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College of Environment and Design


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The Master of Historic Preservation (MHP) program prepares future preservation professionals for broad-based careers in conservation and management of historic resources. The two-year course of study attracts students from diverse backgrounds and hones their critical thinking and analytical skills to solve future built environment challenges.

With an emphasis on preservation planning, the MHP degree provides a broad-based foundation to undertake a full breadth of preservation work.

MHP Curriculum

The MHP program consists of 57 to 60 semester hours of required instruction including core courses, elective hours, and thesis courses (worth 9 hours of course credit). With some exceptions, each course usually offers three semester hours of credit.  Fifty-seven hours are the minimum necessary for the degree.

Included in the curriculum is a 1-credit annual field study in the spring which rotates between Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC with both first and second-year students participating.

Year 1

Before the start of their first year, new students participate in a 3-day orientation to familiarize themselves with the program and be introduced to preservation projects in Athens and around the state.

Fall (16 hours)
Spring (16 hours)
Maymester or Summer (optional)

Year 2

Fall (13 hours)
Spring (13 hours)

‡  Students with a design degree or significant design experience may substitute an elective for HIPR 6060 and/or HIPR 6660.

Each year the program conducts a brief, intensive field study alternating between Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA in which both first and second year students and multiple faculty members participate.

◊ The Preservation Internship may only be taken for credit when it is required as a condition by a grant program or the host. While traditionally taken in the summer, HIPR 6613 Preservation Internship may be taken any semester if this requirement is met.

  These courses are also offered at the 4000 level for undergraduates.

Ѳ  This course is also offered to undergraduates as LAND 2520.

<<MHP Home 


Electives enable students to craft a broad program, examining a wide range of preservation and preservation-related subjects, or to develop an individualized specialization in a particular subject matter of interest.  Common electives include courses in landscape and planning (offered within the CED), but students can focus on other disciplines such as history, nonprofit management, interior design, archaeology, etc.

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Several programs inside and outside of the CED offer Graduate Certificates.  Students may choose electives based on a certificate that they are working toward. To read more on certificate options offered by the CED, click here.

Listed below are common elective options offered in the CED.




HIPR 4072/6072 Issues in International Heritage Conservation Read More ▼

This course provides the student an understanding of heritage conservation from an international perspective including the evolution of theory and practice and its application in cities and countries outside of the United States.

Topics covered in the course may include:

  • Introduction to International Heritage Conservation
  • History, Philosophy
  • Charters and Other International Standards and Norms; Treaties
  • World Heritage
  • War/Intentional Destruction
  • Looting/International Trafficking/Repatriation
  • Heritage and Development
  • Intangible Cultural Heritage; Cultural Diversity
  • Heritage Tourism
  • Regional Studies
HIPR 4120/6120 Historic Site Interpretation Read More ▼

From Civil War battlefield to small-town house museum, every historic site represents a multitude of stories, and holds significance for diverse audiences; these stories may be ‘official’ or ‘vernacular’, and often conflict with each other.  Identifying and articulating these stories, then designing and implementing a plan to present them, is interpretation of the site.  This course is an introduction to the principles and methods of historic site interpretation, and to current issues in the field. It approaches the topic from the perspective of historic preservation, and situates historic site interpretation within the broader process of managing historic resources.

Following a general introduction to the field, principles and issues are presented within the context of five types of historic sites: historic buildings (often ‘house museums’), commemorative sites (e.g. battlefields), open air sites/complexes, archaeological/ ‘fossil’ sites, and historic/cultural routes. Local site visits, and a 2-day field trip to sites in northwest Georgia, are crucial elements of the course, and provide reference for subsequent class discussion. The course will conclude with a project focused on a particular resource type, site, and/or current issue within interpretation.

HIPR 4160/6160 Public History and Technology Read More ▼

The past has often been presented using the newest technologies.  From early film to the World Wide Web and twenty-first century gaming, innovators have turned to history for inspiration even as historians, both lay and professional, have looked to take advantage of new media.  This course will explore the interplay between the spaces of the past and the communicative technologies used to present them, and combine archival investigations with explorations of the digital tools that make historic materials and the stories they hold more accessible.

HIPR 4330/6330 Introduction to Historic Landscape Documentation Read More ▼

This course introduces the concept, process and techniques for representing cultural landscapes through writing, photography, hand drawing and digital graphic media. The course provides basic training in “reading the landscape” so as to use digital photography and Adobe Creative Suite applications to document it via maps, site plans and other forms of landscape documentation. The course also introduces students to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) as tools for landscape documentation.

