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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Best Graduate and Undergraduate Schools, Universities, and Colleges for Archaeology and Anthropology

This page is being updated with the latest rankings and reflections. Please forgive the mess! And if you happen to read and think that I'm mid-thought-process, you would be right. 

Welcome to the archaeology and anthropology school page on Ancient Digger.

I have compiled several lists in order to help you determine the top colleges and universities with the best anthropology and archaeology undergraduate and graduate programs and schools.

You will all notice that rankings have been added for the best maritime/nautical archaeology programs, best linguistic anthropology programs, top schools for classical archaeology,  top programs for history, archives, and preservation, as well as comprehensive details pertaining to student outcomes and cost of your education.

The BIG Question

You need to understand and ask yourself what the "top archaeology or anthropology school" means to you. Does this mean lowest cost?  Job placement after graduation? Best Faculty?

Virtually every school offering these programs has a something to offer students. As an undergraduate archaeology student at University of Central Florida, you may typically take the same required electives and core classes as the person attending University of Alabama. The biggest differences come when you begin your masters, and also your research as a PhD candidate.

The biggest advice I can give, and I can say with all honesty that it's the same I give my students now, is that you can't always look at the top 50 schools and think your mind is only set on those schools. We have USA Today to thank for that healthy ranking obsession. Think about what area of study interests you. What part of the world do you want to research. Have you thought about the climate you want to live it? Is there a Starbucks within walking distance?–– Hey, my students really ask about this *smile*. Are you applying to an Ivy League because it's an Ivy league? Do they even have your program? At Harvard, will I be trained to turn over a millimtere of top soil in two weeks like  Eddie Izzard mentioned in his comedy show,  just like someone from Arizona State?

Seems like a lot of odd questions, and I would never stop anyone was pursuing this field. Just think about what you want to accomplish. Do you know the reasons why you should be an archaeologist? If you don't immediately know the answer to this, I would do some self reflection.

Or, read about why others have chosen the profession. Here's one of my favorites posts on Ancient Digger from 2011 (one little snippet below to tickle your funny bone): Twitter Users Speak Out: Reasons Why You Became An Archaeologist

I love everything that's old: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine." but mainly the wine ...~YorksArch

2015 Rankings (Undergraduate)

Top 20 US Universities, Schools, Programs, and Colleges for History (ranked nationwide)

  1. Yale University
  2. Harvard University
  3. Princeton University
  4. Columbia University
  5. University of Pennsylvania
  6. University of California-Los Angeles
  7. Cornell University
  8. Boston College
  9. Brown University
  10. Dartmouth
  11. Stanford University
  12. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  13. College of William and Mary
  14. Colgate University
  15. College of the Holy Cross
  16. University of Virginia
  17. University of California-Berkeley
  18. Rutgers University
  19. Northwestern University
  20. University of Notre Dame

Top 20 US Universities, Schools, Programs, and Colleges for Archives and Preservation (ranked nationwide)

  1. University of Illinois-Urbana
  2. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  3. University of Washington
  4. Syracuse University
  5. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  6. Rutgers, New Brunswick
  7. University of Texas-Austin
  8. Indiana University
  9. Simmons College
  10. Drexel University
  11. University of Maryland-College Park
  12. University of Pittsburgh
  13. Florida State University
  14. University of California-Los Angeles
  15. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  16. University of Wisconsin-Madison
  17. University of Tennessee-Knoxville
  18. Kent State University
  19. University of Alabama
  20. University of South Carolina

Top 20 US Universities, Schools, Programs, and Colleges for Linguistic Anthropology

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  2. UCLA
  3. Stanford University
  4. Harvard University
  5. University of Massachusetts Amherst
  6. University of Pennsylvania
  7. Ohio State University
  8. University of Chicago
  9. University of California-Santa Barbara
  10. University of Texas-Austin
  11. University of Arizona
  12. University of Illinois-Urbana
  13. University of Maryland-College Park
  14. University of California-San Diego
  15. NYU
  16. Carnegie Mellon
  17. City University of New York
  18. Georgetown University
  19. Indiana University-Bloomington
  20. Pennsylvania State University

