Jul 25, 2024  
Graduate Record 2024-2025 
Graduate Record 2024-2025

Historic Preservation Certificate

Return to: Graduate School of Architecture: Certificate Programs    

The interdisciplinary program in Historic Preservation offers all master’s degree candidates at the University of Virginia the opportunity to expand their 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 a masters degree program at UVA. 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. Students should 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):

Two SARC history classes of student’s choice at the 5000 level or above.  Other built form or environmental history classes outside SARC can apply with director’s approval.

Field Methods (3 credits)

One class that includes documentation and recording techniques used in preservation.  The preferred course is ARH 8604, however other courses may be substituted with director’s 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 15 credits).

Specialized Component (3 credits)

One class in a specialized component of preservation practice.  This is an elective class for you to further develop your interests in the field.  Courses may be additional courses from the categories above, or other classes from around the University with significant heritage-related content.  Example classes may be available in the fields of design, technology, materials science, planning, law, curation, history, or other and must be approved by the program director.


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.