Field Schools

Field School
Field school at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. NPS photo.

Archeological field schools provide hands-on field and lab experience. They are a great way to learn about what archeology is and how archeologists work. Participants learn archeological methods, such as excavation and artifact processing, and archeological thinking, like the use of physical evidence to sequence cultural activity over time. Participants may do public interpretation to visitors, as well.

Field schools are offered by the NPS and its partners (like colleges and universities) at sites ranging from the colonial fort at Fort Vancouver in the Pacific Northwest, to island communities in the Virgin Islands, to missions and plantations at Timucuan Ecological and Natural Preserve in Florida. Academic credit may be offered. Completion of an archeological field school is a necessary step for qualified professional archeologists, as per the Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation.

To find current and upcoming field schools, search online using keywords such as, “national park archeology field school” or “archaeology field school” or “archaeology fieldwork opportunities.”

Last updated: January 11, 2024