Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World, MA

The Interdepartmental Graduate Group in Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World (AAMW) offers a terminal M.A. program in Mediterranean Archaeology. This program is designed to deliver intensive intellectual and practical training in a range of skills in archaeology to students wishing to be immersed in the study of the visual and/or material culture of the Mediterranean, broadly defined – including, for example, the ancient Near and Middle East and extending from the third millennium BCE to the Late Antique, early Byzantine, and early Islamic periods. The program also aims to facilitate student engagement with the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (aka “Penn Museum”). Upon receiving their M.A., Penn graduates will be well positioned to gain admission to prestigious Ph.D. departments in the US and overseas; others might seek curatorial positions in national and local museums, teaching positions in secondary schools, or supervisory positions in CRM firms. Faculty closely mentor and work with M.A. students to achieve the students’ goals and to prepare them for their desired career path.

The M.A. Program is a terminal degree program lasting two years. During this time students have full access to Penn’s outstanding faculty and resources such as the Penn Museum, as well as all of the courses sponsored by AAMW and other programs and departments at Penn, and those offered at neighboring universities with which Penn has reciprocal arrangements.  Students admitted to the Mediterranean Archaeology M.A. program should not expect to receive admission after the M.A. into the AAMW Ph.D. program. Students admitted to the M.A. program normally do not receive financial aid from the University of Pennsylvania, although they may of course apply for outside awards to support their graduate study.

View the University’s Academic Rules for Research Master's Programs.

Required Courses

The total course units required for graduation is 10.

AAMW 5260Material & Methods in Mediterranean Archaeology (first year)1
Select one course in digital media in archaeology1
Select one 5000-, 6000- or 7000-level seminar in each of the first three semesters3
Select electives chosen with the advice of the student's advisor5
Ancient Language Requirement 1
Modern Foreign Language Requirement 2
Fieldwork Experience 3
Comprehensive M.A. Examination
M.A. Research Paper
Total Course Units10

Competency in one ancient language, relevant to the student's preferred cultural focus (Greek, Latin, Akkadian, etc.), to be determined in consultation with the student’s advisor. Competency is measured by an examination or by taking at least one course in that language at the 4000 (advanced undergraduate/graduate) level or above with a final grade of “B” or better.


Competency in one modern foreign language of international scholarship, typically German or French; this language will be determined in consultation with the student’s advisor. Competency is measured by an examination or by passing one of Penn’s summer academic reading courses after the first year.


All students are expected to participate in an archaeological fieldwork project during the summer after the first year. This fieldwork would normally take place in the Mediterranean (broadly defined), though exceptions might be made. The requirement to engage in fieldwork during the summer after the first year might also be waived for students with substantial prior archaeological field experience. Students can expect to bear the cost of the fieldwork.

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2023 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.