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Historic Preservation Certificate

The Historic Preservation Certificate aims to equip students with skills for research, scholarship and presentation that are appropriate to museums of history, culture, and material life.

Historic Preservation Certificate Overview

The Historic Preservation Certificate (HISP) is a 16-credit program consisting of four required courses and two electives from the student’s home degree program, chosen in consultation with the certificate advisor. The certificate gives students obtaining degrees in related and/or affiliate programs the opportunity to become conversant with historic preservation history, methodology, current issues and contemporary practice.


About the Historic Preservation Certificate

Degree Requirements

The Certificate in Historic Preservation is available only to students already enrolled in a graduate degree program at the University of Maryland College Park.

HISP 600: Introductory Seminar in Historic Preservation: Theory, History, and Practice (3 hrs.)

  • This course is designed to introduce students to the history, theory and current issues of preservation practice in the U.S. and beyond. We will explore theories of what, how, and why we preserve, within the context of the evolution of the field of historic preservation. The focus will be on the basics and on providing as large and varied a framework for understanding current preservation practice and issues as possible in one semester. It is also hoped that the course will help students explore their areas of interest a bit more deeply or to develop areas of interest in new topics. The course is centered around weekly class meetings that consist of brief lectures and seminar discussions on assigned readings. Writing exercises will be stressed, and we will have several research projects, field trips and guest lectures.  

HISP 640: Historic Preservation Law, Advocacy, and Public Policy (3 hrs.)

  • This course is designed to introduce students to legal, advocacy and public policy issues in the field of historic preservation. Student activities will be designed to teach basic working knowledge of relevant legal subjects, including historic preservation ordinances, state and federal preservation statutes, and important constitutional issues. The primary goal of this course is to provide sufficient information so that students will be able to identify legal issues, know resources to obtain information and assistance on those issues, and communicate effectively with attorneys.

HISP 611: Historical Research Methods (3 hrs.)

  • This course highlights the research methods used by professional historic preservationists to identify and record historic structures and sites. The course emphasizes the inter/multidisciplinary nature of contemporary preservation practice using archival and ethnographic evidence as a basis for establishing significance.

HISP 701: Certificate Portfolio Project (1 hr.)

  • This course provides students in the Certificate Program with an opportunity to develop a portfolio of their work, including research and seminar papers from each of their preservation courses. In addition, students will prepare an overview essay articulating how the content they have learned in Certificate courses has helped shape their work and reflect on preservation issues and philosophical approaches related to their work. This capstone experience challenges students to synthesize the applied and theoretical aspects of their preservation education. The project builds on the students’ core coursework and specialization through electives.

Three elective courses of three credit hours each will also have to be taken across these semesters

Graduate Placement

Learn more about the career and life paths of our alumni.




Graduate Placement

Contact Us

Jodi Hall

Graduate Coordinator, History

2131 Francis Scott Key Hall
College Park MD, 20742

(301) 405-4268