Feb 23, 2024  
Graduate Record 2023-2024 
Graduate Record 2023-2024

Historic Preservation Certificate

Return to: Graduate School of Architecture: Certificate Programs    

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.


Students wishing to enter the Historic Preservation program must first be admitted to one of the graduate departments in the School of Architecture. 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):

History (6 credits):

Two SARC history classes of student’s choice at the 5000 level or above. Other environmental history classes

outside the college can apply with the director’s approval. Sample SARC classes include but are not limited to: 

  •  ARH 5602 - Community History Workshop, Credits: 3
  •  ARH 7616 - History of American Building Technology: 3
  •  ARH 7620 - The Cultural Landscape of Virginia: 3
  •  LAR 6110 - History of Landscape Design I, Credits: 3
  •  LAR 6120- History of Landscape Design II, Credits: 3

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 courses 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).

  • ARH 8604 - Field Methods I Building Archaeology, Credits: 3 
  • ARH 5610 – Field Methods II: Representing Historic Architecture Credits: 3

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.


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.