MS in Historic Preservation


  • East Falls Campus
  • College of Architecture & the Built Environment

Degree Earned

Master of Science

Program Type

  • On Campus

Jefferson’s M.S. in Historic Preservation not only prepares graduates to preserve historic buildings and sites, but also to re-envision and re-purpose the past to serve present and future needs. The curriculum foregrounds adaptive reuse of historic structures as well as in-depth analysis through historical research and graphic documentation. Students develop skills fundamental to assess the condition and evolution of buildings and promote the ways historic structures order the urban fabric, contribute to healthy communities, and facilitate “place-making” as a catalyst for community revitalization. Students apply new and rapidly evolving digital technologies for managing, documenting and interpreting culturally significant structures and places.

As the first UNESCO World Heritage City in the United States, Philadelphia is a living laboratory of architectural styles and periods, offering a wealth of real-world projects and internship opportunities utilizing buildings and technologies, dating from 18th century Georgian through mid-20th century Modern.

Philadelphia is a living laboratory of architectural styles and periods

At Jefferson’s new Center for the Preservation of Modernism, students develop preservation protocols tailored to the unique character of early and mid-century modern architecture, the next preservation frontier as these buildings age, and may study the preservation of modernist architecture abroad at the iconic Bauhaus Building in Dessau, Germany or at the Giuseppe Terragni Archive in Como, Italy.

Students customize their course of study by selecting one of two tracks: Research and Documentation; or Preservation Design; and specialize in a field compatible with their track drawn from the College of Architecture and the Built Environment’s graduate offerings including Sustainable Design, Geographic Information Systems, Façade Technologies, Architectural History or Real Estate Development. The curriculum affords students the freedom to explore topics that suit their interests and further their professional goals.

Richard Neutra’s Hassrick House, LiDAR Scan

Take a virtual tour of renowned architect Richard Neutra’s Hassrick House (1958), captured in a ‘fly-through’ of a LiDAR point cloud. LIDAR, which stands for “Light Detection and Ranging,” is a 3D laser scan comprised of millions of points used to capture and document every detail of the building’s interior and exterior. LIDAR scanning has become an essential tool for Historic Preservation. LIDAR’s non-intrusive nature provides a hands-off method of documenting and assessing the condition of heritage structures, as well as charting structural changes.

See the location of the Hassrick House, and other houses in the area on this Modernism Map.

Historic Preservation Video Lectures: