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Specialization in History Masters Program:
The Archaeology and Anthropology Option

Description and Rationale

The Archaeology and Anthropology Option is a 30-credit program within the current History masters degree. Through a series of required courses and electives, the specialization emphasizes method and theory in each of the relevant disciplines (History, Anthropology and Archaeology) and the connections between them. Students enrolled in this option are encouraged to link areas of study across the disciplines. Some of the natural connections are maritime History and underwater archaeology, social History and cultural anthropology, and ancient History and classical archaeology. Students can also develop programs of study that emphasize regional connections or themes such as race, gender or family. While students might have to take one or two courses that do not fit into a specific thematic orientation, all courses would contribute to the specialization's major objective, namely an overall understanding of method and theory in History, anthropology and archaeology.

All master's candidates in the Archaeology and Anthropology Option are required to take a series of required courses and a choice of electives. They also have to take written and oral comprehensive examinations. in keeping with graduate school and History department requirements, at least half the courses taken within the program have to be at the 500 level or above, including one 500 level Seminar in History, one 500-level Seminar in cultural heritage, a 500-level directed study, and at least one other 500-level History course.

The Archaeology and Anthropology Option is designed to serve the needs of students from New England and elsewhere wishing to combine the study of History, Anthropology and Archaeology. Some potential students might be interested in an interdisciplinary approach to Topics such as race, gender or the family. The option also serves students looking to enter museum work, cultural resource management, and contract archaeology. The option forms one part of the PhD program in Archaeological Oceanography. Students interested in this program should apply for admittance to the graduate programs in History and the Graduate School of Oceanography.

Admission Requirements

GRE and bachelor's degree. While 24 credits in History are normally required, credits in anthropology, archaeology, art History and related fields may be accepted with permission of the director of graduate studies, in consultation with graduate faculty from History, Art, and Sociology and Anthropology.

Specialization Requirements

An approved program requires 30 credits. Students may write a master's thesis with approval of the program director and the Director of Graduate Studies. Some students may have to take three additional credits in order to take advantage of this option.

Required Courses

  1. At least one of the following Historical Methods courses:
    HIS401 Advanced Topics in European History
    HIS441 Advanced Topics in American History
    HIS481 Advanced Topics in Asian or Latin American History

  2. At least two 500 level History courses including at least one of the following Seminars (NB. HIS591 & HIS599 excluded)
    HIS506 Seminar in European History
    HIS507 Seminar in United States History
    HIS508 Seminar in Asian or Latin American History

  3. At least one Anthropological Theory Course
    APG401 History of Anthropological Theory
    APG413 Peoples of the Sea
    APG427 Unity of Anthropology

  4. At least one Archaeological Method and Theory Course
    HIS490/APG490 Underwater Historical Archaeology
    APG417 Archaeological Method and Theory
    ARH475/575 Classical Archaeology

  5. The following Anthropology/Art History Seminar
    ARH/APG 465 or 565 Seminar in Cultural Heritage

  6. A major History research paper through directed study or thesis. NB: The directed study might be taken alongside a section of HIS495.
    HIS591 Directed Study or Research
    HIS599 Thesis


The remaining credits will be selected from a list of approved electives. Up to 6 credits of other graduate courses may be substituted for approved electives with the approval of the student's major professor and program coordinator.

  1. Approved History Electives:
    All 400 and 500 level History courses.

  2. Approved Anthropology Electives
    APG401 History of Anthropological Theory
    APG413 Peoples of the Sea
    APG417 Archaeological Method and Theory (The current APG317 would have to be changed to the 400 level)
    APG427 Unity of Anthropology
    APG470 Problems in Anthropology (Independent Study)
    APG490/HIS490 Underwater Historical Archaeology (course to be proposed)

  3. Approved Art History and Material Culture Electives
    ARH469/470 Independent Study in Art History
    ARH480 Advanced Topics in European and American Art
    ARH/APG 465 or 565 Seminar in Cultural Heritage (course to be created)
    ARH475/575 Classical Archaeology (course to be created)
    NES400 Special Topics in New England Studies (when the topic is appropriate and with the approval of the student's major professor)
    TMD440 Historic Textiles
    TMD510 Research Methods in Textiles
    TMD520 Introduction to Textile Conservation
    TMD524 Cultural Aspects of Dress
    TMD570 Topics in Historic Textiles or Costume

Program credits from electives = 12

Graduate Student Resources

Contact info

For general inquiries, contact Dr. Evelyn Sterne, Director of Graduate Studies,

For inquiries about the Archaeology and Anthropology option, contact Dr. Roderick Mather,