The University of Vermont Historic Preservation Program regards historic preservation as means to acknowledge, conserve and sustain a diverse range of heritage resources that have the potential to inform and to serve current and future generations.
Historic preservation is fundamentally about engaging in a conversation with the past about the future. It may provide opportunities to ask, "What can we learn from historic sites and from the built heritage of communities and places? and "How can important features of the historic environment be conserved and sustained for the future?"
The University of Vermont Historic Preservation Program offers a Master of Science degree in Historic Preservation, as well as an Accelerated Masters Program, Individually Designed Minors and courses for upper-level undergraduate students and through UVM Continuing Education.
The Master of Science graduate degree in Historic Preservation is intended to prepare graduate students for broad-based careers in the field of historic preservation. The main educational goal is the development of long-term professional perspectives bolstered by training in appropriate skills. Graduate students are offered an intensive, practical, community-oriented, professional experience. Strong emphasis is placed on hands-on, community-based projects through linkages with local, state and federal groups, organizations and agencies, heritage organizations, museums, and historic sites.
A special reduced non-resident tuition rate for graduate students in the UVM M.S. Historic Preservation program is now available. Funding opportunities include scholarships and graduate assistantships.
Examples of positions that have been held by graduates of the UVM Historic Preservation Program include: state historic preservation officers; federal historic preservation officers; executive directors and field representatives of prominent non-profit preservation organizations; executive directors of historic site museums; directors of historic preservation revolving funds; historic preservation review coordinators; certified local government coordinators; historic preservation faculty at colleges and universities; downtown preservation development managers; and principals and associates of historic preservation consulting firms and cultural resource management companies. Additional examples of organizations that have employed UVM Historic Preservation Program alumni are listed below. More information on preservation career opportunities is available at the Historic Preservation Jobs & Internships page.
The Master of Science degree in Historic Preservation is a 36-credit hour program. All students complete either a 3-credit internship or a 6-credit written thesis project, and must pass a comprehensive examination at the end of the third semester.
Graduate students from a wide variety of academic backgrounds and experiences generally enter the Historic Preservation Program in the fall semester. The regular deadline for applications is March 1, but late applications may be reviewed if openings are available through July 1.
Most students complete their graduate degree studies after three semesters and a summer internship, but some students choose to include a fourth semester and a thesis in lieu of the internship. Part-time enrollment is also offered as an option for graduate students, with up to five years available for completion of the M.S. degree. A comprehensive examination must be passed prior to earning this graduate degree. Normally this is scheduled during the second half of the fall semester. This written examination covers broad knowledge in historic preservation. Information on the date, general details, and format of this examination is provided to students in advance.
Graduate students are admitted to the University of Vermont Historic Preservation Program from a wide variety of academic backgrounds ranging from history, architectural history, architecture, and business administration, to engineering, art history, planning, law, and other fields of undergraduate study. Candidates must hold at least a bachelors' degree from an accredited academic institution prior to enrollment.
Because historic preservation is a field of many skills and interests, the admissions review policy maintains flexibility about applicants' previous academic studies and experience, placing emphasis upon their stated motivations and capacity to do independent, self-directed work.
Those interested should apply directly to UVM Graduate Admissions using the on-line application form.
Applications must be supported by an official transcript from each college or university attended, three letters of recommendation from persons qualified to assess the applicant's capacity for graduate work, Graduate Record Examination general test scores, a statement of purpose, and a writing sample. This writing sample must be the sole work of the applicant. It may be an independent research paper from college or, for example, a design project or other evidence of professional ability. The writing sample may be submitted as an email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and a message that it is in support of your application to the UVM Historic Preservation Program.
The regular deadline for applications is March 1, but late applications may be reviewed if openings are available through May 1. For more information on admissions, please contact the UVM Historic Preservation Program directly at email@example.com
The UVM Historic Preservation Program welcomes diversity. The policy of the University of Vermont is to not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, handicap, color, religion, age, national origin, or Vietnam Veteran status in admission or access to or treatment or employment in its programs and activities.
Additional application information and on-line application forms are available from the Graduate Admissions Office. All application materials must be sent directly to the Graduate Admissions Office, 332 Waterman Building, The University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405-0160.
Questions? Discuss career plans? Schedule an appointment or visit?
Contact the Historic Preservation Program by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Graduate tuition and financial aid
Click here for the latest information about graduate tuition and fees for the Master of Science in Historic Preservation program.
Note that a special reduced non-resident tuition rate for graduate students in the M.S. Historic Preservation program is now in effect.
Vermont residents may apply for in-state tuition. Residency policy information from the UVM Registrar is available here.
Graduate Teaching/Research Assistantships
Some historic preservation graduate students are awarded Graduate Teaching Assistantships or Graduate Research Assistantships in the History Department during their second and third semesters. Offered on a competitive basis subject to availability, these partial GTAs/GRAs include a stipend and a partial tuition remission per semester of the award.
Graduate students with outstanding academic backgrounds may be nominated for College Fellowships which carry full tuition remission. These are awarded by the UVM College of Arts and Sciences.
Other scholarship support may be available. For information on current scholarships, fellowships and assistantship opportunities, contact the Historic Preservation Program by email at email@example.com.
Financial aid and work-study support
Students who satisfy a financial need requirement are also eligible for federal work-study support. The Historic Preservation Program typically has work study positions available for all pre-qualified students. Applications for work-study funding must be made through the UVM Financial Aid office. Please click here for a link to more information and application procedures for financial aid.
