Program Requirements

The study of archaeology provides students with a unique opportunity to analyze ancient cultures from an interdisciplinary perspective. The interpretation of archaeological data requires a solid understanding of the variety of methods used for the study of material culture as well as a familiarity with those disciplines essential for understanding the development of human culture. Thus, the archaeology program provides students with a broad overview of the current state of archaeological research around the world, while at the same time encouraging students to specialize in specific methodologies, geographical regions and/or periods (for example, Archaeology of the Americas or of the Eastern Mediterranean, or Environmental Archaeology). The program seeks to emphasize the practical and intellectual value of archaeology as a means for better understanding our ancient past, as well as shedding light on our present circumstances and our prospects for the future by tracing the development of human culture and the interactions between various civilizations and the natural environment. Because of its interdisciplinary nature, archaeology is a quintessential Liberal Arts major that requires students to integrate their understanding of the natural and social sciences, the arts, and the humanities.

The archaeology major is designed both to teach students standard excavation and recording techniques, and to encourage the study of anthropology, art history, classical studies, earth sciences, history, religious studies, statistics, and a variety of other related fields. Students are also strongly advised to study one or more ancient or modern languages related to their geographical area of interest. For example, students of Syro-Palestinean or classical archaeology are well advised to study Hebrew, Greek, and/or Latin, in addition to French and/or German, that is, the languages in which much of the essential secondary literature is written. Finally, Archaeology majors are encouraged to take advantage of the many opportunities for travel and foreign study offered by Willamette programs around the world, but especially in places that offer coursework and/or fieldwork in local archaeology.

Willamette University's Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology (CASA), established in 2007, provides archaeology students with significant resources including grants to fund field experiences or museum internships at Willamette’s Hallie Ford Museum of Art. In concert with CASA, the Salem Society of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), also located at Willamette University, offers a dynamic annual lecture series that enables students to interact with internationally renowned archaeologists on a formal and informal basis. The Willamette University Archaeology Field School at the Ness of Brodgar in the Orkney Islands of Scotland provides an amazing opportunity for intensive, on-site training in archaeological methods and techniques.

Requirements for the Archaeology Major (12 credits)

The Willamette University Archaeology Field School at the Ness of Brodgar in the Orkney Islands of Scotland provides an amazing opportunity for intensive, on-site training in archaeological methods and technique.

Common Core (5 courses)

  • ARCH 237W (4th Sem Lang) Introduction to Syro-Palestinian Archaeology 
  • ARCH 337 Archaeological Methodology 
  • ERTH 121 (NW; QA) Earth System Science
  • ERTH 351W Archaeological Geology 
  • ERTH 333 (QA) Geographic Information Systems 

Statistics Requirement (1 course from the following)

Field Experience (1 course from the following)

  • ARCH 355 Archaeology Field School
  • ARCH 394 Internship in Archaeological Studies

Senior Year Experience (1 course from the following)

  • ARCH 498 Advanced Archaeology Field School 
  • ARCH 499 Archaeology Senior Experience Project 

Electives (4 courses)

Students are encouraged to develop a chronological, regional or methodological focus among their electives. Listed below are approved electives, divided into three emphases designed to offer students depth as well as breadth in their archaeological studies. Students are free to design an individual course of study with the assistance of the student’s major advisor. The student’s major advisor can also approve additional electives not listed below. Such electives may be relevant transfer courses, relevant courses from approved study abroad programs, or other Willamette courses related to the student’s regional or methodological focus.

Archaeology of the Americas Emphasis

  • ANTH 231 (TH, US) Native North American Cultures
  • ANTH 235 Cultures of Mexico and Ecuador
  • ANTH 303 Museum Studies Seminar

Eastern Mediterranean Emphasis

  • ARTH 270 (TH; 4th Sem Lang) Roman Art and Architecture 
  • ARTH 271 (IT; 4th Sem Lang) Greek Art and Architecture 
  • CLAS 250W (TH; 4th Sem Lang) Greeks, Romans and Barbarians
  • HIST 231 (TH) Greek History From Homer to Alexander
  • HIST 233 (TH) Asian Empires on the Silk Road
  • HIST 251 (TH) Rome: From Republic to Empire
  • IDS 351W Culture of Ancient Greece 
  • REL 341 Religions of the Ancient World

Environmental Archaeology Emphasis

Open Electives

  • ANTH 150 (US) Controversies and Issues in Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 351 (AR) Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights and the Environment
  • ARCH 390 Independent Study
  • REL 116 (IT) Introduction to Major Religious Texts

Requirements for the Archaeology Minor (6 credits)

Common Core (4 courses)

  • ARCH 237W (4th Sem Lang) Introduction to Syro-Palestinian Archaeology
  • ARCH 337 Archaeological Methodology 
  • ERTH 121 (NW; QA) Earth System Science
  • ERTH 351W Archaeological Geology 

Electives (2 courses from the following)

  • ANTH 150 (US) Controversies and Issues in Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 231 (TH, US) Native North American Cultures
  • ANTH 303 Museum Studies Seminar
  • ANTH 351 (AR) Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights and the Environment 
  • ARCH 355 Archaeology Field School
  • ARCH 394 Internship in Archaeological Studies 
  • ARCH 390 Independent Study
  • ARTH 270 (TH; 4th Sem Lang) Roman Art and Architecture 
  • ARTH 271 (IT; 4th Sem Lang) Greek Art and Architecture 
  • BIOL 246 Human Anatomy 
  • BIOL 255 General Ecology 
  • CHEM 230 Environmental Chemistry
  • CLAS 250W (TH) Greeks, Romans and Barbarians 
  • ERTH 333 (QA) Geographic Information Systems
  • HIST 231 (TH) Greek History From Homer to Alexander
  • HIST 233 (TH) Asian Empires on the Silk Road
  • HIST 251 (TH) Rome: From Republic to Empire 
  • IDS 351W Culture of Ancient Greece 
  • REL 116 (IT) Introduction to Major Religious Texts
  • REL 341 Religions of the Ancient World