M.A. HPP Curriculum and Requirements

First Year

Six core classes 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 this requirement is fulfilled as an undergraduate). For the balance of required credits in the first year, students take classes in the economics of neighborhood conservation, urban history, real estate development, building materials conservation, preservation law, and community-assisted design. A workshop takes students into the field to conduct a historic resources survey in a nearby city, town, or village.

Second Year

In the second year, students complete a master's thesis in historic preservation. Students have addressed a wide 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.

Curriculum Specifics

To complete the M.A. degree in historic preservation planning, a student must do the following:

  • Obtain a total of 60 credit hours, including two semesters of American architectural history, if no background in this area
  • Earn two registration units
  • Have two committee members on file by the end of the first year
  • Fulfill the core class requirements, unless the department has waived or modified the requirements by recommendation of the special committee
  • Successfully defend and submit a thesis, and have it approved by the special committee and the thesis secretary (formatting only) at the Graduate School
  • No grades at the C level in any subject are acceptable for credit toward the degree

Core Classes for the M.A. HPP

To assure that M.A. graduates are familiar with central concepts and skills of the field, each student must successfully complete the following core classes:

  1. CRP 5600 Documentation of 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 credits)
  2. CRP 5610 Historic Preservation Planning Workshop: Surveys and AnalysisCovers 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 credits)
  3. 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 credits)
  4. CRP 8950 Master's Thesis in Preservation Planning (6 credits)
  5. Two semesters of American architectural history (ARCH 3810/AMST 3810Review of architecture, building, and responses to the landscape from the prehistoric period to the Civil War. Architecture and building as social and collaborative arts are emphasized and thus the contributions of artisans, clients, and users as well as professional architects and builders are examined. The architectural expressions of Native Americans, African Americans, women, and others are treated in addition to those of European colonists and settlers. and ARCH 3811/AMST 3811)This course surveys American architecture and building from the late 19th century to the present day. The themes of technology, money, art, and urbanism are the conceptual connective tissue of the class. Modernity (the experiences of modern life) and modernisms (the architectural languages of modern life) will be highlighted in the works of Charles F. McKim, Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Kahn,Richard Meier, Frank Gehry, Diller + Scofidio Renfrow, Thom Mayne, and others. The mediation and re-presentation of buildings and spaces through other media (music, photography, painting, dance, poetry, literature, and film) are also explored. Walking tours as well as research for landmarking of a picture palace in Queens, New York, will be part of the class.