Field Schools

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

Archeological field schools provide hands-on experience with field and lab work. They're a great way to learn more about what archeology is and how archeologists do their work. Participants learn archeological methods, such as excavation and artifact processing. They also learn to think like an archeologist, for example how to sequence cultural activity over time at an archeological site. Participants often do public interpretation by explaining the archeology to visitors.

Many field schools offer academic credit through a college or university. Completion of an archeological field school is a necessary step for professional archeologists, as per the Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation.

Field schools are offered across the United States and its territories in national parks and at partner sites, ranging from colonial fort life at Fort Vancouver in the Pacific Northwest, to island life in the Virgin Islands, to missions and plantations at Timucuan Ecological and Natural Preserve in Florida. For the most up-to-date offerings, search online using keywords such as, “national park archeology field school” or “archaeology field school” or “archaeology fieldwork opportunities.”

Last updated: February 17, 2023