Master of Science in Historic Preservation

Program Requirements | Required Courses | Internship


Program Overview

As an Historic Preservation graduate student, you’ll gain an understanding of historic resources and the processes for preserving them.

This includes core courses in:

  • Architectural history
  • Economic, legal, and administrative processes of preservation
  • Preservation history and theory
  • Research methods

Areas of Concentration

To provide an in-depth experience within the program’s broad curriculum, students choose one of three areas of concentration for their studies. This provides students with the opportunity to gain specific knowledge and skills in a specific area while understanding the wider context for preservation work. Areas of concentration include:


Experiential Learning

Our program emphasizes hands-on learning to give students a realistic sense of how preservation ideas can be applied in practice. In both coursework and special projects, you’ll apply the theoretical concepts that drive the field to actual practical situations, often working in tandem with the professionals who are carrying out these projects.

We augment core courses with fieldwork in a variety of settings and topics that demonstrate the range of practice in this field. The historic preservation program has established partnerships with many agencies and firms that are involved in the protection of our historic environment, giving students opportunities to work on significant historic sites with the communities who care about them.

Recent experiential opportunities include:

  • Documenting a Historic American Buildings Survey for the Alaska Regional Office of the US National Park Service
  • Reconstructing the Ferry House porch in Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve, Whidbey Island, Washington
  • Conservation treatment for a 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps complex in the Nez Perce National Forest in central Idaho
  • Conducting a condition assessment of historic buildings at the Oregon Caves National Monument

    In addition to providing hands-on training in what might be considered mainstream preservation activities, we emphasize the importance of cultural conservation including issues of diversity, identity, and community development. This includes a concern not only for how various ethnic groups shaped buildings and landscapes in the distant past, but how similar settings are reproduced by cultural groups in the present.


    Individualized Study

    Beyond completing core courses and an area of concentration, you will be required to complete individualized study, including a:

    • Summer internship
    • Thesis or terminal project

    As a student, you’ll prepare for your internship by taking a term-long course deigned to help you identify your specific interests and match those to potential organizations and firms that offer employment opportunities. During the fall of your second year, you’ll take another specialized course to help you evaluate your internship experience, organize your résumé, and build your job-hunting skills in preparation for graduation.

    The thesis or terminal project offers students the opportunity to apply the skills they’ve learned to a specific challenge in the field. You’ll take a seminar in research methods during the fall term of your second year, then complete a capstone project through six units of research in each of the winter and spring terms. Recent examples of research topics include:

    • The history, interpretation, and protection of Oregon’s historic fisheries
    • The treatment of human-constructed historic resources in protected “wilderness” areas in national parks and forests
    • The potential use of the arts to facilitate historic preservation in economically disadvantaged communities
    • The use of heritage conservation in Eastern European countries

    Back to Top


    Program Requirements (73 Credits)

    The Graduate School requires that a minimum of 24 credits be taken for letter grades in residence at the University of Oregon. To receive the MS in Historic Preservation, all core courses and three of the architectural history courses must be taken for letter grades.

    You must maintain a GPA of 3.00 or higher. The lowest acceptable passing grade for any graduate level course is a B-.

    You must follow the required core sequence and prerequisites to make satisfactory progress toward your degree by the Historic Preservation Committee (unless prior approval has been secured by the program director).

    To maintain continuing status as an enrolled graduate student, the Graduate School requires that you are registered for a minimum of three credits each term. Additional credits are required if you are receiving financial aid or holding graduate employment (a GE position).
     

    73 credits are required:

    Core Courses
    17 Credits

    Architectural History Courses (three-course minimum)

    12 Credits

    Focal Area Courses (five-course minimum)

    18 Credits
    Individualized Study: Practicum/Internship

    5 Credits

    Individualized Study: Independent Research

    2 Credits

    Thesis or Terminal Project
    12 Credits
    Electives

    7 Credits


    Apply: MS in Historic Preservation


    Required Courses

    Core Courses (17 Credits)

    The understanding of preservation theory and practice provides a solid foundation for historic preservation professionals.

