What is RPA Field School Certification?

RPA Certification means that your field school has met a set of professional standards covering the following five areas:

  • Purpose. The field school must have both an explicit research design and an explicit curriculum design that integrates research with student education.

  • Personnel. The Director or Principal Investigator of the field school must be RPA- certified.

  • Operational Procedure. The field school must include formal instruction on field techniques including excavation, survey, and laboratory work.

  • Field Procedure. The field school must include proper data recovery and recording techniques.

  • Sponsor. The sponsoring institution must provide appropriate resources for laboratory work, curation, and publication/distribution of the research results.

Why Certify Your Field School?

Field schools are the training ground for the next generation of archaeologists and an important public face of archaeology. They should display our discipline’s highest standards of research and site stewardship. Both students and prospective employers can be confident that a certified field school meets established professional standards.

Benefits of certification include:

  • National recognition of your field school’s high standards of student training and site recording.

  • Advertisement of your field school on RPA and RPA-affiliated web sites.

  • Eligibility for RPA student field school scholarships.

Click here to download the Register of Professional Archaeologists Field School Application Form


Field School Resources

  • If you would like to view the full list of field schools that are currently certified by the Register of Professional Archaeologists, click here.

  • For information on field school scholarships, including how to apply and details about previous scholarship recipients, click here.

  • To learn more about the standards that RPA-certified field schools are expected to uphold, read the Guidelines and Standards for Archaeological Field Schools.

  • To learn about the outcomes and project details of RPA-certified field schools, click here.


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