Note that this FAQ will shortly be updated with information about the new university-wide certificate when it officially launches in Winter 2018.

The answers here relate to the college-wide certificate that is being retired when all currently enrolled students have graduated. Students may no longer enroll in the college-wide certificate after the start of Winter 2018.

Questions about the program and the certificate

Who is the certificate program intended for?

Students in professional and doctoral degree programs in the College of Built Environments who wish to specialize in Historic Preservation.

Who is eligible for the certificate program?

Any student accepted to the BLA, MLA, MArch, MS in Arch (History/Theory) or MUP programs; anyone accepted to the Interdisciplinary PhD in Urban Design & Planning or to the PhD in the Built Environment.

Will this ever become a degree program?

That is very unlikely. However, there is a possibility that it may become an official Graduate School certificate that would appear on your official transcript if you are a graduate student at the UW.

Will this ever become a stand-alone certificate program that people who aren't students in the programs listed above can take?

As per above, it may become a program available to all graduate students at the University of Washington. Also see the answers to the next two questions.

Can local professionals take this certificate program?

This is not an official University Extension certificate program and there are currently no plans to make it one; however, local professionals are welcome to take any course at the University of Washington as a non-matriculated student on a space-available basis. See University of Washington Non-Degree Enrollment information for non-matriculated students. If a local professional wished to complete the certificate coursework, we would be happy to advise and assist, and on completion would write a letter asserting that they have completed the certificate curriculum. Please email the program if you would like to be added to our email list for course and event announcements; we are happy to add anyone interested to this list.

Can UW students who are not in those degree programs listed above enroll in the certificate program?

Not formally, no—at least at this time. However, from other programs are more than welcome in our preservation courses, and please email the program if you would like to be added to our email list for course and event announcements; we are happy to add anyone interested to this list. Additionally, we occasionally have students from outside the College of Built Environments do the certificate work. We are happy to advise these students, assist them in getting into our classes, and when they have done the coursework and completed a thesis or equivalent project with a preservation component, we write a letter asserting that they have completed the certificate curriculum. In the future there may be a Graduate Certificate open to all UW graduate students.

Questions about the curriculum

Do you need any special prerequisites to begin the certificate program?

No, none.

Do I need to take an introductory course?

Not before you get here. Once you're here, students in the Masters of Architecture should take Arch 590, and students in other programs should take UrbDP 585. Please see our curriculum page for other required courses.

Will I be able to graduate on time if I add the certificate program to my degree?

Yes, if you plan carefully, can handle a full course load every quarter, and don't have too many other electives you wish to take. Tracking graduation times for certificate and non-certificate students has shown that taking the certificate doesn't seem to be what makes the difference between people graduating "on time" or not. What seems to make a difference is the certificate plus additional factors like quarters spent abroad, an additional specialization, internships, etc.

Will certificate program courses count towards my degree?

Yes. Certificate courses count toward your electives and the total credits required for your degree.

How do I know which courses count toward the 12–15 credits required for the certificate?

Basically any preservation courses you take from within the Historic Preservation curriculum that aren't required for your degree program count. If it's a core course for your degree or is a required selective/elective then the credits don't count (but still may be required for you to receive the certificate).

For example, MArch students are required to take a seminar. If you take a preservation seminar and use the credits to meet that MArch requirement, then the credits do not also count towards the 12–15 credits for the certificate. If you take two seminars and at least one is a preservation seminar, then one of the seminar’s credits will count toward your MArch requirement and the other toward the certificate. For MUP students, UrbDP 586 credits can count either toward the MUP Advanced Methods requirement or toward the certificate. If you take a different Advanced Methods class for the MUP, then the UrbDP 586 credits count toward the certificate.

Confused? Ask Neile.

What do I do if I can't take a required certificate class the quarter it's offered?

Talk to us and find out if there is a substitute available, or if you can take the course the following year.

Who do I talk to if I have questions about the program?