The course is organized as a seminar and workshop with a significant research and fieldwork component. Most class meetings, especially during the first half of the term, will be split between a brief lecture or presentation, class discussions, and exercises that build upon one another. During the second half of the semester we will apply the knowledge we’ve gained and practice our documentation skills on a project site.

HIPR 4460/6460 Rural Preservation Read More ▼

The intent of this course is to expose students to the evolution of the rural historic landscape, and the nature of rural preservation by examining rural landscapes and the values expressed in their design. We will explore the history of American rural life, the aesthetics of rural landscapes, and the challenges of protecting and preserving rural landscapes, along with legal and financial resources available for landscape preservation.

In recent decades the study of rural landscapes and the development of conservation strategies and tools have grown in both complexity and sophistication. There is no way to survey the breadth and richness of this field in one semester. For the purposes of this course, we will try to focus on key, selected texts or case studies that are either prominent in the area or representative of a particular approach.

This course is an introduction to some of the central issues of historic preservation in rural environments. We will trace various cultural attitudes about nature, country life, aesthetics, farming traditions, and the populations who inhabit rural America. Our studies will include contemporary farmsteads and rural communities, and how they are coping with change. Analysis will include the natural and cultural factor that shape patterns in rural environments and small communities. While our area of study will emphasize the Georgia Piedmont, the skills we learn will be applicable in most rural areas. Finally, we will also consider how landscape conservation in rural communities might be impacted by current cultural, social, and economic concerns, such as growing interest in biofuels, global climate change, and sustainable farming.

HIPR 4480/6480 Introduction to Cultural Landscape Conservation Read More ▼

This course provides an introduction to the diversity of cultural landscapes, the theory and philosophical approaches to their conservation, and the laws, policies, standards, and programs that exist to identify and assess their significance, with emphasis on the procedure employed by the U.S. Department of the Interior and UNESCO. The course provides a theoretical base for understanding and appreciating the interaction between nature and human culture in landscapes, as well as foundational knowledge for further study of issues related to landscape conservation and stewardship.

The course is organized as a seminar and workshop. Most of our class meetings will be split between a brief lecture or presentation, class discussions, and exercises that build upon one another. Readings will be assigned for most class meetings and you will be expected to read them prior to class and share your reactions in class discussions.

We will undertake several field trips that are intended to help us further explore landscape conservation concepts and issues. Some of these may extend beyond our regular class times. Participation in these trips – including planning and other preparatory work – is strongly encouraged, as they will be an essential part of your learning experience in this course.

HIPR 4510/6510 Historic Preservation Economics Read More ▼

The economic impact of preservation upon communities, its measurement in terms of both financial and environmental benefits and the financial needs and fiscal management of preservation organizations and agencies, with emphasis upon the development and preparation of funding and/or grant proposals. There is a substantial public service component of this course in which class groups prepare a report for a nonprofit organization on its fundraising and grant writing history and recommendations for future activity, including a draft grant application.

Through assigned readings, seminars, research projects, student presentation, field projects, and lectures, the student should gain the following upon completion of the course:

  • An understanding of how historic preservation activity affects economic forces and vice versa.
  • An understanding of the workings and purposes of nonprofit historic preservation organizations and governmental agencies at all levels—national state, and community—and how the various organizations relate and work together.
  • An understanding of the measurable and immeasurable benefits of historic preservation.
  • An understanding of economic development in the context of Main Street and heritage tourism, tax incentives, transfer of development rights, conservation easements, fundraising and grant writing.
  • An ability to research and develop funding and grant proposals.
  • An ability to research, discuss, and critically evaluate economic data and other measurable and immeasurable benefits pertaining to historic preservation.
  • A sense of the contribution that historic preservation makes to community and environmental quality.
HIPR 6440 Historic Landscape Management Read More ▼

This course introduces landscape management techniques, with an emphasis on the values of environmental conservation and historic preservation.

This course will be organized as a seminar and workshop with a significant research and fieldwork component. Most of our class meetings, especially during the first few weeks of the semester, will be split between a brief lecture o presentation, class discussions, and project planning activities. Readings will be assigned for most of these class meetings and you will be expected to read them prior to class and share your reactions in class discussions. During the second half of the semester our class time will focus on landscape management issues within the University of Georgia campus. Working collaboratively, we will develop a management plan that will provide you with an opportunity to apply theory and develop skills through direct experience with real landscape management problems. Activities related to this effort may include:

  • Contacting the necessary experts to facilitate problem definition
  • Literature searches
  • Field surveys, resource inventories and analysis
  • Interpreting and sharing current knowledge about landscape management or other fields of expertise such as landscape ecology
  • Crafting management vision statements, goals and objectives, and recommendations
  • Developing maps, plans, diagrams, or models
  • Helping to formulate adaptive management strategies and monitoring protocols
HIPR 4680/6680 The Design Charrette Read More ▼

“Charrette” describes a rapid, intensive, and creative work session, usually lasting a week or more, in which a design team focuses on a particular design problem and arrives at a collaborative solution. To learn more click here!