Questions? Schedule an appointment or visit? Request an information package?
Contact the Historic Preservation Program by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Accelerated Master’s Program
The UVM Historic Preservation Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP) provides an opportunity for capable undergraduate UVM students to enroll directly in the Historic Preservation graduate program while taking advantage of Accelerated Master’s Program degree incentives.
Following their formal admission into the Historic Preservation Accelerated Master's Program (AMP), students work simultaneously on their B.A. and M.S. requirements, counting up to six credits of 200-graduate level courses toward both the B.A. and the M.S. degrees. The remaining 30 credits of graduate study required for Historic Preservation M.S. degree normally would be taken by AMP students in three semesters following undergraduate graduation.
Undergraduate students must apply for and be accepted to the AMP through the standard Graduate College application process. Normally, the application and admission process must be finalized prior to the beginning of the senior year. In all cases, students must be admitted by the Graduate College before taking any courses that will apply to the master’s degree, i.e., all courses used for the master’s degree must be taken after formal admission to the AMP.
The specific requirements for the Historic Preservation Accelerated Master’s Program are described here in the UVM Catalogue.
Undergraduate Individually Designed Minor (IDM)
Undergraduate students at the University of Vermont may wish to consider an Individually Designed Minor in Historic Preservation. An IDM in historic preservation might include courses to learn about observations about architectural history, landscape heritage, architectural conservation, adaptive reuse and other topics.
A potential Historic Preservation IDM curriculum might include:
• HP 200 History of American Architecture
• HP 201 History on the Land
• HP 206 Researching Historic Structures and Sites
• HP 204 Historic Preservation Development Economics
• HP 205 Historic Preservation Law
• HP 306 Architectural Conservation I
For more information on IDM options, the faculty contact is Professor Thomas Visser, Director, UVM Historic Preservation Program, 204 Wheeler House, Thomas.Visser@uvm.edu
The following Historic Preservation courses are program requirements for the master's degree.
(Link to expanded course descriptions below)
- HP 200: History of American Architecture. Study of architectural history to gain fluency in the stylistic terms so essential to historic preservation and to public support for conserving our architectural heritage. 3 credits
- HP 201: History on the Land. Identifying and interpreting evidence of the cultural forces -- early settlement patterns, transportation, industry, agriculture, planning, conservation -- that have shaped our land, buildings, towns and cities. 3 credits
- HP 204: Historic Preservation: Development Economics. Survey of economic, financial aspects of real estate development pertaining to preservation and adaptive use (markets studies, pro formas). Field trips. Actual proposal development for under-utilized historic properties. 3 credits
- HP 205: Historic Preservation Law. Legal issues in the conservation of the built environment. Basic legal techniques for protection of historic structures (historic districts, protective legislation, easements, covenants). Study of significant court decisions. 3 credits
- HP 206: Researching Historic Structures and Sites. Methods for researching historic structures and sites using archival and physical evidence, deciphering archaic building technologies and documenting structures through professional reports, architectural photography, measured drawings. 3 credits
- HP 302: Community Preservation Project. Third-semester graduate students apply professional skills to actual community preservation problems. Projects include strategy development, securing and allocating funds, research, advocacy, implementation, evaluation. Prerequisite: HP major. 3 credits
- HP 303: Internship. Students devote a semester, typically in the summer between the second and third semesters, to do preservation work within an appropriate organization or agency. Duties of the student intern are arranged with the host institution by an agreement with the instructors and the student. Internships are evaluated by student reports, a written evaluation from the student's supervisor, and by students presenting their completed internship projects before a jury of practicing professionals. Link to Internship Guidelines. Prerequisite: HP major. 3 Credits. (or HP 391: Thesis 6 credits)
- HP 304: Contemporary Preservation Planning and Policy. This introduction to the professional practice of preservation planning traces the evolution of the historic preservation movement and examines contemporary preservation policy-making issues. Prerequisite: HP major. 3 credits
- HP 305: Historic Preservation Practice Methods. This course introduces students to professional practice methods for conducting historic site and structures surveys, National Register nominations, and rehabilitation investment tax credit application projects. Prerequisite: HP 200. 3 credits
- HP 306: Architectural Conservation I. An examination of the physical properties of historic building materials, their deterioration mechanisms, and strategies for assessing conditions, conserving and rehabilitating historic resources. Lecture and lab. Prerequisite: HP 206. 3 credits
- HP 307: Architectural Conservation II. A continuation of Architectural Conservation I emphasizing an integrated examination of historic preservation and architectural conservation through lectures, seminars, and field and laboratory research projects. Prerequisite: HP 306. 3 credits
- HP 391: Thesis. Graduate students in the Historic Preservation Program may elect to conduct original research on an historic preservation topic and write a thesis in lieu of an internship and an elective. Permission to enroll in this course is required by the HP program director. Requests for permission should identify the topic to be researched, an outline of the research plan, and the preferred instructor to serve as the thesis advisor. Total of 6 credits typically distributed over two semesters. The University of Vermont Graduate College provides guidelines for writing a master's thesis and schedule deadlines.
