The application deadline for students seeking a PhD degree or a MS in Maritime Archaeology and Conservation degree, entering the Nautical Archaeology Program in

Fall 2017 is

December 1st, 2016

Please make sure you submit all necessary documents, letters, and transcripts before this date.


Useful Links

Graduate Admission - Department of Anthropology

Office of Admissions and Records at Texas A&M University

Scholarships and Financial Aid at Texas A&M University

Information on GRE Test and GRE Testing Centers

ApplyTexas - Common application for post-secondary institutions in Texas

Contact Information

Nautical Archaeology Program
Department of Anthropology
Texas A&M University
College Station, Texas 77843-4352
Telephone: 979-845-6399
Fax: 979-845-6399

Academic Advisor
Marco Valadez
Telephone: 979-845-9333

Kizilburun Diver

A downloadable copy of the M.S. Degree brochure is available here

The Nautical Archaeology Program (NAP) of the Anthropology Department at Texas A&M University (TAMU) specializes in training graduate students in the archaeology and history of ships and seafaring. Courses focus primarily, although not exclusively, on maritime activity in the ancient Mediterranean and Medieval Europe, as well as world-wide seafaring in the post-Medieval era. The seven faculty members of the NAP are united in their scientific approach and share common interests in the following four themes:

I. Ship Construction

Focuses on the evolution of wooden-planked water transport including the development of building techniques and the underlying philosophies guiding design and construction practices. All time periods, including ancient, medieval, and early modern, are topics of study.
Professors: Castro, Crisman, Pulak
Emphases: Development of technology over time; Transfer of technology

II. Old World Seafaring

Covers seafaring in the Mediterranean and Black Sea from earliest evidence of maritime activity to the end of the medieval period (circa A.D. 1450).
Professors: Carlson, Pulak, Wachsmann
Emphases: Material culture analyses; Trade, commerce and economy; Subsistence and diet; Environmental reconstruction; Iconography of Ships; Ancient Technology; Textual Evidence of Seafaring; Naval Warfare

III. New World Seafaring

Covers the early-modern period from the age of exploration to modern times, with an emphasis on the post-1500 spread of Western European culture and seafaring practices around the globe. Maritime activity in the western hemisphere is a major area of concentration, particularly in the North American lakes and rivers, the Gulf Coast, and the Caribbean Sea.
Professors: Castro, Crisman, Hamilton, Smith
Emphases: Shipboard life; Social organization; Subsistence and diet; Material culture analyses; Trade, commerce and economy; Culture change; Cognitive archaeology; Role of ships in warfare

IV. Conservation and Recording of Archaeological Material

Emphasizes the stabilization of archaeologically-recovered objects, particularly from underwater sites.
Professors: Hamilton and Smith
Emphases: Development of new conservation technologies; Scientific application of new conservation techniques; Recording of archaeological data; 3-D scanning

Within these four broad areas of study some faculty focus on the seafaring of different time periods and cultures. Knowledge of different ship construction techniques, maritime technology, economics, iconography, archival studies, as well as the use of photography and three-dimensional visualization all play a role in interpreting the past through nautical archaeology. Other professors in the Department of Anthropology work regularly with NAP faculty and students, and serve on graduate committees.

Our interdisciplinary, scientific approach to nautical archaeology is coordinated with the Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation (CMAC) and the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA). Under the auspices of these two organizations, our faculty and students direct and participate in projects around the world including many in Mediterranean countries, Africa, eastern Asia, northern Europe and the Americas. Students enrolled in NAP work in the field as well as in the classroom and are encouraged to pursue individual projects that will help define nautical archaeology’s future.

