Overview: Underwater Archaeology (UA)

The MPS Underwater Archaeology track (UARCH) is a two-year program that focuses on the theory, field techniques, and management practices necessary to work within the field of archaeology and the broader general field of marine sciences. Coursework integrates topics such as site mapping and documentation, interpretation of shipwrecks and submerged sites, best management practices, marine protected areas, and marine survey technology. UARCH students receive training as AAUS Science Divers during their first semester. Students will have opportunities to work side-by-side with professional archaeologists through internships and field projects with private, public, or non-governmental agencies, both nationally and internationally, and conduct relevant fieldwork.

Admission Requirements

  • BA/BS in Anthropology, History, or related field
  • Meet minimum RSMAS diving standards as outlined by the RSMAS Dive Office.
    • Minimum open water scuba certification with a minimum of 10 logged dives
    • Ability to complete the required swimming test:
      • 400 yard swim in 12 minutes
      • 25 yard underwater swim on 1 breath (no push off)
      • 15 minute float and/or tread
      • 400 yard swim with mask/snorkel/fins in 8 minutes (no arms/hands)
      • Free dive to 15 feet to retrieve 5 pound weight
  • Certified divers with more than 50 logged dives, especially those with prior scientific diving training, may qualify for the Experienced Diver Checkout and not be required to take RSM 600

Recommended:

  • Participation in an archaeological field school prior to commencing the UARCH program
  • Volunteer for terrestrial archaeological projects

Accepting applications for Fall 2020 admissions:

  • July 25th, 2019 - July 20th, 2020 (U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents)
  • July 25th, 2019 - June 1st, 2020 (International Applicants)

Accepting applications for Spring 2021 admissions:

  • Now until December 1st, 2020 (U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents)
  • Now until November 1st, 2020 (International Applicants)

An application to the MPS program consists of the following (fall & spring admissions only):

If admission to the MPS program is granted, it will be contingent upon receipt of all items listed above (including official transcripts and test scores) and the following for international applicants:

Permanent Residents must provide a color copy of Permanent Resident Card (Green Card).

Previous graduate and undergraduate scholastic performance, work and volunteer experience, valid test scores (GRE, TOEFL/IELTS), and the letters of recommendation are all considered in evaluating an applicant.

Transcript from U.S. Academic Institutions:

Please make sure you possess the required undergraduate coursework and/or degree before applying. Official transcripts must be mailed or e-mailed directly from the relevant academic institution (Office of the Registrar) to the MPS office.  Our email is mps@rsmas.miami.edu; mailing address is available on the MPS website’s Contact Us page. If an applicant is not able to submit an unofficial transcript with his/her application, the applicant may submit unofficial transcripts via email to mps@rsmas.miami.edu. Unofficial transcripts are accepted for review purposes only, not for admission. If admission to the MPS program is granted, it will be contingent upon receipt of all official records. Please be advised, official transcripts will only be accepted if they are sent to us directly from the academic institution. Transcripts sent by you or issued to you (even if they are in a sealed envelope) are not considered official.

Transcripts from Non-U.S. Academic Institutions:                 

All graduate applicants who received degrees or are currently enrolled in a degree-seeking program from a college or university outside the United States (except applicants to Law* and Nursing**) must submit official transcripts and diplomas (if available) from all colleges and universities to an approved international credentialing agency. Applicants attending a non-U.S. institution for non-credit must also submit academic records to an approved evaluation agency.

Transcripts in a language other than English must be provided in that language and must be accompanied by a certified English translation.  International applicants must also submit a copy of his/her diploma in the official language of the country from which the degree was awarded and provide a certified English translation of the diploma. Submit these items to an approved international credentialing agency. Follow the specific instructions of the selected evaluation agency to request a course-by-course evaluation with degree equivalency and grade point average (GPA) calculation. Applicants must request that the evaluation report and copy of all the official documents used in the evaluation are sent directly from the approved evaluation agency to the MPS office mps@rsmas.miami.edu.

