The Master of Science (MS) in Historic Preservation program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is a two-year, 60-credit hour graduate curriculum that prepares students for careers in revitalizing our built environment.

Courses are offered in four areas:

  1. Architectural design
  2. Physical conservation
  3. Architectural and social history
  4. Preservation planning

Each graduate student in the program completes two years of coursework in each of these areas as part of the required curriculum. The program is geared toward full-time study.

Core courses  39  
  • Architectural design (6)
    • HPRES 5008 Physical Documentation (3)
    • HPRES 5010 Restoration Design Studio (3)
  • Physical conservation (9)
    • HPRES 5003 Historic Materials & Technology (3)
    • HPRES 5012 Building Pathology (3)
    • HPRES 6006 Building Conservation Lab (3)
  • Architectural & social history (12)
    • HPRES 5006 History and Theory of Historic Preservation (3)
    • ARTHI 4505 American Commercial and Civic Architecture (3)
    • ARTHI 4509 American Residential and Institutional Architecture (3)
    • HPRES 5543 American Interior Design (3)
  • Preservation planning (12)
    • HPRES 5002 Archival Documentation (3)
    • HPRES 5014 Preservation Planning (3)
    • HPRES 5015 Preservation Planning Studio (3)
    • HPRES 6008 Preservation Law (3)
 
Electives from any department  15  
HPRES 6010 Thesis I  3  
HPRES 6014 Thesis II  3  
Completion of the thesis   
Completion of internship (210 hours)    
Total Credit Hours60  

MS in Historic Preservation two-year sequence of courses

First Year Fall 15  
  • HPRES 5003 Historic Materials and Technology (3)
  • HPRES 5006 History and Theory of Historic Preservation (3)
  • HPRES 5008 Physical Documentation (3)
  • HPRES 5014 Preservation Planning (3)
  • HPRES 5543 American Interior Design (3) OR
    Elective (3)
 
First Year Spring  15  
  • HPRES 5002 Archival Documentation (3)
  • HPRES 5010 Restoration Design Studio (3)
  • HPRES 5012 Building Pathology (3)
  • HPRES 6008 Preservation Law (3)
  • ARTHI 4505 History of American Commercial and Civic Architecture (3) OR
    ARTHI 4509 History of American Residential and Institutional Architecture (3)
 
Second Year Fall  15  
  • HPRES 5015 Preservation Planning Studio (3)
  • HPRES 6006 Building Conservation Lab (3)
  • HPRES 6010 Thesis I (3)
  • Electives (6)
 
Second Year Spring  15  
  • ARTHI 4505 History of American Commercial and Civic Architecture (3) OR
    ARTHI 4509 History of American Residential and Institutional Architecture (3)
  • HPRES 6014 Thesis II (3)
  • Electives (9)
 
Total Credit Hours60  

Degree requirements and specifications

  1. Completion schedule: Students have a maximum of four years to complete the course work and submit a final thesis. This includes time off for leaves of absences. Thesis in Progress: Students who have not submitted a finished thesis for review and approval by the end of the final semester of enrollment are given a Thesis in Progress grade (IP). All students with a Thesis in Progress grade (IP) will be charged the Thesis in Progress Fee in each subsequent full semester until the thesis is completed and approved and the grade is changed to Credit (CR). If the statute of limitations is reached without an approved thesis, the grade will be changed to No Credit (NCR).
  2. Transfer credits: A minimum of 54 credit hours must be completed in residence at SAIC. Up to 15 transfer graduate-level credits may be requested at the time of application for admission. No transfer credit will be permitted after a student is admitted.
  3. Full-Time Status Minimum Requirement: 12 credit hours

Extracurricular Activities

In addition to course work, the two-year, 60 credit-hour Historic Preservation program requires students to undertake an internship. The 210-hour internship with a preservation agency, conservator, restoration architect, or designer enables students to work on historically significant sites and to learn firsthand the latest preservation techniques.

SAIC's Historic Preservation program has extensive international contacts and offers students significant overseas study opportunities. The Historic Preservation program's balanced curriculum and emphasis on real-world experience prepare students for a wide range of professional opportunities.

Interested in learning more?

Click around the pages of this website for more information on admissions requirements, Department of Historic Preservation faculty, students and alumni, and more.

Interested in learning more about how you can apply?

Visit the graduate admissions website or contact the graduate admissions office at 800.232.7242 or gradmiss@saic.edu.