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The curriculum, offered by faculty drawn from the larger College of Built Environments (CBE) along with visiting lecturers from the preservation community, is designed to provide students with knowledge of the historic preservation field to include history, theory, law and policy and to give them the ability to apply that knowledge in contemporary preservation practice. They will be able to examine historic sites using learned research methods and prepare documentation for a range of historic properties in both domestic and international settings.

The required curriculum consists of 18 to 19 credits including core requirements, an immersive course, and a capstone experience. Depending upon student selection of core and capstone courses, students may need to complete additional credits. Credits may be unrestricted electives in students’ home degree programs.

CORE (10 credits): History/Theory; Practice; and Methodology. Expected to be completed in Year 1.

i. History/Theory
URBDP 585: Introduction to Historic Preservation Planning (offered in autumn). This course is a broad overview of the profession of HP in the US, its history, theoretical underpinnings and diverse contemporary threads of practice.

ii. Practice (Prerequisite: URBDP 585)
URBDP 586: Implementation in Preservation Planning (offered in winter). Course covers the multiple threads of historic preservation practice across primarily design and planning disciplines.

iii. Methodology (Prerequisite: URBDP 585)
ARCH 579: Technical Issues in Preservation (offered in spring). This course covers preservation techniques across multiple property types to accommodate landscape and planning students as well. 

Other courses that would be acceptable substitutes for the methodology requirement are:

  • ARCHY 495: Quantitative Archaeological Analytic Techniques
  • ARCHY 473: Historical Archaeology Laboratory
  • ARCHY 573: Indigenous Archaeology
  • ARCHY 469: Cultural Resource Management in Practice
  • MUSEUM 520: Learning in Museums
  • MUSEUM 570: Research Design and Museology Practice

IMMERSIVE (3 Credits). Should be completed before Capstone. Select one elective (3 credits) from the following:

  • ARCH 538: Building Reuse Seminar (offered in Autumn)
  • ARCH 557: History & Theory of Historic Preservation (offered in Spring)
  • ARCH 590: Urban and Preservation Issues in Design (offered in Autumn)
  • L ARCH 552: History of Landscape Architecture
  • L ARCH 553: History of Modern Landscape Architecture (offered in winter)
  • URBDP 565: American Urban History (offered in Spring)
  • URBDP 505: The Urban Form (offered in Autumn)
  • Other courses with historic context may be appropriate for your course of study—contact the program for course approval

CAPSTONE (5-6 credits). Any one from the following list with faculty approval:

  • Studio: Enroll in a studio with preservation content that is offered in any department within CBE.
  • Project: Develop a capstone project on any preservation topic. Work with two faculty members (one from student’s home department and the other a CBE preservation faculty member).
  • Research Paper: Conduct in-depth research into historic preservation topics to evaluate how they were applied in specific case studies. Work with at least one HP core faculty member.

The program sends out quarterly lists of applicable courses. Sign up for the mailing list to receive this and other preservation-related messages.

Grading/Assessment and Minimum Standards

Successful completion of the GCHP requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 for core certificate courses and a grade of 2.7 or higher for each course counted toward the certificate. Students are required to enroll in all courses and receive a grade rather than requesting to take the course on a satisfactory/non-satisfactory basis.
Questions about the Historic Preservation Program? Email