Curriculum Overview and Courses

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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 Credit Hours
Architectural Design 6  
  • HPRES 5008 Physical Documentation (3)
  • HPRES 5010 Restoration Design Studio (3)
Physical Conservation
  • 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 4125 Racial Politics of the US Built Environment I (3)
  • ARTHI 4135 Racial Politics of the US Built Environment II (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 Thesis  
Completion of Internship (210 Hours)  
Total Credit Hours 60 

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).

Transfer Credit

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.

Full-Time Status Minimum Requirement: 12 Credit Hours

Extracurricular Activities

In addition to course work, the two-year, 60 credit-hour Historic Preservationprogram 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.

The information below updates twice a week--it is possible that changes may occur between updates. Up-to-the-minute information for enrolled students can always be found at PeopleSoft Self-Service.