Nov 26, 2022  
Graduate Record 2022-2023 
    
Graduate Record 2022-2023

Master of Architectural History


Admission


Students in the Master of Architectural History (MArH) program hold a wide variety of undergraduate degrees from accredited colleges or universities. Recently these have included Architecture, Art History, English, History, Biology, French, American Studies, Engineering, and Historic Preservation, as well as Architectural History. Students may be asked to submit a written reflection essay for advising purposes before the beginning of their first semester. Students normally begin the MArH in the fall semester although exceptions are possible with departmental approval. Students applying from within the University of Virginia to the Fifth Year Master of Architectural History program should consult the requirements detailed in the 5th Year Master of Architectural History program.

Curriculum


The Master of Architectural History is a 2-year graduate degree with a minimum of 36 credits at the graduate level. Typically students take credits beyond the 36 required during their four semesters of residency, generally attaining 48 credits by the end of the program. The graduate program offers three different tracks:

  1. Master of Architectural History;
  2. Master of Architectural History with Historic Preservation Certificate;
  3. Master of Architectural History with Urban Design Certificate.

Each track will give students an opportunity to refine the course of study that enables them to gain distinctive knowledge and experience for different career prospects. Our graduates work in a variety of capacities, including as architectural historians in the public realm or in academia, historic preservation and cultural heritage specialists, public historians, architectural critics, editorial and research consultants, or curators and educational outreach specialists in leading cultural institutions.

Thesis


The thesis is a major piece of independent work completed under the close supervision of a faculty member who is the director of the three-member thesis committee that oversees the project. This committee may consist entirely of faculty from the Department of Architectural History or it may include one person from outside the Department. It is possible to explore the thesis topic in greater depth through an independent study course taken prior to the thesis semester.

Language Qualification


Candidates are required to demonstrate a reading knowledge of one foreign language appropriate to the student’s major field of study. This requirement may be satisfied by earning the grade of B or better in an intermediate-level university course in the language within two years prior to admission to the University of Virginia graduate program. Alternatively, the student can take the ETS Graduate School Foreign Language Test and pass with a score of at least 550, receive a passing grade in a University of Virginia language courses at the intermediate level, or pass the language departmental reading test. Architectural History students should fulfill the language requirement before or shortly after entry into the program.

Typical Program of Study


The typical course of study offers a curriculum focused on the critical understanding of architectural history. Combining core competencies with an individually tailored course of study, this curriculum focuses on the development of rigorous research and analytical skills that will allow students to develop an area of expertise along with the ability to engage broadly in historical interpretation as a critical practice that takes many forms. 

Course Distribution

Each student must have at least nine credits, or three courses at the 8000 or 9000 level. Fifth-year MArH students should consult with the Director of the Graduate Program concerning their requirements.

First Year


Fall Semester - Credits: 12 Spring Semester - Credits: 12

Second Year


Fall Semester - Credits: 12 Spring Semester - Credits: 12
  • ARH Elective, Credits: 3
  • ARH Elective, Credits: 3
  • ARH Elective, Credits: 3
  • Open Elective, Credits: 3

 

Typical Program of Study for Architectural History with Historic Preservation Certificate


This study track prepares students in the expanding fields of historic preservation, heritage, and cultural landscape studies. Cultural landscapes and architectural heritage play central roles in defining a civic sense of place, buttressing sustainable communities, conserving urban neighborhoods, protecting rural and scenic areas, and enriching public understanding of social, cultural, and architectural histories. Students gain a Historic Preservation Certificate with this program of study.

Course Distribution

Each student must have at least six credits, or two courses at the 8000 or 9000 level. Each student must have at least six credits, or two courses at 5000 or 7000 level, that also fulfill Historic Preservation Requirement. Fifth year MArH students should consult with the Director of the Historic Preservation Program concerning their requirements.

First Year- Historic Preservation Certificate


Fall Semester - Credits: 12

       Spring Semester - Credits: 12

Second Year - With Historic Preservation Certificate


Fall Semester - Credits: 12

Spring Semester - Credits: 12               

  • HP Requirement, Credits: 3
  • HP Requirement, Credits: 3
  • Open Elective, Credits:3
  • Open Elective, Credits:3

Typical Program of Study for Architectural History with Urban Design Certificate


This study track provides an opportunity for students to engage with cities, urban histories, and processes of urbanization––arenas that often involve questions of cultural heritage. Over half of the world’s population live in urban areas; balancing the pressures of development and the role of architectural history and cultural heritage in urban developments will remain one of the most important and challenging tasks in the future. Students gain an Urban Design Certificate with this program of study. This track is not open to Fifth-Year MArH students.