Methodological Expertise in the Department

Archaeological Method and Theory Geoarchaeology
Archaeological Field Techniques Lithics
Archaeological Quantitative Methods Material Culture Analysis
Archaeometry Paleoethnobotany / Palynology
Ceramics Zooarchaeology
Features (i.e. cooking features) & Structures  

Resources & Facilities

The wide range of archaeological research conducted by the faculty and students of the NAP is assisted with administrative support, equipment, and facilities provided by three organizations. These are the Department of Anthropology and the Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation (both a part of Texas A&M University) and the affiliated, but private, non-profit Institute of Nautical Archaeology. Each brings a variety of resources and strengths that can be utilized for field projects, laboratory studies, and archival research. In addition, the vast research and scientific resources of Texas A&M University, one of the major research universities in the United States, add immeasurably to what we do.

The following is a list of research facilities available to researchers at the NAP:
Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation

Old World Laboratory
World Seafaring Laboratory
Steffy Ship Reconstruction Laboratory
Ship Model Laboratory
Archaeological Preservation Research Laboratory
Conservation Research Laboratory
Wilder 3-Dimensional Imaging Laboratory

Institute of Nautical Archaeology

INA – Headquarters, College Station, Texas
Administrative offices
INA Project Data and Images Archive
INA - Research Center, Bodrum, Turkey
Administrative building, library, dormitory, conservation laboratory, computer laboratory, research vessel fleet, maintenance shops

Department of Anthropology

Center for the Study of the First Americans
Palynology Laboratory
Zooarchaeology Laboratory
Paleoethnobotany Laboratory
Geoarchaeology Laboratory
Ceramics Laboratory
Lithics Laboratory
Archaeological Ecology Laboratory
Collections Facility

Graduate student training in NAP is theoretically and methodologically based. All students must complete an advanced seminar in archaeological theory and are expected to become proficient in a range of archaeological field and laboratory techniques (both terrestrial and underwater). Development of technical skills in the areas of ship reconstruction, conservation of artifacts, and archaeological graphics is strongly encouraged. Anthropology Department courses in geoarchaeology, lithic analysis, ceramic analysis, bioarchaeological analysis, paleobotanical analysis, and zooarchaeological analysis can provide students with areas of specialization. Each student is expected to become proficient in the archaeology and history of seafaring of a time period or culture area, and must be able to design and complete original research that is theoretically grounded and methodologically sound. Graduate students are expected to participate in archaeological field projects; however, thesis or dissertation research need not be field-based.

Nautical Archaeology Program - Basic Information

Mission Statement

The Nautical Archaeology Program mission is to acquire and disseminate knowledge about seafaring and maritime activity through time.


The seven Nautical Archaeology Program faculty include: Deborah Carlson, Kevin Crisman, Donny L. Hamilton, Cemal Pulak, Filipe Vieira de Castro and Shelley Wachsmann.
Other Texas A&M University faculty members with affiliations with NAP include Anthropology Department faculty Vaughn Bryant, David Carlson, and Bruce Dickson, as well as TAMU Galveston Maritime Studies faculty Samuel Mark, Fred Pearl and Thomas Oertling. Additional support is provided by Helen Dewolf, Glenn Grieco, James Jobling, and other staff of the Center of Maritime Archaeology and Conservation. NAP Emeritus Professors George F. Bass and Frederick van Doorninck contribute to NAP’s research and academic strengths.


The Nautical Archaeology Program of the Department of Anthropology is responsible for establishing the degree requirements and the courses required to provide well-rounded training in the discipline of nautical and maritime archaeology. NAP is a graduate program and does not grant baccalaureate degrees; however, a variety of undergraduate courses are taught by NAP faculty.

Undergraduate Curriculum

The NAP faculty teaches a number of undergraduate courses dealing with maritime archaeology, seafaring, and material culture for student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and for non-major students. The courses are designed to fill a range of needs from providing a general background in the field of archaeology to in-depth training to prepare students for graduate studies. For a specific list of requirements for a baccalaureate degree in Anthropology and for a complete list of the undergraduate courses taught in Anthropology see the Texas A&M University undergraduate catalog.

