Archaeological Studies Major - Bachelor of Arts (BA)

The Archaeological Studies Program at UWL is among the top comprehensive undergraduate programs in archaeology in the United States and the only one in the Midwest. Lewis Binford, one of the most influential archaeologists in the discipline's history, conducted a comprehensive review of our program and concluded: "I can say without hesitation that this is the best undergraduate program in archaeology that I have seen anywhere in this country." The uniqueness of our program lies in the fact that it is an interdisciplinary major that integrates a holistic anthropological approach, regional course offerings and a variety of study abroad experiences, a broad exposure to multiple methodological specialties, cutting edge technologies applied to archaeological research, and practical training in the applied field of cultural resource management (CRM) industry.

Most notably, we provide our undergraduate students with practical experience unmatched by other programs elsewhere for three primary reasons:

  1. Our close relationship with the Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center (MVAC), which conducts extensive research and public education activities throughout the tri-state region of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa, provides students with direct exposure to applied archaeology and the kinds of careers they are likely to pursue upon graduation.
  2. Our impressive array of intensive international experiences are designed to expose students to different world cultures as well as equip them with practical anthropological and archaeological skills.
  3. Our focus on training students in cutting edge technologies that very few programs in the U.S. offer gives students opportunities to develop high-tech skills in field archaeology: geophysical and remote sensing equipment (ground penetrating radar, magnetometer, resistivity meter); precision laser mapping equipment; a complete photogrammetry array; 3-D scanning, photo, and video equipment; photographic drone for aerial photography and video.

Because our program is built around close student-instructor interaction and intensive experiential opportunities, our students are given ample opportunity for participation in all aspects of archaeological field and laboratory research. This ensures that students graduate with both academic and practical job preparation, so they are well prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation or pursue graduate studies in archaeology or anthropology.

(All colleges)

37 credits

Required courses 1
ARC 100Archaeology: Discovering Our Past3
ARC 196Archaeology: An Introduction to Lab and Field Methods1
ARC 200World Archaeology: Origins and Development of Human Culture and Society3
ARC 445Research Methods in Archaeology3
ARC 455Historical and Theoretical Perspectives in Archaeology3
ARC 489Honors Thesis in Archaeology3
or ARC 499 Senior Project/Thesis in Archaeology
ARC 402Field Methods in Archaeology (minimum of six credits)6
Regional courses
Select at least two courses (see below)6
Methods courses
Select at least one course (see below)3
Anthropology courses
Select at least two courses (see below)6
Total Credits37

ARC 101 and ARC 395 are not required but strongly recommended.

Anthropology credits applied to the archaeological studies majors or minor may not be applied to the anthropology minor.

Credits that are applied to the archaeology studies major cannot be applied to the archaeology studies major: cultural anthropology emphasis, archaeology minor, or the anthropology minor.

Regional courses (six credits required)

ARC 280The Incas and their Ancestors: Archaeology of the Andes3
ARC 302Egyptian Hieroglyphs: The Language and Culture of Ancient Egypt3
ARC 311European Prehistory3
ARC/ANT 325North American Anthropology and Archaeology3
ARC 350Independent International Research in Archaeology1-6
ARC 399Archaeology Forum3
ARC 409Readings and Research in Archaeology1-3
ARC 498Seminar in Archaeology1-3
ARC/ANT 353Maya Civilization3
ARC/HIS 295Pyramids, Temples and Towns! The Archaeology of Ancient Egypt3
ARC 320Historical Archaeology3
ARC/HIS 331The Ancient Greek World3
ARC/HIS 332Ancient Rome and the Mediterranean3
ARC/HIS 340Origins of Cities3
ARC/HIS 365Ancient Iraq3
ARC/HIS 366Ancient Israel3
ARC/HIS 368History of Babylonian Language and Culture I3
ARC/HIS 369History of Babylonian Language and Culture II3
ARC/HIS 374Ancient Turkey3
ARC/HIS 375Iran before Islam3
ARC/HIS 396Ancient Syria3
INS 350Independent International Research1-6

Methods courses (three credits required)

ARC 250Museum Studies3
ARC 300Cultural Resources Management3
ARC 303Archaeology Lab Methods3
ARC 345Zooarchaeology3
ARC 399Archaeology Forum3
ARC 404Environmental Archaeology3
ARC 415Advanced Research Applications in Archaeology3
ARC 450Internship in Archaeology1-15
ARC 498Seminar in Archaeology1-3
ARC/ANT 335Human Skeletal Anatomy and the Anthropological Study of the Dead3
ARC/ANT 346Ethnoarchaeology and Experimental Archaeology3
ARC/ANT 395Graduate Preparation Seminar1
GEO 405Geographic Information System and Science II3
GEO 410Geospatial Field Methods3
GEO 415Remote Sensing of the Environment I3

