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PhD in Archaeology vs. Anthropology


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Is anyone else out there weighing the relative merits of getting a PhD in archaeology vs. anthropology? I mean just the actual diploma.

My area of interest could be classed as either physical anthropology or archaeology. I was accepted to two programs in archaeology (Calgary and UCLA) and one program in anthropology (Penn State). Now, I'm hearing from my old advisors that current trends suggest that a degree in anthropology will be more marketable for academic jobs. In other words, that universities are looking for more generalists and fewer specialists.

Any thoughts?


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I've heard the same thing, simply on grounds that there are many more anthropology than archaeology departments in the US and they often want to hire people who can teach basic courses in all the fields. If I were you, though, I'd ask detailed questions of people at all three schools about job placement for recent graduates.

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Asking about placement isn't a bad idea. My understanding is that a lot of people with archaeology degrees end up in private industry. If that doesn't bother you - than no worries then. If you'd really like to stay in academics, it would definitely be wise to ask around about placement. What percent of people get tenure track jobs right away? How about after 2-3 years. If they don't know because they don't keep track of their recent grads, that is a pretty huge red flag.

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