EMU's Historic Preservation Program is among the largest graduate programs in Historic Preservation in the United States. Certified by the National Council for Preservation Education, the Master of Science in historic preservation (36 hours) offers concentrations in preservation planning and administration; heritage interpretation and museum practice; and recording, documentation and digital cultural heritage. The program also offers a 12-hour graduate certificate in historic preservation and an undergraduate minor in historic preservation.

The Historic Preservation Program was founded in 1979 in the Department of Geography and Geology as an outgrowth of cultural geography and its concern for common landscapes, vernacular architecture and practical application. As cohorts of the only historic preservation program embedded in geography, students learn to document, preserve and interpret historic structures, objects and places within the context of their cultural landscape setting.

The curriculum reflects the evolving nature of historic preservation theory and practice in the United States and abroad, and an applied approach has remained paramount. Students gain a range of practical experiences, including most forms of preservation documentation, while addressing the real needs of local communities. In this way, the program prepares students for professional service in the fields of preservation planning, historical administration, heritage interpretation and cultural resource management. Utilizing fellowships, internships and partnerships with numerous educational, and local, regional and national agencies and organizations, the program produces professionals who become leaders in the field and who improve the awareness and effectiveness of historic preservation worldwide.

  • News and Accolades

    • EMU HP Alum Sarah MarsomEastern Michigan University's Graduate Program in Historic Preservation is pleased to note that Sarah Marsom, Class of 2013, was recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as the recipient of the American Express Aspire Award during the 2018 National Preservation Awards, and as an honoree of the inaugural 40 Under 40: People Saving Place's list. Congratulations to Sarah-- we are so proud of your transformational work in Preservation!

    • Congratulations to Dr. Matt Cook, whose team was awarded more than $500,000 by the National Science Foundation (NSF)
      to carry out its project "The Role of Museums in the Landscape of Minority Representation." Over the next three years, the project members will survey how African American history and culture are presented at African American history museums, then work with each museum's staff to develop public engagement projects.
      This research is part of Tourism RESET, a multi-university initiative to challenge social inequities in the tourism industry. Congrats to Dr. LaToya Eaves (University of Tennessee, Knoxville), Dr. Perry Carter (Texas Tech University), Dr. Amy Potter (Georgia Southern University), Dr. Candace Forbes Bright (East Tennessee State University), and our own Dr. Matt on receiving this funding.

    • The HP Program is proud to announce the winner of our first annual Mariam KtiriCommonwealth Diversity Scholarship, Mariam Ktiri! Here's more about Mariam, in her own words:
      "My main interest in preservation stems from wanting to keep Moroccan culture alive and intact. I want to make sure that our history stays preserved for future generations and that it is continually cared for by people who understand the culture and come from it. More often than not, the preservation and contextualization of global cultures is done through a western or colonial lens, which leads to the devaluing and misinterpretation of cultural aspects including dress, artifacts, language, and architecture. And this simply will not do anymore.
      I will be entering the Historic Preservation Program in Fall 2020. In my free time, I can usually be found in the woods walking, listening to Moroccan music and mystery podcasts, or over a wheel making more soup bowls."
      Congrats, Mariam!
  • Our Mission Statement 

    Through rigorous coursework and partnerships with educational, local and regional groups, EMU's graduate program in historic preservation trains professionals who utilize best practices to ethically steward, preserve and interpret our diverse cultural heritage.
  • Program Objectives

    • To provide program students from diverse undergraduate backgrounds with a fundamental knowledge in the field of historic preservation sufficient to prepare them for entry-level professional careers in historic preservation.
    • To provide program students with best practices in planning, technical, cultural resource management, and interpretive and administrative skills useful to careers in historic preservation and museum practice.
    • To provide program students with a sound foundation in American architectural history as well as the ability to implement and carry out cultural resource surveys.
    • To provide program students with knowledge of geographic concepts, perspectives and methodologies associated with cultural landscape interpretation and regional analysis. High style and vernacular architecture and landscapes, both urban and rural, as well as settlement patterns, are studied as visual manifestations of American cultural history via cultural resource management strategies.
    • To combine classroom theoretical development with practical community and/or agency field experience through broad-based community engagement collaborations.
    • To foster productive relationships among historic preservation, cultural tourism and sustainability.
    • To improve the effectiveness of historic preservation activities in Michigan, the Midwest and the United States by preparing qualified professionals for entry into career positions in historic preservation.
    • To foster the effectiveness of historic preservation, by increasing community awareness of its broad aims and diverse techniques.

Explore this Program

Program at a Glance

Read some facts on the Historic Preservation Program, which was founded in 1979.

Program History

Read about the history of the Historic Preservation Program and the accolades it has received.

Alumni Job Placements

Historic Preservation Program alumni work in a myriad of places.

Detroit Detroit Area Art Deco Society (DAADS) Scholarship Competition

Awarded annually since 2001.