- HP 395 or HP 397 or ELECTIVE: approved by the program director. 3 credits (to complete a total of at least 36 credits)
Typical schedule of courses
- HP 200: History of American Architecture
- HP 204: Historic Preservation: Development Economics (even-numbered years)
- HP 205: Historic Preservation Law
- HP 206: Researching Historic Structures and Sites
- Graduate elective or HP 395 or HP 397 (odd-numbered years)
- HP 201: History on the Land
- HP 305: Historic Preservation Practice Methods
- HP 306: Architectural Conservation I
- HP 304: Contemporary Preservation Planning and Policy
- HP 302: Community Preservation Project
- HP 307: Architectural Conservation II
- HP 204: Historic Preservation: Development Economics (even-numbered years)
- HP 303: Internship (with summer placement)
- Graduate elective or HP 395 or HP 397 (odd-numbered years)
- Comprehensive Examination (required)
Spring Semester (Optional)
- HP 303: Internship
- HP 391: Thesis (in lieu of internship by permission)
Undergraduate and Continuing Education courses
The following historic preservation courses are generally open to UVM undergraduate students, as well as to non-matriculated students through UVM Continuing Education. Most require instructor permission or course registration overrides. Junior, Senior or Grad status is a prerequisite for HP 200. Non-matriculated students may enroll in these historic preservation courses through the UVM Division for Continuing Education. For more information on continuing education courses, contact the UVM Historic Preservation Program by email at email@example.com.
• HP 200: History of American Architecture. Study of architectural history to gain fluency in the stylistic terms so essential to historic preservation and to public support for conserving our architectural heritage. Junior, Senior or Grad status is a prerequisite for HP 200. 3 credits.
• HP 201: History on the Land. Identifying and interpreting evidence of the cultural forces -- early settlement patterns, transportation, industry, agriculture, planning, conservation -- that have shaped our land, buildings, towns and cities. 3 credits.
• HP 204: Historic Preservation: Development Economics. Survey of economic, financial aspects of real estate development pertaining to preservation and adaptive use (markets studies, pro formas). Field trips. Actual proposal development for under-utilized historic properties. 3 credits.
• HP 205: Historic Preservation Law. Legal issues in the conservation of the built environment. Basic legal techniques for protection of historic structures (historic districts, protective legislation, easements, covenants). Study of significant court decisions. 3 credits
• HP 206: Researching Historic Structures and Sites. Methods for researching historic structures and sites using archival and physical evidence, deciphering archaic building technologies and documenting structures through professional reports, architectural photography, measured drawings. 3 credits.
• HP 306: Architectural Conservation I. An examination of the physical properties of historic building materials, their deterioration mechanisms, and strategies for assessing conditions, conserving and rehabilitating historic resources. Lecture and lab. Prerequisite: HP 206. 3 credits
Historic Preservation Program
University of Vermont
133 South Prospect Street
Burlington, VT 05405
Phone: (802) 656-3180
Fax: (802) 656-8794
The University of Vermont Historic Preservation Program has been peer-reviewed by the National Council for Preservation Education and has been certified as meeting their standards for historic preservation degree granting programs.
Through a well-established network of cooperation with various local and state agencies, preservation organizations and museums, and practicing professionals, UVM historic preservation students have the opportunity to use the state and region as an extended laboratory to study and experiment with innovative preservation strategies. Click here for some examples of recent student projects.
Internationally recognized for its beautiful rural landscapes and compact historic villages, Vermont is rich in historic architectural resources. Its long tradition of town meeting government has given it an involved citizenry and the opportunity to produce rapid results at the community level. Vermont has been a pioneer in environmental protection through such legislation as its land use law, Act 250, statewide sign control, ban on non-returnable beverage containers, historic and design control districts, and vigorous enforcement of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The Vermont Historic Preservation Act of 1975 is one of the nation's most comprehensive state statutes relating to the protection of historic resources. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has twice included Vermont on its list of most endangered historic places in the country. Indeed the state of Vermont and the Burlington area face today's challenges of sustainability, climate change, re-development, sprawl, traffic, housing and urban issues.
Burlington has a vibrant community life, a strong respect for historic preservation, and an enthusiastic spirit of innovation, collaboration, and opportunity. The UVM campus is also about two hours away from Montreal, Quebec, and is close to some of the best biking, hiking, skiing and snowboarding in the East.
Offices and instructional facilities
The offices and main instructional facilities of the UVM Historic Preservation Program are located in the Wheeler House. Prominently located at the corner of Main Street and South Prospect Street in the University Green Historic District, this Greek Revival style building was constructed in 1842 to the designs of the nationally-known architect, Ammi Burnham Young.
After serving as a residence and later as the campus infirmary, Wheeler House was rehabilitated in the mid-1970s to serve as the home of the Historic Preservation Program and History Department. Recently, major building rehab projects have included restoring the west veranda and roof-top balustrade, installing a new ADA-compliant entrance and an interior wheelchair lift, a new perimeter drainage system, and various interior improvements. The new ADA accessible entrance (shown here), which is located at the northwest side of the building, enters directly into the classroom and computer lab level.
Visitor parking is generally available for a fee at the adjacent College Street Visitor Parking Lot. From Interstate 89, take exit 14W and follow Main Street west and bear right on South Prospect Street on the west side of the University Green. Then bear left onto College Street. The entrance to the UVM Visitor Parking Lot is on the left (south) side. If approaching from US Route 7, in downtown Burlington turn east up the hill at College Street.
Historic preservation computer lab, conservation workshop & resource library
In recognition of the increasingly important roles for computer-based devices and information technologies in the historic preservation profession, the UVM Historic Preservation Program provides students with access to and training on computer-based equipment and software.