Anthropology courses (six credits required)

ANT 215Refugees, Displaced Persons and Transnational Communities3
ANT/ARC 325North American Anthropology and Archaeology3
ANT 366Anthropology of Food3
ANT 307International Development and Culture Change3
ANT 320Rites, Rituals and Ceremonies3
ANT 321Images, Visual Culture and Anthropology3
ANT 323Anthropology of Childhood and Youth3
ANT 351Peoples and Cultures of Southeast Asia3
ANT 354Peoples and Cultures of Latin America3
ANT 358Language Policy and Activism in Europe3
ANT 362Hmong Americans3
ANT 370Medical Anthropology3
ANT 375Language, Power, and Inequality3
ANT 399Anthropology Forum3
ANT 401Ethnographic Methods4
ANT 409Readings and Research in Anthropology1-3
ANT 454Historical and Theoretical Approaches in Anthropology3
ANT 499Seminar in Anthropology2-3
ARC/ANT 304Hunter and Gatherer Societies3
ARC/ANT 305Indigenous Agricultural Societies: Past and Present3
ARC/ANT 335Human Skeletal Anatomy and the Anthropological Study of the Dead3
ARC/ANT 346Ethnoarchaeology and Experimental Archaeology3
HIS/ANT 312Peoples and Cultures of Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union3

All students must complete the general education, college core, major/minor, and university degree requirements in order to qualify for a degree. The easiest way to track all of these requirements is to refer to the Advisement Report (AR) found in the Student Information System (WINGS) Student Center. All enrolled students have access to the AR. 

College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (CASSH/VPA) Bachelor of Arts core requirements

The CASSH core provides opportunities for students to deepen their knowledge by taking courses in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and/or sciences beyond the requirements of general education. Students may select from courses offered by the full range of academic departments within the college according to their interests. The college core allows students to build their critical thinking, communication, problem solving, teamwork, and global competencies through in-depth exploration of topics of their choosing.

The following conditions apply to one or both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees:

  1. Students majoring in English (writing and rhetoric or literary and cultural studies emphases) or in the department of global cultures and languages must earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Education majors earn a Bachelor of Science degree; English major: medical professions emphasis majors may earn a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree.
  2. Students majoring in other CASSH programs may choose either a B.A. or a B.S. degree.
  3. Language courses (ARA, CHI, FRE, GCL, GER, HMG, JPN, RUS, SPA) used to fulfill the general education requirement: "Mathematical/logical systems and modern languages" (GE 02, category 2) may also be used to meet the B.A. and B.S. language requirements.
  4. At least one course in the degree must be a CASSH designated diversity course.
  5. All other courses used to meet the requirements below must be in addition to the minimum 42 credits required in the General Education Program.
  6. Applicable courses may be found on the CASSH B.A./B.S. Degree Option Course List or in the Advisement Report (AR) when the degree has been declared.

Courses used to fulfill general education requirements will not apply to core requirements except for language courses (ARA, CHI, FRE, GCL, GER, HMG, JPN, RUS, SPA) that count in the general education requirement: "Mathematical/logical systems and modern languages" (GE 02, category 2).

Bachelor of Arts students declare one of the following tracks online via the CASSH website:

A. Language track
  1. Native speakers of English complete:
    Select one of the following:
    Intermediate Arabic II
    Chinese Language and Culture in Action II
    French Language and Cultures in Action II
    Intermediate Languages II
    German Language and Cultures in Action II
    Hmong Heritage Language: Intermediate
    Hmong Heritage Language: Advanced
    Intermediate Japanese II
    Russian Language and Cultures in Action II
    Spanish Language and Cultures in Action II
    Introduction to Spanish for the Health Professions
    Non-native speakers of English: provide English proficiency evidence acceptable for admission to UWL as a degree seeking student.
  2. Two additional courses outside of the student's major in two of the following: humanities, social sciences or fine arts.
B. Humanities track
  1. One global language course 102 or higher; and
  2. Two additional courses outside the department of the student's major from two different departments chosen from: communication studies, English, history, philosophy and race, gender, and sexuality studies (see the Advisement Report (AR) for a listing of the approved courses); and
  3. One additional course in social sciences or fine arts.
C. Fine arts track
  1. One global language course 102 or higher; and
  2. Two additional courses outside the department of the student's major from two different departments chosen from: art, music, theatre; and
  3. One additional course in social sciences or humanities.
In addition to all other College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities core requirements, all students in CASSH must complete a second major, minor, or individualized option by satisfying one of the following:
  1. Complete a minor (or two certificates with at least 12 combined credits at the 300/400 level or a second major) outside of the student's major program, consisting of at least 18 credits; or
  2. Complete an emphasis, program or concentration of at least 18 credits outside the student's major program. General education courses may apply provided they are not being used to fulfill minimum general education requirements; or
  3. Complete an individualized option, consisting of 18 credits. At least 12 credits must be earned at the 300/400 level outside the major department. The remaining six credits may consist of:

    1. 100 level or higher courses outside the major (general education courses may apply provided they are not being used to fulfill minimum general education requirements); or

    2. 300/400 level courses inside the major department not being used to fulfill major requirements.

