How Do I Get an Online Archaeology Degree?

C. Mitchell

Getting an online archaeology degree is usually as simple as finding an available program, paying tuition, and completing all degree requirements within a timely fashion. Most of the archaeology degree programs available over the Internet are legitimate, but not all are, which means that you will need to conduct a bit of research at the front end. It is essential that any institution you are paying and studying with is actually qualified to hand out degrees. Depending on what you want to do with your degree, it may also be useful to know whether a program is accredited. A degree from a school that employers and professional associations do not recognize may not be worth earning.

An increasing number of schools offer online archaeology degrees.
An increasing number of schools offer online archaeology degrees.

Deciding which sort of degree you want to earn is usually the first step. An online archaeology degree can usually be pursued at three levels: associate’s, bachelor’s, and graduate. The associate’s degree is usually the best option for people hoping to do technical work or entry-level work in the field. Much of the material can be learned online, as the majority of it concerns basic anthropology facts, classification schemes, and ordering rules.

Archaeology degrees often require a lot of hands-on learning.
Archaeology degrees often require a lot of hands-on learning.

Things are often more complicated at the bachelor’s and master’s or doctorate levels. Work towards these degrees is often much more focused. Most programs offering archaeology degree programs online require some commitment from students to engage in deep independent research, as well as to communicate regularly with experts and professionals.

Archaeology is a discipline based equally in books and hands-on exploration and learning, which can pose some challenges to an online-only student. An online archaeology degree is certainly achievable, but getting there can take a lot of individual motivation. Some online programs require distance learners to engage in independent field work, either in their local areas or at designated sites over long weekends or vacation periods.

Ensuring that you meet all of your program’s degree requirements is an essential part of completing the program and earning your credentials. Most of the time, online degree programs are designed to mimic the interaction students in brick-and-mortar schools have in their classrooms, both with instructors and other students. Completing all written work by the deadline is rarely all that you must do to earn an online archaeology degree at any level.

The lack of frequent interaction with classmates and professors can sometimes lead to confusion with respect to degree requirements. It is usually a good idea to keep an active calendar of all of the major hurdles you must cross before you receive your online archaeology degree. These should be spelled out clearly to you when you first enroll, but they can also usually be found on a school’s website or by speaking with a student affairs representative.

Often times, the online student finds himself solely responsible for making sure that he meets all of the program’s graduation requirements. Planning ahead for things like required courses and any independent research projects can make actually achieving the degree a reasoned, exacted process, and can prevent surprises at the projected completion date. Earning an online archaeology degree is often much more flexible and cost-effective than attending a full-time university, but there can be more pitfalls for the unwary student.

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