Nautical Archaeology-Oriented Undergraduate Courses

(Note: The following courses are principally taught by the NAP faculty; however, a few are taught by other Department of Anthropology faculty as well).

ANTH 313 Introduction to Historical Archaeology
ANTH 316 Nautical Archaeology
ANTH 317 Introduction to Biblical Archaeology
ANTH 318 Nautical Archaeology of the Americas
ANTH 330 Field Research in Anthropology
ANTH 353 Archaeology of Ancient Greece
ANTH 354 Archaeology of Ancient Italy
ANTH 402 Conservation of Archaeological Materials
ANTH 485 Directed Studies
ANTH 489 Special Topics: Piracy in the New World
ANTH 489 Special Topics: Ships and Explorers
ANTH 489 Special Topics: Romans, Arabs, and Vikings: Seafaring in the Mediterranean During the Early Christian Era


Anthropology Department Core Courses (1-3)

*ANTH 602 Archaeological Method and Theory
**ANTH 601 Biological Anthropology
**ANTH 604 Cultural Method and Theory
* Required for all Nautical Archaeology Program graduate students
** Recommended for all Nautical Archaeology Program doctoral students

Nautical Archaeology Program Courses

*ANTH 605 Conservation of Cultural Resources I
ANTH 606 Conservation of Cultural Resources II
ANTH 607 Historical Archaeology
*ANTH 608 Skills in Maritime Archaeology
ANTH 610 Outfitting and Sailing the Wooden Ship
*ANTH 611 Nautical Archaeology
ANTH 612 Preclassical Seafaring
ANTH 613 Classical Seafaring
ANTH 614 Books and Treatises on Shipbuilding
*ANTH 615 History of Wooden Shipbuilding
*ANTH 616 Research and Reconstruction of Ships
ANTH 617 Conservation III: Preservation of Organic Materials
ANTH 618 Medieval Seafaring in the Mediterranean
ANTH 628 New World Seafaring
ANTH 629 Post-Medieval Seafaring
ANTH 633 Deep-Submergence Archaeology
ANTH 636 Computer Graphics in Archaeology
ANTH 660 Field Archaeology
ANTH 685 Directed Studies
ANTH 689 Seafaring Life and Maritime Communities: A.D. 1450 - 1950
ANTH 689 Survey of Mediterranean Pottery
* Required for all Nautical Archaeology Program graduate students
** Recommended for all Nautical Archaeology Program doctoral students


Undergraduate Courses

ANTH 403 Anthropology of Religion
ANTH 439 Gender, Ethnicity, and Class in Archaeological Research
ANTH 446 Ceramic Artifact Analysis
ANTH 447 Lithic Artifact Analysis

Graduate Courses

ANTH 608 Folklife and Material Culture
ANTH 621 Prehistoric Technology (ceramics or lithics)
ANTH 624 Geoarchaeology
ANTH 625 Zooarchaeology
ANTH 632 Archaeology of Death
ANTH 634 Palynology
ANTH 645 Cultural Resource Management
ANTH 637 Paleoethnobotany
ANTH 639 Gender, Ethnicity, and Class in Archaeological Research
ANTH 640 Anthropological Ethics and Professionalism
ANTH 646 Ceramic Artifact Analysis
ANTH 647 Lithic Artifact Analysis
ANTH 642 Research Methods in Anthropology
ANTH 645 Cultural Resource Management Archaeology
ANTH 652 First American Archaeology
ANTH 689- Economic Archaeology
ANTH 689- Paleolithic Northeast Asia and Alaska
ANTH 689- Violence and Warfare
ANTH 689- Method and Theory of Peopling of the Americas
ANTH 689- Prehistoric Technological Organization Lithic/Ceramic Rotation


This document sets forth the requirements for all students pursuing a graduate degree in the Nautical Archaeology Program. A Bachelor’s degree in a related field is the minimum prerequisite for admission; however, applicants holding a Master’s degree in anthropology, archaeology, history, geography, foreign languages, and various science degrees are preferred. Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis, after examination of each applicant’s academic transcripts, admissions essay, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, and letters of recommendation. Students admitted into the Nautical Archaeology Program follow one of three tracks to complete their graduate degree.

