Historic Preservation Planning

Master of Arts in Historic Preservation Planning (M.A. HPP)

Historic preservation synthesizes design, history, public policy, cultural studies, science, and economics during the process of planning for the future of our cultural and natural resources, our communities, and ourselves. It is an exciting discipline with increasing relevance and urgency as we seek a sustainable future for people, cultures, and places everywhere.

Cornell was one of the first institutions in the country to offer graduate-level preservation classes and is internationally recognized as a leader in the field. Each year, employers throughout the world compete for graduates of the Historic Preservation Planning (HPP) program. Students who graduate from the intensive 60-credit program obtain invaluable skills and knowledge through the program's strong emphasis on theory and practice.

In addition to the core classes (Perspectives, Documentation, and Survey), students can choose from a variety of other preservation courses, such as Measured Drawings, Building Materials Conservation, Preservation Law, Preservation Economics, Cultural Landscapes, and more, as well as from the full range of courses offered in the department in planning, regional science, and real estate, and other classes across the university. Students are frequently out in the field doing exciting work for real-world sites and clients, as well as participating in multi-disciplinary design teams working with local communities.

For their final project, students write a thesis, which means significant research on a topic of the student's choosing. Some recent thesis topics are listed below. In addition to the classes mentioned above, the department organizes annual trips to various cities and preservation-related conferences, as well as spring work weekends at historic sites around the region. Cornell also helps the student arrange an appropriate internship in an agency or organization, in the U.S. or abroad, for the summer between the first and second years of the program, and contributes funding to help underwrite the experience. 

Unique to Cornell, students in Historic Preservation Planning are immersed in and connected to the departments of City and Regional Planning, Landscape Architecture, and the Baker Program in Real Estate. Through courses and extracurricular programs, students collaborate, create strong social networks, and enhance their skills to be applied to the real world.

Graduate students from across Cornell who are not enrolled in the master's of Historic Preservation Planning program are strongly encouraged to apply for the Historic Preservation minor.

A list of recent student theses:

*Thesis not yet available on the Cornell University Library website.

Graduate Minor in Historic Preservation Planning

Master's students from any discipline at Cornell (except HPP) are invited to enroll in the graduate minor in historic preservation planning.

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