What Can I Do With This Degree?

Our program's primary goal is to teach students to think like preservationists. Once that work has begun, students can explore many different directions. With our material and cultural heritage under constant attack, the field of historic preservation continues to be a growth industry.

In the Workforce

  • Local and state government: An ever-increasing number of municipalities employ preservation planners, and every state has a historic preservation office. In addition, state departments of transportation routinely employ preservation specialists for Section 106 reviews.
  • Federal government: A broad range of preservation work is available through the National Park Service, from the keeper of the National Register of Historic Places to hands-on preservation specialists working in the field, maintaining historic Park Service properties.
  • Private cultural resource management firms: These firms do contract work for clients ranging from private landowners to municipal and state governments, and also perform architecture documentation and evaluation associated with federal and state Section 106 regulations. Since much of the work is archaeological in nature, these firms provide opportunities for budding archaeologists to hone their skills.
  • Private preservation organizations that maintain historic sites: The Preservation Society of Newport County and the Newport Restoration Foundation are well-known local examples of these organizations. The oldest such site in the U.S. is George Washington's plantation Mount Vernon, which has been owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association of the Union since the 1850s. In addition, there are hundreds - if not thousands - of local preservation organizations scattered across the country.
  • Preservation contracting firms: Hands-on preservation work is a well-defined niche in the building industry, and there is a critical shortage of trained and skilled artisans in the historic building trades. During the 2008 financial crisis, restoration and preservation was virtually the only segment of the construction industry that did not collapse.

Graduate School

Our students have been admitted to graduate programs in a variety of preservation-related disciplines at such schools as:

  • Boston University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • SUNY Oneonta's Cooperstown Graduate Program
  • University of Delaware's Winterthur Program in American Material Culture
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Massachusetts Boston
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Southern Maine
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Vermont