Skip to main content

NMSU Archaeological Field School

Every summer, the anthropology department offers a 6-week archaeological field school. The primary goal of this field school is to train students in archaeological field methods by having them participate in active, ongoing field research programs in the Southwest. Archaeological field training is essential for any student who hopes to gain professional employment in archaeology. But, our field school isn't just for future professionals--it's also a wonderful opportunity for anyone who wants to learn more about the archaeology of this region by participating in a real dig!

2024 Field Season

When: May 22-July 1, 2024

Where: The NMSU's 2024 Field School will return to Cottonwood Spring Pueblo (LA 175) on the western flanks of the San Andres Mountains just north of Las Cruces, NM. This 14th-century village dwarfs most other El Paso phase sites (AD 1300-1450). Students live in town and commute to the site Monday through Thursday. We devote Fridays to guest lectures and cleaning, sorting, typing, and cataloguing artifacts in the lab on campus. We will also be taking an extended field trip to Chaco Canyon National Historic Park. 

Learn more about previous field schools at Cottonwood Spring Pueblo in the video below!

What: Students will receive 6 weeks of training in archaeological field methods, including excavation, feature documentation, and artifact processing/analysis. Participants must be prepared for rigorous outdoor activity.

Course Options: The field school is an intensive 6-week field-based course, for which all students will earn 6 credit hours. Students can apply for admission to the field school through one of the following course options:

  • ANTH 388: Archaeological Field School. No prerequisites.
  • ANTH 488: Advanced Archaeological Field School. Prerequisite: previous field school training.
  • ANTH 522: Archaeological Field School. Prerequisite: graduate student status.

Cost: Students will be charged tuition for 6 credits, and there will also be a $850 course fee to cover the cost of transportation and essential supplies. Tuition rates vary depending on the semester, resident or non-resident status, and graduate or undergraduate status, and summer tuition rates are typically published in April of each year. Once the summer rates are published, you will be able to find them here:   

How to Apply: Please complete the application form attached below and e-mail it to Dr. Walker ( Applications are due by March 17.

Questions? Contact the 2024 project director: Dr. William Walker (