Graduate School Rules apply to this program
Program Director: Steve Turner
Office: CU Denver Building, 2nd Floor
The Master of Science in Historic Preservation (MS HP) is a 45 semester-hour program, usually completed in 15 or 18 months (three regular semesters and possibly part or all of one summer). It is designed to accommodate the background and needs of both those students with substantial experience and those new to the field. The course of study is for students seeking training in spatial, technical and design aspects of the broader field; it encompasses architecture, cultural landscapes, preservation, planning, building technology, project management, documentation, interpretation and representation.
In a rapidly changing cultural, economic and professional environment, it is valuable to have an understanding of what is worth saving of the built environment. However, appreciation for the past alone is insufficient for making the informed and creative decisions expected and required of cutting-edge professionals. The practice of historic preservation is very different today than it was when graduate programs first were developing some 40 years ago. The CU Denver MS HP is among a new generation of studies that looks to historical resources as they relate to a more desirable future.
As global economies change fewer resources are available for new buildings and we must adaptively reuse our existing structures. This trend will continue beyond short-term economic conditions, because it will always be a more sustainable practice to reuse existing buildings than to tear them down and harvest or manufacture new materials.
The College of Architecture and Planning, and the professional community that it serves, foresee a significant and permanent shift towards more adaptive reuse of existing buildings. The Master of Science in Historic Preservation is a program designed to prepare students for a true 21st Century career.
Historic preservationists come from a variety of backgrounds. Some are well-educated in the humanities and desire to increase their technical understanding. Those familiar with the social sciences might be seeking "real world" applications for their expertise. Many already with "first professional degrees" in design and planning disciplines, as well as the law and business, seek to deepen their competence in the vibrant and interesting professional niche of historic preservation.
The Master of Science in Historic Preservation program is fully integrated into a college emphasizing design and graphic excellence. While HP students need not have fully developed skills in advance of matriculation we have found that some students have benefited from some previous exposure to basic graphic skills. Elective courses in the College of Architecture and Planning may also be used to develop these skills.
Application to the Master of Science in Historic Preservation program is open to all students holding the bachelor's (undergraduate) degree from an accredited college (or its equivalent from a foreign institution).
- A brief statement of interest (500 word max.)
- A compact sample of work (max. 15 pages 8.5" X 11") of writing samples, and optionally, graphic work and professional resume is recommended.
- Submission of Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores is optional. [There is an expedited application procedure for current CU Denver students in another CAP master's program. Please inquire to the MS in Historic Preservation program director.]
Transfer credit of up to 12 semester hours (up to 15 semester hours for those seeking/holding a related master's degree from CU Denver) may be awarded for equivalent graduate (post-bachelor's) course work at the discretion of the program director and in keeping with CU Denver Graduate School rules. Students holding a master's degree in Architecture, Urban Planning or Landscape Architecture are typically awarded 12 to 15 semester hours of advanced standing. Additional advanced standing may be considered in accordance with the rules of the Graduate School.
Undergraduate Course Work
Undergraduate course work substantively equivalent to a MS HP required course may be accepted as a substitution for that course at the program director's discretion, but such substitution will not reduce the total number of semester hours required for the degree.
The course of study is designed to accommodate the background and needs of both those students with substantial experience, and those new to the field. The curriculum is flexible but rigorous, requiring:
|Open Elective Hours||15|
Students enrolling full-time in the 45 semester hour curriculum typically complete the program in three or four semesters, or 18 months. However, course work other than the completion of the capstone requirement may be accomplished in a period of residency as short as 15 months. Students receiving significant transfer credit and those with a related degree may further reduce the time required for the MS degree in Historic Preservation.
Our program is compliant with National Council of Preservation Education Standards.
|Preservation Theory and Practice|
|Historic Buildings in Context|
|Adaptive Reuse: Business and Practice|
|Documentation, Analysis, Representation|
|Building Materials Conservation|
|Select at least two courses:|
|Regionalisms & the Vernacular|
|Urban Conservation: Context for Reuse|
|Reading the City|
|History of Landscape Architecture|
|City Design Fundamentals|
Several other CAP and History Department courses may also qualify
|Choose either Professional Project or Thesis|
or HIPR 6951
Pre-Approved Electives (3-6 hours) 1
|Up to 15 elective semester hours|
Students who elect the Professional Project track will need 6 hours of pre-approved electives. Students who choose the Thesis track will need 3 hours of pre-approved electives.