Industrial Heritage and Archaeology

The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them. —Sir William Bragg

Industrial Archaeology—MS

Fast Facts

  • Michigan Tech offers one of the few industrial archaeology programs in the world.
  • Industrial archaeology faculty members serve on the boards of professional and scholarly organizations and have won awards for their publications.
  • The industrial archaeology graduate programs maintain close ties with the Michigan Historical Center, the US Forest Service, and the National Park Service. We take advantage of our proximity to the many historical industrial sites within the Keweenaw National Historical Park, Isle Royale National Park, and the Hiawatha and Ottawa National Forests.

Learn more about the Industrial Archaeology program.

Graduate Programs in Industrial Archaeology

Industrial archaeologists record, interpret, and preserve industrial and engineering-related artifacts, sites, and systems in their cultural and historical contexts. Industrial archaeology generally applies to the study of industry since the Industrial Revolution, and it can include sites as old as seventeenth-century iron forges or as recent as twentieth-century steel mills.

Our interdisciplinary approach fuses archaeology, historic preservation, the history of technology, material culture, the history of architecture, and anthropology. Hands-on fieldwork, archaeological surveys, and excavation—as well as architectural, historical, and archival research—reflect the emphasis upon the material remains of industry.

The MS in Industrial Archaeology prepares students for careers in cultural resource management firms or for additional academic study. Most students complete the program in two years, including a summer of field work at the West Point Foundry site, in Cold Spring, New York.

Michigan Tech’s Archaeology Laboratory supports the processing, documenting, and cataloging of artifacts from field excavations.

Learn more about the Industrial Archaeology program.

Master's Degree: Thesis Option

This option requires a research thesis prepared under the supervision of the advisor.  The thesis describes a research investigation and its results. The scope of the research topic for the thesis should be defined in such a way that a full-time student could complete the requirements for a master’s degree in twelve months or three semesters following the completion of course work by regularly scheduling graduate research credits. 

The minimum requirements are as follows:

Course work (minimum)20 credits
Thesis research6–10 credits
Total (minimum)30 credits
Distribution of course work credit 
5000–6000 series (minimum)12 credits
3000–4000 level (maximum)12 credits

 

Programs may have stricter requirements and may require more than the minimum numbers of credits listed here.

Master's Degree: Report Option

This option requires a report describing the results of an independent study project. The scope of the research topic should be defined in such a way that a full-time student could complete the requirements for a master’s degree in twelve months or three semesters following the completion of course work by regularly scheduling graduate research credits. 

Of the minimum total of 30 credits, at least 24 must be earned in course work other than the project:

Course work24 credits
Report2–6 credits
Total (minimum)30 credits
Distribution of course work credit 
5000–6000 series (minimum)12 credits
3000–4000 level (maximum)12 credits

 

Programs may have stricter requirements and may require more than the minimum numbers of credits listed here.