B.A. in Archaeology

Archaeology at GW focuses on both Old and New Worlds and concerns issues of state formation, power, and human origins. The B.A. program in Archaeology provides one of the few degrees in this discipline offered in the United States.

This is a 39-hour interdisciplinary major program sponsored by the Departments of Anthropology, Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and Fine Arts and Art History. It covers both archaeology itself and other disciplines common in archaeological research: Anthropology, art history, classics, and history. Courses are divided into three groups for distribution purposes: Field and laboratory work, anthropological archaeology, and ancient civilizations. Students take courses in all groups, and may further specialize in one discipline or area. All students acquire experience in field or laboratory methods. Twelve credit hours or the equivalent of a pertinent foreign language are also required.


Program Requirements

  • Core Courses (9 hours). Anth 1002 (Sociocultural Anthropology), 1003 (Introduction to Archaeology) and 3838 (Theory and Practice in Archaeology). Anth 3838 should be taken in the junior or senior year.
  • Field and Laboratory Work (3-6 hours). One or two of the following: Anth 3832, 3833, 3834, 3835, 3839, 3995 (Undergraduate Research — when used for other field or museum work as approved), 6806 (open to qualified juniors and seniors). GW offers at least two fieldwork opportunities every year, but offerings vary from year to year. Information on other universities' field schools is available from the Anthropology or Classics Departments.
  • Anthropological Archaeology (12-15 hours). Four or five courses, one of which must be Anth 3805, 3812*, 3813*, or 3814*. Other courses in this group are Anth 3801-3803, 3808, 3811, and 3821-3823. However, Anth 3821 counts for the major only with an advisor's permission and both 3821 and 3822 cannot be counted. Starred courses can count either as Ancient Civilizations or as Anthropological Archaeology but not both.
  • Ancient Civilizations (15 hours). Five courses chosen from the following, including at least one in Art History, Classics, History, and Anthropology: AH 3101-3106 and AH 3117; Clas 2105, 2106, 2107, 3114, 3115; Hist 2112, 2113, 2803, 2804, and 3111; Anth 3804, 3805*, 3806, 3812*, 3813*, 3814*, 3821. Starred courses can count either as Ancient Civilizations or as Anthropological Archaeology but not both.
  • Language Requirement (12 hours or equivalent skill). Normally accepted languages are French, German, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Latin, Greek, or Hebrew. Since graduate study in archaeology usually involves broader preparation and requires knowledge of at least one classical and one modern language, students intending to pursue graduate study should consult with the departmental advisor as early as possible in their undergraduate program.
  • Special Topics in Archaeology, Anth 3891, may count in whichever category is most appropriate.

The archaeology major advisor is Eric H. Cline, ehcline@email.gwu.edu, 994-0316.


Special Honors in Archaeology

Students who meet the Columbian College requirements for special honors are encouraged to undertake a thesis research project in their senior year. Such students should take 3 or more hours of Anth 3995 (Undergraduate Research).  To learn more, click here.

Get a copy of the Archaeology Major flyer.


Courses Offered


Archaeology-Related Opportunities at GW

Capitol Archaeological Institute

The Capitol Archaeological Institute takes advantage of our location in Washington, DC, to advance archaeological research initiatives and cultural heritage development and to foster a community of archaeologists through lectures and other programs. For more information, visit the Institute's webpage.

GW Field Programs

GW faculty lead several field programs. In prehistoric archaeology, there is the new program at Koobi Fora, in Kenya, and continuing programs in Israel (Megiddo and Tel Kabri), Jordan, and Mexico. We also have a historical archaeology program in suburban Virginia and a maritime archaeology program in Florida.

For more information on field programs, see Fieldwork Opportunities.

Excelling Alumna

Luther Rice Fellow and Archaeology alumna Melissa Cradic, BS ’10, received a Bender Scholarship to study at Cambridge University and a full scholarship to Berkeley's Anthropology Doctoral Program.

Excelling Alumna

Undergraduate Admissions