Archaeology and Heritage Studies (BA)

Learn about past ways of life by studying the physical remains of past cultures. Archaeology teaches you methodical excavation techniques and laboratory analysis. In the broader field of heritage studies, you’ll learn how to consult and work in partnership with Indigenous, descendant and local communities to preserve their cultural heritage. Practise these skills in fieldwork opportunities in Canada and around the world.

Apply Your Learning

Make the most out of your university career by taking advantage of all that Laurier has to offer you. Volunteer work, campus clubs, leadership programs, studying abroad, work experience – there are so many ways you can extend your classroom experience into the real world.

Here are just a few examples of the experiences you can add to your Archaeology and Heritage Studies program:

  • Apply for co-op at the end of your first year to gain hands-on work experience for your resume.
  • Take an advanced spring/summer field work course and visit archaeological sites in places like Jordan and Greece.
  • Explore a range of interests from education to underwater archaeology in your fourth-year capstone project.
  • Study abroad for an academic term.

Check out the Archaeology and Heritage Studies Experience Guide.

 

2020 graduates who secured employment or went on to postgraduate studies

 

Laurier ranks in the top 6 percent of universities worldwide*

 

students who gained hands-on learning experiences at Laurier in 2019/20

*Center for World University Rankings (CWUR)

Admissions

Format: full time or part time      Duration: four years     Start: September (fall term)     OUAC code: UH

Program Details

About Our Program

Our Archaeology and Heritage Studies program explores areas of faculty research expertise in the archaeology of the New World and the Ancient Mediterranean World. This program focuses on the cultures of North America in both the pre-contact and post-contact periods of the arrival of Europeans. There will also be a focus on the ancient societies of Greece, Rome and the Near East.
 
You'll be trained in the methods of field archaeology and analytical techniques used in modern archaeology within the context of the larger field of heritage conservation and preservation. Courses in this program are a mixture of theory and practical applications of that theory. Practical applications will take place in our archaeological laboratories, where studies in material culture are conducted. Experiential learning, which in many cases leads to careers in the heritage field, is one of the program's core strengths.

Research Opportunities

Students can assist with research arising from our faculty members' projects at the above field schools. Research and lab work for these projects has led to publication and conference presentations for some student volunteers.

Field Schools

We have four field schools that run on a two-year cycle:

Funding for Overseas Excavations

We have the following awards available for students who participate in overseas excavation projects:

  • Alvin J Pauli Scholarship in Archaeology
  • Catherine Elaine Bingeman Memorial Award in Archaeology
  • Hugh MacLean-Jakob Zeyl Scholarship
  • Lawrence E Toombs Bursary
  • Luella M. Ernest Undergraduate Academic Scholarship
  • The Smith Margaret Manley Memorial Bursary
Also available each year are several instructional assistant positions for senior undergraduates for our lab and field courses.

Program Options and Courses

Options and Minors

These are a few of the many popular academic opportunities which allow you to dive deeper into your major area of study or broaden your knowledge:

  • Applied Digital Option
  • Geography/Geomatics courses
  • History Minor
  • Medieval Studies Minor
  • Sustainability Option

Check out other options to enhance your degree.

Sample First-Year Courses

  • Doing Archaeology
  • Invitation to Archaeology
  • 4.0 elective credits in courses that interest you

Sample First-Year Electives

  • Ancient Rome: Not Just Caesar
  • Great Battles in History
  • Greece: Minotaur to Alexander

Sample Upper-Year Courses

  • Archaeology of Religion
  • Health, Diet, Disease in the Past
  • Introduction to Osteology
  • Investigating Archaeological Landscapes
  • Life in the Stonehenge Era

Co-op

Co-op is a way to integrate what you are learning in the classroom with practical experience in your field of study. Build your resume, earn money, develop your network, and graduate with work experience.

You can apply for admission to co-op in your first year and may be eligible for an admission interview early in your second year. As a student in this program, you will be eligible to complete paid work terms lasting 12 to 16 weeks.

Interested? Learn more about co-op.

Tuition and Scholarships

Getting a university education is an investment in your future.

At Laurier, we take financial health seriously by providing a wide variety of funding opportunities for you throughout your degree, such as scholarships and bursaries, and by equipping you with the skills to manage your finances effectively in the years to come.

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"In the spring of my second year, I went on my first archaeology field school. As intimidated as I was, it didn’t take me long to feel right at home as I built friendships with my peers over six weeks. Not only was it a great experience, but it also provided me with practical archaeological skills that I could apply to summer fieldwork!"

Laura Inthof, Archaeology and Heritage Studies graduate

"There were always opportunities for us to get practical hands-on experience through the summer field schools and lab positions. These experiences have prepared myself and others to further our careers in academia and the workforce, both in archaeology and in new fields."

Owen Harvey, Archaeology and Heritage Studies graduate

Your Career Awaits

It’s not only about the journey; it’s about the destination. Let us help you get to where you’re going.

Here are just some examples of our graduates' destinations. What’s yours?

Sample Career Options

Note: Additional training and education may be required.

  • archaeological site surveyor
  • artifact analyst
  • collections curator
  • crime scene investigator
  • field archaeologist
  • forensic analyst
  • GIS specialist
  • historical preservation specialist
  • underwater archaeologist
  • urban planner

Explore more careers.

Support After Graduation

Alumni for life means that you have access to Career and Employment Support offered at Laurier for your entire career.

Waterloo Campus

The Waterloo campus is tucked into about one city block, so you’re steps away from your classes, food and your new favourite study spot.

There are many ways to tour our Waterloo campus, whether that's on a guided tour with one of our Laurier student ambassadors, on your own using virtual reality, or even on-demand through one of our pre-recorded tours. See our campus spaces and start to picture yourself at Laurier.

"I was able to meet so many professors who made a lasting impact, and who truly cared about myself and my research interests. One of the best things about the department is that we have working labs with research being conducted while you study at Laurier. I was able to work in two of these labs for three years, and that hands-on experience is something that really sets you apart after graduation."

Ashley Paling, Archaeology and Heritage Studies graduate

Interested in More Info?

Email chooselaurier@wlu.ca, call 519.884.0710 x3385 or see all contact information.