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Graduate Studies Calendar 2022-2023 Program Descriptions Archaeology ARKY
Archaeology - ARKY
Contact Information

Location: Earth Sciences Building, Room 620
Program number: 403.220.7131
Fax: 403.284.5467
Email address:
Web page URL:

1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Master of Arts (MA), thesis-based


2. Admission Requirements

In addition to Faculties of Graduate Studies and Arts requirements, the Department requires:

a) A specimen of relevant written work (an honours essay, term paper, or seminar essay bearing the grade and initials of the supervising professor, the analysis chapter of a Master of Arts thesis or a published article where the applicant is the sole or senior author).

b) A concise statement setting forth the reasons for wishing to pursue graduate work in this department.

c) An up-to-date curriculum vitae.

d) A 3.30 grade point average in the last two years of program or over the last 60 units.

e) Two letters of reference from individuals able to evaluate academic potential.

3. Application Deadline

The deadline for the submission of complete applications is available on the Future Students website:

Master of Arts:

Doctor of Philosophy:

4. Advanced Credit

The Department does not normally give advanced credit.

5. Program/Course Requirements

In addition to Faculties of Graduate Studies and Arts requirements, the Department requires:

Master of Arts

a) Normally, 12 units including one of the following, as determined by the student's evaluation committee: Archaeology 615 or 617.

b) Two courses, which may include: Anthropology 605, Archaeology 601, a course in human osteology, or other courses as determined by the student's evaluation committee.

c) One of: Archaeology 625, 627, 631, 633, 635.

d) A season of field work or the equivalent.

Doctor of Philosophy

a) Normally, 18 units in Archaeology.

b) For those without a Master of Arts degree, normally 24 units.

Note: The number of courses required of each student may vary according to each student's particular needs as determined by the supervisory committee.

c) Unless previously satisfied, Archaeology 601 and one of the following: Archaeology 615 or 617.

d) Two of: Archaeology 625, 627, 631, 633, 635.

e) Anthropology 605 or its equivalent.

Other courses will be required as determined by the student's evaluation committee.

f) A research proposal approved by a committee consisting minimally of three members of the student's supervisory committee, and by the Graduate Program Director. This must be submitted within twenty months of entering the program.

g) A reading ability in a foreign language acceptable to the Department. The student's supervisory committee will decide the manner of demonstrating this ability.

Requirements (a) through (g) must be completed before sitting the written and oral components of the candidacy examination.

h) Normally, two seasons of field work. However, students specializing in laboratory-based topics, like physical anthropology, may substitute an approved program of laboratory work for one of the field work seasons.  Students specializing in laboratory-based topics, like physical anthropology, who started their field work between 2019 and 2021 may substitute one or more field work seasons with the approval of their supervisory committee.

Flexible Grade Option (CG Grade)

The program of Archaeology in the department of Anthropology and Archaeology will not permit the Flexible Grade Option (CG Grade) for any course offered by the Archaeology Program.

Students may not choose the CG grade for a course taken extra to load.

The use of the CG grade will affect students' eligibility for internal awards.

6. Additional Requirements

During the first two weeks in program, each student will undergo an evaluation. This is not an examination but an assessment of academic background. The specific regulations and procedures covering evaluations and examinations are on file in the Department Office and are available to students. It is the responsibility of every student to become familiar with these regulations.

Field work may be counted towards fulfillment of the full-time study and research requirement.

7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses

Normally only courses at the 500 level or higher may be taken for credit toward a graduate program. No more than two courses may be at the 500 level.

8. Time Limit

Expected completion time is two years for the Master of Arts degree and four years for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Maximum completion time is four years for the Master of Arts degree and six years for the doctoral degree.

9. Supervisory Assignments

The Department assigns an interim advisor to each student upon arrival. At any time before the end of the first year of studies, each student must select a faculty member to serve as supervisor. The interim advisor may become the supervisor.

Doctoral supervisory committees may be appointed at any time during the first year of studies, but no later than three months after the appointment of the supervisor. The supervisor, in consultation with the student, selects the committee.

10. Required Examinations


Doctoral students must complete a written thesis proposal, which will be evaluated by the supervisory committee. They must also pass oral and written Field of Study examinations and a second-language proficiency examination. For complete details of the candidacy requirements, see

Thesis Examination

Final thesis oral examinations are open.

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements for Thesis Examinations, the Department requires:

Scheduling of the Examination
All members of the supervisory Committee must have reviewed the student’s draft thesis document before an examination can be scheduled.

Composition of the Committee
The Internal Examiner must be external to the home program.

11. Financial Assistance

Financial assistance in the form of research and teaching assistantships may be available to qualified students. For information on awards, see the Awards and Financial Assistance section of this Calendar.

Students applying for Graduate Award Competition scholarships must submit their applications to the Department by January 25.

Funding is provided to students so that they can concentrate on their courses and research. Therefore, a graduate student is not allowed to work for more than 15 hours a week while holding departmental funding. Failure to abide by this policy will result in a decrease in or cancellation of departmental funding.

12. Other Information

The Department has laboratories equipped for anthropometric and osteological analysis, faunal analysis, and microbotanical and geoarchaeological research. A number of teaching and comparative archaeological and zooarchaeological collections are maintained. Field equipment including survey, photographic and camping equipment is available.