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Master of Professional Science (Underwater Archaeology)

Master (ISCED 2011 level 7)


Cost $63,000 ($2,100 PER CREDIT, 30 CREDITS)

Underwater Archaeology (UA)

Underwater archaeology is the study of the remains of past human activity through the exploration of a variety of submerged sites, from shipwrecks in saltwater to freshwater caves and springs. 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. The material culture of our shared heritage and past provides cultural continuity, perspective, and a tangible link to those who preceded us. Shipwrecks and submerged sites have long fascinated humankind, perhaps never more so than in modern day, and given climate change and rising water temperatures worldwide, it is becoming even more important to document, study, manage, and find innovative ways to preserve what remains of our past.

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. To view the 2-year schedule for this track, along with brief descriptions for select courses, please refer to Dr. Hanselmann’s Underwater Archaeology Track Guide.

Structural components
Industry partners
Internship/Workplace experience
International component
Practical/Field work

Application procedure

Very detailed/specific application procedure. Please see attached additional source on the process.

Grant opportunities

Numerous scholarships and grants available. Please see attached additional source on the available opportunities.



• 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 or
  • 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


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

ISCED Categories

Ocean Literacy
Marine archaeology
Conservation and environmental management
Coastal and marine tourism
Marine spatial planning