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Historic Preservation

The evolution of the field of historic preservation and related developments in allied fields have required planning and design professionals to address a multiplicity of issues in the identification, evaluation, and protection of cultural resources. Preservationists now pay attention not just to individual cultural artifacts, but to an increasing number of urban and rural historic districts. Cultural heritage now spans a range of fields, and programs in historic preservation and related issues are offered in widely varying academic settings. The College of Built Environments at the University of Washington addresses preservation issues in the context of professional planning and design education to help train professionals in these disciplines to respond to the growing awareness of cultural resources by bringing informed professional judgment to the particular problems presented by historic properties.

Program Emphasis

The College of Built Environments at the University of Washington offers education in historic preservation planning and design within the framework of its professional and doctoral degree programs. This approach reflects a conscious choice to emphasize preservation within the context of the individual design and planning professions. Thus, the curriculum offers an awareness and familiarity with issues involved in the identification, designation, interpretation, and preservation of historic places, as well as the restoration, adaptive reuse, and design of sympathetic new construction in historic contexts.

Program Options

The College of Built Environments offers a Certificate in Historic Preservation for students in our M.Arch., M.S. in Architecture (History/Theory stream), B.L.A., M.L.A., M.U.P. and The Ph.D. in the Built Environment and the Ph.D. in Urban Design and Planning. The program also welcomes students from inside and outside the college who do not wish to pursue the certificate, but who want to take preservation courses and/or have a general interest in the field. Anyone interested in preservation is welcome on the program's email list to hear about preservation courses, events, and opportunities. Contact to request to be added to the email list.


The certificate program is available to students who have been accepted into a professional or doctoral program in the College of Built Environments (see list of participating degree programs in the Options section above. Application should first be made for admission to a degree program within the College. Once accepted to the program, a separate Statement of Interest form is required for students to notify the Historic Preservation Program Coordinator of their intention to pursue the Certificate and to complete the requirements. We recommend application be made within the first two weeks of classes for the two-year degree programs, and by the end of the first year of three-year programs.

Curriculum Description

Students must first be admitted to one of the College of Built Environment’s professional or graduate programs before admission to the certificate program. Certificate requirements do not replace departmental requirements, but are complementary. All programs allow for electives that can be used to complete the certificate program, which requires 12–15 credits. Occasionally, students may require extra time to complete all requirements for the Certificate and their degree program.

There are two tracks in this program, Track I for students in the Masters of Architecture (M.Arch.) program and Track II for students in the M.S. in Architecture (History/Theory), landscape architecture, urban planning, and the College doctoral programs. The curriculum, offered by faculty drawn from the larger College along with visiting lecturers from the preservation community, provides students with a grounding in the history, theories, methods, and practices of historic preservation planning and design.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities for breadth offered by all departments and programs included within the College. These opportunities comprise one of the strengths of the University of Washington's Historic Preservation Program.

The Historic Preservation Program can link students with local historic preservation institutions and with experienced local professionals. The city of Seattle represents an excellent urban laboratory with its strong record of preservation activity and the particular issues it presents for study. Outside the city, small town and rural settings within the region may also be vehicles for studio and thesis work.

For details, please see the Curriculum page.

Program Faculty

Faculty names are linked to their departmental information pages. Following the name are the departments the faculty member is able to chair and advise thesis/capstone/professional projects in.

Daniel B. Abramson (Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design and Planning)

Manish Chalana (Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design and Planning)

Meredith Clausen (Architecture)

Kimo Griggs (Architecture)

Jeffrey Hou (Landscape Architecture, Urban Design and Planning)

Ann Huppert (Architecture)

Louisa Iarocci (Architecture)

Ronald J. Kasprisin (Urban Design and Planning)

Kathryn Rogers Merlino (Architecture, Landscape Architecture)

Jim Nicholls (Architecture)

Jeffrey Karl Ochsner (Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design and Planning)

Vikramaditya Prakash (Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design and Planning)

Nancy Rottle (Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design and Planning)

Tyler Sprague (Architecture)

David Strauss (Architecture)

Thaisa Way (Architecture, Landscape Architecture)