Historic Preservation

Program Category: PhD Programs
Website: arch.columbia.edu
Degree Programs: Full-Time: MPhil, PhD

In response to the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Department of Historic Preservation is not accepting doctoral applications for 2021 admission. Please visit the department's website for more information.


Please note: The degree for this program is conferred by GSAS, but program specifics, such as admissions and financial aid decisions and degree requirements, are administered by other schools of the university.

The PhD program in Historic Preservation is oriented toward the training of scholars in the discipline of historic preservation. Its structure reflects the understanding of the role of the scholar within historic preservation at large, as both teacher and researcher engaged in contributing original historical, theoretical, and practical knowledge to the discipline. The academic curriculum provides a solid foundation in the historical understanding of the discipline’s evolving challenges and purposes, promotes theoretical speculation on alternative modes of disciplinary engagement suited to the new ethical, technical, aesthetic, and social problems of the twenty-first century, and fosters a critical scholarly culture conducive to training the discipline’s future leaders. Students are expected to conduct independent research, supported by the preservation faculty’s wide range of expertise, the Historic Preservation Laboratory, Avery Library, as well as strong connections to the rest of GSAPP’s scholarly community, and other departments within Columbia University.

The curriculum requires two years of coursework, one year to prepare and take general exams, and two years for independent research and writing. The total time to completion is expected to be five years.

Eligibility for admission to the program is generally limited to students holding a Master of Historic Preservation degree. Students who hold a master's degree or equivalent in another field are also considered for admission.