A digital lab with computers that can be connected to digital microscopes, scanners, printers, and other hardware is located in Wheeler House for priority use by historic preservation graduate students. The goal is to provide all historic preservation graduate students with a solid foundation in the computer-related knowledge and skills desired in the professional world. Many of the preservation courses include opportunities for the development of a range of computer-related skills, including producing web sites, newsletters, and professional reports.
Also students have access to various hands-on tools and equipment used for analyzing and documenting historic finishes, mortars, environmental conditions, and other building materials for historical and conservation research. Recent additions include an infrared building inspection camera and moisture meters.
Other facilities in Wheeler House available for historic preservation graduate student use include seminar rooms, the Preservation Resource Library, and an architectural conservation workshop. These spaces are accessible to persons using wheelchairs. In addition to the Wheeler House facilities, some historic preservation courses are taught in classrooms and labs located in other buildings on the University of Vermont campus.
Studies are complemented by field trips and site visits to the Shelburne Museum and various heritage sites. Student projects are often conducted on various historic campus buildings and on other historic structures in the region.
Thomas D. Visser, Professor of Historic Preservation, has directed the Historic Preservation Program since 1994. He is a tenured member of the UVM History Department and has taught courses in researching historic buildings, architectural conservation, building technology, and other preservation topics at the University of Vermont since 1985. Prof. Visser has served on the Burlington Design Advisory Board and as a Vermont District Environmental Commission member. He also served on the executive committee of the National Council for Preservation Education. As a recipient of a National Endowment for the Art grant award, much of Prof. Visser's scholarly research has focused on rural preservation. His award-winning Field Guide to New England Barns and Farm Buildings was published by the University Press of New England. His recent research focuses on the history of porches. His book, Porches of North America, was published by the University Press of New England in 2012. In addition to numerous professional reports and nominations to the National Register of Historic Places, Prof. Visser's articles, reports, and reviews are published in such journals as the Bulletin of the Association for Preservation Technology, Preservation Education & Research, and the New England Quarterly.
Robert McCullough, Professor of Historic Preservation, serves as a full-time faculty member of the Historic Preservation Program and is a tenured member of the University of Vermont History Department. Formerly the Historic Preservation Coordinator for the Vermont Agency of Transportation in Montpelier, Vermont, where he conducted regulatory review to ensure that transportation projects comply with federal and state historic preservation laws, McCullough holds a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning, a J. D. degree in Law, and masters degrees in historic preservation planning and public policy law. Prof. McCullough is the author of Old Wheelways:
Traces of Bicycle History on the Land; The Landscape of Community: A History of Communal Forests in New England; A Path for Kindred Spirits: The Friendship of Clarence Stein and Benton MacKaye; Crossings: A History Of Vermont Bridges, and numerous other publications.
Adjunct faculty and guest speakers
In addition the above tenured historic preservation faculty, adjunct faculty and guest speakers provide students with a broad range of professional preservation perspectives.
Nora Mitchell and Rolf Diamant serve as Adjunct Associate Professors in the University of Vermont Historic Preservation Program. As the founding director of the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation at the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline, Massachusetts, Dr. Mitchell brings a wealth of experience in testing new methodologies for preserving cultural landscapes through her direct involvement with both the Stewardship Institute and the Conservation Study Institute at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, Vermont. Nora Mitchell is also the author of numerous scholarly articles and edited volumes (often in collaboration with Rolf Diamant) that emphasize the importance of recognizing the nature-culture connection in resource planning and advocacy.
As the inaugural superintendent of Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, Vermont (the country’s only national historic site devoted to conservation history), Rolf Diamant brings career perspectives as a landscape architect that have combined cultural resource protection with natural resource protection. Through his roles with the National Park Service assisting with the creation of the John F. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Area, Rolf is keenly aware of the inseparable union of cultural and natural resources in such landscapes as linear heritage corridors.
Most graduate students in the UVM Historic Preservation Program elect to complete an internship in lieu of a thesis. In addition to being employed as an intern with a preservation organization agency, business, or organization, the graduate students prepare term papers that document their internship experiences and make a formal presentations at an annual event.
Examples of organizations that have employed University of Vermont students during their full time summer internships are: National Park Service, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Central Park Conservancy, International Council on Monuments and Sites, Vermont Historical Society, Vermont Agency of Transportation, Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, Connecticut Historical Commission, Historic American Building Survey/Historic American Engineering Record, Historic Charleston Foundation, New Jersey Preservation Office, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Department of Defense Legacy Resource Management Program, Savannah Landmarks, Historic New England, National Trust (England), Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities, National Trust Yankee Internship Program, Santa Barbara Preservation Trust, Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum, Portland (ME) Museum of Art, Waterford Foundation, Historic Windsor, Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, Stoneyard Institute, Rokeby Museum and the Robert Hull Fleming Museum.
Field study trips
Graduate students have the opportunity to take field study trips in some courses to observe preservation projects around the globe individually or in groups.
In the HP 304 Seminar in Contemporary Preservation Policy and Planning course, research travel and lodging expenses are subsidized with scholarship grants from the Historic Preservation Program's endowment fund. Graduate students have taken field research trips to Mexico, Bermuda, Poland, Italy, Scotland, England, Nicaragua, Austria, Cuba, Virginia, Chicago, Annapolis, Selma, Denver, Forth Worth, Dallas, St. Antonio, Natchez, New Orleans, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, Charleston, Savannah, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Portland, Pittsburgh, New York City, Kansas City, Buffalo, Old Miami Beach, Boston, Montreal, Quebec, Ottawa, and elsewhere.
