Graduate Minor in Historic Preservation Planning

Masters students from any discipline at Cornell (except historic preservation planning) are invited to enroll in the graduate minor in historic preservation planning. The minor gives students across the university the opportunity to take advantage of the wide variety of historic preservation planning courses offered by the Department of City and Regional Planning.

Upon successful completion of the required classes, the graduate minor in historic preservation planning will appear on the student's official Cornell transcript.


  • The minor is fulfilled with a minimum of four classes, totaling a minimum of 13 credit hours.
  • Students take three required classes and one elective (at the 5000 level or higher).
  • A minimum 3.0 GPA is required in the coursework completed for the minor.
  • Students must have a member from the Graduate Field of City and Regional Planning faculty appointed as a minor member of their committee.

Required Coursework

Required classes and credit hours.
Class Credit Hours
CRP 5600 Documentation for PreservationMethods of identifying, recording, collecting, processing, and analyzing information dealing with historic and architecturally significant structures, sites, and objects. Students are assigned common problems in documentation at various scales and propose solutions. 3
CRP 5610: Historic Preservation Planning WorkshopCovers techniques for the preparation of surveys of historic structures and districts; identification of American architectural styles, focusing on local historical resources, state and federal historic preservation guidance. Lectures and training sessions emphasize cross cultural training with individuals and community organizations. 4
CRP 5620: Perspectives on PreservationIntroduction to the theory, history, and practice of Historic Preservation Planning in America, with an emphasis on understanding the development and implementation of a preservation project. The course discusses projects ranging in scale and character from individual buildings to districts to cultural landscapes; as well as topics such as preservation economics, government regulations, significance and authenticity, and the politics of identifying and conserving cultural and natural resources. 3

Elective Coursework

Interested students select a minimum of one additional historic preservation class at the 5000 level or higher (3 credit minimum) from the list below. Note: class enrollment is subject to prerequisites. The director of historic preservation approves all students' programs of study, can disqualify any class, and accept other classes as electives. Class availability changes each semester.

Elective classes and credit hours.
Class Credit Hours
CRP 5630: Problems in Contemporary PracticeTopics of critical concern for preservation professionals preparing to enter practice. Recent topics include forming and managing preservation non-profit organizations, tools for grassroots preservation advocacy, fundraising and grant writing, and effective oral and written communication for preservation planners. Presented by staff and guest lecturers. 3
CRP 5640: Building Materials ConservationA survey of the development of building materials in the United States, chiefly during the 19th and early 20th centuries, and a review of the measures that might be taken to conserve them. Students prepare a Historic Structure Report (HSR) on a property of their own choosing to be given to the site owner. The HSR includes historical research, a detailed written description, building condition analysis, recommendations for treatment, and a cost estimate. 4
CRP 5661: Planning and Preservation Practice: Work WeekendStudents participate in a 4-day preservation field project at a historic site. Attendance at a preparatory lecture and/or workshop is required, as is a minimum of two full days working on site, in order to receive course credit. 1
CRP 5670: Measured DrawingPresents the basic techniques of studying, sketching, and measuring a building and the preparation of a finished drawing set according to Historic American Building Survey standards. Techniques taught include hand drawing, AutoCAD, and other relevant skills and software. Students will prepare individually, or in small groups, comprehensive graphic documentation for a property. 3
CRP 6601: Museum and the PublicEvaluates different types of museums (art, science, history, arboreta, etc.), and their constantly evolving missions in contemporary societies. The material is addressed through site visits, lectures by faculty and guests, readings, case studies and a team semester-long project. Issues covered include the nature of collections; the audience; the purpose and role of museums; political and cultural questions about collecting, history and interpretation; governance and management. It also discusses the core ethical and intellectual values and positions implied or expressed by the institutions. Students will undertake a comprehensive planning project for a local museum, to be presented to the client at the end of the semester. 3
CRP 6630: Historic Preservation LawOverview of American legal system and the sources of law used to protect historic resources. The course considers the primary tools for preservation, including historic district and landmark designation, the use of the police power, taxation, and eminent domain. Instructors will also review recent developments in state and federal historic preservation. 3
CRP 6640: Economics and Financing of Neighborhood Conservation and PreservationThe economic and financial aspects of historic preservation and neighborhood conservation. Topics include public finance, selected issues in urban economics, real estate economics, and private financing of real estate projects. Students will conduct a feasibility study for the re-use of an endangered historic property of their choosing, preparing a market study and proformas. 3
CRP 6650: Preservation Planning and Urban Change Examination of fundamental planning concepts and issues as they relate to historic preservation. Neighborhood revitalization, federal housing programs, the role of public and private institutions, displacement, and other social issues are among the primary topics. 3
CRP 6660: Pre-Industrial Cities and Towns in North America For description and learning outcomes, see LA 6660. 3

How to Apply

Students interested in pursuing the minor should contact the academic programs coordinator in the Department of City and Regional Planning, 106 Sibley Hall, at or (607) 255-6848.

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