Image of Quincy mine and outbuilding overlooking Michigan Tech

Industrial Heritage and Archaeology—MS, PhD

The World’s Only Industrial Heritage and Archaeology PhD Program

Over 90% of our students receive full financial support, both tuition and stipends.

  • Join a global community of scholars and professionals in studying and managing the world’s industrial heritage.
  • Gain hands on teaching and/or research experience.
  • Develop hands on skills for doing cultural resource management of industrial sites and in industrial communities
  • Pursue careers in heritage, CRM, science or high-level managerial positions in heritage management.
Watch How Do Archaeologists Figure Out What Ruins Were? | The Cliff Mine Archaeology Project video
Preview image for How Do Archaeologists Figure Out What Ruins Were? | The Cliff Mine Archaeology Project video

Dr. Sean Gohman (Alumni '18) talks about how we study Industrial Archaeology

Receive Funding and Work With Partners

Financing is critical and support opportunities are a priority for Social Sciences. Masters students receive up to two years of tuition waivers. Most master’s students in our program fund their education with a variety of sources, including work study, graduate research, student loans, fellowships and grants. MS students can also work with faculty on funded research projects. PhD students receive up to three years of funding via assistantships that cover the costs of tuition and provide a stipend.

At Michigan Tech, graduate students form partnerships with sponsors like the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, Amtrak, National Museum Wales, and the European Union offering real-world problems in need of solutions. Get involved in the critical business of proposal writing, sponsor negotiations, and budget generation, as well as provide sources of financial support.

Program Flyer

Current Michigan Tech Students

Michigan Tech student using ground penetrating radar
Student performing a ground penetrating radar survey

Pursue Research That Interests You

Pursue transdisciplinary, innovative, and independent research that focuses on industrial and postindustrial heritage and communities struggling with the social and material consequences of industrial decline. Increasingly, student research explores sustainable and equitable futures through industrial heritage using creative methodologies and technologies.

Your graduate program involves courses/modules taught and a thesis advised by an interdisciplinary faculty. You formulate original research projects in consultation with a faculty committee; secure financial support; define rigorous data collection and analytical schemes; and generate solutions that satisfy preestablished procedures. 

And you can do it in a place that is the headquarters of both the Society for Industrial Archaeology (SIA) and The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (TICCIH). Our faculty serve national and international leadership roles in the Critical Heritage Studies Association, Vernacular Architecture Forum, and the Society for Historical Archaeology, among many others. Work with local organizations such as the Keweenaw National Historical Park, Isle Royale National Park, and Keweenaw Bay Indian Community to address critical questions.

Watch More Than Bones in a Drawer video
Preview image for More Than Bones in a Drawer video

More Than Bones in a Drawer

Michigan Tech's Industrial Heritage and Archaeology program boasts a lab that has space for students and faculty to conduct research on a number of projects, including excavations at state parks and forests.

Watch The Keweenaw Time Traveler video
Preview image for The Keweenaw Time Traveler video

The Keweenaw Time Traveler

The Keweenaw Time Traveler is an online interactive historical atlas developed here that is changing how we learn about, share, and research the history and heritage of Michigan’s Copper Country.

Get the Career You Want

We prepare our MS students for diverse professional careers. They work in both the private and public sectors in fields such as heritage and cultural resource management, education, preservation, and government service.

In addition to those seeking appointment to academic professorships, many of our doctoral students currently work across the United States in private, local, state, federal, and tribal positions and globally for national heritage organizations and private companies.

Image of Michigan Tech student using augmented reality to see how industrial landscapes have changes over time
Using augmented reality to see how industrial landscapes have changes over time

Admissions Requirements

Program Requirements

Progressing Through the Program

Once admitted to the program, students will be expected to meet the following requirements:

  • Complete 30 credits of coursework. Plan your Masters curriculum. Plan your PhD curriculum.
  • Identify a research  supervisor  by the end of the second semester in residence. Together with their research supervisor, students will construct an advisory committee including at least one faculty member from outside the Department.
  • MS students draft a research proposal as part of their Research Design course; then  write a thesis and pass a thesis defense for graduation.
  • PhD students pass a written and oral qualifying examination. Following the completion of all coursework, students complete their qualifying examination to demonstrate competency in three selected subfields and within the subject area of their dissertation. Qualifying exams are usually scheduled early in the third year of study; however, the examination can be held sooner for an advanced student.
  • Pass an oral and written research proposal examination before proceeding to dissertation research. Students must prepare a written research proposal, present it in a public forum, and defend it in a meeting with their advisory committee.
  • Conduct significant research and write and defend a dissertation as a final product.

The MS and PhD Program applications for the next fall semester are open and will close on January 15 at 5:00 p.m. EST.