Questions? Schedule an appointment or visit?
Contact the Historic Preservation Program by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Annually during the fall semester, the graduate students in the UVM Historic Preservation Program produce a 16-page newsletter.
Click here for additional news about the UVM Historic Preservation Program.
Support and enrichment
To support research travel scholarships and other enhancements, the Historic Preservation Program has received generous gift contributions from its alumni, supporters, and a number of foundations and agencies, including the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, National Park Service, Eva Gebhard-Gourgaud Foundation; Cecil Howard Charitable Trust; Patrick Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; U.S. Department of the Interior through the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation; National Trust for Historic Preservation; Vermont Council on the Arts; Vermont Council on the Humanities and Public Issues; New York Community Trust; New Hampshire Charitable Fund; Kellogg Foundation; Windham Foundation and other private and public donors. Some of these funds are invested in an endowment dedicated to program support and enrichment.
Expanded course descriptions
HP 200: History of American Architecture
Study of architectural history to gain fluency in the stylistic terms so essential to historic preservation and to public support for conserving our architectural heritage. Link to most recent syllabus. Offered in fall semesters. Junior, Senior or Grad status is a prerequisite for HP 200. 3 credits
HP 201: History on the Land
Identifying and interpreting evidence of the cultural forces -- early settlement patterns, transportation, industry, agriculture, planning, conservation -- that have shaped our land, buildings, towns and cities. Link to most recent syllabus. Offered in spring semesters. 3 credits
HP 204: Historic Preservation: Development Economics
Survey of economic, financial aspects of real estate development pertaining to preservation and adaptive use (markets studies, pro formas). Field trips. Actual proposal development for under-utilized historic properties. 3 credits
HP 205: Historic Preservation Law
Legal issues in the conservation of the built environment. Basic legal techniques for protection of historic structures (historic districts, protective legislation, easements, covenants). Study of significant court decisions. Link to most recent syllabus. Offered in fall semesters. 3 credits
HP 206: Researching Historic Structures and Sites
Methods for researching historic structures and sites using archival and physical evidence, deciphering archaic building technologies and documenting structures through professional reports, architectural photography, measured drawings. HP 206 Researching Historic Structures and Sites is designed to provide an introduction to the historic preservation research methods and documentation techniques used by professional historic preservationists to identify and to record historic structures and heritage sites using archival and physical evidence. The course introduces techniques for heritage site research and documentation, including the development of building descriptions, historical narratives, and skills in digital photography, GIS, CAD measured drawings and publishing on the web. The reading assignments are intended to provide incoming preservation students a broad overview of the field of preservation and to help students develop knowledge and skills in historic sites research methodologies. Another goal of this course is to help students develop skills in working on collaborative preservation research projects. The results of this research project are shared with the public as a public service through a web site developed in this course. These class projects build on the sequence of research projects (see http://www.uvm.edu/~hp206/) completed by previous students in this course. Offered in fall semesters. 3 credits.
HP 302: Community Preservation Project
Third-semester graduate students apply professional skills to actual community preservation problems. Projects include strategy development, securing and allocating funds, research, advocacy, implementation, evaluation. Prerequisite: HP major. Link to most recent syllabus. Offered in fall semesters. 3 credits.
HP 303: Internship
Students devote a semester, typically in the summer between the second and third semesters, to do preservation work within an appropriate organization or agency. Duties of the student intern are arranged with the host institution by an agreement with the instructors and the student. Internships are evaluated by student reports, a written evaluation from the student's supervisor, and by students presenting their completed internship projects before a jury of practicing professionals. The Historic Preservation Internship is a three-credit course intended for graduate students in the UVM Historic Preservation Program who elect not to write a thesis. Students must do preservation work, ideally as an employee, with an appropriate institution, organization, or agency. Duties of the student intern are arranged in advance with the host employer by agreement with the course instructor and the student. Work is to be done under the direct supervision of a qualified individual designated by the employer. Students must be in regular direct contact with the supervisor (in person, by phone, or by e-mail). Ideally such regular contacts will be on a daily basis during the work weeks, but depending on the work assignment this direct contact with the supervisor must be made at a minimum of once per week while working as an intern. It is the responsibility of each student to be hired as an intern. To facilitate the search process (which ideally should commence by January for the upcoming summer) internship opportunities will be posted in Wheeler House or forwarded by email to enrolled historic preservation graduate students. Listings for many potential preservation internship are included at the UVM Historic Preservation Program Job Board or at PreserveNet. The course instructor will also be available to advise students on strategies for searching for suitable internships. Grades for the HP 303 internship are satisfactory or unsatisfactory. A satisfactory grade is required to obtain credit for this course. All internship work and course submittals must be completed by the last day of classes of the semester for which the student registers for HP 303. For more information see HP 303 Internship Guidelines. Prerequisite: HP major. 3 credits.
