PennDesign's Graduate Program in Historic Preservation offers a Master of Science in Historic Preservation as its principal degree. A Certificate in Historic Preservation and postgraduate Advanced Certificate program for advanced study in architectural conservation and site management are also available. PennDesign does not offer a specific Ph.D. program in historic preservation, but preservation faculty often work with students enrolled in the School of Design's Ph.D. programs in Architecture and City & Regional Planning.
Master of Science in Historic Preservation
The Master of Science in Historic Preservation combines rigorous intellectual training with practical foundational skills needed for professional practice. The degree is earned in four consecutive semesters (two years), with students taking four to five courses per semester (for a total of 19 Course Units). First-year core courses prepare students for second-year integrative courses-the Preservation Studio and individual Thesis. Each student chooses electives clustered around an Area of Emphasis; ten of the 19 required Course Units are devoted to electives. A professional internship is required in the summer between the two years of study. The MSHP degree may be pursued in conjunction with other PennDesign departments and Penn schools as part of established dual-degree programs. View the Summary of Curriculum Requirements here.
Master of Science in Design with a concentration in Historic Preservation
The one-year Master of Science in Design with a concentration in Historic Preservation (MSD-HP) complements PennDesign’s long-standing two-year MSHP degree.The MSD-HP directly addresses the needs of practicing design professionals seeking post-professional training, specialization, or change in career path.The MSD-HP curriculum requires 12 CUs and spans one calendar year – two full-time semesters, plus one summer studio course. Half of the required courses are elective; personalized curricula can accommodate advanced thesis research or additional studios. Applicants must possess a professional degree in design or planning fields (architecture, landscape architecture, interior architecture, urban planning, urban design, engineering) from an accredited university, and at least four years of professional experience. View the Summary of Curriculum Requirements here.
Certificate in Historic Preservation
The Certificate in Historic Preservation provides an opportunity for students in other PennDesign departments to gain expertise in historic preservation while completing requirements for their other professional degrees (in architecture, city planning, or landscape architecture). The requirements must be completed within four years of admission. Five course units in Historic Preservation, including HSPV 660 (Theories of Historic Preservation), are selected in consultation with the faculty to develop an area of professional focus.
Advanced Certificate in Architectural Conservation
The Program also offers a one-semester Advanced Certificate in Architectural Conservation and Site Management that provides post-graduate training focused on research or praxis for those who have completed the Master of Science in Historic Preservation. The Advanced Certificate allows graduates the unique experience of directed research and field work at home or abroad under direct professional mentorship.