Certificate in Historic Preservation

The interdisciplinary Program in Historic Preservation offers masters degree candidates in all of the School of Architecture’s disciplines (architecture, architectural history, landscape architecture and urban + environmental planning, as well as many other masters students from the university) 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.

UVA also has the unique status for a university in the United States of being a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site, and many UVA students of historic preservation seize the opportunity to study and gain practice experience through engagement with Thomas Jefferson’s “academical village.”  Students also have opportunities for research, study, and internships with Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello (also part of the World Heritage Site), and locally with the homes of Presidents Madison and Monroe. The University of Virginia has a history that spans 200 years and a preservation ethic that emphasizes methods in future practice; the historic preservation student has the opportunity to both enrich and continue that history.

The Historic Preservation program at UVA is recognized as a member program by the National Council for Preservation Education which is a national organization that provides a network of peers that are committed to excellence in preservation education and scholarship. NCPE serves to ensure that its member programs provide the highest standard of education with the highly multi-disciplinary field of historic preservation.

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NCPE Seal - Certificate in Historic Preservation
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The Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation requires a completion of 15 credits of coursework distributed over four general categories:  Theory, History, Field Methods, and Specialized Components. A non-credit Internship is also required. Current students enrolled in the Historic Preservation Certificate Program must consult UVA's Graduate Record for the official requirements for this certificate.

Students wishing to enter the Historic Preservation program must be enrolled in an eligible masters program at UVA. In order to ensure proper academic advising and program coordination, students interested in the Historic Preservation program should:

STEP 1: Upon arriving at UVA School of Architecture, file a program application form. This form can be obtained from the Office of Academic Support, or from the Program Director. 

STEP 2: Attend the program meeting at the start of the fall semester.

STEP 3: Work with the Program Director to develop a course plan to obtain the Historic Preservation certificate during your time as a graduate student.

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