HP 304: Contemporary Preservation Planning and Policy
This introduction to the professional practice of preservation planning traces the evolution of the historic preservation movement and examines contemporary preservation policy-making issues. This seminar course explores the history, theory and practice of historic preservation planning and policy through seminars, research and readings. Course goals include addressing such questions as: What is the history of historic preservation, heritage conservation and cultural resource protection locally, nationally and globally? How have the associated theoretical frameworks evolved and where are they headed? What are some of the most common contemporary preservation challenges and issues? What preservation planning and policy strategies are effective and appropriate? How are preservation planning and policy goals addressed by professionals in the field? Link to additional course information. Prerequisite: HP major. Offered in spring semesters. 3 credits.
HP 305: Historic Preservation Practice Methods
This course introduces students to professional practice methods for conducting historic site and structures surveys, National Register nominations, and rehabilitation investment tax credit application projects. Prerequisite: HP 200. Link to most recent syllabus. Offered in spring semesters. 3 credits.
HP 306: Architectural Conservation I
An examination of the physical properties of historic building materials, their deterioration mechanisms, and strategies for assessing conditions, conserving and rehabilitating historic resources. The main goal of this course is to provide an overview of the study of architectural conservation through an examination of historic uses and physical properties and science of common historic building materials and finishes. We will explore the composition and pathology of building materials and examine strategies for conservation treatments and rehabilitation. We recognize that the professional preservationist should have a broad understanding of basic analytical and research skills, including a knowledge of historic construction techniques and the abilities:
- to date components of historic structures and to assess their significance
- to identify architectural materials, to assess the condition of architectural elements,
- to diagnose causes and mechanisms of deterioration,
- to collect, present, and critically review findings
- to review recommendations for conservation treatments of historic architectural materials
Another goal of this architectural conservation course is to provide a background for preservationists who will be working with architects, engineers, building trades workers, contractors, conservators, architectural historians, preservation advocates, grant recipients, developers, property owners, review boards and others. A final goal of the course is to help prepare students for professional positions in preservation that require the review of conservation treatment proposals, architectural designs, and preservation grant applications. This is the first of a two-part sequence of courses with HP 307 Architectural Conservation II following next semester. Prerequisite: HP 206. Link to additional course information. Offered in spring semesters. 3 credits.
HP 307: Architectural Conservation II
A continuation of Architectural Conservation I emphasizing an integrated examination of historic preservation and architectural conservation through lectures, seminars, and field and laboratory research projects. This final semester course emphasizes professional and academic applications of architectural conservation and historic preservation research and technical skills through a series of seminars, site visits, research projects, and written reports. The main goal is prepare students for the world of professional practice by simulating typical activities, schedules, and research questions that may be presented to a historic preservation professional. Another goal of the course is to help develop knowledge and skills in the areas of project management, as well as an understanding of how various components of heritage preservation projects and professional services interact.
In order to develop the ability to efficiently evaluate situations, obtain information, and conduct research in the field, laboratory and archives, the course assignments are based on a series of conservation assessment projects that are to be completed within the prescribed allotment of time.
Each student is to complete a series of projects that assess the condition and provide treatment recommendations for the conservation of various historic building components and systems. Link to additional course information. Prerequisite: HP 306. Offered in fall semesters. 3 credits.
HP 391 Thesis
The historic preservation master's thesis should make an original contribution to the body of scholarly knowledge in the field. Since there are no regularly scheduled class meeting times for this tutorial course, each student arranges regular meetings directly with their thesis advisor in advance. HP 391 Thesis is a 6-credit course. Advance permission to enroll in this course is required by applying to the UVM Historic Preservation Program director and to the UVM Historic Preservation faculty member who will serve as the thesis advisor. The thesis advisor should send an email message to the program director confirming approval of the thesis application. Thesis applications should identify the topic to be researched and include a written research plan that includes the research topic, a preliminary bibliography, a description of intended primary source materials, a discussion of the research goals and methods and the intended schedule with dates specified for regular meetings with the course instructor, the draft manuscript submission and the final paper manuscript submission. Any changes to this research plan should also be submitted for review by the thesis advisor in advance. The final draft of the thesis manuscript must be submitted at least three weeks before the defense to allow time for faculty review and for any subsequent additional research and writing. The final paper manuscript of the thesis is to be submitted to the Graduate College in compliance with their guidelines and deadlines. HP 391 may not be taken for extended credit. Although the structure and organization of the thesis can vary depending on the topic chosen, certain commonalities should be observed. The thesis should begin with an introductory chapter that: (1) carefully defines the scope and range of the research project with respect to period or subject matter, or both; (2) succinctly summarizes the existing body of knowledge that provides a context for the research being conducted, citing and summarizing in narrative form the leading works in the field, when appropriate; (3) summarizes the original or new knowledge being provided; (4) identifies areas where continued research is needed; (5) explains the methods of research employed, citing principal primary sources in narrative form; (6) and explains the system of organization developed in remaining chapters. Methods for organizing subsequent chapters also will depend on the topic selected, but each chapter should be carefully developed around a specific theme, trend, period, or other device that offers opportunity for logical and contained discussion. An introductory segment should explain each chapter’s principal theme and sub-themes and explain that chapter’s system of organization. A concluding segment should restate, briefly, the principal contribution of each chapter to the larger work. As subsequent chapters are developed, efforts should be made to establish continuity throughout the entire work by linking each chapter’s themes or sub-themes to the principal contributions of the study. Some form of concluding chapter also should be developed, whether epilogue, discussion of suggested future research, or restatement of your conclusions. When relying heavily on secondary sources, that material should be summarized or paraphrased in narrative form rather than incorporated as quoted text in your work. Short, three or four-line quotations may be included as indented, single spaced, italics text. Very short quotations, no more than a short single sentence, may be developed as part of your narrative but should be italicized. If large segments of text from secondary sources are useful, they should be added as appendices. All illustrations should contain numbered captions identifying, at the very least, the principal importance of the image and its source. Permission must be obtained for the use of applicable images if the intent is to seek publication of the paper. The length of the final manuscript should be substantial, for example in the range of 150-200 pages of text, depending on the type of research being conducted. All writing must be authored directly by each student and all sources of information and ideas that are not common knowledge must be identified through attributions in the text or citations using notes. Plagiarism is not tolerated. For guidance on this see "Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It" and related topics at http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/pamphlets/plagiarism.shtml. All sources should be cited with endnotes or footnotes according to the Chicago Manual of Style. The thesis manuscript should have a title page, page numbers, table of contents, a list of figures and a bibliography and be formatted as required by the UVM Graduate College. See the Graduate College's guidelines for writing a master's thesis and schedule deadlines.
