Masters Program

MA Program Requirements

The traditional on-campus MA program in Archaeology is a full-time, per-term fee program that 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.

Course Requirements

Students must complete the following:
ARCH 871 - Archaeological Theory (5)
ARCH 872 - Graduate Seminar in Archaeology and Prehistory (1)
ARCH 873 - Graduate Seminar in Archaeology and Prehistory (1)
ARCH 876 - Research Design (5)
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)

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.

Recommended Timeline

Year 1 Fall
  • Archaeological Theory (ARCH 871-5)
  • Directed Readings in Prehistory (ARCH 892-5) (or another course, in your first or second semester)
  • Graduate Seminar (ARCH 872)
  • Archaeological Research Design (ARCH 876-5)
  • Graduate Seminar (ARCH 873)
  • Establish supervisory committee
  • Interim Graduate Progress Report
  • MA Thesis Research (ARCH 898)
Year 2-3  
  • MA Thesis Research (ARCH 898)
  • Every Fall and Spring, a Graduate Progress Report