Jul 11, 2020  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Historic Preservation MS

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Graduate School Rules apply to this program

Program Director: Christopher Koziol
Office: CU Denver Building, 320O
Telephone: 303-315-5874
E-mail: christopher.koziol@ucdenver.edu    

In a rapidly changing cultural, economic and professional environment, it is valuable to have an understanding of what is worth saving of the built environment. However, appreciation for the past alone is insufficient for making the informed and creative decisions expected and required of cutting-edge professionals. The desire to know can become the opportunity to lead. There is an increasingly urgent need in our professional community and in our society for the skills and knowledge that this effort requires and this degree offers.

As global economies change fewer resources are available for new buildings and we must adaptively reuse our existing structures. This trend will continue beyond short-term economic conditions, because it will always be a more sustainable practice to reuse existing buildings than to tear them down and harvest or manufacture new materials.

The College of Architecture and Planning, and the professional community that it serves, foresee a significant and permanent shift towards more adaptive reuse of existing buildings. The master of science in historic preservation is a program designed to prepare students for a true 21st Century career.

Historic preservationists come from a variety of backgrounds. Some are well-educated in the humanities and desire to increase their technical understanding. Those familiar with the social sciences might be seeking “real world” applications for their expertise. Many already with “first professional degrees” in design and planning disciplines, as well as the law and business, seek to deepen their competence in the vibrant and interesting professional niche of historic preservation. 


The master of science in historic preservation program is fully integrated into a college emphasizing design and graphic excellence. While HP students need not have fully developed skills in advance of matriculation we have found that students have benefitted from some previous exposure to:

  1. Mechanical drawing/sketching
  2. CAD/BIM graphics
  3. Graphics software such as Adobe Creative Suite

Should any of these competencies for an admitted student be judged insufficient by the faculty, the program director may require the student to gain supplemental instruction upon matriculation to the MSHP program.  Any credit awarded for such supplemental work will not be counted toward the required number of credit hours for the degree. 


Application to the master of science in historic preservation program is open to all students holding the bachelor’s (undergraduate) degree from an accredited college (or its equivalent from a foreign institution).  

Materials Required

  • A brief statement of interest (500 word max.)
  • A compact portfolio (max. 15 pages 8.5” X 11”) of writing samples, and optionally, graphic work and professional resume is strongly recommended.
  • Submission of Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores is recommended for applicants without evidence of prior successful graduate level accomplishment. [There is an expedited application procedure for current CU Denver students in another CAP masters program. Please inquire to the MS in historic preservation program director.]

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit of up to 12 semester hours (up to 15 semester hours for those seeking/holding a related master’s degree from CU Denver) may be awarded for equivalent graduate (post-bachelor’s) course work at the discretion of the program director and in keeping with CU Denver Graduate School rules.  Students holding a master’s degree in Architecture, Urban Planning or Landscape Architecture are typically awarded 12 to 15 semester hours of advanced standing.

Undergraduate Course Work

Undergraduate course work substantively equivalent to a MS HP required course may be accepted as a substitution for that course at the program director’s discretion, but such substitution will not reduce the total number of semester hours required for the degree. 

Program Requirements

The course of study is designed to accommodate the background and needs of both those students with substantial experience, and those new to the field. The curriculum is flexible but rigorous, requiring:

  • 18 semester hours of core courses in preservation
  • 6 hours in approved Design History courses
  • 15-18 hours of electives
  • 3-9 hours capstone requirement

Students enrolling full-time in the 45 semester hour curriculum typically complete the program in 3 or 4 semesters, or 18 months. However, course work other than the completion of the capstone requirement may be accomplished in a period of residency as short as 15 months. Students receiving significant transfer credit and those with a related degree may further reduce the time required for the MS degree in historic preservation.

Our program is compliant with National Council of Preservation Education Standards

Total: 24 Hours


Choose 15-18 semester hours of related electives.  These courses can be chosen across the CU Denver campus, but are most frequently selected from within the offerings of the departments in the College of Architecture and Planning. However, students have also benefited from courses offered by the School of Public Affairs, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the School of Business. Some examples are shown below. (Other courses are eligible as substitutions but should be discussed in advance with the program director or academic advisor.)

Total: 15-18 Hours

Capstone Work

Choose either 1. Professional Project or 2. Thesis and additional requirements.

1.   HIPR 6851 - Professional Project (3 semester hours)

2.   HIPR 6951 - Thesis (6 semester hours)
      Preceded by LDAR 6949 - Research Tools, Strategies, Methods (3 semester hours)

Total: 3-9 hours

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