Historic Preservation


Historic preservation is wide-ranging, spanning the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Its essential nature is multidisciplinary, requiring cooperation across many fields, architecture, the humanities, social sciences, the building trades, law, economics and art history.


Within this environment, the historic preservationist is chartered to care for material culture represented by landscapes and monuments, as well as architecture in both its high styles and vernacular forms. To be effective, a historic preservationist must be able to work within a broad framework. The foundation of this effort is a clear understanding of the project area's history. Knowledge of history, however, must be supported by an understanding of contributing disciplines and, importantly, tempered by sensitivity to the social needs of the local community, which owns the material remnants and memories of that history.

The Historic Preservation Program

Historic preservation is a multidisciplinary field that cuts across the design fields, the social sciences and the humanities. Preservationists today must grapple with social, historical and cultural issues in order to work with a broad range of professionals in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. In order to achieve this goal the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at the University of Maryland draws from the fields of American Studies, Anthropology, Architecture, Historic Preservation, History, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Studies and Planning. The program trains preservation professionals who will be familiar with the different disciplines and approaches that make up contemporary preservation practice.


A Master of Historic Preservation degree (MHP) from the University of Maryland responds to the complex needs of the historic preservation profession. It combines a broad reach of advanced individual and collaborative course work with research and practical experience gained through a summer internship. Subjects such as public policy, economic development, historical interpretation and cultural diversity are emphasized alongside traditional preservation topics such as documentation, historical scholarship, preservation planning and design. The goal is to gain knowledge and experience in critical decision-making, management, and conservation. Contemporary historic preservation practice addresses the needs of a complex and diverse society. To reflect the demands of our changing world, the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation is committed to increasing diversity in its curriculum, recruitment practices and research.


Maryland's Historic Preservation program draws on the extraordinary resources of the state and the Washington/Baltimore region. The program enjoys relationships with several prominent national, state, regional and local preservation organizations. Guest lecturers include the field's leading professionals from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Park Service, US/ICOMOS, the Maryland Historical Trust, Preservation Maryland and Prince George's Heritage. On the University campus, the National Trust Library provides an unmatched archive and research resource.  

5- year External Review of the HISP Program

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HISP Program review 1 May 2015 (U Md program review 5-1.docx)