TRACK 1: Students entering the Master’s degree program (M.S.). Thirty credit hours are required and all degree requirements must be completed within seven years from the first semester of enrollment. In the Nautical Archaeology Program all M.A. degree candidates are expected to write a thesis. While there is a non-thesis M.A. degree offered in the Anthropology Department, the Nautical Archaeology Program offers this option only in special, extenuating circumstances and only at the recommendation of a student’s degree committee and with the approval of the entire NAP faculty. The option does exist for a non-thesis M.A. degree to be given to Track 2 and Track 3 doctoral students once they have demonstrated that they are making satisfactory progress toward a Ph.D. degree.

TRACK 2: Students entering the Ph.D. program with an M.A. in Anthropology or a related field approved by the Nautical Archaeology Program. There are slightly different requirements for M.A. students whose degree included the writing of a thesis (‘thesis-option’), and those whose M.A. degree did not require a thesis (‘non thesis-option’). For thesis-option students, 64 credits are required. For students with a non-thesis M.A. degree, 70 credits are required. University rules stipulate that all Ph.D. degree requirements must be completed within ten years from the first semester of enrollment.

TRACK 3: For students entering the Doctoral Degree Program without an M.A., 96 credits are required to complete the Ph.D. degree, and all requirements must be completed within ten years from the first semester of enrollment. The tracks and the basic course requirements are summarized in Table 1 (at the end of this document). Note: language courses are not included in the total number of hours required for graduation. Student schedules and milestones are given in Table 2.


TRACK I: MASTERS DEGREE PROGRAM (10 courses and a thesis)

The following courses are required by the Nautical Archaeology Program for the M.S. degree:

ANTH 605 (4) Conservation of Cultural Resources I
ANTH 608 (3) Skills in Maritime Archaeology
ANTH 611 (3) Nautical Archaeology
ANTH 615 (3) History of Wooden Shipbuilding

(13) credit hours

It is recommended that students take MAST 489 (4) Forensic Underwater Science. This class results in a AAUS certification for Scientific Diver.

The remaining 17 credit hours should include seminars in each student's area of study.

Ancient Seafaring

ANTH 612 Preclassical Seafaring
ANTH 613 Classical Seafaring

Medieval Seafaring

ANTH 618 Medieval Seafaring in the Mediterranean

Early Modern Seafaring

ANTH 628 New World Seafaring
ANTH 629 Post-Medieval Seafaring
ANTH 607 Historical Archaeology
ANTH 610 Outfitting and Sailing the Wooden Ship
ANTH 614 Books and Treatises on Shipbuilding

Archaeological Conservation

ANTH 606 Conservation of Cultural Resources II


ANTH 633 Deep Submergence Archaeology
ANTH 660 Field Archaeology
ANTH 685 Directed Studies
ANTH 689 Special Topics

The Nautical Archaeology Program offers Special Topics courses (ANTH 689) that address particular subjects. These are typically courses taught in the same format as the regular seminars. Special Topics courses offered in the past have included Advanced Ship Reconstruction, Portuguese Seafaring, Bronze Age Trade, Seafaring Life and Maritime Communities, and Mediterranean Pottery (some ANTH 689 courses eventually become permanent courses in the NAP curriculum). Special Topics courses may be included on the degree plan in addition to or in place of the six regular seminars listed above - check with your degree committee.

