On behalf of the faculty, staff, and students we want to welcome you to the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. We are happy that you will be joining us and hope that your experience is productive, rewarding, and enjoyable. We have assembled some information to aid you in your transition into our classroom/studio environment.
These documents address many of the frequently asked questions posed by students. Should you find that there are items that are not addressed, please let us know so that we can help you get the answer to your question as well as include that information in future iterations of this document. Feel free to contact us to discuss your concerns.
For advising, students in the Historic Preservation program should contact the program director:
Local, State, and Federal Agencies
Careers at the local level include positions in city and county preservation, planning, tourism, natural resources, and economic development offices. At the state level, jobs include those within the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), Maryland Historical Trust, and agencies like the highway or transportation, economic development, tourism, natural resources, and planning. Many of these positions are focused on preservation planning and the management of cultural resource projects under both state and Federal laws (such as Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act). As all Federal agencies are required to have a preservation officers, jobs within the Federal government range from the National Park Service to agencies that manage large tracts of land and resources, such as the Department of Defense (military bases), Bureau of Land Management, and the General Services Administration (Federal office buildings), to the many smaller Federal agencies. These jobs demand familiarity with federal, state, and local laws and guidelines related to preservation of cultural resources as well as a wide and flexible range of skills across the discipline. Preservation offices tend to be small, requiring the staff to be flexible and prepared to wear many hats.
Cultural Resource Management Firms
These positions tend to be focused on either management or fieldwork activities, and engage in identifying and preserving both architectural and archaeological resources. The types of projects tend to be those that are required under various laws (like Section 106 referenced above). For example, a project might include the survey and assessment of architectural and/or archaeological sites within the right-of-way of a planned highway. This type of project might actually be overseen by a preservation professional within the transportation department and later reviewed by a preservation staff member at the SHPO office. These jobs vary from fieldwork and documentation to report writing and presentation. There is a wide range of cultural resource management firms, starting with small single or several person organizations and expanding to large, multi-national firms that provide these services as a part of their overall practice in architecture, planning, and engineering (examples include Commonwealth Cultural Resources Group, Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc., The Louis Berger Group, and John Milner Associates). In addition, there are many university-based CRM units, such as the William and Mary Center for Archaeological Research and the Office of Contract Archaeology at the University of New Mexico.
These positions tend to be related to advocacy and land or resource management non-profits such as city or statewide preservation organizations (Preservation Maryland) or resource focused groups like the Civil War Trust or the Piedmont Environmental Council. Perhaps the best known of these non-profit organizations is the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Jobs in this arena include management, lobbying, granting and preservation services, property management, policy and legal research and support, and preservation education to name a few. There are also land trust organizations that own and manage historic resources, either directly or via easements (for example, the Nature Conservancy and the Archaeological Conservancy). Skills in land management, planning, and cultural landscape analysis and preservation are sought by employers.
Architectural and Planning Firms
Many architectural firms now specialize in the restoration, renovation, or adaptive use of historic structures (for example, Quinn Evans Architects in Washington or Design Collective in Baltimore). As the movement toward a more sustainable built environment grows, more and more of this type of work is being planned and executed. While these firms often look for individuals with architecture and preservation degrees, many firms are now hiring preservation specialists with MHP degrees to help them navigate the myriad regulatory and legal challenges of this work. For example, the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit program is big business and these projects can run into the tens of millions of dollars; thus, firms and investors want to expedite these projects by hiring preservation professionals who can guide them through the bureaucracy.
Museums and Historic Sites
Many property holding museum organizations employ preservation professionals in jobs related to site management and preservation. Organizations from Colonial Williamsburg, Mount Vernon and Historic New England, to the many small historic house museums across the country have needs for preservation professionals to perform research, plan and manage preservation projects on their properties, as well as for executive director or curator positions at smaller sites.
Students in the HISP program have several funding and financial support options available to them including graduate assistantships, fellowships and scholarships, and grant/contract hourly positions.
The School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation provides a number of graduate and teaching assistantships each semester. Appointments are considered on the basis of academic and professional qualifications.
Appointments typically carry a stipend of approximately $3,700 and five (5) credits of tuition remission; however, some positions provide a higher stipend and more credits of tuition remission. Graduate and teaching assistants (GAs and TAs) are charged the in-state rate for tuition credits not covered by tuition remission. Assistantships also include participation in the employees’ health benefits program. The assistantship, does not, however, cover the cost of mandatory fees. Additional policies and other information about assistantships can be found in the The Graduate Catalog.
GAs and TAs are required to sign a contract and work 10 hours per week (or more depending on the position) for the contract period. This includes hours during the GA/TA workweek prior to the start of each semester to make up for hours during the break.
For more information about assistantships, please contact the program director:
Fellowships and Scholarships
This list of funding opportunities is for information only, and it is not exhaustive. Other opportunities not listed here may also be available. Students interested in applying for funding opportunities should contact the program director.
The Prince George's Heritage Preservation Fellowship
This fellowship is an annual competitive award for a historic preservation student who undertakes a study related to Prince George's County. The award provides a stipend of approximately $1,200 and tuition remission of 1-3 credits. Students wishing to compete for the PGH Fellowship should contact the HISP director.
David Fogle Travel Fellowship
The Fogle Travel Fellowship is an annual award supporting summer travel abroad for a HISP student.
Preservation Conferences Travel Grant
The program provides HISP students small travel grants to attend national and regional preservation conferences. These opportunities are announced throughout the year and application is made through the Director.
Grant/Contract Hourly Positions
The HISP program regularly works on grant/contract funded projects for agencies such as the National Park Service. These projects provide students with direct fieldwork and administrative experience in preservation along with the opportunity to earn income on an hourly basis. Application for these positions is made through the Director.