Archaeology M.A. (Ithaca)

Field of Study


Program Description

The MA Program in Archaeology at Cornell is designed to provide students with an intensive orientation to the field, appropriate to both students with BA degrees in the liberal arts who have considerable experience in archaeology and those seeking to build a solid foundation for future work or study. The goal of the program is to offer students the intellectual resources and institutional support necessary to prepare them for successful admissions to top tier PhD programs and for careers in heritage management.

Cornell archaeology supports a diverse array of interests, ranging from material culture studies to public archaeology, historic preservation, and archaeological method and theory. Archaeology at Cornell is deeply committed to multidisciplinary studies. Faculty in Archaeology belong to the fields of Anthropology, Classics, History of Art, Landscape Architecture, and Near Eastern Studies.

The ideal trajectory toward the MA should result in the completion of all requirements within 12-18 months, although extensions to 24 months are allowed when warranted by a student’s research program.

Contact Information

Phone: 607 255-6768

266 McGraw Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853

Concentrations by Subject

  • African archaeology
  • archaeological science (minor)
  • archaeology of Europe, the Caucasus and Eurasia
  • economy and exchange (minor)
  • identity (minor)
  • intercultural engagement (minor)
  • landscape and environment (minor)
  • Latin American and Caribbean archaeology
  • materiality
  • Mediterranean and Near Eastern archaeology
  • museums and heritage (minor)
  • North American archaeology
  • politics and complexity (minor)
  • ritual and religion (minor)
  • South and East Asian archaeology
  • visual culture (minor)


Visit the Graduate School's Tuition Rates page.

Application Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

Fall, Jan. 15

Requirements Summary:

  • all Graduate School Requirements
  • an Academic Statement of Purpose and a Personal Statement
  • three recommendations
  • writing sample (20-25 pages, double spaced)
  • GRE scores are not required

Learning Outcomes

Demonstrate commitment to advanced archaeological scholarship

  • Show understanding of the history and current methods and theories in archaeology;
  • Keep abreast of current advances in one’s field and related areas;
  • Show commitment to professional development through engagement in professional societies and other modes of knowledge exchange;
  • Show commitment to sustaining a productive learning environment through teaching, collaboration, mentoring, and/or other means.

Learn advanced research skills

  • Master and apply current research methodologies, technical skills, and/or languages;
  • Perform critical analysis of one’s own and others’ findings;
  • Communicate research appropriately.

Demonstrate professional skills

  • Adhere to ethical standards of archaeological work;
  • Apply suitable methods and theories;
  • Write and speak effectively in a style (or styles) appropriate to the field;
  • Prepare professional CV.

 Make a contribution to the field of archaeology

  • Identify and pursue a suitable project;
  • Develop the project using suitable resources;
  • Complete and write up the project.