UW CBE Historic Preservation Program

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The evolution of the field of historic preservation and related developments in allied fields in the past two decades have required design professionals to address a multiplicity of issues in the identification, evaluation, and protection of cultural resources. Recent years have seen a growing attention not just to individual cultural artifacts, but to an increasing number of urban and rural historic districts. Attention to cultural heritage now spans a range of fields, and programs in historic preservation and related issues are offered in widely varying academic settings. The College of Built Environments at the University of Washington addresses preservation issues in the context of professional planning and design education to help train architectural and planning professionals to respond to the growing awareness of cultural resources by bringing informed professional judgment to the particular problems presented by historic properties.


The College of Built Environments at the University of Washington offers education in historic preservation planning and design within the framework of its professional and doctoral degree programs. This approach reflects a conscious choice to emphasize preservation within the context of the individual design professions. Thus, the curriculum offers an awareness and familiarity with issues involved in the identification, designation, interpretation, and preservation of historic places, as well as the restoration, adaptive reuse, and design of sympathetic new construction in historic contexts.


The College of Built Environments offers a Certificate in Historic Preservation for students in our M.Arch., M.S. in Architecture (History/Theory stream), B.L.A., M.L.A., M.U.P. and Ph.D. programs. The program also welcomes students from inside and outside the College who do not wish to pursue the certificate, but who want to take preservation courses and/or have a general interest in the field. Anyone interested in preservation is welcome on the program's email list to hear about preservation courses, events, and opportunities. Contact histpres@u.washington.edu to request to be added to the email list.


The program is open to students who have been accepted into a professional or doctoral program in the College of Built Environments (see list of participating degree programs in Options, above). Application should be made for admission to a degree program within the College. Once accepted to the program, a separate "Statement of Interest" form is required for students to notify the Historic Preservation Program Coordinator of their intention to pursue the Certificate and to complete the requirements. Application should be made within the first two weeks of classes for the two-year degree programs, and by the end of the first year of three-year programs.

Procedures for application to the graduate degree programs are detailed in individual departmental prospectuses. Applicants intending to pursue the Certificate in Historic Preservation are also encouraged to contact the program office for further information.


Students must first be admitted to one of the above programs before admission to the certificate program. Certificate requirements do not replace departmental requirements, but are complementary. All programs allow for electives that can be used to complete the certificate program, which requires 12-15 credits. Occasionally, students may require extra time to complete all requirements for the Certificate and their degree program.

There are two tracks in this program, Track I for students in architecture and Track II for students in the M.S. in Architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, and the College doctoral programs. The curriculum, offered by faculty drawn from the larger College along with visiting lecturers from the preservation community, provides students with a grounding in the history, theories, methods, and practices of historic preservation planning and design.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities for breadth offered by all departments and programs included within the College. These opportunities comprise one of the strengths of the University of Washington's Historic Preservation Program.

The Historic Preservation Program can link students with local historic preservation institutions and with experienced local professionals. The city of Seattle represents an excellent urban laboratory with its strong record of preservation activity and the particular issues it presents for study. Outside the city, small town and rural settings within the region may also be vehicles for studio and thesis work.

See our curriculum page for further detail on coursework for Track I and Track II.

See an article about two of our graduates.

For further information or to receive this information in printed format, write:

Interdisciplinary Certificate Programs
University of Washington
Box 355740
Seattle, WA 98195-5740

phone: 206-543-5996
fax: 206-685-9597
e-mail: histpres@u.washington.edu

Curriculum | Program Faculty | For Current Students | FAQ for Students | Student Theses | Preservation Links

College of Built Environment | University of Washington

last updated June 2, 2010