Kampsville: Archaeology field and laboratory programs
Program canceled for 2021. Click here for an alternative.
Deadline to apply: May 1
Program Director: Jane Buikstra, Regents Professor, Bioarchaeology
View the full Center for American Archeology website here.
Whether you are a beginning or an advanced student, you can earn credit through a wide variety of field and laboratory courses at Arizona State University's Kampsville Field School. Held at the Center for American Archeology’s research and education headquarters in Kampsville, Illinois, the program allows students to earn nine credits of undergraduate or graduate coursework from one of two six-week options.
The director of the program, Regents' Professor Jane E. Buikstra – winner of two lifetime achievement awards for her pioneering work in bioarchaeology – is joined by a team of specialized faculty, whose classes emphasize empirical and theoretical training in archaeological research design and implementation. Students learn much more than the routine methods of archaeological recovery and analysis – they learn to think like scientific researchers.
Students choose one from the following tracks:
- Gain insights into what being a real archaeological scientist entails: long hours, one-on-one collegial interactions and original research.
- Establish lifelong friendships with future peers in the field, as well as mentorships with senior archaeological authorities.
- Acquire an appreciation for the theoretical and practical aspects of archaeological research in the context of long-term, cutting-edge research.
“From the ASU Kampsville Program, I have gained tremendous insight into bones and the inspiring people who have excavated and found meaning in them. I have been challenged and pushed by both the field school’s administration and its constituents. Kampsville is so much more than a “summer program”; based in the heart of archaeology, it provides an experience that is educational to its core.” — Former Kampsville Student
Jane E. Buikstra (Bioarchaeology; Human Osteology)
Jason L. King (Field Archaeology; Bioarchaeology)
Jake Lulewicz (Geophysics, GIS)
The program fee for 2020 was $6,120, covering nine credits of coursework (graduate or undergraduate), room and board, transportation to and from the site and maintenance of classroom and on-site facilities. Not included: optional excursions, transportation to Kampsville, additional meals, books and personal expenses.
Six-week courses are: Bioarchaeology and Human Osteology; Field Archaeology and Geophysical Testing.
All participants must provide their own health insurance. Documentation of coverage is required before attending the field school. Summer health insurance can be obtained through the Arizona State University campus health service.
Prior to attendance, by state of Illinois law, all new students are required to present proof of immunity to vaccine preventable diseases.
The field school in Kampsville, Illinois, is an annual Arizona State University program. Students presently attending any other college or university may apply to the ASU field school. High school juniors and seniors in a dual enrollment program are also eligible to apply. These students should review the information on applying to ASU as a nondegree student.
All field school students are formally enrolled in ASU for the duration of the program. They receive Arizona State University credits that are transferable to other colleges and universities in most instances. Students should check with their university registrar or other official to determine transferability of ASU field school credits.
Registration in the field school does not constitute admission to any ASU degree program. Students other than ASU degree candidates may petition to apply field school credits toward an ASU degree only if they apply to ASU and are admitted as ASU degree candidates.
Because the field school is largely sponsored by student tuition, it is not possible to include non-enrolled volunteer excavators.
Students are expected to comply with all federal, state and local laws. Noncompliance is grounds for immediate dismissal from the field school.
You must be at least 18 years of age, have a minimum GPA of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) and be in good standing with your home institution.
Application process and requirements
Priority consideration happens by March 1, but applications may remain open until early May depending on available space. Early application is always advised to be sure of securing space. Generally, if you meet this standard and apply by the due date there is every reason to expect you will be accepted into the program.
The online application submissions include a short questionnaire wherein you will be asked to submit a brief statement of interest. Applicants will also be responsible for uploading an unofficial transcript (you will be prompted to upload this) and contact information for a reference.
*If you are not currently an ASU student, you must first apply to be admitted to ASU as a nondegree seeking student for the summer only. For course registration and risk management purposes, students must be admitted ASU students during their program dates. The admissions process varies depending on whether you are an undergraduate student or will be a graduate student at the time of your participation in the Kampsville program, and there is an admission fee (the fees vary based on application type, please see the links below for more details):
- Undergraduate students need to apply to ASU Undergraduate Admissions. The online summer application will be available starting on January 1. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
- Graduate students or those who will have an undergraduate degree posted by the time their program starts, should apply to the ASU Graduate College. (There are restrictions to nondegree graduate status.) The online summer application will be available starting September 1 of the year prior to your program’s summer term.
In both cases, you are applying as a non-degree seeking student for the summer term in which your program will run. When prompted to declare which academic unit & college you will be affiliated with on your program, please indicate: School of Human Evolution and Social Change in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the Tempe Campus. Please be sure to enroll as an “on campus” student and not an “online” one.
Once you have been admitted to ASU (this usually takes less than 24 hours), you will receive an 'ASURITE' login that will allow you to then apply to the Kampsville program. You will be responsible for making arrangements if you wish to transfer that credit to your home institution, and it is possible to request official transcripts via your myASU account.
During the field school, students will reside in Kamp Store, a historical store and home that has been converted into a museum and dormitory. There are no single rooms available. Beds are provided, though students should bring a sleeping bag or bed linens (blankets, sheets and pillow), as well as towels. There is a public laundromat within driving distance. Transportation can be arranged to laundry facilities for those students who do not intend to drive.
Meals are served Monday breakfast through Saturday lunch as part of your room and board fees. Students must provide their own meals Saturday evening and all day on Sundays. There are restaurants located in Kampsville where students may purchase meals. The meal plan begins with breakfast on the first Monday of field school and ends with dinner on the last Friday. Kamp Store includes access to a communal refrigerator, but no cooking appliances are available.
Kampsville Field School
Arizona State University
School of Human Evolution and Social Change
PO Box 872402
Tempe, AZ 85287-2402