Topic ID #36735 - posted 2/12/2016 1:41 PM

Grad school


I've been working in archaeology for about three years now, ever since I finished my BA, and I've had a bunch of temporary jobs pretty scattered throughout the country. I've saved some money, and I think I want to go back to school in pursuit of an MA. 

I was curious about a few things, though. First, with regards to getting into a program: I've never really done any major research--never wrote a senior thesis or any of that--and I don't have any publications. Where does that leave me? I had really good grades in college, GRE scores are in the 90th percentile in reading and writing but only 75th in math, and my work life has been reasonable, but I've only had one job that's lasted more than six months. Do you think the fact that I have no research experience will hurt me a lot? 

Second, I've heard that I should approach the faculty that I'm interested in working with. Is that necessary? I'm an extremely shy person, and I have no idea what I would say to any of the professors. I don't know what I plan to write my thesis on, except in a pretty general way (I want to study historic archaeology from the 19th century western US). Does anyone have any advice on the best way to approach faculty? 

Thanks in advance for any advice. I really, really appreciate it. 

Post ID#20750 - replied 2/13/2016 5:50 PM


While you won't be held to the exact research questions that you propose in your grad school statement of purpose, you should spend some time thinking about and narrowing your research interests and possible research questions. And maybe how your proposed research project can relate to broader anthropological questions. Just put a good effort into thinking about what interests you in historic archaeology. Your background seems comparable with many grad students in MA archaeology programs. Good luck.

Post ID#20760 - replied 2/29/2016 5:49 PM


I've been away for a while and didn't see this reply. Thanks for the advice! That definitely makes the process seem less daunting. Literally a day or two after I posted this, I got offered a relatively long-term job, so I'm thinking I'll put grad school on hold a little longer, but when I do apply, I'll definitely keep this in mind. 


Visit our Employment Network websites: - - For information on advertising on this website, contact