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Master of Arts in Historic Preservation Planning (M.A. HPP) in Cornell University

Cornell University
College of Architecture, Art, and Planning
Ithaca, New York
United States
History, Theory & Preservation

Each year, employers throughout the world compete for graduates of the Historic Preservation Planning (HPP) program. Cornell was one of the first institutions in the country to offer preservation classes, and is internationally recognized as a leader in the field. The 10 to 15 candidates admitted each year bring a variety of experiences. Many come with humanities or social science degrees, and some have already worked in archaeology, architecture, museums, or areas related to historic preservation planning.


Graduates with the master’s in historic preservation planning work in state historic preservation offices, local planning agencies, landmarks commissions, private architectural firms, and cultural resource management companies. They also teach and perform research in the field.


M.A. HPP Curriculum and Requirements


First Year


Six core classes are required and, except for the thesis, are usually taken in the first year. Students must complete two semesters of course work in American architecture history (unless this requirement is fulfilled as an undergraduate). For the balance of required credits in the first year, students take classes in the economics of neighborhood conservation, urban history, real estate development, building materials conservation, preservation law, and community-assisted design. A workshop takes students into the field to conduct a historic resources survey in a nearby city, town, or village.


Second Year


In the second year, students complete a master’s thesis in historic preservation. Students have addressed a wide range of problems, from a scheme to revitalize an entire neighborhood to a site-specific economic analysis for the renovation of a surplus school. Theses have examined supermarkets, bridges, adobe residences, piers, observatories, churches, cemeteries, factories, and farm buildings. Students have researched private historic preservation efforts or analyzed government plans.


Curriculum Specifics


To complete the M.A. degree in historic preservation planning, a student must do the following:


– Obtain a total of 60 credit hours, including two semesters of American architectural history, if no background in this area


– Earn two registration units


– Have two committee members on file by the end of the first year


– Fulfill the core class requirements, unless the department has waived or modified the requirements by recommendation of the special committee


– Successfully defend and submit a thesis, and have it approved by the special committee and the thesis secretary (formatting only) at the Graduate School


– No grades at the C level in any subject are acceptable for credit toward the degree

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General information
Not confirmed
Email /
+1 (607) 255-5236
129 Sibley Dome, Ithaca, NY 14853
Campus Location
The information of this Master's Degree was extracted from the Official Website of the program.
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Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation
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Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc)
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