Talk to Neile Graham, the program adviser, if you have general questions about course availability, how to fit courses into your degree program, how to request course waivers, etc. Her office is Gould 410L, just off the main Urban Design & Planning Office. Her hours are Monday through Friday 7:30 – 12:30. Her phone is 206-543-5996. She will advise you who among the faculty it would be best for you to talk to regarding more academic questions about the discipline, your background, how the certificate will match your interests and your professional ambitions, etc.

What do I do if I've taken a course elsewhere similar to one of the preservation courses here?

If it's for a required core course, please request a waiver. We ask that you write us a brief email outlining what the course covered and which course you think it is similar to, attaching a copy of the syllabus, your transcripts, your assignments for the course, or some other material that documents what the course covered. However, please be aware that we don't waive the number of credits required—you will still need to do 12–15 credits to receive the certificate.

What's this about an historic preservation MUP specialization? Is that the same as the Urban Design Certificate?

Yes. The specialization in historic preservation is the Historic Preservation certificate. (Note that this is not the case with urban design.)

How does being in the certificate program affect the kind of thesis/capstone/professional project I write?

Your thesis/capstone/professional project must have some kind of preservation component, and must be chaired by a faculty member from the Historic Preservation Program or if you have an assigned thesis studio director, have an advisor from the History Preservation program faculty who will be responsible for guidance on this portion of your thesis.

How can I find out who is available to me as a chair/advisor?

The certificate requires that your chair/advisor be on the Historic Preservation Program faculty and your department requires that your chair be on your department's graduate faculty. See the faculty list. Following each faculty member’s name is/are the department(s) they have graduate appointments in.

What kind of theses, capstone projects or professional projects have previous students done?

We have a list of thesis/capstone/professional projects done by preservation certificate students for your perusal. The formal theses from 2012 on are available online (as long as the author has released them), and previous ones are available in the library on the third floor of Gould Hall.

Is there any kind of proposal approval required for the thesis/capstone/professional project?

We check with your chair/advisor at graduation to confirm that your thesis or project has a preservation component appropriate for the certificate, so it is worth your while to discuss this with your chair/advisor while you're developing your project rather than after the fact.

What do I get at the end of all this?

An actual piece of paper with an official seal and signatures stating that you having completed the certificate. Completion of the certificate program is recognized by employers as substantial preparation for a career in historic preservation.

Questions about how to sign up (or not)

How do I sign up?

There is a downloadable Statement of Interest form (DOCX, fillable PDF) which is also available on paper in Neile's office in Gould 410L. All you have to do is complete the form and return it to her, and you've signed up.

I just want to take a course or two but not the certificate. Is that okay?

Absolutely. The program is here to support anyone interested in preservation, whether you want to do the certificate or not, whether you’re eligible to do the certificate or not.

I signed up for the certificate but have run out of time and won’t be able to complete the certificate courses before I graduate. How do I un-sign up?

This happens, and we appreciate knowing. Just email Neile.

I don’t want to do the certificate, but would like to be on the email list. May I be?

You are very welcome to be on the list, whether you’re just curious, want to take a course here and there or just want to keep up. Email Neile and ask to be added, whether you’re currently a student or not. All are welcome.

Questions about preservation internships and careers

Where can I find out about internships and field courses?

If you're on our email list, information about many of these opportunities will be forwarded to you, and there is a folder of some printed information in Neile's office in Gould 410L. Please note that most of the deadlines for summer internships are in February and March, so you need to plan early to apply for these. There are also links to preservation internship listings on our links page.

What kind of career does the certificate program prepare me for?

Usually students' professional degree programs have the largest effect on the kind of jobs they are eligible for after graduation; what the certificate program does is to prepare you for preservation positions within your profession, for example with architecture firms who do preservation work or who wish to have a specialist on staff, or with public and private agencies that deal with preservation. Several of our graduates have successful careers as private consultants to a variety of clientele. A certificate makes you more competitive for preservation-related jobs and can make you more competitive for any generalist job in your field.

There are links to sites that list preservation jobs on our links page.

Where can I meet other students interested in the certificate program?

We have an annual gathering in October, and you will meet other interested students in your preservation classes. We are happy to provide names of current and former students to applicants interested in learning more about the program.


If you have additional questions, please email us.