Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology

Degree Requirements

The B.A. in Archaeology requires a minimum of 60 units in the major, with an overall minimum grade of 'C', and no more than 10 units may be taken for pass/no pass credit. The major requirements are divided into four academic components: core, methods and skills, theory, and electives. All majors must complete at least one summer field school.

A course may only be used once to fulfill a component, and may only be used to fulfill the requirements for one major.

Please contact our Student Services Officer for questions regarding the Archaeology Major program or to declare. Students should declare by the beginning of their junior year. For your convenience, here is a list of the most up-to-date Archaeology courses offered.

Meet with the Student Services Officer!

Archaeology Major Academic Components

Core Courses

15 units must be taken for a letter grade (minimum passing grade of 'B')

ARCHLGY 1 Introduction to Archaeology is recommended as a first course. Many upper-level courses in Archaeology require this course as a prerequisite. Students should normally take the capstone course in their final year of coursework in the major.

ARCHLGY 1Introduction to Archaeology (Gateway)5
ARCHLGY 102Archaeological Methods (Intermediate)5
ARCHLGY 103History of Archaeological Thought (Intermediate)5
  Total: 15
Analytical Methods and Skills

Quantitative skills and computing ability are indispensable to archaeologists. To fulfill the analytical methods and skills requirements, students must take one statistics course, and may choose to fulfill the remainder of the unit requirements with a variety of courses on archaeological skills and methods. Archaeological skills include archaeological formation processes, botanical analysis, cartography, ceramic analysis, dating methods, faunal analysis, geographic information systems, geology, geophysics, genetics, osteology, remote sensing, soil chemistry, and statistics. With the approval of the instructor and Archaeology director, undergraduates may fulfill part of this requirement from graduate-level courses (typically courses with catalog numbers of 200 or higher).

15 units must be taken for a letter grade (minimum passing grade of 'B')

To fulfill the analytical methods and skills requirements of the major, students must choose one of the following statistics courses:

PSYCH 10/STATS 60Introduction to Statistical Methods: Precalculus5
ECON 102AIntroduction to Statistical Methods (Postcalculus) for Social Scientists5

To fulfill the remainder of the analytical methods and skills requirements, students will take a minimum of ten units from the following courses:

ARCHLGY 21QEight Great Archaeological Sites in Europe (Sophomore Introsem)3-5
ARCHLGY 110Environmental Archaeology3-5
ARCHLGY 115The Social Life of Human Bones3-5
ARCHLGY 119Zooarchaeology: An Introduction to Faunal Remains5
ARCHLGY 124Archaeology of Food: Production, Consumption, and Ritual3-5
ARCHLGY 125Archaeological Field Survey Methods3
ARCHLGY 126Archaeobotany3-5
ARCHLGY 134Introduction to Museum Practice (formerly Museum Cultures)3-5
ANTHRO 98CDigital Methods in Archaeology3-5
ANTHRO 130DSpatial Approaches to Social Science3-5
ANTHRO 175Human Skeletal Anatomy5
CLASSICS 115Virtual Italy: Methods for Historical Data Science5
  Total: 10

At least 10 units must be taken for a letter grade (minimum passing grade of 'B')

Topics include archaeological, art-historical, sociocultural, historical, and material culture theory. With the approval of the instructor, undergraduates may fulfill part of this requirement from graduate-level courses (typically courses with catalog numbers of 200 or higher).

ANTHRO 34Animals and Us5
ANTHRO 90BTheory of Cultural and Social Anthropology5
ANTHRO 113Culture and Epigenetics: Towards A Non-Darwinian Synthesis4-5
ARCHLGY 130Senior Research Seminar for Archaeology Majors and Minors3-5
ARCHLGY 151Ten Things: An Archaeology of Design3
ARCHLGY 156Design of Cities3-5

Select from any of the courses listed below. Courses are arranged around a regional or thematic focus, and therefore, may appear more than once. Students have the option of taking courses around a theme or concentration, and are encouraged to do so by consulting with their faculty adviser(s) to design a course plan. Courses other than those on this list can be used to fulfill this requirement with prior approval of the student's faculty adviser and program director. With the approval of the instructor, undergraduates may fulfill part of this requirement from graduate-level courses, typically courses numbered 200 or higher.

20 units must be taken for a letter grade (minimum passing grade of 'B')

World Archaeology: Europe

ARCHLGY 83Pots, People and the Press: Greek Archaeology in the Media3-5
ARCHLGY 128Europe before the Romans3-5
ARCHLGY 118Engineering the Roman Empire4-5
ARCHLGY 145Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Maritime Archaeology of the Ancient Mediterranean3
ARCHLGY 165Roman Gladiators3-5
CLASSICS 52Introduction to Roman Archaeology3-5

World Archaeology: Americas

ARCHLGY 65Looking out from California: North American Prehistoric Archaeology3-5
ARCHLGY 84The Kingdom of Peru3-5
ARCHLGY 102BIncas and their Ancestors: Peruvian Archaeology3-5
ANTHRO 30QThe Big Shift4

World Archaeology: Asia

ARCHLGY 111Emergence of Chinese Civilization from Caves to Palaces3-4
ARCHLGY 135Constructing National History in East Asian Archaeology3-5


ARCHLGY 80Heritage and Human Rights3-5
ARCHLGY 95Monumental Pasts: Cultural Heritage and Politics 
ARCHLGY 135Constructing National History in East Asian Archaeology3-5
ANTHRO 112Public Archaeology: Market Street Chinatown Archaeology Project4-5
ANTHRO 112BAdvanced Study in Public Archaeology2-5

Urbanism and Cities

ANTHRO 112Public Archaeology: Market Street Chinatown Archaeology Project5
ANTHRO 112BAdvanced Study in Public Archaeology2-5
ARCHLGY 156Design of Cities3-5
Archaeological Field School

Students must take part in a Stanford Archaeology Center field project directed by a Stanford faculty member, and enroll in any coursework that is required for participation in the field project. Projects are typically offered during summer months and funding may be provided. Learn more about our field schools

Collateral Language Requirement

All Archaeology majors must demonstrate competence in a foreign language beyond the first-year level. Students can meet this requirement by completing a course beyond the first-year level with a grade of 'B' or better, and are encouraged to choose a language that has relevance to their archaeological region or topic of interest. Students may petition to take an introductory-level course in a second language to fulfill this requirement by demonstrating the connection between the language(s) and their research interest(s).

Research and Independent Study

Students may count up to 5 units of research and independent study toward the Archaeology major:

ARCHLGY 190Archaeology Directed Reading/Independent Study1-5
ARCHLGY 195Independent Study/Research1-5
ARCHLGY 199Honors Independent Study5

Honors Program

The honors program in Archaeology gives qualified majors the chance to work closely with faculty on an individual research project culminating in an honors thesis. Students may begin honors research from a number of starting points, including topics introduced in the core or upper-division courses, independent interests, research on artifacts in Stanford's collections, or fieldwork experiences.

Interested Archaeology majors of junior standing may apply for admission by submitting an honors application form, including a 4-5 page statement of the project, a transcript, and a letter of recommendation from the faculty member supervising the honors thesis to the student services specialist, no later than the end of the fourth week of the Spring Quarter. Archaeology majors are eligible to apply for honors candidacy. The thesis is due in early May of the senior year and is read by the candidate's adviser and a second reader appointed by the undergraduate committee.

Overseas Studies Courses in Archaeology

For course descriptions and additional offerings, see the listings in the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses website or the Bing Overseas Studies website. Students should consult their department or program's student services office for theapplicability of Overseas Studies courses to a major or minor program.