Class working outside in the woods for a field study

Wisdom sets bounds even to knowledge. —Friedrich Nietzsche

Industrial Heritage and Archaeology—PhD

Fast Facts

  • Industrial archaeology faculty members serve on the boards of professional and scholarly organizations and have won awards for their publications.
  • Michigan Tech offers one of the few industrial heritage and archaeology programs in the world.
  • Michigan Tech’s Archaeology Laboratory supports the processing, documenting, and cataloging of artifacts from field excavations.

Learn more about the Industrial Heritage and Archaeology program.

Graduate Programs in Industrial Heritage and 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. Students pursuing the PhD in Industrial Heritage and Archaeology explore and interpret the history of industry, work, and the associated material culture.

This program is characterized by interdisciplinary study, an emphasis upon material culture, and projects of scope and complexity. Research topics include the rise and decline of industrial facilities, the environmental consequences of past industrial developments, and heritage-related tourism, among others.

Learn more about the Industrial Heritage and Archaeology program.

PhD Requirements

To complete a doctoral degree, students must complete the following milestones:

  • Complete all course work and research credits (see credit requirements below)
  • Pass Qualifying Examination
  • Pass Research Proposal Examination
  • Prepare and Submit Approved Dissertation
  • Pass Final Oral Defense

The minimum credit requirements are as follows:

Total Credit Requirements  
MS–PhD (minimum) 30 credits
BS–PhD (minimum) 60 credits


Individual programs may have higher standards and students are expected to know their program's requirements. See the Doctor of Philosophy Requirements website for more information about PhD milestones and related timelines.