaeology or a cognate domain of professional practice in heritage resource management. 

Students who do not have the proper background in heritage resource management are advised to obtain this background through participation in heritage resource management activities and programs, especially heritage site identification, significance assessment, and impact avoidance or reduction. 

Students may transfer from the HRM graduate certificate to the HRM master's following the completion of ARCH 531 and ARCH 541 with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and the approval of the HRM program director.

Program Requirements

This program consists of a cohort orientation program on the Burnaby campus, course requirements and a thesis for a minimum of 38 units.

Students complete all of

ARCH 531 - HRM Law and Policy (5)

Provides a broad survey of international heritage authorities and rules with an emphasis on Heritage Resource Management policy in Canada and the United States. Particular attention is given to how the development of rules and organizations affect archaeological practice. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the MA or Certificate in HRM.

ARCH 541 - HRM Professional Practice and Ethics (5)

Focuses upon the complexity of operating within an HRM field characterized by overlapping, and at times contradictory, professional standards and ethics. The emphasis is on opportunities to add value to knowledge creation and mobilization through creative engagements with clients, Indigenous and local communities, governments, partners, and the public. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the MA or Certificate in HRM.

ARCH 551 - HRM Business Management (5)

Contextualizes the business of HRM by targeting five clusters of essential concepts and tools in business management: accounting and finance; marketing, sales, and contracting; human resources, labour, economics, corporate governance, and risk management; and business models, innovation, and globalization. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the MA or Certificate in HRM.

ARCH 561 - HRM Archaeological Research Design and Methods (5)

Examines the hallmarks of excellent research in HRM archaeology through studies of successful and less successful research designs and methods. The course provides essential guidance for student thesis preparation. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the MA or Certificate in HRM.

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

Program Length

Students are expected to complete the program requirements in six terms.

Other Information

Course Work

Students who have completed the HRM graduate certificate will receive 10 units of advance credit for course work already completed, and are required to complete 10 additional units of graduate course work and a thesis for a minimum of 38 units. The additional units will include ARCH 591, or comparable course work, as approved by the HRM director.


After completion of the four required courses, students advance to candidacy and complete and defend the thesis. The defence topic should be the thesis itself and related matters. It should be focused on problem-oriented research in the heritage resource management field, involving the conceptualization of an archaeological problem, and the collection, analysis, interpretation and presentation of data.

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.