Eastern Michigan University
Eastern Michigan University
Eastern Michigan University
New Science Building

Historic Preservation

Departmental Advisors:

    Dr. Ted Ligibel
    Program Director
    235 Strong Hall

    Danny J. Bonenberger
    Assistant Professor
    118F Strong Hall

    Nancy Villa Bryk
    Assistant Professor
    229 Strong Hall

Historic Preservation


The Historic Preservation Program is a 36 credit hour Master of Science Program in Historic Preservation, with concentrations in:

  • Preservation Planning
  • Heritage Interpretation, Tourism, and Administration
  • Conservation and Technology
  • General Studies

A five-course graduate level certificate in historic preservation also is available, as is an undergraduate minor in historic preservation. The program is housed in the Department of Geography & Geology, and regularly cooperates with other departments including History, Art, Construction Technology, and the Division of Extended Programs for prerequisite and other coursework. A Field School in Preservation Technology is offered during the summer term.

Entering its 4th decade, EMU's Historic Preservation Program is the largest graduate program in historic preservation in the nation. Over the years it has been the recipient of multiple state and national awards, including the American Association of State & Local History's coveted "Certificate of Commendation" (1989) for ten years of nationally-recognized performance within the field of historic preservation education. The award program sponsored by AASLH is the nation's most prestigious competition for local history achievement.

In 1999, EMU's Historic Preservation Program was presented with the "Lucy Hamilton Education Award" from Preservation Wayne, Detroit's leading preservation organization, for contributions to historic preservation in Michigan and Detroit. This same year, program founder Marshall McLennan received the "Lifetime Achievement" Award from the Michigan Historic Preservation Network.

In 2004, the Michigan Historic Preservation Network again honored the program, this time with its Educational-Institutional Award for twenty-five years of preservation education in the state of Michigan. In 2006, program alumni Bill and Tamara Click received the EMU Alumni Association's Outstanding Young Alumni award. Most recently, the program was honored by the Michigan Historic Preservation Network in 2009 with the Government/Institution Award for the preservation of buildings in the core historic campus.

The masters program focuses upon career development in the above listed concentrations with the aim of preparing students for gainful employment in the field of historic preservation in the public and private sector. Typical placements include federal, state, and local planning agencies; State Historic Preservation Offices and statewide non-profit preservation organizations; consultant planning and design firms; not-for-profit organizations; historic museums and societies; park and recreational agencies; and in heritage and sustainable tourism. Though job search success varies by year, our one-year placement rate is regularly above 75%.

Download the Historic Preservation brochure or the Historic Preservation Prospectus (PDF).