The School of Architecture at the University of Texas - Austin offers two master’s-level programs and two doctoral-level programs:
- MSHP (Traditional Masters on Historic Preservation) 
- MAAD (Historic Preservation Track for graduate architecture students)
- History of Architecture Ph.D. (Historic Preservation Track) 
- Community and Regional Planning Ph.D. (Historic Preservation Track)



The MSHP is our core program for the conservation of the built environment.  This program introduces students to advanced studies in historic preservation. Ordinarily completed in two years, it requires 48 hours of coursework including a Professional Report that is crafted during the last year. This master's program, or equivalent, is a prerequisite to enter in the Ph.D. program. 

Sample MSHP Curriculum*

Fall I

Spring I

Summer (open for students to seek internships)

Fall II

Spring II

Total hours — 48

* Program curricula are tailored to individual background and emphasis and will be determined by the Program Director.
** We don't necessarily encourage that you take all your electives in the final year. Take a look at electives for every semester starting in your first year, and consult with faculty about rearranging MSHP core courses if appropriate.



This program takes three or four semesters, 36-hours total. These 36 credits include studio and coursework. The program is design-oriented post-professional degree and it 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 MAAD(Historic Preservation) program can be found on the Architecture Post-Professional MAAD page.


The program leading to the Ph.D. in the area of historic preservation 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 a continuation of 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.

COMMUNITY & REGIONAL PLANNING (M.S.C.R.P.) - Historic Preservation Specialization

Faculty Contact: Benjamin Ibarra Sevilla

This specialization provides students with the tools and skills for planning in settings with culturally-significant built environment and landscapes. Students are expected to take the HP courses listed below, to complete the MSCRP Practicum requirement with a Preservation/Planning Studio, and to complete the Thesis/PR requirement with a preservation planning project. 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 diverse cultural resources in Austin and in Texas. Students also have numerous opportunities to engage in research or coursework in international settings, as exemplified by recent projects in Mexico and France. 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.

Required Courses for the Specialization:

  • CRP 389C/ARC 386M Preservation Planning and Practice (Holleran, Spring)
  • CRP 389C/ARC 388R Preservation History and Theory (Holleran, Fall)
  • CRP 381 Preservation Law (Fall)
  • (approved elective from HP/CRP offerings)
  • CRP 685D/ARC 692 Planning/Preservation Studio (see course listings)
  • CRP 398R or CRP 698A+B PR or Thesis on approved HP/planning topic



For more information contact: Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla, Program Director.