  • Josef Silny & Associates (JS&A), Inc, International Education Consultants, is the preferred evaluation vendor for international applicants to the University of Miami due to their competitive prices and high-quality service. Click here for more information including the Application for Evaluation of Foreign Educational Credentials. 
  • Please note that international applicants are not required to use the services of JS&A. The international credential evaluation services of any approved vendor may be used. Click here to view a list of approved vendors.
  • Please be sure the vendor sends your evaluation directly to mps@rsmas.miami.edu.
  • Evaluation Fee - Applicants are responsible for the evaluation fee. Please note that failure to comply with these instructions may cause significant delays in the review and processing of your application, and therefore also significant delays in the processing of your I-20.

Letters of Recommendation:

Three (3) letters of recommendation are required for admissions consideration. Each applicant must request letters of recommendation from three (3) different references using the guidelines provided in the online application. Applications from CollegeNet may be submitted without letters of recommendation. However, an applicant’s file will not be reviewed by Track Leaders until all required admissions materials (including letters of recommendation) are received by the MPS office. Upon completion of the application, your references will receive an e-mail from CollegeNet, requesting the online submission of the required documentation (questionnaire + letter of recommendation).

Academic references are ideal and highly preferred, but we will accept letters from employers and/or supervisors. Please do not request letters from friends, family, ministers, or coaches. If your references have trouble using the online submission portal, they may e-mail their letters (signed and on letterhead) to the MPS office at mps@rsmas.miami.edu. We cannot accept letters that are not signed. Letters sent by the applicant or forwarded to the MPS office by the applicant will not be accepted.

GRE:

Due to COVID-19, the GRE requirement is suspended for Fall 2020 admissions only.

The MPS office must receive your official Graduate Record Examination test (GRE  http://www.ets.org/gre) scores directly from ETS. Please use institution code 7690 (department code) when submitting your request with ETS. This code indicates delivery of test scores to the RSMAS campus, home of the MPS office. 

A minimum, combined score of 297 (Verbal + Quantitative only) is required for admissions consideration. Applicants must also complete the Analytical Writing section of the GRE. However, the Analytical Writing score will not be calculated into your combined score, nor will it be used for tuition waiver eligibility. To learn about our merit-based partial tuition waivers, please visit our Financing Your Education page.

TOEFL/IELTS (for Non-native English Speakers):

To prove language proficiency, students must take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). 

·       Paper Based TOEFL (PBT) - minimum score is 550

·       Internet Based TOEFL (IBT) - minimum score is 80

·       IELTS (Academic) - minimum score is 6.5

Please use institution code 2919 (no department code). This institution code is for the TOEFL only; please note that the GRE institution code is different (see above). 

If English is not your native language, the TOEFL/IELTS requirement may be waived if you hold an undergraduate or graduate degree from an academic institution within the United States or from one of the following English-speaking countries:

·       Antigua and Barbuda

·       Australia

·       Bahamas

·       Barbados

·       Belize

·       Canada (except Quebec)

·       Dominica

·       Grenada

·       Guyana

·       Ireland

·       Jamaica

·       New Zealand

·       Kitts and Nevis

·       Lucia

·       Vincent and the Grenadines

·       Trinidad and Tobago

·       United Kingdom

Intensive English Program (IEP)

The University of Miami’s Division of Continuing and International Education offers a fully-accredited Intensive English Program (IEP) to prepare individuals to understand and use English in a variety of academic, professional, and personal situations. Some of the services that IEP offers graduate students include an international teaching assistant training course, customized classes, LL.M. Intensive English, and volunteer opportunities.

Personal Statement (statement of purpose):

Please indicate your track of choice, and all relevant field, lab, and work experience (past and present) in your personal statement. Include your academic and professional goals, and how you envision the MPS program contributing to those goals. We strongly encourage you to include information and/or links to relevant publications, organizations, research projects, supervisors, collaborators, project results, and your role in relation to this.  

MPS Mailing Address:

University of Miami
Rosenstiel School Campus, MPS Office, Room S/A 132
4600 Rickenbacker Causeway
Miami, FL 33149

Email: mps@rsmas.miami.edu

Website: https://mps.rsmas.miami.edu/index.html 

Phone: (305) 421-4340

Fax: (305) 421-4246

Curriculum Requirements

MES 632Theory and Method in Underwater and Maritime Archaeology3
MES 626Submerged Cultural Resource Management3
RSM 600Research Diving Techniques3
RSM 667Motorboat Operator Certification Course1-2
MES 614Underwater Archaeology Field Techniques3
MES 615Marine Archaeological Survey and Technology3
MES 672The Archaeology of Seafaring3
MES 805MPS Internship6
MES 691Maritime Archaeology Field Study3
Maritime Archaeology and the Conquest of Mexico 3 credits
MES 692Archaeological Study of Submerged Pre-Contact Sites 3 credits3
Total Credit Hours31-32

Elective Options 

Students may take any elective on the RSMAS campus with the consent of their faculty advisor. Below are a few examples of courses past students in this program used as electives.

