Applied Archaeology in the Pacific and Asia

Participants of the Maloka'i Training Project in Wailau Valley

We have designed the MA track in Applied Archaeology at the University of Hawai'i to train the next generation of professional non-academic archaeologists and others who seek to be effective advocates for the study and preservation of historic sites in Hawai'i and elsewhere in the Pacific and Asia. Although institutions throughout the continental United States offer graduate training in applied archaeology, our program at UH-Mānoa is unique in its geographic and cultural focus on Hawai'i, Oceania, and Asia.

We recognize the increasing importance of archaeological employment opportunities in our state through public and private sectors of cultural resource management (CRM) and historic preservation. In fact, compliance with state and federal legislation that pertain to archaeology and historic preservation underlies most public and private funding for professional archaeology today. Consequently, many private firms and governmental agencies employ MA level archaeologists to conduct CRM investigations, manage archaeological collections, and/or engage in community outreach and public education. These growing areas of professional archaeology now far surpass the demand for academic archaeologists.

We encourage practicing archaeologists in the community who seek an MA to apply to our applied program. We also welcome practicing archaeologists in the community who do not have the time and other resources to complete an MA now, but who wish to expand their professional skills, to enroll in our applied Archaeology MA classes. Such participation is possible by either enrolling as an unclassified graduate student, or through taking courses via the UH Mānoa Outreach College (our classes will be dual-listed with the Outreach College).

Requirements (MA Plan B)

A minimum 30 credit hours of course work is required for the M.A. degree in Anthropology. (The average course is 3 credits.) M.A. students must be enrolled at the University of Hawai‘i full-time (8 credit minimum) for at least 2 semesters while completing the degree.

Graduate students must maintain at least a B (3.00) average. All courses taken for degree credit must be taken for a letter grade (A-F). Credit/No Credit courses do not count toward degree credit.

  1. Advisory Meeting: Have an initial meeting with your interim advisor to discuss your study plans. This should be done soon after you arrive at the Department, generally within the first two weeks of your first semester.
  2. Candidacy Conference: This should be scheduled by the end of your second semester (March-April). The Candidacy Conference is the first meeting of your three-member MA committee, comprised of a chair and two other members; at least one must be full-time Anthropology faculty.
    Bring the following materials to the meeting:
    • updated degree Checksheet (obtain from Graduate Specialist in Saunders 346c )
    • a typed Proposed Program of Study, including a list of courses you plan to take, a proposed schedule for completion of the MA degree, and a list of committee members (with contact information)

    Please have your committee chair sign and date a copy of your proposed program of study. Give this to the Graduate Specialist in room 346c to be entered into your academic file.

  3. Application for Diploma: When approaching graduation, submit an Application for Diploma. There is a fee for this; it rolls over to the term of graduation if you do not graduate as planned.
  4. Papers (3) or Report (1):  A student must complete a report on original research or three publishable papers. The report or 3 papers should be submitted to all committee members two weeks prior to the final meeting.
  5. Final Meeting: When you have completed all required coursework and submitted your papers or report, schedule your final committee meeting. Bring to the meeting the departmental form for Master’s Plan B in Applied Archaeology. At the end of the meeting, have this form signed by your committee members and submit it to the Graduate Specialist.

Note: This is a terminal degree. A successful graduate of the MA Track in Applied Archaeology must re­apply to the graduate program if she/he desires to seek admission to the Ph.D. program.

MA Track in Applied Archaeology Program Coordinator: Dr. James Bayman;; 956-7552; Dean Hall 205

Curriculum for Applied Archaeology MA Track - Plan B (Portfolio)

Required courses (9 credits [3 courses])

  • ANTH 603 (Archaeology Core)
  • ANTH 645 (Historic Preservation)1
  • ANTH 711 (Research Design)

Required area courses (3 credits [1 class])

  • ANTH 323 (Pacific Archaeology)
  • ANTH 464 (Hawaiian Archaeology)
  • ANTH 461 (Southeast Asian Archaeology)
  • ANTH 462 (East Asian Archaeology

Methods courses (9 credits) (at least one ANTH class)

  • ANTH 380 (Archaeology Laboratory Techniques)
  • ANTH 384 (Skeletal Biology) & ANTH 384L (1-credit hour lab)
  • ANTH 458 (Forensic Anthropology)
  • ANTH 473 (Lithic Artifact Assemblage Analysis)
  • ANTH 475 (Faunal Analysis)
  • ANTH 477 (Spatial Analysis in Archaeology)
  • ANTH 668 (Archaeology Field Methods [Variable 3-6 credits])
  • ANTH 670 (Applied Archaeology Practicum [3 credits])2
  • ANTH 671 (Applied Hawaiian Archaeology)
  • ANTH 750D (Hawaiian Ethnology: Theory and Practice)
  • GEOG 370 (Map and Aerial Photo Interpretation)
  • GEOG 470 (Remote Sensing)
  • GEOG 472 (Field Mapping)
  • GEOG 488 (Geographic Information Systems)
  • HWST 602 (Hawaiian Archival Research)
  • AMST 474 (Preservation: Hawai’i, Asia, and the Pacific)

Elective courses (9 credits [3 classes] [at least one ANTH classes])

  • ANTH 640 series (640B, 640C, 640D, 640E, or 640F)
  • ANTH 670 (Applied Archaeology Practicum)2
  • ANTH 750 series (750B, 750D)
  • HWST 650 (Hawaiian Natural Resource Management)
  • AMST 457, 623, 625, 640, 675, 676, 677, 679, 680, 681, 683, 684, 685, 696
  • ARCH 691, 692
  • PLAN 600, 610, 616, 622, 625, 632, 640, 645, 741
  • LWEV 527C: Topics in Native Hawaiian Law – Burials & Historic Sites Preservation


1 Students enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation program concurrently with the MA Track in Applied Archaeology may instead take AMST 676 (Recording Historic Resources) or AMST 677 (Community Preservation).

2 A single course cannot be used to fulfill two separate requirements; e.g., ANTH 670 fulfills either methods or electives.


  • If you have not completed an introductory undergraduate course in archaeology, you should remedy this deficiency your first semester in the Applied Archaeology program by taking ANTH 210, ANTH 468 or ANTH 469 (or a substitute, with the program coordinator’s authorization).
  • Course credits from a student’s undergraduate degree cannot be counted toward completion of the MA degree
  • All incoming graduate students are required to attend the Anthropology Colloquium Proseminar their first two semesters in residence. Colloquia are held on Thursdays from 3-4:15 p.m. Do not enroll in any classes that will overlap this time.
  • The above curriculum requirements are effective for students who enter the program in Fall 2010.


Windy McElroy conducting an archaeological survey of Wailau Valley, Courtesy of Windy McElroy