Message from the Director
Academic Office Building 210
Thank you for considering our MS and PhD programs in Industrial Heritage Archaeology. Industrial archaeology is a diverse, multidisciplinary field practiced around the world. Industrial archaeologists record, interpret, and preserve industrial and engineering-related artifacts, sites, systems, and landscapes in their cultural and historical contexts. Heritage specialists consider the broader social, economic, and environmental legacies of industrial society. Michigan Tech students have studied sites and communities worldwide, including 17th-century iron forges, 19th-century coal and copper mines, and as recent as 20th-century sugar factories. Our interdisciplinary approach fuses archaeology, historic preservation, the history of technology, material culture studies, ethnography and oral history, environmental history, policy and planning, sociology, and architectural history.
The Master of Science in Industrial Archaeology is a professional degree that emphasizes the tangible and intangible heritage of industrial society. Students participate in fieldwork, including archive research and management, surveying and excavating archaeological sites, recording historic architecture, and ethnographic and oral history research. Our graduates build varied careers in areas including curation and administration at historic sites and museums; heritage and cultural resources management; field archaeology; public history; preservation and planning; education; and community and government service. Through rigorous course work emphasizing relevant, hands-on opportunities, our curriculum instills in students both a solid theoretical grounding and a practical skill set. Student theses, which are often developed in conjunction with outside sponsors, incorporate real-world situations concerned with proposal preparation; site identification, interpretation, preservation, and management; and community-based research and management.
The PhD in Industrial Heritage and Archaeology developed as a logical extension of our MS in Industrial Archaeology. This interdisciplinary, research-based degree is designed to afford intellectual maturity to students seeking appointment to academic professorships or planning to pursue careers with a high level of responsibility in heritage management and/or policy. As an advanced degree of an emerging field, the PhD in Industrial Heritage and Archaeology does not fit neatly into the conceptual framework of typical degree programs in more established disciplines; thus, students work closely with their faculty mentors to establish a professional identity appropriate to their career goals. We expect our doctoral students to assume leadership roles in the international community of industrial heritage specialists.
Our distinctive programs attract students driven by a passionate curiosity about industrial communities, landscapes, technology systems, and workplaces. I am very proud to be leading our community of dedicated academics as a new generation of scholars is expanding upon our established successes.