Through coursework, charrettes, and field trips, preservation students have the opportunity to interact with students in the school’s programs (including architecture, real estate development and community planning), and across the university (including history, American studies, anthropology, and landscape architecture) providing exciting cross-fertilization of ideas among scholars of the built environment.
Academic research is complemented by both project- and field-based professional training in documentation, policy, community engagement, and interpretation to prepare our students for the many aspects of contemporary preservation practice. Our students come from many different backgrounds, and are employed in all areas of the field, from statewide easement review, to community revitalization agencies, to historic interpretation of resources. Students leave Maryland with a portfolio of professional quality papers and reports that clearly demonstrate their abilities and competencies to potential employers.
Maryland students take a series of required courses in the preservation program to develop core professional and academic skills, then are able to shape their education based on their interests and strengths. Through cooperation with numerous departments throughout the university and professionals and organizations across the region, students can explore the broad field of preservation, including archaeology, cultural landscape studies, cultural resource management, and sustainability.
Location, Location, Location
College Park is located in the Baltimore-Washington urban corridor, which allows preservation professionals to serve as adjunct faculty and guest lecturers, providing Maryland students with up-to-date perspectives on current issues in the field. Our location also provides easy access to the many preservation organizations—local, state, and federal—in the area where our students take internships to refine and apply their knowledge and skills in real-world settings. The state of Maryland also provides a wide range of professional settings, from urban to suburban to exurban, and from the Atlantic seashore to the mountains of Appalachia.
With a placement rate of roughly 80 percent just one year after graduation, HISP students get jobs. Across the country and around the world, UMD alumni work to preserve our historic built environment in a wide array of fields and positions. Nearly half of our graduates work in government at all levels: examples include federal appointments at the National Park Service; jobs with state historic preservation offices in North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Texas; and positions in local government, such as the city planning department of Gaithersburg, Md. Nearly a quarter of UMD graduates work in architecture firms across the country, designing new solutions for sustaining our historic built environment. Others manage projects at historic sites and museums, administer historic property easements with nonprofits, and oversee cultural initiatives in heritage areas.
Local, State, and Federal Agencies:
Preservation careers at the local level include positions in city and county offices and departments, such as planning, tourism, natural resources, and economic development. At the state level, jobs include those within each of the 50 state historic preservation offices (SHPOs) – such as Maryland Historical Trust andVirginia Department of Historic Resources – and various agencies, such as the highway or transportation, economic development, tourism, natural resources, and planning departments and divisions. Many of these positions are focused on planning and managing cultural resources projects under both state and federal laws (such as Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act). Jobs within the federal government include the National Park Service, the agency that is vested with managing the programs established by the NHPA; agencies that manage large tracts of land and resources, such as the Department of Defense (military bases), Bureau of Land Management, the General Services Administration (federal office buildings) and the Federal Highway Administration; and a variety of regulatory entities, such as the Corps of Engineers, FEMA, and others. 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. Preservation offices tend to be small, requiring a versatile and knowledgeable staff.
Cultural Resource Management:
Private firms in every state act as contractors performing architectural and archaeological surveys and other preservation services, generally required under various laws (such as Section 106). For example, a project might include the survey and assessment of historic resources 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 staff member at the SHPO. Jobs in cultural resource management tend to be focused on either management or fieldwork, including data retrieval, documentation, report writing and preparing treatment recommendations. Cultural resource management firms range from small operations employing a handful of staff, to expansive, multinational corporations that may feature CRM within a broad array of architectural, planning, and engineering services. There are many university-based CRM units as well, such as the William and Mary Center for Archaeological Research and the Office of Contract Archaeology at the University of New Mexico.
An array of nonprofit entities have arisen to advocate for historic preservation and to manage heritage resources, which employ a growing number of preservation professionals. These include city and statewide organizations (Historic Annapolis, Preservation Maryland) or resource-focused groups such as the Civil War Trust and the Piedmont Environmental Council. Perhaps the best-known example of this type of organization is the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Jobs in this arena include project management, lobbying, granting and preservation services, property management, policy and legal research, and support and education. Land trusts manage historic resources, either directly or via easements: the Nature Conservancy and the Archaeological Conservancy are two examples.
Architectural and Planning Firms:
Many architectural firms now specialize in the restoration, renovation, or adaptive reuse of historic structures. As the focus has shifted to maintaining a more sustainable built environment, the market for these services has expanded. In addition to advising on traditional preservation concerns related to safeguarding the significance and integrity of the historic resources, preservation specialists help navigate the many regulatory and legal challenges inherent in this work. For example, the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit program is big business, which provides crucial financial incentives to allow for a growing number of historic properties to be preserved and adaptively reused.
Museums and Historic Sites:
The traditional roots of historic preservation in the U.S. stem from the desire to preserve historically and culturally important structures and sites for the benefit of present and future generations. These include such pioneers of the historic preservation movement in America as the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Mount Vernon, Historic Annapolis and Historic New England. Preservation professionals are employed at sites large and small to serve as property managers and stewards, planners, researchers, educators, curators, hands-on practitioners of the building arts, and fundraisers.
To learn more about the School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation's undergraduate and graduate programs, fill out the following Google Form: go.umd.edu/admissionsinquiry.
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SELF-GUIDED TOUR: We encourage visitors to come see our studio spaces, classrooms, and students in action anytime during business hours, 9:00am - 5:00pm. To speak with an admissions specialist, we encourage you to make an appointment (below), or we have limited walk-in hours on a first-come, first-served basis on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00pm - 4:00pm.
GUIDED TOUR WITH AN ADMISSIONS SPECIALIST: For guided tours and to learn more about the school, we encourage prospective students to call (301.405.8000) before visiting to arrange a tour or to speak with someone from one of our programs. Visits can also be scheduled online through MAPP’s appointment portal: www.go.umd.edu/ADappt
Online appointments are for current and prospective students of all levels, and are conducted throughout the school year and in summer sessions.
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