- HP 202: Special Topics
New and specialized courses that may be offered in association with Continuing Education, typically in the summer.
- HP 397: Special Readings and Research
As an elective, students may request permission to conduct special independent preservation-related research projects with historic preservation program faculty. 3 credits
- HP 395: Special Topics
New and specialized courses that may be offered for Historic Preservation graduate students during the academic year.
Graduate students may choose from graduate electives with a 200 course number or higher with permission of the Historic Preservation Program director. Special permission is required to take a 100-level course as a elective. Students also may desire to take additional courses as electives for extra credits.
- Elective examples include: ENSC 285 Green Buildings Science & Practice; PA 305 Public and Nonprofit Budgeting; CDAE 101 Computer Aided Drafting & Design; and NR 343 Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems
Guiding Principles in the Study of Historic Preservation
The Master of Science graduate degree in Historic Preservation is intended to prepare graduate students for broad-based careers in the field of historic preservation. The main educational goal is the development of long-term professional perspectives bolstered by training in appropriate skills. Graduate students are offered an intensive, practical, professional experience. Strong emphasis is placed on hands-on, community-based projects through linkages with local, state and federal groups, organizations and agencies, heritage organizations, museums, and historic sites.
Students are expected to research and write well in this program and, to achieve this goal, faculty routinely assign a range of innovative assignments that are thoroughly assessed. Faculty provide substantive comments on papers and regularly work with students on research methodologies. Faculty explicitly outline course objectives in their syllabi so that students are aware of what will be expected of them and what they may hope to achieve. In courses that enroll both graduate students and undergraduates, the graduate students are assessed at a higher level of expectations suitable to prepare them for anticipated careers in the field of historic preservation.
Students who complete the MS Program in Historic Preservation should have acquired the following outcomes:
1. Detailed knowledge of the history of the built environment with a focus on the United States and Canada, (including, for example, the history of American architecture, community and rural development, cultural landscapes and heritage sites).
2. A detailed understanding of the history and theory of historic preservation, preservation law and preservation standards, as well as of methods for researching, documenting and conserving historic resources.
3. A significant period of practical experience, equivalent to an internship, or as an alternative, the completion of a thesis.
4. An understanding of the economic, planning, and curatorial issues central to the field of historic preservation.
5. An ability to apply logic to analyze situations; to test hypotheses and to use appropriate knowledge and tools to solve problems; to develop persuasive arguments; and to evaluate the use of evidence and the effectiveness of arguments in the work of others.
6. An ability to discuss and present their work orally and in writing in ways that reflect both their grasp of the material and their ability to speak about it in an accessible manner.
1. All Historic Preservation graduate students are required to take a set curriculum of courses that allow them to acquire mastery in architectural history, landscape history, and the history of the built environment; preservation planning, law and economics; architectural conservation; and project development and management. These are assessed through papers, exams and projects. (These assessments occur on an ongoing basis. The main faculty members in Historic Preservation meet regularly to assess student performance.)
2. In addition to course grades, the Historic Preservation Program requires all its graduate students to demonstrate their mastery of knowledge through rigorous written comprehensive examinations offered to the graduating class together towards the end of the final semester. To help insure objective assessments of student performance as anonymously as possible by historic preservation faculty, students only provide confidential identification numbers on their comprehensive examinations. Faculty review the examination essays and make final decisions as a committee on whether each person has passed the comprehensive examination before the actual student identities are revealed. The results are then shared with each student confidentially and with the Graduate College. In accordance with Graduate College policy, the comprehensive examinations must be satisfactorily completed on the first or second attempt in order for a student receive their graduate degree. The main standard for assessing whether student responses to the comprehensive examination questions are satisfactory is whether there is sufficient evidence of mastery of knowledge to be qualified to enter the professional field of historic preservation.
3. All Historic Preservation graduate students must complete either a summer internship or a six-credit thesis for the M.S. degree. The internships are assessed by internship supervisors and by Historic Preservation faculty (through the mechanism of student reports and formal presentations on their internship experiences). Thesis proposals are formally approved by and are subject to a formal defense, according to guidelines developed by the Graduate College. (This mode of assessment is ongoing and the results are recorded by the Director of the Historic Preservation Program.)
The alumni of the University of Vermont Historic Preservation Program serve as an important resource and base of support through guest appearances in classes and organizing special events, as networking colleagues, and through their generous contributions and bequests to the University of Vermont Historic Preservation Program Fund.