Course Distribution

Each student must have at least six credits or two courses at the 8000 or 9000 level. Students must take nine credits, or three courses of required Urban Design seminars: Introduction to Urban Design History and Theory, Urban Design Methods and Strategies, and Applied GIS. Students without design experience in their undergrad education are encouraged to participate in the Summer Design Institute prior to enrolling in the Urban Design Certificate program.

 

First Year- With Urban Design Certificate


Fall Semester - Credits: 12 Spring Semester - Credits: 12

Second Year - With Urban Design Certificate


Fall Semester - Credits: 12 Spring Semester - Credits: 12
  • UD Requirement, Credits: 3  
  • UD Requirement, Credits: 3 
  • ARH Elective, Credits: 3
  • Open Elective, Credits: 3                                                                         

 

Additional Information


Master of Architectural History students may, with departmental approval, enroll in the Venice program, as well as attend selected international summer programs, including the China program.

The Historic Preservation Certificate Program requirements for MArH students may be found in the description of the Historic Preservation Certificate Program.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) credit received for summer or fall break internships cannot be applied toward overall credits for degree requirements.  Course credits are applied to allow the student to participate in an internship/externship per the F-1 eligibility.

Historic Preservation Certificate Program


The interdisciplinary program in Historic Preservation offers master’s degree candidates in architecture, architectural history, landscape architecture, and urban and environmental planning the opportunity to expand their professional studies through specialized training in the theory, practice, and ethics of historic preservation. Preservation has grown increasingly important, both nationally and internationally, in defining a civic sense of place, buttressing sustainable communities, conserving urban neighborhoods, protecting rural and scenic areas, and enriching public understanding of social, cultural, and architectural history. The program provides the opportunity for graduate students to develop the skills and expertise of the preservation practitioner within their own discipline, while at the same time studying the breadth of preservation work in related fields. Faculty from all four disciplines in the School of Architecture and distinguished visiting practitioners teach the preservation courses.

Admission   Students wishing to enter the Historic Preservation program must first be admitted to one of the graduate departments in the School of Architecture. In order to ensure proper academic advising and program coordination, students interested in the Historic Preservation program should attend the program meeting at the start of the fall semester. Upon arriving at the Architecture School they should also file a program application form with the Architecture School’s Registrar. Students who complete the required 15 credits of preservation course work receive a Certificate in Historic Preservation, in addition to their department’s master degree. There are individual courses that fulfill the requirements of the historic preservation certificate curriculum that also fulfill requirements within a student’s departmental curriculum. Thus, students normally complete the course work for the historic preservation certificate during the same period in which they complete their degree program.

Historic Preservation Certificate Curriculum 

Work in the Historic Preservation Program is grouped into four general categories: Theory, History, Field Methods, and Specialized Components.  Students must complete 15 credits in the distribution outlined below.

Theory (3 credits):

ARH 8601 - Historic Preservation Theory and Practice, Credits: 3     

History (6 credits):

One class of student’s choice from the two below:

ARH 8609 - Community History Workshop, Credits: 3    

• ARH 5500 - The Cultural Landscape of Virginia, Credits: 1-3

One class of student’s choice on a topic of architectural or built environment history.  Courses may be chosen from the list below, or other history course with director approval.

Field Methods (3 credits)

One class that includes documentation and recording techniques used in preservation and archaeology.  Courses may be chosen from the list below, or other course with director approval.

(Students with previous experience in this topic may place out of the field methods requirement with the director’s permission and instead add an additional Specialized Component or History course to meet the required credits).

Specialized Component (3 credits)

One class in a specialized component of preservation practice.  Examples include design, technology, materials science, planning, law, curation or others with director approval.

Internship

An internship is not required for the Certificate.  However, internships are encouraged and many students undertake them.  Opportunities for internships and guidance in planning for them can be discussed with the program director, and the Architecture School’s Internship Office.