Directed studies (ANTH 685) are independent study courses in which the student develops a research project in consultation with a professor and pursues that project throughout the semester. The student is expected to produce a paper or other tangible result, and is expected to consult regularly with the professor.
A Master's degree plan may include up to 12 credits of combined ANTH 685, 689, and undergraduate courses. Only undergraduate courses at the 300 level and above may be included on a graduate degree plan. Once the degree committee is formed, they may approve or require a program of study that differs from that described above.
All Nautical Archaeology Program students are required to include ANTH 602 or an equivalent course on their degree plans. If the student has previously taken a course equivalent to ANTH 602 (e.g., as an undergraduate or at another university), then they are required to take ANTH 604. Each NAP graduate student must take either ANTH 602 or ANTH 604 while at Texas A&M University.

Master’s degree-seeking students are strongly advised to gain field experience by participating in one or more archaeological projects during their term of study in the Nautical Archaeology Program. Ideally, this experience should be on a TAMU, CMAC, or INA sponsored project but the field experience can be gained elsewhere.
Each Master’s degree student must formally establish a graduate degree committee, consisting of three members. The chair and one other member will be faculty from the Nautical Archaeology Program and the third from another department in the University. Master’s degree students must form this committee and file a degree plan no later than the beginning of their third semester (Fall Semester of second year).

The Program requirements for graduation stated here are applicable in most instances, but it should always be kept in mind that the student’s graduate committee has the ultimate authority as to what is required. It can decide to waive a requirement and substitute or add courses to the degree plan if its chair and members think it is in the best interests of the student or the research requires it. Students should work closely with their committees when developing a degree plan. Innovative courses of study have been proposed by students and accepted by faculty in the past. Preparation of a thesis or dissertation is a demanding task, and students are advised to find a research topic for which they have a strong inherent interest.

Each student must complete a thesis or dissertation based on independent research. All theses and dissertations must be submitted in electronic format to the Theses Office and a CD copy put on file in the Department of Anthropology. For Nautical Archaeology Program theses and dissertations, accepted reference styles include: The American Journal of Archaeology, The Journal of the Society for Historical Archaeology, The Journal of the Society for American Archaeology, and the International Journal of Naval History.

Foreign Language Requirement

NAP follows the foreign language requirement policy of the Department of Anthropology as outlined in the Anthropology Graduate Student Handbook. Students must demonstrate a reading knowledge of one foreign language acceptable to the student’s degree committee. In most cases, this language is French, German or Spanish. Degree committees may approve the language and the means by which the requirement is fulfilled. The credits for foreign language courses taken to satisfy the language requirement cannot be counted toward the required credits for the degree plan. In general, the language requirement may be fulfilled by one of the following options:

  • Have a B average in a two-year undergraduate language program
  • Receive at least a B in a graduate-level reading course in the chosen language (either at Texas A&M University or another university)
  • Pass a written examination administered by the Department of Modern Languages or a NAP faculty member
    Students may contact Dr. Filipe Castro to arrange examinations in French, Spanish and Portuguese or Dr. Deborah Carlson to arrange an examination in Italian. Otherwise, students should contact the Department of Hispanic Studies (Spanish) or the Department of European and Classical Languages. If testing in the appropriate language is not available from these departments, students should contact their committees to discuss other arrangements. Credits earned at Texas A&M University to fulfill the language requirement do not count towards the credit hours needed for completion of the degree. Consult the Department of Anthropology Graduate Handbook for additional details.

Petitions to transfer from the M.S. degree program to the Ph.D. degree program

In limited cases, a M.S. degree-seeking student (Track 1) may petition to switch to the doctoral degree program. First the student must petition his/her graduate committee and then the chair of the committee makes a formal request to the entire NAP faculty. Approval is granted only in those cases where there is a substantial body of written research, preferably published, substantiating that the student is capable of researching and writing a doctoral dissertation. In essence, the student must go through the same evaluation process as a student entering the doctoral program with a baccalaureate degree (see below).




