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Preparing for Field Experience

Before Departure

Students accepted to our field experiences must confirm their participation to their trip's leader by March. Due to generous funding from VPUE, students who plan to participate in an archaeology field experience cannot receive a major grant or a Chappell-Lougee scholarship within the same academic year as their field experience.

Students accepted to a field experience are required to participate in pre-departure meetings with the faculty leader of their program in the quarter prior to departure. Each field experience has different pre-departure requirements that will be communicated by the faculty leader. 

Funding Information

  • Acceptance to an Archaeology Center field experience comes with funding for eligible expenses subject to the budget of the project. Housing, daily meals, and materials used on-site will be fully covered by the project. The Archaeology Center will issue a stipend to students to purchase flights based on the real costs of flights to and from their field site. Students will be informed of the stipend limit prior to booking. Per university policy, the Archaeology Center does not pay for personal travel outside the dates or locations of field experiences. 
  • If Stanford Archaeology projects are run remotely, students will receive stipends from VPUE. Stipend amounts will be determined by VPUE and will be communicated to students when they are accepted to the field experience.
  • Students who plan to participate in an archaeology field experience cannot receive a major grant or a Chappell-Lougee scholarship within the same academic year as their field experience. 

In the field

Each of our field experiences is part of an ongoing research project led by a Stanford faculty member. While in the field, undergraduates are expected to contribute to the team effort of the archaeological project at the faculty member's direction. Fieldwork can take the form of a number of different activities, from clearing undergrowth in preparation for excavation to laboratory analysis of archaeological samples. Each day's activities can look different, and may change depending on the evolving direction of the research. Students participating in a field experience should be prepared to be flexible and responsive to the instructions of the faculty member or other senior project staff.

A day in the life in a field experience differs from project to project. In general, students should expect to work full days, six days a week for the entirety of their field experience. 

Expectations Upon Return to Stanford

Upon their return to Stanford, the Archaeology Center requires that all field experience students participate in SURPS (Symposia for Undergraduate Research and Public Service). Students from each field experience are expected to work together to complete an application, prepare a poster, and present at the SURPS event on the Friday of reunion homecoming weekend.

Students may also be asked to participate in our field experience fair, a promotional event each year for the upcoming season's field experiences. We appreciate the contribution of recent field experience participants in helping us advertise our opportunities!

Some of our field opportunities also require a fall quarter class to complete research projects that emerged from the summer's fieldwork. The faculty leader of each project will communicate with their students about that expectation prior to departure.


If you have questions about the day-to-day experience of the field opportunities, participation requirements, or the application process, please contact the Archaeology Center's Student Services Officer.