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.
There are three components to the Master’s program in Preservation Studies:
- Preservation Core (5 Courses)
- One Concentration (5 Courses) in Architectural History; American & New England Studies; History; Archaeology; Planning; or Museum Practice.
- Preservation Electives (2 Courses)
- Major Project
Preservation Core (5 Courses)
The Preservation Core is taken by all Preservation Studies MA candidates.
- CAS AM 546 Places 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)
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.
One of the Following Concentrations
Concentration in Architectural History (5 Courses)
- GRS AH 892 Approaches to Architectural History
- CAS 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.
Concentration in American & New England Studies (5 Courses)
- GRS AM 736 Literature of American Studies
- GRS AM 735 Studies in American Culture
- CAS AM 584 Greater Boston Architecture & Planning (or comparable New England based course)
- One elective seminar course in American & New England Studies or related discipline
Concentration in History (5 Courses)
- GRS HI 800 or 870, or 850 Historiography (in field most relevant to the student’s interest)
- GRS HI 801 The Historian’s Craft
- Three additional graduate-level survey and/or seminar courses in history
Concentration in Archaeology (5 Courses)
- CAS AR 500 Public Archaeology in the United States
- CAS AR 503 Archaeological Field Methods: Survey and Excavation OR 4 credits of directed archaeological
- GRS AR 892 Archaeological Ethics and Law
- GRS AR 810 International Heritage Management
- One additional graduate-level survey and/or seminar course
Concentration in Planning (5 Courses)
- MET UA 515 History, Theory, and Planning Practice
- MET UA 521 Environmental Law
- MET UA 613 Urban Design and Development
- MET UA 654 Geographical Information Systems for Planners
- One additional graduate-level survey and/or seminar course in urban planning
Concentration in Museum Practice (5 Courses)
- CAS AH 520 The Museum and Historical Agency
- GRS AH 521 Curatorship
- GRS AH 582 Historic House Museums
- Two graduate survey or seminar courses in art history, conservation, architectural history, material culture, arts
administration, or related discipline
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.
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.