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Field School

All majors in the Department of Anthropology are required to attend a faculty-supervised field school as part of their major (both archaeology and sociocultural anthropology). These field schools offer hands-on field research experience and training in our disciplines. Taking this experience seriously and developing your senior thesis can provide excellent training for graduate school or help you develop professional skills that will set you apart when you enter the work force. Students conduct first hand data collection and analysis, and the degree culminates in the writing of a senior thesis. The thesis is written based on your research, under close mentorship with faculty in our department. These programs are also open to students from other majors and universities. Please consult the director of each program to discuss these possibilities and how these field schools can enhance training toward your professional goals.

The Field Schools fulfill the fieldwork requirement for the senior thesis sequence in both majors in the department (ANTHR 495R for Sociocultural Anthropology and ANTHR 455 for Archaeology). It is important to plan for these programs in advance, since each requires a pre-fieldwork preparation course as a prerequisite. The senior thesis sequence for each major is as follows, and each course must be taken in sequence, one per semester:

  • Sociocultural Anthropology: 442 - 495R - 499
  • Archaeology: 454 (Winter)- 455 (Spring or Summer) - 456 (Fall) - 499 (Winter)

Projected Field School Schedule

2020-21: Canceled due to Covid-19
2022: Coalbed Village, southeastern Utah (Dr. Allison)
2023: Hinckley Mounds, Provo, Utah (Dr. Searcy)
2024: Petra, Jordan (Dr. Finlayson and Dr. Johnson)
2025: TBD (Dr. Chase)

Sociocultural Anthropology
2020-21: Field Schools cancelled due to Covid-19
2022: France (Dr. Hickman), Ecuador (Dr. Janice Nuckolls)
2023: Korea (Dr. Thompson); Australia, Alaska or China - TBD (Dr. Hickman)

See where we are doing research.

In the following lecture, Dr. John Hawkins discusses the many benefits of field school training for our students. Dr. Hawkins pioneered one of the longest running and most effective field school programs that launched many careers and led to a host of publications for the students involved.

John Hawkins: "Lessons Learned from the BYU Guatemala Ethnographic Field School, 1995-2010"