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Historic Preservation Curriculum

42 Hours to a new profession!

National Council for Preservation Education Standards
The Ursuline College Program in Historic Preservation is recognized by the National Council for Preservation Education for fully meeting its standards for preservation education degree programs.  For a chart relating the NCPE standards to the Ursuline curriculum, please scroll down to the last section of this page.

Where classroom theory meets real life experience.
This is an interdisciplinary degree program where you'll immerse yourself in the community guided by mentors. Courses actively involve you in Historic Preservation as you document buildings and historic sites, then work with community and government leaders to prepare plans for the preservation, redevelopment and adaptive reuse of those sites. You will then write the grant applications needed to fund those planned projects. Finally, you will document each portion of the process to provide a historic record for the community and future generations.

Degree Program Prerequisites
At least one course or experience in Architectural History.
At least one course or experience in Drafting/AutoCad.

Students admitted without these two prerequisites are required to complete these independently of their degree program within their first year after entrance. These courses are offered at Ursuline but may also be taken at other accredited institutions.

Course of Study 
Students may pursue their Master of Arts in Historic Preservation either full or part time. Two primary curriculum paths lead to the master's degree: 

Traditional Master of Arts in Historic Preservation
42 Graduate credit hours are required including:
  • Foundation courses - 9 credit hours
  • Bridge courses - 18 credit hours
  • Capstone courses - 15 credit hours

Bridge 5-Year Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts in Historic Preservation

Undergraduate students majoring in Historic Preservation may apply to the 'Bridge' program in their junior year and will be accepted if they meet the criteria for admission to the School of Graduate Studies. These students will take the 18 credit hours of Bridge courses as part of their undergraduate degree and in so doing will have already completed that coursework. Only 9 credit hours of Foundation courses and 15 credit hours of Capstone courses will be required for graduation with a Masters.
  • Undergraduate Major courses -39 credit hours
  • Undergraduate/Graduate Bridge courses - 18 credit hours
  • Graduate Foundation courses - 9 credit hours
  • Graduate Capstone courses - 15 credit hours
Foundation Courses
MAHIP 589 Foundations in Preserving Cultural Memory - 3 Credit Hours
MAHIP 500 Research Methods in History and Historic Preservation I - 3 Credit Hours
MAHIP 504 Survey and Nomination - 3 Credit Hours

Bridge Courses
HIP 425/525 Documenting and Recording Historic Properties - 3 Credit Hours
HIP 450/550 Issues and Ethics in Preserving Cultural Memory - 3 Credit Hours
HIP 455/555 Preservation Law - 3 Credit Hours
HIP 460/560 Conservation Studio - 3 Credit Hours
HIP 465/565 Preservation Planning - 3 Credit Hours
HIP 470/570 Adaptive Reuse - 3 Credit Hours

Capstone Courses
MAHIP 501 Research Methods in History and Historic Preservation II - 3 Credit Hours
MAHIP 502 Grant Writing - 3 Credit Hours
MAHIP 600 Thesis I - 3 Credit Hours
MAHIP 601 Thesis II - 3 Credit Hours
Elective Class/Internship/Independent Study- 3 Credit Hours

Sample Course Sequence for Full-Time Graduate Students

Semester I
HIP 589 Foundations in Preserving Cultural Memory
HiP 500 Research Methods I
HiP 555 Preservation Law
HiP 560 Conservation Studio

Semester 2
HiP 501 Research Methods II
HiP 504 Survey and Nomination
HiP 565 Preservation Planning
HiP 570 Adaptive ReUse

Semester 3
HiP 502 Grant Writing
HiP 525 Documenting and Recording Historical Properties
HiP 550 Issues and Ethics in Preserving Cultural Memory
HiP 600 Thesis I

Semester 4
HiP 601 Thesis II
Elective/Independent Study/Internship

Audit Sheet

Historical Preservation Audit Sheet (.pdf)

Course Descriptions

Foundation Courses

Foundations in Preserving Cultural Memory (3 Credits)
This course introduces historic preservation in perspective to other public history professions. It provides a solid grounding in the history, theory, philosophy, and practice of historic preservation with special focus on how historical significance is determined culturally and architecturally. Historic preservation is an interdisciplinary field that relies upon a broad variety of fields, including archaeology, architecture, history, landscape studies, public policy, real estate and business development, and urban and rural planning. This class briefly investigates the implications of those involvements.

MAHIP 500 Research Methods in History and Historic Preservation I (3 Credits)
Students explore historiography, historical theory and analysis, and methods for cultural and historical research. Students are introduced to local archival/library repositories useful for research. Thesis development and writing skills are included.

MAHIP 504 Survey and Nomination (3 Credits)
This course introduces two absolutely essential tools for historic preservation practice:  Historic Resource Surveys/Inventories (including reconnaissance and intensive surveys) and National Register Nominations. Students will attain a working knowledge of these tools through individual experience in researching and writing for historic preservation projects. Students will also get practical experience in presenting their projects and information to audiences, both formally and informally. Although much of the work will be independent, there will be a series of classroom meetings and instructor appointments throughout the semester.
Prerequisites: MAHIP 500 and 589

Bridge Courses
HIP 425/525
Documenting and Recording Historic Properties (3 Credits)
Students employ techniques for analyzing, documenting, and recording the details of historic architecture and interiors using field investigation, interpretation of architectural evidence, construction chronology, restoration analysis, preparation of measured drawings, basic graphic representation and photography.
Prerequisites: MAHIP 500, 589 and Drafting/AutoCAD

HIP 450/550 Issues and Ethics in Preserving Cultural Memory (3 Credits)
Students explore contemporary preservation issues, advocacy strategies and ethical standards in relation to the professional practice of preservation and public history.
Prerequisite: MAHIP 589

