Uncover the past to understand how we got here and where we’re going. In the archaeology concentration of the anthropology major at UM, you’ll gain a deeper knowledge of the human condition in an increasingly diverse world, as you learn about the range of human cultures and the significance of human history and bio-cultural evolution.

Our program offers life-changing opportunities to work on real archaeological research projects — spanning ancient villages to historic ghost towns — in the context of an academic experience that values the cultural heritage of descendent groups. Additional hands-on learning opportunities are available through internships, service-learning, study abroad and more. Archaeology faculty include internationally renowned researchers and teachers, who you can count on to support your success from day one.

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Other degree options for anthropology at UM

What can you do with an anthropology degree?

As an anthropology major, you’ll gain critical thinking and research skills you can apply to many different careers, while gaining a deeper understanding of and appreciation for diversity. Graduates of our archaeology concentration have a solid track record of success, going on to exciting careers working in academia (including Hamilton College and the University of Michigan), museums (including the Cashmere Museum and the National Museum of Denmark) and state and federal agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, and the USDA Forest Service. 

Anthropology jobs

Archaeology jobs can involve fieldwork, research, interpreting data and other skills. Examples include:

  • Archaeologist
  • Professor
  • Researcher
  • Conservator
  • Museum curator

Anthropology salary

Archaeology salaries average $63,670 nationally, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average salary for archivists, curators and museum workers is $52,140.

Video: Anthropology at the University of Montana

Earn your degree in anthropology at UM and discover questions of the past and where we are heading in our future.

Experiential learning in the anthropology major

If you enjoy hands-on work and opportunities to apply your learning in the real world, our archaeology program is for you. Our students and researchers have discovered artifacts in downtown Missoula that illuminate the lives of people from more than a century ago, and have taken field courses that involved excavations of 4500-year-old camps in Wyoming, 1500-year-old pit houses in British Columbia, and mapping and excavation of historic ranches and ghost towns in western Montana.

Internships and research in archaeology

Gain real-world archaeology experience through internships, service learning and undergraduate research. Our students work with local museums, consulting firms and government agencies on a variety of UM archaeology projects. Research specializations in our archaeology program include:

  • Histories of Indigenous villages in the Pacific Northwest, Arctic and Rocky Mountains regions. Studies of stone tool technology, village origins, and evolutionary theory.
  • Historical archaeology of the American West, including 19th century mining towns, early reservation era settlements and Chinese railroad camps.
  • Archaeology of ancient hunter-gatherer peoples of the Middle Rocky Mountains, especially Yellowstone National Park.
  • Classic and Post-Classic period of occupation at the Mayan city, Cahal Pech, located in Belize.

Study abroad opportunities in the anthropology degree

Take your archaeology studies overseas and enhance your knowledge of wider traditions. Our archaeology students have studied abroad in countries including Ireland, Ghana, and New Zealand. Learn more about study abroad opportunities at the University of Montana.

Career development in the anthropology degree

We want to do more than help you excel in your undergraduate studies: we want to provide the support you need to hit the ground running when you graduate. As an anthropology major at UM, you’ll find that career development opportunities are woven throughout your program of study.

Many courses in the anthropology degree offer training for employment and opportunities to participate in professional activities — including presenting papers at conferences and working on real-world projects — and our faculty often connect students with prospective employers. You can also participate in the Montana Anthropology Student Association (MASA), which hosts lectures, workshops, social events and other networking opportunities.

Anthropology scholarships

We offer a number of program scholarships you may qualify for as an anthropology major. Explore scholarship opportunities in the anthropology bachelor’s degree at UM.

Explore classes for the archaeology concentration of the anthropology degree

Coursework in this program explores topics such as archaeological theory, methods, and research areas. Examples of courses include Cultural Resource Management, Historic Preservation, Historical Archaeology, Lithic Technology, and Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology. 

View all classes for the archaeology concentration of the anthropology degree.