Admission to the Doctoral Degree Program

Students may be admitted to the Nautical Archaeology doctoral program with either a Bachelor's degree (Track 1 or 2) or a Master's degree (Track 2 or 3, depending on whether or not the M.A. included the preparation of a thesis). The research interests of the student should overlap with one of the research themes of the Nautical Archaeology Program. In the admission essay, students must state their interests and the faculty members with whom they would like to work. A majority vote of the Archaeology Program faculty is needed to admit a student into the Program. Every student must demonstrate to their graduate committee an ability to undertake scholarly research and produce well-written, publishable papers. A thesis-option Master's degree fulfills this requirement. Students who do not have a thesis-option M.A. must satisfy the research paper requirement described below.

In order to be admitted into the Nautical Archaeology Program via Track 2 or 3, the following requirements must be fulfilled.

  1. Students holding a baccalaureate degree who are accepted to enter via Track 3 must complete 96 credit hours within a 10 year time limit. Before being formally accepted into the doctoral program, the student must complete the research paper requirement and be awarded a non-thesis option M.A. degree from Texas A&M University.
  2. Students holding a Master's degree are accepted via Track 2.
    A. Instead of the 96 credit hours required for the students entering the Doctoral Program with just a baccalaureate degree, 64 credit hours will be required for students who have completed their M.A. degree with a thesis.
    B. Instead of the 96 credit hours required for the students entering the Doctoral Program with just a baccalaureate degree, 70 credit hours will be required for the student holding an M.A. degree completed without writing a thesis. M.A. students accepted with a non-thesis option must go through the same evaluation process described below for students entering the doctoral program with a Bachelor’s degree and take the six hours of ANTH 685 leading to the required research paper. This adds six additional credits to the required 64 credits.
  3. Ph.D. students must formally establish a graduate degree committee, consisting of three members from the Department of Anthropology (with the majority being from the Nautical Archaeology Program) and one member from outside the Department of Anthropology. Students who have completed a thesis-option M.A. (see 2A above) should form a committee no later than the end of their third semester (second year); students with a B.A. or non-thesis option M.A. (see 2B above) must form a committee by the beginning of their third semester (second year) to commence work on the research paper requirement.

Policy Regarding Department Core Classes and Field Research Experience

Nautical graduate students in the Department are required to take ANTH 602 (Archaeological Method and Theory) and encouraged to take a biological anthropology course such as ANTH 601 and a cultural anthropology course such as ANTH 604.

Waivers for ANTH 602 may be granted to Nautical Archaeology students by their graduate committee on a case-by-case basis. Students requesting a waiver are to provide:
1. Evidence that a similar course was taken at another institution.
2. A syllabus of this course is to be provided.
3. Proof that the grade earned in this course was either an A or B.

All Ph.D.-seeking graduate students in the Nautical Archaeology Program must graduate with archaeological field experience. It is the responsibility of the student’s committee chair to make sure that this is enforced. Ideally, field experience will be on a TAMU, CMAC, or INA sponsored project; students should be aware, however, that in-house field opportunities fluctuate annually, and the NAP cannot guarantee that faculty members will be leading major field projects every year. Nor can the NAP guarantee that there will be space for every student on a given project, although NAP students are generally given preference when field crews are selected. Students are encouraged to acquire field experience on projects run by other graduate students, or by outside universities and research organizations.

Annual Student Review Process

Each year, the Nautical Archaeology Program faculty will evaluate students and determine if they are making “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” progress towards completion of their degree requirements. Every spring semester, graduate students are required to submit a progress report, a proposed schedule of classes and/or research to be completed in the next year, and a vita to their advisor for review. These documents are due March 1st of each year. Each student’s progress is then evaluated based on these reports. The evaluation is conducted by the student’s advisor. Student progress reports will also be reviewed at a meeting of the entire Nautical Archaeology Program faculty. Before the end of the spring semester, the student will receive a letter from their advisor informing them of the results of the evaluation and expectations for the future. Each annual review will be placed in the student’s official file and a copy will be given to the student.

