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Master of Science in Historic Preservation

Building on its three-decades-old undergraduate program, Roger Williams University now offers a Master of Science in Historic Preservation. A two-year, 52-credit program is available to qualified students holding a bachelors degree. A one-year (minimum), 32-credit program is available to students holding a bachelor’s degree in historic preservation. A least 30 graduate credits must be taken at Roger Williams University.
 
The mission of the Historic Preservation Program is to provide an education that empowers individuals to work with and to help others while realizing their own personal and professional potential. Classes, community-based work and field experience specific to preservation are coupled with a strong liberal-arts education. To mirror the environment we help preserve and to prepare students for diverse careers, the program couples a multi-disciplinary approach with a rigorous core of field-based professional preservation offerings.
 
Students gain an understanding of the field in the greater context of history, the built environment, cooperative community engagement, work with allied professions; documentation and research, and design, philosophy, standards and practice. The program includes preservation history and philosophy, planning, law and regulation, economics and heritage management. Studies are placed into practice through field-based workshops, assignments and an internship—all in partnership with area and national organizations and firms.

Applying to the Master of Science in Historic Preservation Program

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. To apply to the M.S. in Historic Preservation Program, submit the following to the Office of Graduate Admission:
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work
  • Personal Statement (two double-spaced pages, maximum) describing your interest in preservation, career goals and how you can positively contribute to the Master’s Program in Historic Preservation at Roger Williams University
  • Scholarly research paper, 10 pages minimum, with sources cited employing a conventional style
  • Two letters of recommendation attesting to your potential to succeed in graduate school
  • Current résumé 
  • If your first language is not English, an official report of TOFEL or IELTS results
  • Completed application form accompanied by the $50 application fee

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

Course offerings toward the Master of Science in Historic Preservation Degree

Core Courses

Students complete the following required courses:

HP 501 Fundamentals of Historic Preservation  
HP 524L Archival Research  
HP 525 Preservation Economics  
HP 542 Professional Practice in Historic Preservation  
HP 526 Preservation Law and Regulation  
HP 551 History and Philosophy of Historic Preservation  
HP 569 Preservation Internship  
HP 582L Architectural Conservation  
HP 631 Graduate Thesis Seminar in Historic Preservation  
HP 681L Historic Rehabilitation Workshop  
HP 682L Preservation Planning Workshop  
HP 651 Preservation Graduate Thesis  

Historic Preservation Electives
In consultation with their advisor, students select three graduate-level electives from the following:

ARCH 530 Special Topics in Architecture (selected topics)  
ARCH 542 Professional Practice  
ARCH 572 Urban Design Theory from the Industrial Revolution to the Present  
ARCH 573 Modernism in the Non-Western World: A Comparative Perspective  
ARCH 576 Regionalism in Architecture  
ARCH 576 Theoretical Origins in Modernism  
ARCH 577 The American Skyscraper  
ARCH 581 Construction Contract Documents  
ARCH 593 Sustainable Paradigms  
AAH 530 Special Topics in Art + Architectural History (selected topics)  
HP 530 Special Topics in Preservation  
LEAD 501 Leaders and the Leadership Process  
LEAD 502 Communication Skills for Leadership Roles  
LEAD 503 Data Management and Analysis for Organization Leaders  
LEAD 505 Budgeting and Finance in Complex Organizations  
LEAD 506 Human Resource Management for Organizational Leaders  
LEAD 507 Strategic Leadership in a Globalized World  
LEAD 509 Negotiation Strategies  
LEAD 510 Stakeholders Relations in Complex Organizations  
PA 501 Foundations of Public Administration: Legal and Institutional  
PA 502 Foundations of Public Administration: Theoretical  
PA 503 Quantitative Methods in Public Administration  
PA 504 Public Policy and Program Evaluation  
PA 505 Public Budgeting and Finance  
PA 506 Public Personnel Management  
PA 511 Public Organizations  
PA 512 Intergovernmental Relations  
PA 514 Urban Administration and Management  
PA 516 Grant Writing and Management  

Graduate Course Grading, GPA and Graduation Requirements

The minimum passing grade in graduate-level courses is a B- (2.67). The minimum GPA for M.S. in Historic Preservation graduates is a 3.0.

Registration in Courses

Students pursuing the Master of Science in Historic Preservation who are enrolled in graduate courses may also be enrolled in undergraduate courses during the same semester. In their first year and in consultation with the program director, students in the two-year program may select ‘bridge’ courses from undergraduate and/or graduate offerings. With permission of the Dean, undergraduate students in the B.S./M.S. in Historic Preservation program may take graduate courses that are part of the program.

Joint Master of Science/Juris Doctor

Offered with School of Law. Full-time enrollment required.
 

The Joint Juris Doctor (J.D.)/Master of Science (M.S.) in Historic Preservation program is designed to provide an accelerated path to a J.D. degree and an M.S. in Historic Preservation degree through an electives credit-swapping structure that allows for 3 law courses (9 credits) to count toward the M.S. degree and 4 to 5 M.S. in HP courses (12 to 17 credits) to count toward the J.D. degree, depending on whether or not a student has a prior B.S. in Historic Preservation. Other than changes in allowable electives, which are detailed below, the existing requirements for the  J.D. and M.S. programs described in the University Catalog and School of Law Catalog remain the same. Students who enter the joint-degree program with a B.S. in Historic Preservation can potentially complete the joint degree in three years (with winter/summer coursework) and in four years otherwise.
 