HIP 455/555 Preservation Law (3 Credits)
This lecture/discussion course examines the history, theory and practice of preserving historic resources through the United States legal system. Students will analyze how laws are made in general; understand significant national, state and local preservation law; explore legal strategies for protecting historic sites and districts; investigate building codes and finance; and study preservation case law. Students examine the fundamentals of legal protection for and regulation of historic cultural resources. Preservation is addressed in light of political systems that shape contemporary attitudes toward the historic environment.
Prerequisite: MAHIP 589

HIP 460/560 Conservation Studio (3 Credits)
This lecture/discussion/studio course covers the identification, conservation, and restoration of historic building materials (wood, stone, brick, concrete, steel) plus architectural, furniture, and decorative arts finishes (paints, varnishes, glazes, gilding, plating, coatings, etc.), their history (especially in America) and their components and applications. Appropriate conservation strategies and techniques are demonstrated. Students participate in discussions on the ethics and philosophy of surface conservation.
Prerequisite: MAHIP 589

HIP 465/565 Preservation Planning (3 Credits)
This lecture/discussion course examines practical and philosophical issues in planning for preservation and the methods for project implementation. Among the topics included are preservation surveys, zoning and conservation ordinances, easements, building codes, historic district and landmark designation, design review, roles of preservation agencies (local, state and national), preservation economics, incentives and tax credits, and public relations.
Prerequisite: MAHIP 589

HIP 470/570 Adaptive Use (3 Credits)
This studio course presents specific historic sites in need of rehabilitation for continued use. Students are responsible for researching a site, conducting feasibility studies, and generating design criteria goals and solutions. Particular emphasis is given to the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Rehabilitation of Historic Structures. Students combine design and drawing skills with technical knowledge in order to solve problems in creative, appropriate, and economical ways.
Prerequisite: MAHIP 589

Capstone Courses

Methods II (3 Credits)
This seminar focuses on selecting, researching, analyzing, designing, organizing and writing the Historic Preservation thesis. Students learn how to select and research their thesis topic as well as prepare an outline, precis, annotated bibliography and prospectus.
Prerequisites: MAHIP 500 and 589

In lieu of MAHiP 501, students may elect to take three combined credit hours of one credit hour specialized Methods 501 coursework selected from the following:

  • MAHIP 501a - Application of Project Management Methods
    • Application of business management principles for scoring, prioritizing and timelining projects to maximized human and budgetary resources.
  • MAHIP 501c - Cultural Landscapes Methods Practicum
  • MAHIP 501h - Heritage Writing Methods Practicum
  • MAHIP 501i - Heritage Interpretation Methods Practicum
  • MAHIP 501l - Local History Methods Practicum
  • MAHIP 501m - Museum Methods Practicum
  • MAHIP 501o - Oral History Methods Practicum
  • MAHIP 501p - Methods of Prospectus Preparation
  • MAHIP 501ps - Methods of Primary Source Research
  • MAHIP 501r - Archival Methods Practicum
  • MAHIP 501v - Video Documentary Methods Practicum
  • Additional courses may be added as needed
MAHIP 502 Grant Writing (3 Credits)
Introduction to the role of the grant writer in the nonprofit sector. Emphasis on the ethics of fundraising and development and the attitudes and values associated with the act of asking for money. Provides an overview of the various types of fundraising. Student will write a proposal for a grant in Historic Preservation. The grant with complete budgetary information and time frame must be worthy of being funded in order to receive credit. Although most of the work will be independent online, there will be a series of classroom meetings.
Prerequisites: MAHIP 500 and 589

MAHIP 600/601 Thesis (6 Credits)
The final degree requirement is a research-intensive master's thesis. This two course sequence focuses on the development, research and writing of the thesis. With guidance from an advisor and a committee of readers, the student will independently research and write an original thesis on a preservation topic of personal and professional interest using primary materials. The thesis builds on the specific student work from the courses in Methods II, Grant Writing and Survey/Nomination.
Prerequisite: MAHIP 501

Electives (3 Credits)
Elective offerings vary according to student interests, projects, issues and local opportunities. These have previously included: Czech Your Public History; History of Architecture; Historic American Building Survey (HABS); Historic Interior Objects; Sacred Landmarks; and Western Reserve History Through Place.

National Council for Preservation Education Standards








1. History of the designed environment,

architecture, urban development,

landscape architecture, and/or material


Architectural History

American Architecture

Western Reserve

History Through Place


2. History and theory of preservation

MAHiP 589 Foundations

MAHiP 500

Research Methods

MAHiP 550

Issues and Ethics

3,3, 3

3. Documentation and recording


MAHiP 504

Survey and Nomination

MAHiP 525


Historical Properties

3, 3

4. Internship, practicum, or apprenticeship

MAHiP 501a-v

Methods Practicums

MAHIP Internship, MAHIP Elective





5. Design Issues: appropriateness,

restoration/rehabilitation, in-fill,

exterior/interior concerns, effect on


MAHiP 570?Adaptive ReUse


6. Technological issues: history, evaluation

in building materials and systems

MAHiP 560?Conservation Studio


7. Economic issues: marketing principles,

public/private finance, property

management, budget preparation

MAHiP 502?Grant Writing


8. Legal issues: constitutional law,

preservation case law, regulatory

legislation and administration at the

federal/state/local level

MAHiP 555?Preservation Law


9. Planning issues: zoning, strategic

planning, housing, social aspects of real

estate development, archeological and

cultural landscapes

MAHiP 565

Preservation Planning


10. Curatorial issues: site development,

interpretation, management

MAHiP 501a-v?Methods Practicums


11. Additional Coursework

MAHiP 600/601?Thesis I and II?MAHiP Elective


Credit Hours to Degree Completion