Experiential Learning

Screening at Corvie Bay, Kiska Island, Alaska.  Photo: Caroline Funk.

Explorers wanted!

Experiential learning is the process through which students engage with anthropology outside of the classroom setting. By participating in experiential learning opportunities, students create community, gain practical skills, and participate in activities that enhance their undergraduate experience.

Whether they continue with anthropology or try something entirely different, the anthropology department’s experiential learning programs provide students with an excellent basis to further their life opportunities outside of the university setting.

Internships and Volunteer Experiences

Keep in mind that many internships and field schools have application deadlines, so make sure to regularly check program websites to plan your experience accordingly. To receive academic credit, it is recommended you contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies before participating in these activities. 

Note: The University at Buffalo Department of Anthropology does not endorse or otherwise support the internships and field experiences available here. This list is provided for informational purposes only.

In New York State

Field Schools

Department of Anthropology

APY 338 - Field Research

The Department of Anthropology offers a 6-week field school experience at active survey sites in the Buffalo region. Offered in conjunction with Archaeological Survey, students interested in pursuing a Cultural Resource Management (CRM) career are encouraged to participate to learn methods and practices of this field.


Çadir Höyük Archaeological Project

Çatalhöyük West Mound Project

Seyitomer Höyük Archaeological Project

National and International

  • Adelphi University (Alaska): The 2018 field school will focus on the newly discovered Holzman site along Shaw Creek where multiple hearths, large mammal bones, stone tools, and a nearly complete mammoth tusk were found dating to the end of the Ice Age.
  • Artic Vikings Field School (Greenland): This field school is a four-weeks in a rugged environment that will provide students with a crash course in Arctic Archaeology. Students will learn how to identify sites and features through landscape survey, perform “keyhole” excavations and learn how to document their observations quickly and efficiently. Only 4 students admitted and all students receive a scholarship to attend.
  • College Year in Athens (Greece): CYA offers summer and winter programs  with topics such as "Excavating the Aegean," "The Anthropology of Food in Greece," and "Illegal Antiquities".
  • Institute for Field Research (worldwide): The Institute focuses on research-based experiences in historial archaeology, field archaeology and museum conservation and offers 43 field schools in 24 countries including Bulgaria, Ireland, South Africa, China, Jordan and Israel.
  • Isla Mujeres Ethnographic Field School (Mexico): Learn ethnographic field methods on the Isla Mujeres, Mexico, located off the Yucatan coast in the Caribbean.
  • Lubbock Lake Landmark (Texas): This landmark is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a designated National Historic and State Archaeological Landmark which contains evidence of almost 12,000 years of human occupation on the Southern High Plains.
  • Maderas Rainforest Conservancy (Costa Rica and Nicaragua): The Conservancy offers programs in Primate Behavior and Ecology, Rain Forest Ecology, Spanish and Pre-Columbia Art History, and the Mayan World.
  • Off the Beaten Path (Malta, Mediterranean): Program is meant to give aspiring anthropologists an in-the-field representation of developing and conducting an ethnographic research project. Geared towards students interested in socio-cultural anthropology. Scholarships available!
  • San Gemini Preservation Studies (Italy): Taking place at the Carsulae archaeological site in Italy, students have the opportunity to conduct archaeological survey of the site's buildings, such as the public baths, or learn about analyzying and restoring archaeological ceramics.
  • The Irish Fieldschool of Prehistoric Archaeology (Ireland): Offered through the National University of Ireland, Galway, the 2018 field season will include excavating a late prehistoric barrow (burial mound) and some newly discovered enclosures, found through geophysical survey by students in 2017, on Knockloon hill, within the deerpark of Leamaneh castle. 
  • Washington University in St. Louis (Kazakhstan): The archaeological excavation takes place in the Dzhungar Mountains. The curriculum will focus on the culture and lifeways of local nomadic pastoralists and their role in shaping wide scale regional networks that crossed Eurasia since 2000 BC.

Study Abroad

Take part in a study abroad experience to fully immerse yourself in cross-cultural exchanges to prepare for the increasingly global world.  Visit the UB Study Abroad webpage to find out which program is best suited for you.

Study abroad courses are commonly graded S/U on the student’s record but major credit is earned. To earn major credit for your experience:

  • You are encouraged to consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies prior to departing for a study abroad program.  A meeting should address how this experience may affect your academic progress and if the courses taken during the study abroad program are elgible for major credit.
  • After returning from the program, you should submit a Petition Form and the syllabi for each course taken during the program for review and awarding of department credit.

Cultural Heritage Program in Spain

Location: Tarragona, Spain
Dates: Forthcoming in 2019

The department is excited to launch a new study abroad program, "Cultural Heritage: From classic ruins to living landscapes" in 2019. Students will travel to Tarragona, Spain to engage with the historical, archaeological and cultural heritage of this region. Learning experiences will consist of lectures, guided field trips, visits to museums, and invited talks by local officials, heritage practitioners and scholarly specialists. Lectures will take place at the Catalan Institute of Classic Archaeology (ICAC), located in the heart of Tarragona’s old town.

Independent Research

Did you discover a topic that piqued your interest during a course and you want to investigate it further?  Conducting an independent study is a great opportunity to further delve into your interests while receiving guidance and mentorship from faculty.

Students receive academic credit for their research by registering for APY 499 Independent Study and Research.