Two master’s-level programs and two doctoral-level programs are offered in Historic Preservation: M.Arch. II (Preservation), M.S.H.P., Ph.D. (History Track), and Ph.D. (Community and Regional Planning Track).
Taking three or four semesters to complete and 36-hours, total, of studio and coursework, this design-oriented post-professional degree is intended for students with baccalaureate degrees in architecture (B.Arch.) who wish to refine their skills and qualify themselves to do work in the preservation and adaptive re-use of historic buildings. It does not serve as a prerequisite for doctoral study. More information on the M.Arch. II (Preservation) program can be found on the Architecture Post-Professional M.Arch. page.
This program provides students with an introduction to advanced studies in historic preservation and is a prerequisite for the Ph.D. program. It may also be pursued independently. Ordinarily completed in two years, it requires 48 hours of coursework including a Thesis or Professional Report.
Sample M.S.H.P. Curriculum*
- Preservation History & Theory
- Graphic Documentation
- Building Construction I
- National Register Documentation
- Architectural Conservation: Field Methods
- Preservation Planning & Practice
- Thesis A or Elective
- American Architecture
- Thesis B or Professional Report
Total hours — 48
The program leading to the Ph.D. in the area of architectural history builds on the M.S.H.P degree and provides students with advanced training to prepare them to teach and to conduct research at the highest level. Students who have completed the M.S.H.P. degree must apply for continuation to the Ph.D. level. The Ph.D. requires a minimum of 21 hours of coursework leading to the comprehensive examination. Students must demonstrate reading proficiency in a second foreign language approved by the Ph.D. Committee. The comprehensive examination tests general knowledge of architectural history, an area of concentration, and a minor area. Following successful completion of the comprehensive examination, the student develops a dissertation topic and makes a public presentation to the Ph.D. Committee, which then recommends candidacy to the Dean of the Graduate School. The writing, oral defense, and revision of the dissertation follow.
Sample Program of Study*
First Ph.D. Year** (First Semester)
- ARC 388R Architectural history seminar
- ARC 389R Reading course in historic preservation
- Minor elective (or language study, if necessary)
First Ph.D. Year (Second Semester)
- ARC 388R Research in historic preservation
- ARC 389 Reading course in preservation
- Minor elective (or language study, if necessary)
Second Ph.D. Year (First Semester)
- Reading course in minor area
- Plus additional courses, as necessary
Note: students are normally required to take 21 hours in advanced courses before sitting for the comprehensive examination
Second Ph.D. Year (Second Semester)
- Comprehensive examination
Third Ph.D. Year, First Semester
- Dissertation colloquium
Third Ph.D. Year, Second Semester
- Dissertation and defense ***
Total hours — 21
The combined time from the Master's degree to comprehensive exams is 30 + 21 = 51 hours. Added are 398T (Supervised teaching, if necessary), dissertation colloquium, and dissertation.
* Program curricula are tailored to individual background and emphasis and will be determined with the Program Director.
** Number of hours will vary depending on the student's individual situation.
*** The length of time required to complete a dissertation varies according to individual situations. In principle, the scope of the dissertation should be such that it can be researched and written in two to three years of steady work.
The program leading to the Ph.D. in the area of Historic Preservation and Community and Regional Planning builds on the M.S.H.P. degree and provides students with advanced training to prepare them to teach and to conduct research at the highest level. Students who have completed a Master's degree must apply for continuation to the Ph.D. The student must accumulate a minimum of 51 total hours of graduate credit (21 hours beyond the M.S.H.P. degree) as part of the doctoral degree program in planning. These 51 hours must be distributed as follows, subject to the approval of the Graduate Studies Committee:
- Required courses: 9 hours
- CRP 391D - Planning Theory
- CRP 391D - Research Design
- CRP 391 D - Colloquium on Planning Issues
- Advanced quantitative methods: 6 hours
- Courses in the Historic Preservation specialization 12+ hours
- Courses outside the field of planning: 12 hours
- Dissertation: 9 hours
After completion of coursework, subject preparation, and research, the student will take a set of comprehensive examinations. The student then submits his/her program of work for approval by the CRP Graduate Studies Committee. The title and a complete proposal for the dissertation will also be submitted to the CRP Graduate Studies Committee. The student must successfully defend the dissertation proposal in an oral examination.
The CRP Graduate Studies Committee then certifies that all departmental requirements have been met and recommends that the student be advanced to candidacy. After being advanced to candidacy, the student works with the faculty to form a dissertation advisory committee; and the completion, final oral defense, and revision of the dissertation will follow.
Opportunities for Interdisciplinary Study
Students may combine their research on historical topics with a broad array of related subjects. As a major research university, the University of Texas at Austin offers a wide selection of electives, including courses in Art History, Classics, Cultural Geography, History, Anthropology, Museum Studies, African-American Studies, Latin American Studies, and Asian Studies.
Faculty Contact: Michael Holleran
This specialization provides students with the tools and skills appropriate for planning in older sites and communities, especially where historic properties are present. Students are expected to take the four courses listed below, and to complete a preservation studio or thesis. Through the classes, students are exposed to social, political, environmental and economic issues in the identification and interpretation of cultural resources; historic preservation as an engine of economic and community development (e.g.: heritage tourism, Main Street programs, tax policies, housing rehabilitation); documentation and treatment of sites ranging in scale from individual structures to urban districts to cultural landscapes; the regulatory and legal environment at federal, state and local levels; and policy and design issues involved with the integration of new development within an existing built context.
Coursework is supported by the rich stock of diverse natural and cultural resources found in Texas, especially in Austin and the Hill Country. Students also have numerous opportunities to engage in research or coursework in international settings, as exemplified by recent projects in Mexico, Bosnia, Italy, and the Crimea. Other resources available to students in the preservation program include the School's significant architectural documents collection, a materials library and conservation laboratory, and the close proximity of the State Historic Preservation Office: the Texas Historical Commission. Recent professional reports undertaken by MS CRP students seeking the specialization in historic preservation have included: the impact of the introduction of gambling on the historic downtowns of Natchez and Vicksburg, Mississippi; preservation as a tool for redevelopment of Big Spring, Texas; and preservation and heritage tourism in the silver cities of Mexico.
Required Courses for the Specialization:
- CRP 389C/ARC 386M Preservation Planning and Practice (Holleran, Fall)
- ARC 386M Preservation History and Theory (Holleran, Spring)
- CRP 389C/ARC 386M Cultural Resource Management (Zapalac, Fall)
- CRP 381 Preservation Law (Rawlins, Spring)
- CRP 398R or CRP 698A/B Thesis (or Preservation Studio: see course listings)