Apr 15, 2024  
2012-2013 CU Denver Catalog 
2012-2013 CU Denver 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
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 MSHP 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 graphics
  3. Graphics software such as Adobe Creative Suite

These competencies can be demonstrated by previous course work or by portfolio/resume submission. 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 prior to, or upon matriculation to, the MSHP degree 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 credit hours (up to 15 credit 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.

Undergraduate Course Work

Undergraduate course work substantively equivalent to a MSHP 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 credit 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:

  • Twelve (12) semester hours of core courses in preservation
  • Six (6) hours in approved core design history courses
  • Nine (9) hour capstone requirement
  • Eighteen (18) hours of electives

Students enrolling full-time in the 45 credit-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 in historic preservation degree.

Our program is compliant with National Council of Preservation Education Standards.


Total: 18 Hours

Concentration and Electives

Choose 18 semester hours total, at least 9 semester hours from the same group (concentration).  (Other courses may be approved as substitutions at the program director’s discretion.)

Total: 18 Hours

 9 hours in concentration + 9 hours additional electives

Capstone Work

Choose either Professional Project and additional requirements, or Thesis and additional requirements.

  1. HIPR 6851 - Professional Project

Preceded by one of the following:

  • Preservation Design Studio + Seminar (HIPR 6170-71)
  • ARCH 6450 - Pre-Design and HIPR 6930 - Internship for 3 semester hours of credit
  • Pre-approved travel education (may include programs to Italy, Turkey, Scandinavia, or domestic programs, typically Chicago or the rural West)

      2.  HIPR 6951 - Thesis

With LDAR 6949 - Research Tools, Strategies, Methods



Total: 9 hours

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