EDES 4270/6270 Environmental Design Uses of Geographic Information Systems Read More ▼

This class will introduce fundamental concepts of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and explore techniques for mapping and analyzing spatial data utilizing Esri’s ArcGIS software and other computer programs as they apply to the field of environmental design.

This class uses lectures, labs, in-class demos, tutorial assignments, readings, research and projects. Students are expected to participate in class activities and completer all assignment, labs and projects. Lab time is provided or students to work on assignments and projects and to receive assistance. Students are expected to work in the lab during class hours and are encouraged to discuss, work and learn from one another and the instructor in the computer lab and outside of class.

EDES 6540 Ideas of Community Read More ▼

The relationship between concepts of community and the physical environments (home, village, town, city, and region) may be designed in ways that foster personal and societal commitment to community and place.

The course is organized as a graduate seminar that includes a combination of readings, discussions, applied projects, and research. Readings will be assigned for most class meetings, and students will be expected to read them prior to class and be prepared to share their reactions in the class discussions. Active participation in these discussions is highly encouraged so people can express different opinions and perspectives in class. Students are encouraged to go beyond a basic understating and recitation of theories and places into a more in-depth critical analysis of theories and their applications to our lives.

EDES 6550 History of the Built Environment I: Landscape Read More ▼

This course is the graduate-level corollary to LAND 2510, a general survey of the history of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design from prehistory through the present, with emphasis on the relationship of the built environment and socio-cultural, technological, aesthetic, and environmental factors.

This course explores how humans, through time, have organized, designed, and utilized outdoor space. We will analyze the physical qualities, layout, and form of designed environments, and we will consider how these characteristics express human activities, perceptions, attitudes, and ideas. We will also consider issues related to the interpretation and preservation of environmental design heritage.

Environmental design history is a vast scholarly area, and in recent decades the scholarship in this field has grown in both breadth and sophistication. There is no way to cover the full extent and richness of this field in a one-semester survey. Moreover, it is impossible to adequately survey the vast array of design traditions associated with human cultures throughout the world in a single semester. Although we will briefly consider non-Western environmental design, for the purposes of this course, we will focus on the traditions that extend from European cultures. After completing the course, you should have a general sense of the field, and if you are interested in pursuing future studies in this area, you should have a solid foundation in place.

EDES 4610/6610 Vernacular Architecture Read More ▼

This is a lecture/seminar course that aims to explore ethnic groups, regions, types and issues in vernacular architecture, most strongly in America but also elsewhere in the world.  The exact configuration of material/topics is flexible and subject to change, as are lectures and field trips.

Field trips are taken to places such as Fort Hollingsworth, Callaway Plantation, Shield-Ethridge Farm, and Winston-Salem, NC.

EDES 4630/6630 20th Century Architecture Read More ▼

A lecture/seminar examining major trends in the practice of design and construction in Europe and America from the end of World War I to the present. Emphasis will be on the modern movement before World War II, reactions to it afterwards, and the diversity of approaches to design in recent decades. Monuments and sites will be presented in slide lecture format; theory in readings and discussion.

EDES 4640/6640 The History of Urban Planning Read More ▼

This course explores the evolution of urbanism and city planning over time. A city’s plan is an artifact that deserves as much consideration in analysis and preservation as individual buildings or neighborhoods. Through key examples of urban form in city planning history students will use documentary and graphic media to understand city form. The student will then conduct research and produced a graphic and written report on the historical morphology of a small city.

EDES 4675/6675 Cultural Heritage and Environmental Issues Read More ▼
Cultural Heritage and Environmental Issues focuses on the intersection of tangible and intangible cultural resources and how they rely upon, impact, and are impacted by environmental systems and features. Through lectures, readings, and discussion, historic foundations and contemporary issues will be explored.



EETH 4000/6000 Environmental Ethics Seminar (1 hour) Read More ▼

This course does not meet weekly. To successfully complete the course, you are required to attend 6 seminars and submit a one-page response to them within a week of the seminar date. We often co-sponsor speakers with other groups on campus so seminars may be scheduled for other days and times than the assigned course time. There are always more than 6 seminars available for you to attend.




FCID 5010/7010 Introduction to Museum Studies Read More ▼
An introduction to museums as important cultural sites. Through discussion, readings, written assignments, on-campus field trips, and guest lecturers, students will examine different types of museums, responsibilities of staff, and the challenges and issues encountered in entering the field.


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