Note: Applicants applying for the Joint J.D./M.S.H.P. degree must apply to an earn acceptance into the School of Architecture, Art  and Historic Preservation and the School of Law separately.  Applicants who intend to pursue the Joint degree must so indicate on the application for admission. Submit applications sufficiently in advance of the application deadline to assure adequate processing time at both schools. Applications to each school normally need to be filed simultaneously, even though students will normally only be taking courses in the School of Law for the first year. (This sequence is required due to School of Law prerequisites for electives.) Students who are currently matriculated into the B.S. in Historic Preservation program in the School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation must notify the Dean and Program Director by the end the junior year to indicate their intent to enroll in the Joint J.D./M.S.H.P. program, contingent on maintaining a 2.67 average or greater.

Three-year Joint J.D./M.S. in Historic Preservation

The joint degree can be completed in three years for students matriculated into the J.D. and M.S.H.P. programs who also have a B.S. in Historic Preservation from an accredited National Council for Preservation Education (NCPE) member institution, with the assumption that coursework would need to be taken in the summers and/or winters as well as the normal fall and spring semesters. The School of Law accepts 12-14 M.S.H.P. program credits towards J.D. program requirements and the School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation accepts 9 J.D. program credits towards the M.S.H.P. program for a total of  101-103 combined credits instead of 122 if the degrees were pursued separately.

Four-year Joint J.D./M.S. in Historic Preservation

If a student is not entering the program with a B.S. in Historic Preservation, it is still possible to complete the joint degree in an accelerated timeframe of four years, with the assumption that coursework would need to be taken in the summers and/or winters as well as the normal fall and spring semesters. The School of Law accepts 15-17 M.S.H.P. program credits towards the J.D. program and the School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation accepts 9 J.D. program credits towards the M.S.H.P. program for a total of 118-120 combined credits instead of 142 if the degrees were pursued separately.

Applying to the Joint Juris Doctor/Master of Science in Historic Preservation Program

Each program requires a separate application. Refer to the application requirements for each individual program in the University Catalog and the School of Law Catalog. When applying for the J.D. and M.S.H.P. programs concurrently the application fee for the M.S. program will be waived (only the application fee for the J.D. program is required).
 
Students who are currently matriculated in the J.D. program or the 2-year M.S.H.P. program and are in their first year of coursework are eligible to apply to the program in which they are not matriculated for consideration for the Joint J.D./M.S.H.P. program. Students who are currently matriculated in the 1-year M.S.H.P. program cannot apply to the Joint J.D./M.S.H.P. program.

Allowed electives for credit swap between the Juris Doctor and Master of Science in Historic Preservation programs

The following courses will count toward both the J.D. and M.S. H.P. program elective requirements.

School of Law courses that satisfy M.S.H.P. degree elective requirements (choose 9 credits):

  • Law 631 Administrative Law (3)
  • Law 673 Environmental Law: Natural Resources (3)
  • Law 728 Human Rights (3)
  • Law 770 International Law (3)
  • Law 743 Land Use Planning (3)
  • Law 747 Legal Drafting: Commerce Real Estate Development and Finance Law (3)
School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation courses that satisfy a portion of the J.D. degree elective requirement (12-17 credits will be applied to J.D. elective requirements depending on whether or not the student is matriculated into the 1-year or 2-year M.S.H.P. program)
  • HP 501 Fundamentals of Historic Preservation (3)
  • HP 525 Preservation Economics (3)
  • HP 542 Preservation Professional Practice (3)
  • HP 526 Preservation Law and Regulation (3)
  • HP 551 History and Philosophy of Historic Preservation (3)
  • HP 681L Historic Rehabilitation Workshop (4)
  • HP 682L Preservation Planning Workshop (4)

Required coursework sequence for various degree entry points

  • Students who are not previously matriculated in the J.D. program or the 2-year M.S.H.P. program and are then matriculated into the Joint J.D./M.S.H.P. program take required first-year law courses for the J.D. program for their first year and thereafter complete another two or three years of mixed law and historic preservation coursework. The second year of students’ coursework consists entirely of historic preservation courses with subsequent years consisting of mixed historic preservation/law coursework.
  • Students matriculated into the Joint J.D./M.S.H.P. program who have a B.S. in Historic Preservation from an accredited NCPE member institution and are in their first year of the J.D. program take mixed historic preservation/law courses for the next two years.
  • Students who are already matriculated in the 2-year M.S.H.P. program and are in their first year of coursework and are then subsequently matriculated into the Joint J.D./M.S.H.P. program spend the next year completing the first year course sequence required by the J.D. program. The final three years thereafter consists of mixed law and historic preservation coursework.

Shared requirement for M.S. program thesis and J.D. writing project

The thesis required for the M.S. program satisfies the J.D. program’s writing requirement. The student is required to have at least one thesis reader from the School of Law faculty.

Shared internship/public service requirement

Students who complete the 140-hour internship required of the M.S.H.P. program that focuses on historic preservation and law and incorporates at least 50 hours of non-remunerated activities satisfies the internship requirement of the M.S. program and the public service requirement of the J.D. program. (Reimbursement of expenses is allowed.)