Baccalaureate degree requirements

Candidates for the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degrees must accomplish the following:

  1. Fulfill the general education requirements.
  2. Complete at least one ethnic studies (diversity) course.
  3. Complete the courses prescribed by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee for the degree desired in the respective school or college.
  4. Earn a minimum of 120 semester credits with at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA.1, 2
  5. At least 40 credits must be earned in 300/400 level courses. Transfer courses earned or transferred at the 300/400 level apply to this requirement.
  6. Complete major and minor requirements with at least a 2.00 GPA1, 2 in each major and minor (and concentration or emphasis, if selected).
  7. A minimum of 30 semester credits in residence at UWL is required for graduation. (See undergraduate resident requirement.)
  8. Submit an application for graduation via the "Apply for Graduation" link in the WINGS Student Center as soon as the student has registered for his or her final semester or summer term in residence. December and winter intersession graduates should apply by May 1. May and summer graduates should apply by December 1.

Grade point average requirements for some programs will be considerably higher than 2.00. Re-entering students may be required to earn credits in excess of the 120 needed for graduation in any curriculum in order to replace credits earned in courses in which the content has changed substantially in recent years. Each case will be judged on its own merit.


The grade point average recorded at the time the degree is awarded will not be affected by future enrollment.

No degree will be awarded unless all requirements are fulfilled and recorded within 30 days after the official ending date of each term.

Below is a sample degree plan that can be used as a guide to identify courses required to fulfill the major and other requirements needed for degree completion. A student's actual degree plan may differ depending on the course of study selected (second major, minor, etc.). Also, this sample plan assumes readiness for each course and/or major plan, and some courses may not be offered every term. Review the course descriptions or the class timetable for course offering information.

The sample degree plans represented in this catalog are intended for first-year students entering UWL in the fall term. Students should use the Advisement Report (AR) in WINGS and work closely with their faculty advisor(s) and college dean’s office to ensure declaration and completion of all requirements in a timely manner.

General Education Program
The general education curriculum (Gen Ed) is the common educational experience for all undergraduates at UWL. Sample degree plans include Gen Ed placeholders to ensure completion of the general education requirements. Courses may be rearranged to fit the needs or recommendations of the student’s program of study. Gen Ed courses may be taken during winter term (January between the semesters) and summer to reduce the course load during regular terms (fall and spring). Students should consult with their advisor and/or the college academic services director in their college/school for assistance with course and schedule planning. Refer to the general education requirements for more specific details.

At least 40 credits of the 120 credits required must be earned at the 300/400-level. 

Note: New students and transfer students with less than 12 credits earned are required to take FYS 100 First-Year Seminar (3 cr.) during one of their first two semesters at UWL.

This sample degree plan does not establish a contractual agreement. It identifies the minimum requirements a student must successfully complete, to qualify for a degree, in a format intended to assist the student in planning their academic career. Actual degree plans may differ.

Year 1
ANT 102 (Gen Ed Natural Lab Science)4ARC 1011 
CST 110 (Gen Ed Literacy - Oral)3Gen Ed Math4 
ARC 1961ENG 110 or 112 (Gen Ed Literacy - Written)3 
ARC 100 (Gen Ed Self & Society)3ANT 202 (Gen Ed Global Studies)3 
FYS 100 (Gen Ed First-Year Seminar)3ARC 200 (Gen Ed World History)3 
 14 14  
Year 2
CASSH Core Course3CASSH Diversity Core Course3ARC 4026
102+ Level Gen Ed/CASSH Core Language14ARC Regional Course3 
Gen Ed Minority Cultures3Minor Course3 
Minor Course3Gen Ed Arts2-3 
ANT Course3CASSH Core Course3 
 16 15 6
Year 3
ARC 3951ARC Regional Course3 
Gen Ed Humanistic Studies3Minor Course3 
ANT Course3University Elective3 
ARC 4453Gen Ed Health & Well Being3 
CASSH Core Course3Gen Ed Arts2-3 
 13 14  
Year 4
Minor Course3University Elective3 
Minor Course3Minor Course3 
University Elective3University Elective3 
ARC Methods Course3ARC 489 or 4993 
ARC 4553University Elective1 
 15 13  
Total Credits: 120

CASSH Core Humanities and Fine Arts Tracks require 102+ level language. CASSH Core Language Track requires 202 level language. Students unprepared for 202 level will need to complete prerequisite course work.