Department of History

Washburn Hall, 80 Upper College Road, Kingston, RI 02881

– 401.874.2528 (p); 401.874.2595 (f)

Think Big, We Do.
Rhode Island Seal

Master of Arts in History

Archaeology and Anthropology Option

The archaeology and anthropology master’s degree focus is a 30-credit program offered by the Department of History. Through a series of required courses and electives, this specialization emphasizes method and theory in each of the relevant discipline—history, anthropology and archaeology—and the connections between them.

Students enrolled in this option are encouraged to link areas of study across the disciplines. Some of the natural connections are maritime history and underwater archaeology, social history and cultural anthropology, and ancient history and classical archaeology. Students can also develop programs of study that emphasize regional connections or themes such as race, gender or family. While students might have to take one or two courses that do not fit into a specific thematic orientation, all courses would contribute to the specialization’s major objectivee—an overall understanding of method and theory in history, anthropology and archaeology.

All candidates enrolled in the archaeology and anthropology master’s degree option are required to take a series of set courses, along with a choice of electives. Written and oral comprehensive examinations are also part of the program. In keeping with graduate school and history department requirements, at least half the courses taken within the program have to be at the 500 level or above, including:

  • one 500-level Seminar in History
  • one 500-level Seminar in Cultural Heritage
  • a 500-level Directed Study
  • one additional 500-level history course.

This master’s program is a suitable option for students looking to enter museum work, cultural resource management, and contract archaeology. It also serves as one part of the Ph.D. program in Archaeological Oceanography. Students interested in this program should apply for admittance to the graduate programs in History and the Graduate School of Oceanography.

Admission Requirements

Students seeking to apply for admission to URI’s Graduate School are required to have:

  • a bachelor’s degree and have taken the
  • results for the GREs (Graduate Record Examinations).

While 24 credits in history are normally required, credits in anthropology, archaeology, art history and related fields may be accepted with permission of the director of graduate studies, in consultation with graduate faculty from history, art, and sociology and anthropology.

Specialization Requirements

  • an approved program requires 30 credits
  • students may write a master’s thesis with approval of the program director and the director of Graduate
  • Studies. some students may be required to take three additional credits in order to take advantage of this option.

Required Courses

One of the following Historical Methods courses:

  • HIS 401 Advanced Topics in European History
  • HIS 441 Advanced Topics in American History
  • HIS 481 Advanced Topics in Asian or Latin American History.

At least two 500-level History courses including at least one of the following Seminars (NB. HIS 591 HIS 599 excluded):

  • HIS 506 Seminar in European History Seminar in United States History
  • HIS 508 Seminar in Asian or Latin American History

At least one Anthropological Theory Course:

  • APG 401 History of Anthropological
  • APG 413 Peoples of the Sea
  • APG 427 Unity of Anthropology

At least one Archaeological Method and Theory Course:

  • HIS 490/APG 490 Underwater Historical Archaeology
  • APG 417 Archaeological Method and Theory
  • ARH 475/575 Classical Archaeology

The following Anthropology/Art History Seminar:

  • ARH/APG 465 or 565 Seminar in Cultural Heritage.

A research paper through directed study or thesis. NB: The directed study might be taken alongside a section of HIS 495.

  • HIS 591 Directed Study or
  • Research HIS 599 Thesis


The remaining credits will be selected from a list of approved electives. Up to six credits of other graduate courses may be substituted for approved electives with the approval of the student’s major professor and program coordinator.

Approved History Electives

  • All 400- and 500-level History courses.

Approved Anthropology Electives

  • APG 401 History of Anthropological Theory
  • APG 413 Peoples of the Sea
  • APG 417 Archaeological Method and Theory (The current APG317 would have to be changed to the 400 level)
  • APG 427 Unity of Anthropology
  • APG470 Problems in Anthropology (Independent Study)
  • APG 490/HIS 490 Underwater Historical Archaeology (course to be proposed)

Approved Art History and Material Culture Electives:

  • ARH 469/470 Independent Study in Art History
  • ARH 480 Advanced Topics in European and American Art
  • ARH/APG 465 or 565 Seminar in Cultural Heritage (course to be created)
  • ARH  475/575 Classical Archaeology (course to be created)
  • NES 400 Special Topics in New England Studies (when the topic is appropriate and with the approval of the student’s major professor)
  • TMD 440 Historic Textiles
  • TMD 510 Research Methods in Textiles
  • TMD 520 Introduction to Textile Conservation
  • TMD 524 Cultural Aspects of Dress
  • TMD 570 Topics in Historic Textiles or Costume

Program credits from electives = 12

Contact Information

For general inquiries, contact Director of Graduate Studies
Evelyn Sterne:
p: 401.874.4074
f: 401.874.2595

For inquiries about the archaeology and anthropology option, contact Professor Roderick Mather:
p: 401.874.4093

Copyright © 2016 University of Rhode Island.

The University of Rhode Island
Think Big, We Do.
A-ZDirectoryContact UsJump to top