Top Universities, Schools, and Programs for Classics (Classical Archaeology)

United States

  • Bryn Mawr College
  • Cornell University
  • Harvard University
  • Stanford University
  • University of California Berkley
  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Texas Austin

Top Universities, Schools, and Programs for Maritime and Nautical Archaeology

United States

  • Texas A & M
  • Minnesota State University
  • University of Florida
  • Indiana University
  • Flinder's University
  • East Carolina University
  • University of West Florida
  • Michigan State University
Outside United States
  • University of Southern Denmark

Archaeology and Anthropology Undergraduate Universities, Colleges, and Schools in US

To read a comprehensive description of the programs offered by these undergraduate institutions, either click on the link to visit the university website, or you may read about the programs on Ancient Digger hereUS Archaeology and Anthropology schools and their Disciplines

United StatesLocationStatus
Arizona State University



University of ArizonaTuscanPublic
Northern Arizona UniversityFlagstaffPublic


Stanford UniversityPalo AltoPrivate
University of California - BerkeleyBerkleyPublic
University of California - DavisDavisPublic
University of California - IrvineIrvinePublic
University of California - Los AngelesLos AngelesPublic
University of California - RiversideRiversidePublic
University of California - San DiegoLa JollaPublic
University of California - Santa B.Santa BarbaraPublic
University of California - Santa CruzSanta CruzPublic
University of RedlandsRedlandsPublic
University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesPrivate


University of Colorado - BoulderBoulderPublic


University of ConnecticutStorrsPublic
Yale UniversityNew HavenPrivate

University of DelawareNewarkPublic


Florida State UniversityTallahasseePublic
University of FloridaGainesvillePublic
University of South FloridaTampaPublic
University of Central Florida OrlandoPublic


Emory UniversityAtlantaPrivate
University of GeorgiaAthensPublic


University of Hawaii - ManoaHonoluluPublic


University of Chicago ChicagoPublic
University of Illinois - ChicagoChicagoPublic
University of Illinois - UrbanaUrbanaPublic


Indiana UniversityBloomingtonPublic
Purdue UniversityWest LafayettePublic
University of Notre DameNotre DamePrivate


Boise StateBoisePublic


University of IowaIowa CityPublic


University of KansasLawrencePublic


University of KentuckyLexingtonPublic


Louisiana State UniversityBaton RougePublic
Tulane UniversityNew OrleansPublic


Boston UniversityBostonPrivate
Brandeis UniversityWalthamPrivate
Harvard University #2CambridgePrivate
Tufts UniversityMedfordPrivate
University of MassachusettsAmherstPublic


Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimorePrivate
University of MarylandCollege ParkPublic


Grand Valley State UniversityAllendalePublic
Michigan State UniversityEast LansingPublic
University of Michigan - #1Ann ArborPublic


University of Minnesota - TwincitiesMinneapolisPublic


University of Missouri - ColumbiaColumbiaPublic


University of Nebraska - LincolnLincolnPublic

New Jersey

Princeton UniversityPrincetonPublic
Rutgers UniversityNew BrunswickPublic

New Mexico

University of New MexicoAlbuquerquePublic

New York

Binghamton UniversityBinghamtonPublic
Columbia UniversityNew YorkPrivate
Cornell UniversityIthacaPrivate
Fordham UniversityBronxPrivate
New York University
Stony Brook UniversityStony BrookPublic
Syracuse UniversitySyracusePrivate
The Graduate CenterNew YorkPublic
University at AlbanyAlbanyPublic
University at BuffaloBuffaloPublic
University of RochesterRochesterPrivate

North Carolina

North Carolina State UniversityRaleighPublic
University of North CarolinaChapel HillPublic


Case Western Reserve UniversityClevelandPrivate
Miami UniversityOxfordPublic
University of Akron, TheAkronPublic


University of OklahomaNormanPublic


University of OregonEugenePublic


Pennsylvania State UniversityUniv. ParkPublic
Temple UniversityPhiladelphiaPublic
University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaPrivate
University of PittsburghPittsburghPublic

Rhode Island

Brown UniversityProvidencePrivate

South Carolina

University of South Carolina-ColumbiaColumbiaPublic


University of Tennessee-KnoxvilleKnoxvillePublic
Vanderbilt UniversityNashvillePrivate


