Archaeological Science, B.S.

Program Code: ARSCI_BS

Entrance to Major

In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:

  1. attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
  2. have third-semester classification.


Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Archaeological Science, a minimum of 120 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 15
Requirements for the Major 70

10 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in Requirements for the Major. This includes: 4 credits of GQ courses; 6 credits of GN courses.

Per Senate Policy 83-80.5, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of coursework in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. For more information, check the Recommended Academic Plan for your intended program.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Requirements for the Major

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major. To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
ANTH 2NWorld Archaeology Keystone/General Education Course3
ANTH 11North American Archaeology Keystone/General Education Course3
ANTH 21Introductory Biological Anthropology Keystone/General Education Course3
ANTH 45NCultural Diversity: A Global Perspective Keystone/General Education Course3
ANTH 421Intro to Geospatial Science in Anthropology and Archaeology3
ANTH 423The Evolution of American Indian Culture3
ANTH 428Archaeological Methods and Theory3
ANTH 433Archaeological Ethics and Law3
ANTH 492Intermediate Field Methods3
ANTH 493Field Techniques3
GEOSC 1Physical Geology3
SOILS 101Introductory Soil Science Keystone/General Education Course3
STAT 200Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course4
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 9 additional Archaeology credits from the following ranges:9
ANTH 320-339
ANTH 420-439
Select an additional 18 credits in ANTH electives 118
GEOSC 320Geology of Climate Change3
or SOILS 416 Soil Genesis, Classification, and Mapping

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.


University Park

Liberal Arts Academic Advising
Use the Liberal Arts Majors and Minors web page to see the contact information for the specific adviser(s) of this program

Career Paths

Graduates with a B.S. in Archaeological Science from Penn State excel in diverse professional careers including academic research, museum curator, and cultural resource management. Archaeological Science students develop strong skills in research methods, quantification, laboratory science, problem-solving, and effective oral and written communication. Students are strongly encouraged to become involved in departmental research while at Penn State to augment their training and enhance their prospects for employment or graduate study.


Possible career paths include:

  • Advanced research in the field
  • Museum curator
  • Cultural resource management


Opportunities for Graduate Studies

Archaeological Science majors will find that their undergraduate education is excellent preparation for the advanced training required for many professions. Our majors often go on to receive specialized graduate instruction in archaeological research or museum studies.


Professional Resources


University Park

410 Carpenter Building
University Park, PA 16802