MES 606Advanced Fieldwork in Coastal Cultures3
MBE 716Bayesian Statistics for Marine Scientists3
MES 720Coastal Law and Policy3
MES 610Environmental Planning and the Environmental Impact Statement3
MES 710International Ocean Law and Governance3
MES 665Science and Natural History Media Production3
MES 618Coastal Zone Management3
MES 616Ocean Policy and Development and Analysis3
MES 674From Gold to Glory: History and Ethics of Exploration3
MES 664Citizen and Participatory Science3
OCE 642Physics of Remote Sensing I - Passive Systems3
OCE 643Physics of Remote Sensing II - Active Systems3
RSM 646Presentation Boot Camp1
MES 660
MES 661
Introduction to Marine Geographic Information Systems
and Introduction to Marine Geographic Information Systems - Laboratory
3

Suggested Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredit Hours
MES 632 Theory and Method in Underwater and Maritime Archaeology 3
MES 626 Submerged Cultural Resource Management 3
RSM 600 Research Diving Techniques 3
MES 660 Introduction to Marine Geographic Information Systems 3
MES 661 Introduction to Marine Geographic Information Systems - Laboratory 0
 Credit Hours12
Spring
MES 614 Underwater Archaeology Field Techniques 3
MES 615 Marine Archaeological Survey and Technology 3
MES 672 The Archaeology of Seafaring 3
RSM 667 Motorboat Operator Certification Course 2
Elective (Optional)  
 Credit Hours11
Summer
MES 805 MPS Internship (Completion of 2- 6 internship credits required during a student's time in MPS. Completion of less than 2 internship credits must be approved by MPS Director. Typically 2 semesters are needed to complete all aspects of the internship phase of MPS. ) 1-6
MES 691 Maritime Archaeology Field Study ((Summer Year 1)) 3
MES 693 Maritime Archaeology and the Conquest of Mexico ((Summer Year 1, based upon availability)) 3
 Credit Hours7-12
Year Two
Fall
MES 692 Archaeological Study of Submerged Pre-Contact Sites 3
MES 805 MPS Internship (Completion of 2- 6 internship credits required during a student's time in MPS. Completion of less than 2 internship credits must be approved by MPS Director. Typically 2 semesters are needed to complete all aspects of the internship phase of MPS. ) 1-6
Elective (Optional)  
 Credit Hours4-9
Spring
MES 805 MPS Internship (Completion of 2- 6 internship credits required during a student's time in MPS. Completion of less than 2 internship credits must be approved by MPS Director. Typically 2 semesters are needed to complete all aspects of the internship phase of MPS. ) 1-6
Elective (Optional)  
 Credit Hours1-6
 Total Credit Hours35-50

Mission

Underwater archaeology is the study of the remains of past human activity through the exploration, documentation, and study of a variety of submerged sites, from shipwrecks to caves and springs to lakes and rivers.  The Underwater Archaeology track helps students understand the how archaeological sites and artifacts can play a large role in education, community cohesion, national identity, economic development, sustainable tourism, conservation, and, of course, entertainment among others. This program focuses on the theory, field techniques, and management practices necessary to work within the field of archaeology and the broader general field of marine sciences. This program provides training in the areas of mapping and documentation, interpretation of shipwrecks and submerged sites, best management practices, marine protected areas, and marine survey technology.

Goals

Students in the MPS Underwater Archaeology track (UARCH) will learn the theories, field techniques, and management strategies necessary to work on a variety of submerged fresh and saltwater sites.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students in the MPS Underwater Archaeology track (UARCH) will learn site mapping and documentation, interpretation of shipwrecks and submerged sites, best management practices, marine protected areas, and marine survey technology to effectively apply these skills and knowledge to submerged fresh and saltwater sites.
  • Students will demonstrate professionalism in all aspects of field and lab work during their internships.
  • Students will submit a final, written report and deliver a final presentation based on the work completed in their internship.