Historic Preservation: MS

The College of Design’s Historic Preservation Program, founded in 1980, is one of the premiere preservation programs in the US. 

The program combines leading-edge academic research with outstanding teaching from experienced practitioners in design, planning, and heritage conservation and produces leaders in the public sector, in private practice, and in nonprofit advocacy. 

Students have exciting opportunities to interact with design firms, local developers, and preservation activists in the Portland metropolitan area, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond. 

The graduate program focuses on research and instruction in both the theory and practice of historic preservation in the US and the world, with a focus on both the physical and social aspects of cultural resources. 

To provide an in-depth experience within the program’s broad curriculum, students choose one of three areas of concentration for their studies. This provides students with the opportunity to gain specific knowledge and skills in a specific area while understanding the wider context for preservation work. Areas of concentration include: 

This includes core courses in: 

  • Architectural history 

  • Economic, legal, and administrative processes of preservation 

  • Preservation history and theory 

  • Research methods 

In addition to providing hands-on training in what might be considered mainstream preservation activities, we emphasize the importance of cultural conservation including issues of diversity, identity, and community development. This includes a concern not only for how various ethnic groups shaped buildings and landscapes in the distant past, but how similar settings are reproduced by cultural groups in the present. 

Students from western states who wish to participate in the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP a tuition reciprocity program), need to review the Historic Preservation Program Graduate Funding page for more information. 

Program Requirements (73 Credits) 

Application at a Glance

You apply for admission through your program. This program has two separate applications, the University of Oregon application and a department application. Detailed instructions are available on the program’s website. The following are required for your application:

Program-Specific Application Requirements:

  • Resume
  • Statement of Intent
  • Educational/Professional Summary
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Portfolio



Master of Science (MS)
College of Design
Campus: Portland
Admissions are on hold