MA in Preservation Studies

Students complete 12 courses (48 credits) at the 500 level or above; the MA can be completed in three full-time semesters or can be pursued on a part-time basis.

For more information on university requirements, see “General Requirements for the MA” in the Bulletin of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

The curriculum combines a Preservation Core (5 courses) with work in one of the Concentration (5-courses), and Preservation Electives, (2-courses).

The Concentrations include the following:

MA in Preservation Studies with Concentration in Architectural History

MA in Preservation Studies with Concentration in American and New England Studies

MA in Preservation Studies with Concentration in History

MA in Preservation Studies with Concentration in Archaeology

MA in Preservation Studies with Concentration in Planning

MA in Preservation Studies with Concentration in Museum Practice

  • Preservation Core (5 Courses), taken by all Preservation Studies MA candidates:
    • CAS AM 546: Place of Memory: Historic Preservation Theory and Practice
    • CAS AM 554: Preservation Planning
    • CAS AM 555: Boston Architectural and Community History Workshop
    • CAS AH  585: Twentieth Century Architecture and Urbanism [or comparable architectural history survey]
    • GRS AM 775: Independent Research Project Colloquium [capstone project]

And:

ONE OF THE CONCENTRATION BELOW

  • Concentration in Architectural History (5 Courses):
    • CAS AH 892 Approaches to Architectural History
    • AM 502 American Cultural Landscape [Or comparable Vernacular architecture/Material Culture course]
    • Additional Survey Course in Architectural, Landscape, or Urban History, beyond the survey course in the Preservation Core.
    • Two graduate seminars in architectural history, urban history, material culture or related field.

Or:

  • Concentration in American and New England Studies (5 Courses):
    • CAS AM 736 Literature of American Studies
    • AM 735 Studies in American Culture
    • AM 584 Greater Boston Architecture & Planning [or  comparable New England-based course]
    • AM 502 American Cultural Landscape [or comparable Vernacular architecture/material culture course]
    • One elective seminar course in American and New England Studies or related discipline

Or:

  • Concentration in History (5 Courses):
    • CAS HI 800 or 870, or 850 Historiography [in field most relevant for the student’s interest]
    • CAS HI 801 The Historian’s Craft
    • Three additional graduate level survey and/or seminar courses

Or:

  • Concentration in Archaeology (5 Courses):
    • CAS AR 503 Archaeological Field Methods: Survey and Excavation OR 4 credit hours of directed archaeological field/lab work
    • GRS AR 805 U.S. Archaeological Heritage Management
    • GRS AR 810 International Heritage Management
    • GRS AR 892 Archaeological Ethics and Law
    • One additional graduate level survey and/or seminar course

Or:

  • Concentration in Planning (5 Courses):
    • MET UA 515 History and Theory of Urban Planning
    • MET UA 521 Environmental Law
    • MET UA 613 Designing Urban Spaces
    • MET UA 654 Geographical Information Systems for Planners
    • One additional graduate level survey and/or seminar course

And:

  • Electives (2 Courses)
    • Two Elective Courses, approved by Director of Preservation Studies, in preservation, heritage, architectural history, urban history, material culture, planning, or related discipline.

Major Project

Students will also complete a major project, generally undertaken as a capstone in the final semester of the program. The project is tailored to complement the student’s coursework and career goals and provide evidence to prospective employers of the student’s interests and competence. The project can include survey and National Register listing, historic structure reports, preservation plans, design guidelines, economic feasibility studies, or community development reports. Most projects build upon work begun in earlier coursework, directed studies, or internships.

Internship

An integral part of the program is a paid internship in an appropriate public or private agency, firm, or historical commission. Numerous local and national organizations are anxious to host interns and to provide a close-up look at particular work within the preservation field. Placement is approved by the program director. Internships are available with preservation agencies such as the Boston Landmarks Commission, the National Park Service, the Massachusetts Historical Commission, and private organizations, including the Boston Preservation Alliance, Preservation Massachusetts, Historic New England, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In certain cases, prior experience in the historic preservation field may be considered as equivalent to the internship, with the internship requirement being waived.

Language Requirement

There is no foreign language requirement for this degree.