In cases where the advisor, supervisory committee, and the NAP faculty deem that the student’s progress is “Unsatisfactory,” the annual review letter will specify what the student must do (including a time line) to improve their status. Failure to follow what is specified in the letter and the receipt of a second “unsatisfactory” review may result in a student’s dismissal from the program.

Second-Year Research Paper and Evaluation of Ph.D.-Track Students

For students entering the Nautical Archaeology Program on the Ph.D. track with either a Bachelor’s degree or a non-thesis option Master’s degree, continuation in the Ph.D. program is conditioned on a formal evaluation process. This will determine if a student has demonstrated the intellectual ability, research and writing skills, and self-motivation necessary to continue toward a Ph.D. degree. The evaluation must be completed before the end of the student’s fourth semester.

As part of the evaluation process, a student will write a major research paper that is problem oriented, reviews relevant literature, presents an analysis of archaeological data, and discusses the implications of the results. This project is intended to demonstrate a student’s ability to formulate a problem, systematically gather, analyze, and interpret data, argue scientifically, and show competence as a writer and editor. The paper will be prepared under the supervision of the student’s graduate advisor and committee, as part of an ANTH 685 (Directed Studies) course taken in the fall and spring semesters during a student’s second year in the NAP.

The paper is to be written in a style suitable for publication as a professional monograph or journal article. It must be submitted at least four weeks prior to the last day of classes in the fourth semester. The student’s committee will evaluate the paper no later than one week prior to the last day of classes in the student’s fourth semester. The research paper must be no less than 60 pages in length (double-spaced, 12-point font) excluding supporting materials such as the bibliography, illustrations, tables, and graphs. The paper should be formatted and written in the styles specified by the NAP faculty for theses and dissertations.

Evaluation is based on the following criteria:

1. The student’s course work and grades.

2. Satisfactorily completing the research paper resulting from the six hours of ANTH 685 taken in the 3rd and 4th semesters and being awarded a non-thesis option M.A. degree.

3. A brief (one page or less) statement of purpose by the student that includes a discussion of the research the student would like to pursue as a dissertation topic. This must be submitted no later than four weeks before the last day of classes in the student’s fourth semester.

4. An examination, which may be either oral or written, administered by the student’s graduate committee.
Only the students who satisfactorily complete the four evaluation steps listed above will be granted a non-thesis option M.A. degree and be allowed to continue in the Ph.D. program. The examination conducted in step four above will serve as the final examination for the M.A. (NTO) degree. If a student wishes to terminate their studies in the program after two years or more without completing a dissertation, they may (after successfully completing the evaluation steps listed above) leave with a non-thesis option M.A. degree in nautical archaeology (Anthropology) from Texas A&M University.
At the end of the student’s second year, the NAP faculty as a whole will evaluate each student’s progress (based on the criteria listed above) and decide whether or not that student qualifies for the award of a non-thesis M.A. degree and advancement to the Ph.D. degree program. If the committee determines (and the NAP faculty concur) that a student’s academic and research performance was not adequate, the student will be allowed to revise and convert the research paper into a thesis-option M.A., but will be terminated from the Ph.D. degree program. After the student submits an approved thesis and has met all the University requirements he or she will be granted a thesis-option M.A. degree.

Teaching Experience

During their term of graduate studies at Texas A&M University, students are strongly encouraged to develop skills and experience teaching undergraduate-level courses. The Department of Anthropology endeavors to assist graduate students with undergraduate teaching as opportunities and funding permit.

Foreign Language Requirement

A reading proficiency in at least two foreign languages (acceptable to the student’s graduate committee) is required for the doctoral degree in the Nautical Archaeology Program. The criteria for meeting the foreign language requirements are essentially the same as those listed for the Master’s degree; however, with the approval of the student's degree committee, one of the two foreign language requirements may be substituted with a class in statistics. For students with special dissertation research requirements, Latin or Greek may be required in addition to one or more modern languages. Credits earned at Texas A&M University to fulfill the language requirements (or as a substitute for a foreign language requirement) do not count toward the credit hours needed for completion of the doctoral degree. Consult the Department of Anthropology Graduate Handbook for additional details.