    AAAP 511 Introduction to Historic Preservation

    3 Credits

    AAAP 531 National Register Nomination

    3 Credits

    AAAP 541 Legal Issues in Preservation*

    3 Credits

    AAAP 510 Preservation Economics

    3 Credits

    AAAP 515 Transportation and Preservation

    3 Credits

    AAAP 551 Historic Survey and Inventory Methodology

    3 Credits

    AAAP 610 Thesis Proposal**

    2 Credits
    AAAP 508 Workshop: Pacific Northwest  Preservation Field School
    2 Credits

    *May also count toward focal area course requirements if not taken as a core requirement.

    **The course is under development, and has not yet received formal acceptance to the curriculum.


    Architectural History Courses (12 Credits)

    Architectural history courses contribute to the basic understanding of historical and cultural processes and technological innovations that shape our built environment.

    You must complete at least two courses from the following:

    AAAP 521 American Architecture from a Preservation Perspective I

    4 Credits

    AAAP 522 American Architecture from a Preservation Perspective II

    4 Credits

    AAAP 523 American Architecture from a Preservation Perspective III

    4 Credits

    You may complete either of the following to fulfill the credit requirements for this section:

    AAAP 510 American Common Houses*

    4 Credits

    ARH 578 History of Landscape Architecture

    3 Credits

    Not all of our listed courses are available year-round. Speak with your advisor to learn more about which courses are available each term.

    *The course is under development and has not yet received formal acceptance to the curriculum.


    Focal Area Courses (18 Credits)

    Focal Area I:  Sustainable Preservation Theory, Design, and Technology (18 Credits)

    Focusing on the practice of preservation, an emphasis is placed on the skills needed to research, plan, and direct the restoration and adaptive reuse of buildings, places, and landscapes as well as to determine the appropriate levels of treatment.

    AAAP 510 Adaptive Use Studio*

    4 Credits

    AAAP 510 Building Pathology: Masonry*

    4 Credits

    AAAP 510 Building Pathology: Wood*

    4 Credits

    AAAP 510 Graphic Communication of Ideas*

    3 Credits

    AAAP 510 Historic American Buildings Survey*

    4 Credits

    AAAP 545 Preservation Economics*

    3 Credits

    AAAP 510 Principles of Adaptive Reuse*

    3 Credits

    AAAP 510 Sustainable Preservation*

    4 Credits

    AAAP 541 Legal Issues in Historic Preservation

    3 Credits

    AAAP 510 Preservation Ethics in Public Policy

    3 Credits

    ARCH 540 Human Context of Design

    4 Credits

    Not all of our listed courses are available year-round. Speak with your advisor to know more about which courses are available each term.

    *The course is under development and has not yet received formal acceptance to the curriculum.

    Focal Area II:  Cultural Resource Management (18 Credits)

    Embodied in historic preservation is the management of cultural resources. This focal area provides the legal, planning, and management skills needed for individuals to work within organizations that support efforts to manage cultural resources in both the public and the private sectors.

    AAAP 545 Preservation Economics

    3 Credits

    AAAP 510 Sustainable Preservation*

    4 Credits

    AAAP 510 Graphic Communication of Ideas*

    3 Credits

    AAAP 541 Legal Issues in Historic Preservation

    3 Credits

    AAAP 510 Cultural Resource Management

    4 Credits

    AAAP 51 Preservation Ethics in Public Policy

    3 Credits

    Not all of our listed courses are available year-round. Speak with your advisor to know more about which courses are available each term.

    *The course is under development and has not yet received formal acceptance to the curriculum.

    Focal Area III:  Resource Identification and Evaluation (18 Credits)

    This concentration reveals the insights and investigative tools for archival and cultural resource research to establish the history and context of those buildings, interior spaces, and landscapes that determined settlement, organization, and a sense of place.

