Professional Archaeology Specialization

The Professional Archaeology Specialization in the Anthropology Masters of Art is an Option I specialization. The goal of the program is to prepare students to move immediately into positions of responsibility in the area of heritage or cultural resources management. One of the objectives of this specialization is to expose students to classroom situations that deal with legal and technical aspects of compliance.

Students will be required to complete an internship that deals with real-life aspects of cultural resource management and a thesis. This thesis must demonstrate their ability to design and execute research that is contextually situated, addresses important issues in the evolving literature, and is well written.

All of these experiences are framed by a holistic anthropological approach.

General Requirements

Students interested in this program should have a good foundation in Anthropology and basic archaeological field methods. Students are required to complete a minimum 36 credit hour course of study.


BA/BS in Anthropology or equivalent
At least one season of archaeological field experience
Advanced coursework in Archaeology, Cultural/Social Anthropology and Biological/Physical Anthropology
Highly recommended: statistics, GIS, coursework in archaeological material analysis

Requirements (36 hours)

Listed classes are 3 credit hours unless noted otherwise

Archaeology (18 credit hours)

Core Archaeology (6-9 credit hours)

  • 831 Historical Archaeology
  • 832 History and Philosophy of Archaeology
  • 835 Heritage Management Archaeology
  • 855 Forensic Archaeology: Clandestine Burials, Mass Graves, and Human Rights
  • 935 Seminar in Archaeology

Regional overview (3-6 credit hours)

  • 833 North American Archaeology (required for Federal employment)
  • 834 Great Plains Archaeology
  • 836 Ancient Maya
  • 837 Cultural Heritage of the American Southwest
  • 838 Topics in Old World Archaeology: Archaeologies of Europe

Archaeology methods and skills (6 credit hours)

  • 804 Curation of Archaeological Collections
  • 806 Visualizing the Ancient City
  • 816 Digital Anthropologies
  • 856 Forensic Taphonomy
  • 861 Geospatial Approaches in Digital Humanities & Social Sciences
  • 875 Experimental Archaeology
  • 882 Landscape Archaeology
  • 884 Quantitative Methods in Anthropology
  • 887A Archaeological Materials - Ceramics
  • 887B Analysis of Archaeological Materials - Lithics
  • 887D Analysis of Archaeological Materials - Archaofauna
  • 887E Analysis of Archaeological Materials - Historic Material Culture
  • 889 GIS in Archaeology

Anthropology (6 credit hours)

  • 812 Family, Marriage, and Kinship
  • 817 History of Anthropological Theory
  • 818 Ethnology and Museums
  • 851 Indians of Contemporary North America
  • 872 Belief Systems in Anthropological Perspective
  • 873 Ecological Anthropology
  • 874 Applied and Development Anthropology
  • 877 Hunters-Gatherers
  • 888 Contentious Issues in Anthropology
  • 822 Medical Anthropology
  • 842 Human Variation
  • 843 Dental Anthropology
  • 844 Human Osteology
  • 848 Human Growth and Development
  • 851 Contemporary Issues of Indigenous People in North America
  • 882 Research Methods in Anthropology

Thesis (6 credit hours)

Anth 899

Internship (3 credit hours)

Anth 895 Internship in Archaeology

Disciplinary Courses (3-4 credit hours)

In Architecture, Art and Art History, Community and Regional Planning, Education, Geography, or Geosciences.


863 Architectural Preservation

Art and Art History

311 Greek Art and Archaeology (can be arranged to be taken at the 800 level)
313 Roman Art and Archaeology (can be arranged to be taken at the 800 level)

Community and Regional Planning

833 GIS in Environmental Design and Planning
895T Historic Preservation Planning


830 Introduction to Philosophy of Education

Forensic Science

846 Pollen Analysis for Behavioral, Biological, and Forensic Science


812 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (4 cr)
818 Introduction to Remote Sensing (4 cr)
819 Remote Sensing II - Non-Photographic Sensors (4 cr)
820 Remote Sensing III - Digital Image Analysis (4 cr)
822 Advanced Techniques in Geographic Information Systems (4 cr)
827 Introduction to the Global Positioning System (GPS) (2 cr)


823 Quaternary Ecology and Climate
850 Surficial Processes and Landscape Evolution

Program Personnel and Organization

The Archeology program faculty at UNL includes Effie Athanassopoulos, William Belcher, Phil Geib, Carrie Heitman, Heather Richards-Rissetto, Sophia Perdikaris, LuAnn Wandsnider, affiliate Associate Professor Alan Osborn (UN State Museum), and Research Professors William Hunt and Ralph Hartley. All of these faculty members are involved in offering the core courses in archaeology.

Additional support is provided by Professor Michael Hoff (Art and Art History).  See our directory to view faculty profiles.


Students will apply through the Graduate Committee of the Anthropology Program in Anthropology during the regular graduate admission period (typically, early spring semester), specifying this specialization. Students presently admitted to the Anthropology Graduate program may submit a letter indicating their preference to follow the Professional Archaeology specialization curriculum no later than one semester into their graduate work at UNL. If the applicants meet the prerequisites and if faculty resources and internship opportunities are available, they will be admitted. Students are assigned a first-year advisor and, for their second year, may select any of the archaeology program faculty as a thesis or internship advisor.