Registration FAQs

Below you will find frequently asked questions about our application process.  If you cannot find an answer to your question, please visit our contact page or email info@rpanet.org with your inquiry!

Section 1: Fees

If my original application is rejected, and I later re-apply after additional experience and report writing, do I have to re-submit the application fee a second time?

Yes. The application fees cover expenses incurred when processing the applications and each application must be accompanied by the fee, unless you are applying within six months of receiving your advanced degree. The Register has the same administrative expenses associated with each application.

My original application was submitted as the shortened version, but I was told I should resubmit it using the longer version to further document my work and research experience. Do I have to re-submit the application fee a second time when I submit the longer version of the application?

Yes. The application fees cover expenses incurred when processing the applications and each application must be accompanied by the fee, unless you are applying within six months of receiving your advanced degree. The Register has the same administrative expenses associated with each application.

Section 2: Registration Process

Do well established professional archaeologists with an advanced graduate degree and many years of experience, such as faculty or CRM archaeologists, need to submit a diploma, transcript, and documentation of an archaeological study?

Yes. These documents are required of all applicants,.

I am unable to find my diploma and no longer have an official copy of my transcripts. May I submit an unofficial transcript instead?

Yes, the transcript may be an unofficial copy.

I no longer have access to the original title page of my thesis or dissertation, but have published the work in other forms such as a journal article or book. May I submit these publications in lieu of direct documentation of the thesis or dissertation?

Yes, a peer-reviewed journal article, book chapter, or book is acceptable, but the Register prefers thesis documentation if you are applying using the short form of the application (Sections I, II, and III). Most University libraries have now digitized all early theses and dissertations and make them available as a PDF. If your thesis is truly unavailable, please apply using the long application form (Sections I, II, III, and IV) using the published version as your “report submitted in lieu of a thesis.”

I have a BA in archaeology or a related field and several years (or decades) of experience conducting archaeological fieldwork. Do I qualify to register as an RPA?

The short answer is no. The first requirement for registration as an RPA is that you must hold an advanced degree in a field related to archaeological/anthropological studies. This advanced degree is a requirement that is not waived, no matter how many years of experience a person has. While the Register recognizes that individuals who lack advanced degrees often practice competent and ethical archaeology, the organization has defined itself as an association of individuals who hold advanced degrees and who subscribe to the Register’s ethical standards.

I attended a non-thesis program for my Master’s degree or have an advanced degree in an unrelated field. Can I still apply to register as an RPA?

Yes, as long as have designed and executed a study that includes a substantive data analysis that addresses an explicit archaeological research problem you likely qualify to register as an RPA. Please fill out the long form version of the application (including Sections I, II, III, and IV) and upload up to two studies that meet the above standards. Complete Section IV to document at least 52 weeks of excavation, survey, and laboratory experience, including at least 20 weeks of supervisory research experience. Please see How To Register for more details.

I would like to register, but the requirement for my MA or Ph.D was the production of a series of publishable papers instead of a thesis or dissertation. Am I still eligible to use the short application form?

Yes, as long as the documentation provided demonstrates that the publishable papers were accepted to satisfy degree requirements.

If I receive my advanced degree in archaeology or a related field outside of the United States, do I still qualify to register as an RPA?

Yes, as long as the degree is from an accredited institution, it will meet the Register’s requirements.

Does a report on a survey, inventory, or testing project satisfy the requirement in Section 3 of the application?

Most survey, inventory, and testing reports are descriptive summaries of methods and findings tailored to support regulatory compliance. Such reports do not meet registration requirements because they are not directed toward an explicit archaeological research problem, do not include a substantive data analysis, or are not designed, executed, and authored exclusively by the applicant.

However, if you have designed and executed a regulatory compliance study that includes a substantive data analysis directed to addressing an explicit archaeological research problem and have authored a report on that study then that report should suffice. The documentation provided must demonstrate that you conducted and reported on the data analysis. You will also need to document a minimum of 52 weeks of field and laboratory experience (Section 4 of the application).

Section 3: Other Questions

I have changed my last name since receiving my advanced degree. Do I need to provide additional documents to prove that the degree is mine?

Submit your application using your first name, previous surname, and current surname. With the additional information required on the application (resume, work experience, etc.), it should be obvious you are the same person. If registration is approved, then the certificate could be issued under your current name or a combination of both.

I was previously registered as an RPA but let my registration lapse. I would like now to be reinstated. Do I need to reapply and go through the review process?

No. Once you are approved for registration, you have demonstrated you commitment to the goals of the Register. If you wish to become an active registrant again, all you need to do is notify the business office of your desire and submit your yearly dues. The business office does keep track of registrant profiles for only the past 4-5 years. It would help if you could also submit a copy of your registration certificate with the registration number. Please see our Renew My Registration page for more information.

Can qualified professional archaeologists from outside of the United States apply to register as an RPA?

Yes! As long as you meet all of the qualifications for registration (see How to Apply), you may apply for registration as an RPA.