Rice UniversityHoustonPrivate
Texas A & M UniversityCollege stationPublic
University of Texas - AustinAustinPublic


College of William & MaryWilliamsburgPublic
George Mason UniversityFairfaxPublic
University of VirginiaCharlottesvillePublic


University of UtahSalt Lake CityPublic


American UniversityWashingtonPrivate
George Washington University, TheWashingtonPrivate
Georgetown UniversityWashingtonPrivate
University of WashingtonSeattlePublic
Washington State UniversityPullmanPublic

To read a comprehensive description of the programs offered by these undergraduate institutions, either click on the link to visit the university website, or you may read about the programs on Ancient Digger: US Archaeology and Anthropology schools and their Disciplines

Top 10 Universities for Student Outcome: Students graduate quickly, get jobs, and the program tracks their placements

  1. University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA-Medical Anthropology
  2. University of California-San Francisco-Medical Anthropology
  3. Duke University-Anthropology
  4. University of Utah-Anthropology
  5. Harvard University-Anthropology 
  6. Johns Hopkins-Anthropology
  7. Stanford-Cultural and Social Anthropology
  8. The University of Tennessee
  9. Washington University, St Louis
  10. Cornell University-Anthropology

Best Anthropology Ph.D Programs: # Degrees Granted A-Z

  1. Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
  2. Columbia University in the City of New York, New York, NY
  3. CUNY Graduate School and University Center, New York, NY
  4. New York University, New York, NY
  5. Stanford University, Stanford, CA
  6. The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
  7. University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
  8. University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
  9. University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
  10. University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Lowest Cost for Anthropology Ph.D In US --In State Students $$ A-Z

  1. University of Montana, Missoula, MT
  2. University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR
  3. University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV
  4. University of Nevada-Reno, Reno, NV
  5. University of New Mexico-Main Campus, Albuquerque, NM
  6. University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
  7. University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY

These links will take you to the university's main page for anthropology. If for some reason the links do not work, please comment below and I will fix them immediately.

Lowest Cost for Anthropology Ph.D In US --Out of State Students $$ A-Z

  1. California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA
  2. CUNY Graduate School and University Center, New York, NY
  3. Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY
  4. SUNY at Albany, Albany, NY
  5. SUNY at Binghamton, Binghamton, NY
  6. Texas A & M University, College Station, TX
  7. University of Montana, Missoula, MT
  8. University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
  9. University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR
  10. University of Oklahoma Norman Campus, Norman, OK

Best Anthropology Schools in the UK-Ranked

  1. Cambridge 
  2. Oxford 
  3. LSE 
  4. University College London 
  5. St Andrews 
  6. Sussex 
  7. Edinburgh 
  8. Manchester 
  9. Durham 
  10. Goldsmiths College 
  11. SOAS 
  12. Aberdeen Oxford Brookes 
  13. Kent 
  14. Queens, Belfast 
  15. East London 
  16. Roehampton 
  17. Lampeter 
  18. Hull 
  19. Teesside

Best Archaeology Schools in the UK-Ranked

  1. Cambridge 
  2. Oxford 
  3. Durham 
  4. University College London 
  5. Sheffield 
  6. Leicester 
  7. Bristol 
  8. Glasgow 
  9. Nottingham 
  10. Reading 
  11. Southampton 
  12. Manchester 
  13. Edinburgh 
  14. Exeter 
  15. Queens, Belfast
  16. Cardiff 
  17. Bradford 
  18. Liverpool 
  19. York 
  20. Lampeter

Best Research Universities for Archaeology Outside US

  1. Cambridge
  2. Oxford
  3. University College London 
  4. University of Birmingham
  5. University of Sheffield --We have been placed in the top ten among UK departments in all Research Assessment Exercises since 1992, including RAE 2008, in which 25% of its research activity was judged world-leading (4*) and 35% internationally excellent (3*).

More Guides on the Ancient Digger


  1. Professional CV Writing
  2. US News and World Report
  3. The Sunday Times University Guide
  4. PHDS.org

-----List Updated July 2015----- (In progress)

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