Quick Facts

Delivery: Online or Onsite

Credit Hours: 12

Deadline: July 27

Classes Begin: August 22


Archaeoastronomy is the study of astronomical knowledge within prehistoric cultures. It can be a powerful tool in fields like archaeology and anthropology because the visual sky is a resource that has remained essentially the same for centuries. The Graduate Certificate in Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture equips investigators with a specialized understanding of cultural astronomy research skills. To complete the certificate, you must complete 12 hours of required coursework.

Not interested in graduate credit? We also offer undergraduate archaeoastronomy courses that are described on the linked list - LSIS 3413, 3433, 3473, 4483, and 4493. Learn more about these courses.


Graduate certificates provide an opportunity for a focused program of graduate study in a specified topic. You may complete the certificate program while enrolled in a graduate degree program, or you may be admitted directly to the certificate program. The credit hours you take to complete your graduate certificate may be applied to a graduate degree program.

The Graduate Certificate in Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture provides an applied approach to the study and practice of cultural astronomy for those not desiring a full degree program.

View our Flickr album of faculty doing archaeoastronomy field work.

Program Type

Four courses (12 credit hours) are required and can be completed 100% online. You may also choose to participate in an elective fieldwork course, where you will practice the proper collection and analysis of astronomical alignments and data onsite.

Certificate Topics:

  • Archaeoastronomy Fundamentals and Methods
  • Astronomy of the First Nations in the United States and Canada
  • Astronomy of the Puebloan and Mississippian Cultures 
  •  Cultural Astronomy in Latin America 
  • Cultural Astronomy Beyond the Americas 
  • Ethnoastronomy 
  • Rigorous Archaeoastronomical Research and Publication 
  • Optional Archaeoastronomical Research Practice in the Field 

Admission and Retention

Students may apply to be admitted to the Graduate College to pursue the certificate program, or they may complete the certificate program while currently enrolled in a graduate degree program.

For students applying for admission to pursue the certificate, the admission requirements and process are the same as for a degree-seeking student; however, students cannot be admitted on conditional status to a certificate program.

The Graduate Certificate Program Report will be completed during the term the last course is being taken.

Use of Certificate Graduate Credit Towards a Graduate degree

Credit hours gained during a certificate program are eligible to be applied to a graduate degree at OU. However, in all cases, the specific hours that may be transferred to the graduate degree are subject to the prevailing rules regarding residence credit. Certificate hours completed while a student is enrolled in a graduate degree are not considered to be transfer credit.

Read further information from the Graduate College.


Admission Requirements

  • A minimum of a 3.0 GPA 
  • Earned a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution


STEP 1: Prepare Application Materials

  • Current Resume: Formatted in a professional manner, highlighting past work experience and education.
  • Last Degree Conferring Transcript: Must be uploaded with the rest of your materials.

STEP 2: Complete Online Application

Complete the online graduate application form. As soon as you have completed the required information, please submit your application. Your application will be reviewed when it is complete and all required materials have been received.

*NOTE: When completing your application, a GRE or GMAT score is not required to apply for OU Extended Campus certificates. If you have not taken either of these exams, simply click NO for each in the Test Scores section and leave the test dates blank.

After you submit your application, you will receive an email within 24 hours with instructions on how to submit your supplemental application materials.

Certificate Planning Sheet:

Archaeoastronomy Certificate Planning Sheet


Program requirements

This graduate certificate offers a program of graduate level coursework in Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture:

  • Minimum of 12 hours of graduate credit
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA required for successful completion
  • No substitution of courses or transfer courses is allowed in the certificate program.

Required Courses

  • Archaeoastronomy and Methods (three hours)
  • Astronomy of Chaco Canyon and Cahokia (three hours)

Elective Courses (choose two from the following)

  • LSIS 5433 Astronomy Traditions of the First Nations in the United States and Canada (three hours)
  • LSIS 5443 Latin American Archaeoastronomy (three hours)
  • LSIS 5463 Archaeoastronomy Beyond the Americas (three hours)
  • LSIS 5483 Ethnoastronomy (three hours)
  • LSIS 5493 Field Work in Archaeoastronomy (three hours)*
  • LSIS 5700 Astronomy Traditions of the First Nations in the United States and Canada (three hours)

*NOTE: LSIS 5403, LSIS 5423, LSIS 5443, and LSIS 5463 are not offered during the Summer Session. LSIS 5493 Field Work is only offered in the Summer Session. This week-long elective course is held on-site at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico.

Learn more about these exciting courses!


Manageable Accelerated Courses

The core graduate courses in this certificate are 16 weeks long in spring and fall semesters. LSIS 5493 Field Work in Archaeoastronomy is a one-week elective (optional) course to be offered in the summer on-site at Chaco Canyon in New Mexico, USA. The number of credit hours you take each semester should be discussed with your advisor and reflective of your personal and work schedules.

Your Classmates

At OU College of Professional and Continuing Studies, your cohort won’t look like the traditional college student. Many of our students are balancing family, work, and life responsibilities, and we make it our job to help them every step of the way. 

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No one knows more about what you want from a university than the people who have already gone through the process—our graduates. 

Rigorous and beneficial

Great classmates, teachers, and curriculum. In addition to class discussions, insights to current events, learning new topics and writing on the thoughts of brilliant minds across the world, it is just plain old fun.

— Mark Raney, student and member of the Society for Cultural Astronomy in the Southwest



Faculty Spotlight
PACS Instructor to Head International Archaeoastronomy Research Group

"I see great synergies between this and what I want to do globally with our future OU Archaeoastronomy program. There's a significant demand for archaeoastronomy degree programs around the world, and PACS will fulfill this through its high-quality distance learning."

Read More