Historic Preservation

As one of the oldest programs of its kind in America, Historic Preservation at RWU couples multidisciplinary coursework in subjects like history, architecture, law and economics with rigorous field-based professional workshops and internships. Because preservation is as much about people and place as it is about history, you’ll study historic buildings, landscapes and communities both here in New England and abroad in Florence, Italy.

Bachelor of Science in Historic Preservation

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The undergraduate historic preservation degree provides in-depth preservation studies and professional practice in the context of a liberal arts education whose diversity mirrors the communities and cultures we help preserve. The degree focuses on a multi-disciplinary approach with a rigorous core of field-based professional offerings. Students gain an understanding of the preservation field through coursework in preservation history and philosophy, documentation and research, architectural conservation, community planning, law and regulation, design and economics. Students are placed into practice through field-based workshops and an internship - all in partnership with regional, national and international organizations and firms.

Degree Requirements

Undergraduate majors successfully complete all University Core Curriculum requirements, required coursework in the major, and sufficient electives to total a minimum of 120 credits. Students also complete a non-credit internship to fulfill the University’s Feinstein Service Learning Requirement.

Major requirements are divided into three program areas: foundation courses; building styles, technology and culture; and field training and professional practice. Required foundation and upper-level courses are available from select courses throughout the University.

Foundation Courses

ARCH101Foundations of Architecture 
HIST151United States History I: From Colonial Times to Reconstruction 
HIST152United States History II: Reconstruction to the Present 
HP150Introduction to Historic Preservation 
HP175Historic Building Documentation 
HP301Principles of Architectural Conservation 
HP302Principles of Preservation Planning 

Building Styles and Technology

AAH121History of Art and Architecture I 
AAH122History of Art and Architecture II 
HP160American Buildings in the Western Tradition 
HP341Pre-Industrial America 
HP342Industrial America 

Field Training and Professional Practice

HP324LArchival Research 
HP351History and Philosophy of Historic Preservation 
HP382LArchitectural Conservation Lab 
HP384LPreservation Planning Lab 
HP525Preservation Economics 

For Honor Students

HP451Senior Thesis Project 

Course Catalog

To read more about our academic offerings, or to view full course descriptions, please refer to our University Catalog.

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Institutions where Recipients of B.S. in Historic Preservation were Accepted to Graduate School:

  • Blekinge Institute of Technology
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Pratt Institute
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Tel Aviv University
  • University of Hawaii
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Vermont

The Historic Preservation Minor

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Degree Requirements

HP150Introduction to Historic Preservation 
HP351History and Philosophy of Historic Preservation 

Four of the following courses (of which two must be HP 300 level or above).

HP160American Buildings in the Western Tradition 
HP175Historic Building Documentation 
HIST151United States History I: From Colonial Times to Reconstruction 
HIST152United States History II: Reconstruction to the Present 

HP 300/400/500 level courses

AAH430/530Special Topics in Art and Architectural History (selected topics) 
ARCH430/530Special Topics in Architecture (selected topics) 

Course Catalog

To read more about our academic offerings, or to view full course descriptions, please refer to our University Catalog.

Download PDF (6 MB)

Bachelor of Science/Master of Science in Historic Preservation 4+1 Degree Program

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The Bachelor of Science/Master of Science in Historic Preservation 4+1 program, totaling 150 credits, is also available to qualified applicants.

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Science and Master of Science students must successfully complete all University Core Curriculum requirements and all B.S./M.S. program requirements totaling 152 credits, a non-credit internship requirement to fulfill the University’s Feinstein Service Learning Requirement, and a non-credit internship at the graduate level.
Undergraduate major requirements are divided into three program areas: foundation courses; building styles, technology and culture; and field training and professional practice. Required foundation and upper-level courses are available from select courses throughout the University.

Foundation Courses

ARCH101Foundations of Architecture
HIST151United States History I: From Colonial Times to Reconstruction
HIST152United States History II: Reconstruction to the Present
HP150Introduction to Historic Preservation
HP175Historic Building Documentation
HP301Principles of Architectural Conservation
HP302Principles of Preservation Planning

Building Styles, Technology and Culture

AAH121History of Art and Architecture I
AAH122History of Art and Architecture II
HP160American Buildings in the Western Tradition
HP341Pre-Industrial America
HP342Industrial America

Field Training and Professional Practice

HP324LArchival Research
HP351History and Philosophy of Historic Preservation
HP382LArchitectural Conservation Lab
HP384LPreservation Planning Lab
HP525Preservation Economics

For Honors Students

HP451Senior Thesis Project