Skip to content


Who is the certificate program intended for?

Students in graduate programs at the University of Washington who wish to specialize in Historic Preservation. Non-students are also eligible, should they wish to apply as Graduate Non-Matriculated (GNM) students.

Who is eligible for the certificate program?

For the Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation, any student accepted to any graduate-level degree program at the University of Washington and Graduate is eligible. Students in the BLA program may take an internal College of Built Environments certificate.

People who are not current University of Washington graduate students who are interested in the graduate-level certificate may apply as Graduate Non-Matriculated (GNM) students and are then eligible to complete the certificate.

Will this ever become a degree program?

That is very unlikely.

Can local professionals take this certificate program?

Yes! the certificate is available through the University of Washington’s Graduate Non-Matriculated (GNM) status. Additionally, since local professionals are welcome to take any course at the University of Washington as a non-matriculated student (this is different from GNM) on a space-available basis, local professionals can take classes without applying for GNM status. For information, see University of Washington Non-Degree enrollment.

Those wishing to complete the Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation as a GNM student should apply through the PhD in the Built Environment. See info at BE-GNM. Please email the Historic Preservation 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.

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

No, none.

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 can be free electives within the total credits required for your degree. Certificate courses can also count when they overlap with specific degree requirements. You should check your program requirements and/or check with your degree advisor about your available elective space.

How do I know which courses count toward the 18 credits required for the certificate?

Any preservation courses you take from the Historic Preservation curriculum count. We also send out a list of certificate-related courses every quarter. They are linked at the Historic Preservation Quarterly Course Lists tab on the Student info page.

Confused? Have questions about a particular situation? Ask us.

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 roughly 7:30 – 2:00. 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 18 credits to receive the certificate.

What's this about an historic preservation MUP specialization?

Yes, there is an in-house specialization in historic preservation that differs from the Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation. Please see this sheet for information.

Does being in the certificate program affect the kind of thesis/capstone/professional project I do?

If you are using your thesis/capstone/professional project as capstone credits for the certificate, it must have some kind of preservation component, and must have a faculty advisor or committee member from the Historic Preservation Program who will be responsible for guiding you on this portion of your thesis.

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

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 HP_Student_Theses 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?

Yes! Please run your plans by Neile before proceeding with the project. Also note that we check in with your chair/advisor at when it is complete, so it is worth your while to discuss this with us while you're developing your project rather than after the fact.

What do I get at the end of all this?

Students who complete the Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation will have it will be noted on their transcripts. Students who complete the internal College of Built Environments certificate program will received a certificate by postal mail.

How do I sign up?

You can apply right here.

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 us to let us know.

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 us and ask to be added, whether you’re currently a student or not. All are welcome.

Where can I find out about internships and field courses?

If you're on our email list, information these opportunities will be forwarded to youL. 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' 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.<

Questions about the Historic Preservation Program? Email