Thesis Projects

Student working equipment in the lab

Thesis is one of two capstone options required to complete the Master of Science in Historic Preservation. The goal of the thesis is demonstrated mastery of the research process by exploring a question of academic and professional relevance to the preservation field and presenting the results of the study in accordance with the highest standards of scholarly publishing.  

Thesis topics are chosen according to several criteria: the topic is relevant to an individual’s interests and capabilities; it reflects the preparedness acquired through the program’s core and elective courses; it contributes to the intellectual capital of the preservation field. Theses are built on original research, and in some cases original design work or laboratory experimentation. 

Individually and collectively, the hundreds of Penn Preservation theses represent an impressive intellectual achievement – and a good reflection on the intellectual and practical questions driving preservation practice.

View and download the Historic Preservation Theses collected on Scholarly Commons.
Search for topics and read abstracts in the Historic Preservation Thesis Database.