    AAAP 510 Historic American Buildings Survey*

    4 Credits

    AAAP 510 International Approaches to Historic Preservation Theory*

    3 Credits

    AAAP 545 Preservation Economics

    3 Credits

    AAAP 510 Principles of Adaptive Reuse*

    3 Credits

    AAAP 510: Sustainable Preservation*

    4 Credits

    AAAP 521: American Architecture from a Preservation Perspective I

    4 Credits

    AAAP 522 American Architecture from a Preservation Perspective II

    4 Credits

    AAAP 523 American Architecture from a Preservation Perspective III

    4 Credits

    AAAP 541 Legal Issues in Historic Preservation

    3 Credits

    AAAP 510 Cultural Resource Management

    4 Credits

    AAAP 510 Preservation Ethics in Public Policy

    3 Credits

    ARCH 540 Human Context of Design

    4 Credits

    Not all of our listed courses are available year-round. Speak with your advisor to know more about which courses are available each term.

    *The course is under development and has not yet received formal acceptance to the curriculum.


    Individualized Study (19 Credits)

    Independent and original investigation that will make a contribution to the current body of knowledge in the field. Allowing you to investigate your individual area of interest.

    AAAP 601 Research

    2 Credits

    AAAP 609 Practicum: Internship I

    2 Credits

    AAAP 607 Practicum: Internship II

    3 Credits

    AAAP 503 Thesis or AAAP 611 Terminal Project 

    12 Credits


    Electives (7 Credits)

    Support your focal area and interests.

    Electives not listed within a focal area require advisor approval. 

    Back to Top


    Internship

    In the Historic Preservation Program, you will be required to complete one internship (180-hour minimum), normally in the summer between the first and second years of enrollment. This requirement is fulfilled in the Internship/Practicum 2-credit P/NP seminar taught in the winter. Following the summer internship, you enroll in a 3-credit P/NP seminar to synthesize and document your experience.

    Internship guidelines

    Listed below are just some of the recent internships held by our students:

    National Park Services

    Mt. Rainier National Park, WA
    Position: Historic Landscape Intern
    Description: Student participated in a six-week professional practicum focused on the preservation of historic roads. A group of students produced a Cultural Landscape Inventory of one of the park's historic roads, the Stevens Canyon Highway. The work involved historical research, fieldwork to document existing conditions, analysis and evaluation of the roads extant characteristics and features, and synthesis of findings in both a written report and a verbal presentation to a professional audience.

    Interns received training on the principles of cultural landscape preservation, historical research methods, fieldwork techniques, use of Global Positioning Systems, Digital Animation Data, Geographic Information Systems, and the Cultural Landscape Inventory process. Interns received professional training directly from the Internship Supervisor and the Internship Coordinator, both National Park Service historical landscape architects. The interns were also exposed to a variety of professionals concerned with the preservation of historic roads through a series of special guest speakers including an engineer with the Federal Highway Administration, a NPS historical architect, a NPS preservation planner, and a NPS stone mason.

    Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, Salem, OR
    Position: Commission on Historic Cemeteries Intern
    Description: Student worked directly with program director to produce an educational outreach program about the preservation and restoration of pioneer cemeteries. Student work included a thorough survey of the cemetery's current condition, mapping, photographic documentation, interpretation, and the creation of a state historic preservation office database for survey data. Internship concluded with a one-day seminar concerning proper hands-on restoration and rehabilitation techniques for historic headstones and cemetery monuments.

    Alaska Regional Office, Anchorage, AK
    Position: Intern Historian & Intern Historical Architect
    Description: Intern historian researched and wrote Historic Structures Reports for the General Manager's Office, the Recreation Hall, and the New Blackburn School at Kennecott, Alaska. Architect worked in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve documenting an aerial tramway that was part of the Kennicott Copper Mining operation between 1908 and 1936. Students took field notes, black and white photography, digital photography, and used Garmin and Trimbel GPS systems to document the towers and their mechanical equipment. They used AutoCAD to draw Historic American Engineering Record standard drawings.

