Master of Design Studies Historic Preservation

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The Master of Design Studies in Historic Preservation is a 4-semester, 33-credit degree that gives students the knowledge, technical expertise, and leadership skills necessary to promote and preserve historical buildings and cultural landscapes. Designed for professionals in the fields of design, planning, real estate, and advocacy, the program addresses the technical, cultural, and policy dimensions of preservation using Boston’s historical built environment as a framework.

The curriculum combines theory and practice, with topics ranging from preservation philosophy, law, and finance to traditional building methods, historic research, documentation, and an in-depth, mentored thesis project. Students have opportunities to travel to destinations with rich history that are doing significant work in the preservation field. The BAC also connects preservation with its nationally recognized curriculum in sustainable design.

The Highlights

  • The program meets the standards for degree-granting programs of the National Council for Preservation Education.
  • Flexible online courses allow students to earn their master’s degree in historic preservation while working full time.
  • We use a range of digital tools to support online learning, including Skype, VoiceThread, and WebEx desktop sharing.
  • Instructors are professionals in the field from across the country and bring current perspectives into the digital classroom.
  • Week-long residencies on campus in downtown Boston allow students to connect with their faculty, collaborate with their classmates, and engage hands-on with their coursework.
  • The BAC is a fully accredited nonprofit college with more than 125 years of experience educating design professionals.

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the path to your degree

Master of Design Studies Historic Preservation Curriculum

is the program right for me?

The MDS in Historic Preservation is open to both design professionals and those in the allied fields of planning, real estate, and advocacy. This gives students direct experience with the kinds of preservation coalitions necessary in the real world. The program caters to everyone, from practicing professionals to those who are embarking on a new career. Our graduates go on to work in architecture, design, public sector planning, federal government, advocacy, nonprofit management, and private consulting.

To learn more about opportunities in the field of historic preservation, explore these resources:

Learn more about our curriculum