Completing the Doctoral Degree Requirements

Ph.D.-degree-seeking students must prepare a dissertation proposal no later than their third year of studies in the NAP. This proposal will specify the intended topic of the dissertation, theoretical framework, the geographic and temporal areas of field work, and methods of research. The proposal is submitted to the student’s graduate committee for review and approval. The student is encouraged to format the proposal in a manner similar to an NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant or similar grant format that can be used to apply for research funds. Students are also strongly encouraged to apply for university and outside support of their dissertation research.
Preliminary written and oral examinations will be held to assess the student’s knowledge in nautical archaeology and related fields. These examinations are typically given after the student has completed all major course work. The exam will be presided over by the student’s graduate committee advisor. The advisor and committee members will provide reading lists in advance of the examinations, and each committee member will prepare written questions for the examinations. The student must satisfactorily pass both the written and oral preliminary examinations before being admitted to Ph.D. candidacy.

After the Ph.D. preliminary examinations are approved by the graduate committee, the student researches and writes the dissertation. The format for NAP dissertations is a comprehensive study, with original data, syntheses, and interpretations presented in multiple chapters. The manuscript should be prepared for publication as a book or monograph using one of the journal formats approved by the Nautical Archaeology Program. Early drafts of the manuscript are submitted only to the committee chair for preliminary review, and only after the chair approves are copies to be submitted to other committee members for reading. A defense of the dissertation is held, and once the dissertation meets with the approval of all committee members, the student completes all corrections and submits the final version to the Texas A&M University Thesis Office.


A certificate in conservation training, recorded on official TAMU transcripts, is available to any non-degree or degree seeking student enrolled at TAMU. The certificate is awarded to students who take a minimum of 12 credit hours in conservation or conservation-related courses.

Both Masters and Doctoral degree students are eligible to receive the Conservation Training Certificate. Non degree-seeking students can also earn the certificate. The courses do not need to appear on the student’s degree plan. There is no guarantee that the required 12 credit hours will be offered in a given academic year.

The required courses are as follows:

ANTH 605 (4)
Conservation of Archaeological Resources I. Fundamentals and applications of artifact conservation techniques in archaeology.

ANTH 606 (4)
Conservation of Archaeological Resources II. Practical, hands-on experience in the identification and conservation of metal and organic artifacts. Prerequisite: ANTH 605.

ANTH 617 (3)
Conservation of Organic Materials. The goals of this course are to gain hands-on experience in the preservation of organic material culture using traditional and newly-discovered preservation methods. Students will conduct experimentation, developmental research, seminar classes, and applied artifact conservation.

ANTH 685 (1-4)
Research. Areas of research may include directed studies or internships at the Conservation Research Laboratory.
Depending on a student’s previous training and experience, alternative courses can be substituted for ANTH 605 or

ANTH 617.
Note: Admission to the Conservation Training Certificate Program does not guarantee subsequent acceptance to the NAP Graduate Program.

Click image for pdf version

Click image for pdf version

Contact Information

Nautical Archaeology Program
Department of Anthropology
Texas A&M University
College Station, Texas 77843-4352
Telephone: 979-845-6399
Fax: 979-845-6399

For more information on course requirements and degree plan procedures, please contact the graduate advisor, Marco Valadez. Telephone: 979-845-9333 Email:

Texas A&M University  |   College of Liberal Arts  |   Location

This site is maintained by the staff of the Nautical Archaeology Program ( The contents of this site - text, images, and data - are intended for personal information only. Downloading for private use of the information or graphic images is not discouraged. However, written permission from either the Nautical Archaeology Program or the Institute of Nautical Archaeology is required for the publication of any material. For additional details, contact the Nautical Archaeology Program. Last updated: Monday, 11 November-2014 12:45:55 CST