Return to: College of Arts & Sciences: Departments/Programs
McIntire Department of Art
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400130
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4130
Phone: (434) 924-6123 Fax: (434) 924-3647
Overview The interdisciplinary major in archaeology combines the faculty and resources of several departments to create a program of study in prehistoric, historic, and classical archaeology. The discipline is concerned with the recovery, analysis, and interpretation of the material remains of past cultures and societies. The topics of study pursued within the program can vary widely, ranging from issues of human origins and cultural evolution to the study of Classical Greece and Rome; from the structure of ancestral Pueblo societies to colonialism in Virginia, and from the study of the ancient Near East and Egypt to the development of Swahili culture on the East African coast. The program provides majors with knowledge of archaeological method and theory and a thorough grounding in specific cultural areas.
Faculty As an interdisciplinary program, the Archaeology faculty is composed of nine principal advising faculty, all archaeologists from the Anthropology and Art History departments. In addition, faculty from architectural history, history, religious studies, classics, and environmental sciences offer courses that complement the major. Faculty sponsored field research is currently being conducted in Greece, Italy, Turkey, East Africa, the Southwestern United States, Virginia and the Caribbean.
Students There are approximately thirty students currently majoring in archaeology. Students are required to complete a core program of three courses which includes one course in anthropological archaeology, one course in classical archaeology (Greek or Roman), and one course in archaeological field methods. Beyond the core courses, students may either choose to focus on one area or seek a broad base of study in several time periods and geographical regions. Funding to support undergraduate field research is available on a competitive basis from the Marker, Childs, Pugsley Scholarship fund. Applications are made to the fund in the Spring for summer fieldwork. Three to five students are funded each year from the endowment.
Upon graduation, many majors pursue a professional career in archaeology which typically requires an advanced degree. The University’s archaeology majors are sought by the best graduate programs in the United States and beyond and are often offered significant financial support. Many who wish to pursue field research opportunities following graduation (often prior to entering graduate school) have found professional employment in the area of archaeological resource management, a growing private industry in the environmental impact field. Others have found employment with government agencies and museums. Since archaeology is a liberal arts major that offers a unique merger of both humanistic and scientific thought, many majors draw upon this training in pursuing careers in medicine, law, and a range of other fields.