    Yosemite National Park, El Portal, CA
    Position: Heritage Preservation Department Intern
    Description: Performed archival research and field documentation of historic and cultural resources associated with the Half Dome Trail. Used findings to develop preservation project guidelines for future work and interpretation of the trail. Also completed cultural landscape plan with preservation recommendations for the Yosemite Valley Historic District housing area. Hands-on masonry repair of the Pohono Bridge, guided by renowned masonry expert, Dominic DeRubis, from the Preservation Training Center in Frederick, Maryland.

    Jekyll Island State Park Authority, Jekyll Island, GA
    Position: Historic Preservation Intern
    Description: The Jekyll Island Club was founded in 1886 as a winter retreat for America's wealthiest families. The Jekyll Island Club National Historic Landmark District, operated by the Jekyll Island Authority, is a 240-acre site containing 33 historic structures. The site is one of the largest restoration projects in the southeastern United States. The internship program's focus was on exposing interns to the process of planning and implementing a museum-quality restoration project. Interns were trained in areas including historic preservation carpentry, building evaluation and investigation, structural documentation, interpretive planning, archival organization, emergency building stabilization, and the theory and practice of museum-quality restoration.


    Nonprofits

    Chico Heritage Association, Chico, CA
    Position: Historic Preservation Intern
    Description: Documented historic farmstead and prepared a National Register nomination for an 1852 farmhouse on the site. Documentation of the site was critical, as the building was scheduled to be relocated from the site to save it from being demolished. Worked extensively with the state historic preservation office (SHPO) in Sacramento.

    Hegeler-Carus, Foundation, LaSalle, IL
    Position: Historic Preservation Intern
    Description: The Hegeler Carus Foundation is a private, not-for-profit organization located in LaSalle, Illinois, and dedicated to preserving the cultural, philosophical, and educational legacy of the Hegeler-Carus family through the restoration of the 1874 Hegeler Carus Mansion and the 1904 Julius W. Hegeler I Home. The internship involved the preparation of a National Register Nomination for the 10,000 square-foot Julius W. Hegeler I Home, including the necessary documentation, research, and writing, as well as coordination with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. In addition, the internship required hands-on artifact preservation and detailed cataloging of recent museum acquisitions.

    Mission Mill Museum, Salem, OR
    Position: Historic Preservation Intern
    Description: Developed a disaster plan for the museum, analyzing all of the natural and man-made disasters that might affect the site, which included a collection of historic buildings and many artifacts from one of the first settlements in Oregon and one of the major mills in the Oregon wool industry. This plan addressed all aspects of disaster response from evacuation of museum visitors to salvage and preservation methods for the archives, collections, and historic structures.


    Private Sector

    Allen Nelson, Preservation Carpenter, Albany, OR
    Position: Field Assistant
    Description: Interns worked on the rehabilitation of the Wigle House, a c.1865 Classical Revival farmhouse in rural Linn County, OR. The owner wished to rehabilitate/restore the house to make it both more livable and to return certain historic features to the house that were missing or had been covered up. Students worked on the repair of the windows, doors, door hardware, siding, and floors.

    Carey and Company Architecture, San Francisco, CA
    Position: Intern Architect.
    Description: Intern worked at this medium-sized architecture firm devoted exclusively to the preservation, restoration, and adaptive reuse of historic buildings. The firm has worked on projects such as San Francisco's City Hall and Old Mint building. Current projects include the Palace of Fine Arts, Point Cabrillo Light and Keeper houses, Jordan Hall at Stanford University, and even a project for Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii. This internship allowed the student the opportunity to work with preservation architects, conservators, historians, and planners on a variety of projects from measured drawings to environmental impact surveys to schematic designs for reuse.

    Wiss, Janey & Elsner Architects, Seattle, WA
    Position: Landscape Architect (subcontracted)
    Description: Wrote a cultural landscape report for the Wolf Creek Tavern in Wolf Creek, OR. The report included fieldwork to identify and analyze the existing historic landscape features; research to determine the site development and evolution of the property; a condition assessment of the present site surrounding the inn; and recommendations for treatment of the landscape features to fit more cohesively with the 1926–45 period of significance.

    Back to Top