Industrial Heritage and Archaeology—MS

Industrial archaeologists study the physical remains of industrial societies—including artifacts, systems, sites, documents, traditions, and landscapes—within their cultural, ecological, and historical contexts. The Master of Science in Industrial Heritage and Archaeology is a professional degree that prepares students for diverse careers in areas including curation and education at historic sites and within museums; heritage and cultural resources management; field archaeology; public history; preservation and planning; education; and community and government service. Graduates of the MS program may also choose to advance their studies in a doctoral program.

Funding and Research

Students in the MS program can receive up to two years of funding via assistantships that cover the costs of tuition and provide a stipend. Students are actively involved in a wide array of research projects.

Career Pathways

Industrial archaeologists are involved in the practical preservation, mitigation, management, and interpretation of industrial remains. Because of the nature of industrial heritage sites, our master’s graduates often work within communities striving for economic and social revitalization in increasingly complex ecological settings.

We take pride in our program performance statistics, which are competitive with other master’s programs in archaeology, anthropology, history, or heritage studies. Faculty and staff continually monitor these statistics as one way to assess our efforts and identify areas for programmatic improvement. Based on an assessment of program statistics from students enrolled between 1991-2010, almost all IHA MS students (98 percent) have received funding to complete their degrees and almost all (90 percent) have completed their degrees. These students have since been hired at federal or state agencies (52 percent of graduates), been accepted in advanced degree programs (23 percent of graduates), or found careers in museums, education, nongovernmental organizations, tourism, and specialized consulting (25 percent).

Progressing Through the Program


Through rigorous coursework emphasizing relevant, hands-on opportunities, our curriculum instills 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 and budgeting; site identification, interpretation, preservation, and management; heritage policy and law; and community-based research and management.

Degree Requirements

Typically, the program involves two years in residence. During the first year, students take required core coursework, while most of the second year is devoted to concentration courses and to the project or thesis. Plan your curriculum.

The Master of Science in Environmental and Energy Policy requires 30 credits. At least 20 of the 30 credits must be taken in courses at or above the 5000 level.

Year 1 MS: Program Objectives
  Summer Year 0 Fall Year 1 Spring Year 1 Summer Year 1
Orientation X      
Diagnostic Meetings   X    
Courses   X X X
Field School (if applicable) X     X
Proposal     X X
Thesis Research/Writing     X X
Department Presentation     X  
Conference Presentation     X X
Thesis Submission        
Year 2 MS: Program Objectives
  Fall Year 2 Spring Year 2
Diagnostic Meetings X  
Courses X  
Field School (if applicable)    
Proposal X  
Thesis Research/Writing X X
Department Presentation   X
Conference Presentation X X
Thesis Submission   X
Defense   X