Over the years UVM historic preservation alumni have served as staff or chief executive officers of local, state, and national major preservation organizations including: the Smithsonian Institution, National Trust for Historic Preservation, National Park Service, Heritage Canada, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Federal Highways Administration (FWHA), Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, Texas Historical Commission, Kansas Historical Society, Massachusetts Historical Commission, South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office, New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources, Georgia Heritage Trust, Preservation Maryland, Historic Boston, Historic Albany Foundation, Greater Portland Landmarks, New Haven Preservation Trust, Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH), Miami Purchase Preservation Fund, Providence Preservation Revolving Fund, Burlington Planning & Zoning Department, Historic York, Arizona Historic Preservation Office, Florida Keys Preservation Board, Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, Historic Charleston Foundation, U.S. ICOMOS, Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities/ Historic New England, Canadian Canoe Museum, and New York Landmarks Preservation Commission. Alumni are also employed by a variety of cultural resource management consulting firms as historic preservation specialists and as architectural historians.
An independent organization, the UVM Historic Preservation Alumni Association, Inc., has been formed by graduates to promote and support the Historic Preservation Program at the University of Vermont through recruitment and various promotional activities, to support the association's members by means of on-line communications and mentoring programs, and to promote and support historic preservation education through partnerships with preservation organizations, workshops and field schools, and local and regional events.
Historic Preservation Alumni Reunion Celebrates 40th Anniversary of First Graduating Class
A Sunday brunch on the Wheeler House veranda provided a wonderful close to a very successful alumni reunion that celebrated the 40th anniversary of the first graduating class. Co-hosted by the UVM Historic Preservation Alumni Association and the UVM Historic Preservation Program, the well-attended gathering featured tours through the updated instructional facilities and preservation labs in Wheeler House. Built in 1842 in the Greek Revival style, this historic building has served as the home of the UVM Historic Preservation Program and History Department since the mid-1970s.
The following is a sample of employment positions of UVM Historic Preservation alumni:
Maureen McCoy (2019) has accepted an appointment with the Delaware Department of Transportation Cultural Resources Archaeology/Historic Preservation section.
Adrienne Dickerson (2018) is serving as an architectural historian with the Louisiana State Historic Preservation Office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Amanda E. Ciampolillo (2006) has taken a position as an Environmental Protection Specialist with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) based in the Boston area. Amanda heads to FRA from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Amanda spent over eleven years at FEMA, most recently as the Regional Environmental Officer in Region III, Philadelphia. While at FEMA, she served as the senior technical advisor to all of FEMA’s grant programs, ensuring projects complied with environmental and historic preservation laws.
Charlotte Barrett (1983) is Historic New England’s full-time Community Preservation Manager for Western New England. Charlotte has previously worked for the Preservation Education Institute in Windsor, Vermont, and as a field representative for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Jacquelyn Lehmann (2016) was hired to serve as an Architectural Historian for Weller & Associates in Columbus, Ohio, doing compliance planning work. Jackie is a January 2016 graduate who finished her studies in December.
Matthew Goguen (2015) has a Research Historian position with History Associates, Inc. in Rockville, Maryland. After graduating from UVM, Matt’s first position was with the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation in Montpelier.
Elizabeth “Lizzie” André Tisher (2006) received her J.D. Law degree from the Vermont Law School. While there, she was awarded the prestigious national Burton Distinguished Legal Writing Award for her article titled, “Re-Stitching the Urban Fabric: Municipal-Driven Rehabilitation of Vacant and Abandoned Buildings in Ohio’s Rust Belt.” She has been working at the Vermont Attorney General’s Office.
Liz Warburton (2012) was hired as a Senior Architectural Historian at the Rhode Island State Historic Preservation Office in Providence, Rhode Island.
Tracy Martin (2009) is serving as the Historic Sites Section Chief at the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation in Montpelier, Vermont.
Kaitlin Hovanes (2015) has been hired by SWCA Environmental Consultants, a major environmental planning, regulatory compliance and natural and cultural resource management consulting firm, to serve in a Cultural Resource Management position in their Salt Lake City, Utah office.
Jeff Emidy (2000) has been appointed to the Deputy Director and Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission, where he has been employed since 2005.
Fran Gubler (2015) is serving as a Preservation Associate at the Preservation League of New York State in Albany, New York.
James Duggan (2008) is serving as the Historic Preservation Review Coordinator by the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation in Montpelier, Vermont.
Meghan Bezio (2011) has been hired as an architectural historian by EBI Consulting of Burlington, Massachusetts.
Caitlin Corkins (2008) has a position as the Tax Credits and Grants Coordinator for the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation in Montpelier, Vermont. Previously, she worked for Historic New England.
Devin Colman (2006) has the position of State Architectural Historian by the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation in Montpelier, Vermont.
Anna Mod (1996) has a new book, Building Modern Houston, published by Arcadia Publishing. Anna works in Houston, Texas as a historic preservation specialist with SWCA Environmental Consultants. She serves on the board of The Heritage Society and is a co-founder of Houston Mod, a nonprofit organization that focuses on modern architecture and design.
Mark Wolfe (1990) serves as the Executive Director of the Texas Historical Commission, the state historic preservation office in Austin, Texas.
Historic Preservation Program
University of Vermont
133 South Prospect Street
Burlington, VT 05405
Department office phone: (802) 656-3180