Each year, employers throughout the world compete for graduates of the Historic Preservation Planning program. Cornell was one of the first institutions in the country to offer preservation courses, and it is internationally recognized as a leader in the field.
Graduates with the master's in historic preservation planning work in state historic preservation offices, local planning agencies, landmarks commissions, and private architectural and restoration firms. They also teach and perform research in the field. Ph.D. students may specialize in urban planning history and historic preservation planning both in the United States and abroad.
The 60 credit M.A. program in historic preservation planning prepares students for professional work in the preservation and use of our physical heritage. The dozen candidates admitted each year bring a variety of experiences. Many come with humanities or social science degrees, and some have already worked in architecture or areas related to historic preservation planning.
Courses addressing theory and practice as well as the economic, legal, and social ramifications of preservation ensure that students are well prepared for a wide range of careers.
Six core courses are required and, except for the thesis, are usually taken in the first year. Students must complete two semesters of course work in American architecture history (unless you studied the subject as an undergraduate). For the balance of required credits in the first year, students take courses in the economics of neighborhood conservation, urban history, real estate development, building materials conservation, preservation law, and community-assisted design. A workshop takes you to the field to conduct a historic resources survey in a nearby city, town, or village.
In the second year students complete a master's thesis in historic preservation. Students have tackled a range of problems, from a scheme to revitalize an entire neighborhood to a site-specific economic analysis for the renovation of a surplus school. Theses have examined supermarkets, bridges, adobe residences, piers, observatories, churches, cemeteries, factories, and farm buildings. Students have researched private historic preservation efforts or analyzed government plans.