M.A. Degree in Archaeological Studies

The aims of the program are to give students the academic background needed for careers in museums, cultural resource management, and teaching in community colleges and secondary schools. It also provides the opportunity for teachers, curators, and administrators to refresh themselves on recent developments in archaeology. In addition, the program allows some of our students to strengthen their background in archaeology before applying to Ph.D. programs. The program is administered by Yale’s Council on Archaeological Studies. Inquiries about the MA program may be addressed to the Council Chair and Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). For more information on graduate course requirements, please visit the Graduate School bulletin.

“My experience in the MA program has been a stimulating, fruitful and targeted plunge into this inter-departmental course of study. I have been able to draw on classes and labs across the departments of History of Art, Geology, Environmental Studies, and Classics, all the while retaining my core focus on Antiquity. Everyone I have come in contact with on the Council’s faculty and administration has been warm and welcoming, and has gone out of their way to guide me. Yale has wildly exceeded my expectations. I could not have asked for more!”

P.S.G. (Financial services professional; part-time M.A. student)

For more testimonials, click here

Courses are drawn from the graduate programs of the participating departments and from those undergraduate courses that are also open to graduate students. Eight courses are required. Unless previously taken for credit, these will include the archeological laboratory overview; at least one additional laboratory course; a course related to archaeology in two of the following three groups: (1) Anthropology; (2) Classics, History, History of Art, Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, or Religious Studies; (3) Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Forestry & Environmental Studies, or Geology & Geophysics; and four electives. All students are required to participate in an approved summer field project. In addition, each student will write a master’s thesis. Degree candidates are required to pay a minimum of one year of full tuition. Full-time students can complete the course requirements in one academic year, and all students are expected to complete the program within a maximum period of three academic years.


An archaeology background is recommended but not required.

MA Theses (pdf)

TOEFL or IELTS tests may be required for students whose primary language is not English

Ph.D. Degree in Anthropology, Sub-Field Archaeology

The Anthropology Ph.D. program covers three subfields: archaeology; sociocultural and linguistic anthropology; and physical anthropology. Archaeology focuses on ritual complexes and writing, ceramic analysis, warfare, ancient civilizations, origins of agriculture, and museum studies. There is strong geographical coverage in Africa, the Caribbean, East Asia (China and Japan), Central Asia, Latin America and South America, Southeast Asia (Indonesia), South Asia and the Indian Ocean, and the Near East, Europe, and the United States.

There are no required courses or seminars for archaeology and biological anthropology graduate students. However, graduate students in these subfields are expected to confer closely with their primary adviser and faculty to develop the most enriching and cogent program of courses. Admission to Ph.D. candidacy requires (1) completion of two years of course work (sixteen term courses); (2) independent study and research; (3) satisfactory performance on qualifying examinations; and (4) a dissertation research proposal submitted and approved before the end of the third year. Qualifying examinations are normally taken at the end of the second year. For archaeology and biological anthropology subfields, they consist of eight hours written (four hours on one of the subfields, four hours on the student’s special interest), and two hours oral.

For more information about the Anthropology Ph.D. Program, please visit the Graduate School bulletin section for Anthropology (PhD sub Archaeology). You can also visit the Anthropology Web site, or contact the Director of Graduate Studies or Registrar, Department of Anthropology, Yale University, PO Box 208277, New Haven CT 06520-8277

More information