Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Preservation Education

I am in the process of applying to doctoral programs in historic preservation and I am wondering if you have any advice. I have a B.A. in Environmental Design and had my own practice as a building designer for ten years. There are many historic buildings in the area and so I have done a lot of work with historic structures. I have also taken some preservation classes at the local Junior College. I have a masters in technical theater (long story) and now would like to pursue a PhD in preservation. I have found likely programs at the University of Colorado in Denver, University of Maryland, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Cornell. I would prefer a program which emphasizes design/technique over policy/theory. I also enjoy teaching and have some teaching experience.

1. Would you recommend any of those programs in particular and are there any others I missed?

2. Do you have any tips for getting accepted into these programs? Is there anything I should emphasize about my experience and interests?

First, my true expertise is on becoming an architect and your question is about preservation.

I do not provide recommendations or endorsements on particular programs, but one resource you may wish to consider is the National Council for Preservation Education


As for tips on gaining admission, the best advice is to contact each of the programs and ask directly what it takes to gain admission.  How do they make decisions on admissions?  What materials do they emphasize?  How can you put your best foot forward?  If possible request connections to current students or recent alums and ask them the same questions.

I hope this helps!

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