Master of Science in Historic Preservation

The Master of Science in Historic Preservation (MSHP) is for students seeking training in spatial, technical, and design aspects of the broader field; it encompasses architecture, cultural landscapes, preservation, planning, building technology, project management, documentation, interpretation, and representation.

Program Information

The CU Denver Dana Crawford Preservation Program offers a Master of Science in Historic Preservation that prepares students for a true, 21st Century career in preservation. The curriculum equips you to participate in the preservation of historic buildings and sites and presents opportunities for you to study large-scale landscape conservation, the preservation of cultural heritage and underrepresented communities, the impact of gentrification in cities, and how preservation can create solutions to improve and expand affordable housing.  

The program is compliant with the National Council of Preservation Education Standards, requiring: 

  • 15 credit hours of preservation core courses 
  • 6 credit hours of approved design history courses 
  • 15 credit hours of electives 
  • 9 credit hours of a capstone requirement 
    (The capstone can be either a thesis or a professional project) 
Throughout your time in the program, you will have the opportunity to carve a unique path and personalize your degree through independent study courses, a variety of certificate programs, and elective courses across the university.  Historic preservation cannot exist on its own. So the curriculum encompasses a range of studies including architecture, cultural landscapes, planning, policy, building technology, project management, documentation, interpretation, and representation. 

This curriculum is rigorous but flexible, and although it is possible to complete the 45-credit program in three semesters and a summer, most students in the program complete their courses over two years (four regular semesters and a summer semester). 

Historic Preservation Contacts

Steve Turner

Steve Turner

Assistant Professor, Director of Historic Preservation

Program Highlights

Field-Based Learning

CAP offers multiple opportunities for Maymester and summer travel study. Some of these are particularly useful for historic preservation students.

Independent Studies

Faculty members are open to proposals from students for a topic of study not regularly offered in the curriculum. Typically, the student will suggest a topic and together with the faculty tutor develop a work plan and evaluation strategy.

Research Assistantships

Opportunities exist for students to engage in paid research assistantships.


The course of study for the Master of Science in Historic Preservation is designed to accommodate the background and needs of both those students with substantial experience and those new to the field.

The curriculum is flexible but rigorous, requiring a total of 45 semester hours to complete:

Course TypeSemester Hours Required
Core Courses in Preservation15 semester hours
Approved Core Design History Courses6 semester hours
Capstone Requirement9 semester hours
Electives15 semester hours

Students receiving significant transfer credit and those with a related degree may further reduce the time required for the MS in Historic Preservation degree and should work with an academic advisor to confirm.

Our program is compliant with National Council of Preservation Education Standards.

Travel Study Opportunities

Tuition & Fees

The University of Colorado Denver has one of the most affordable tuition rates in Colorado.  Our tuition and fees are set by the Board of Regents, the governing body of the University of Colorado.  Tuition is based on student classification (undergraduate, graduate, academic program, resident or nonresident) and you can find out what rates will apply to your situation here.
All CAP Graduate Programs have WICHE-WRGP (Western Regional Graduate Program) status, which grants in-state resident tuition to students from 15 western states including California, Washington, Oregon and Arizona.

Living in Denver

College of Architecture and Planning

CU Denver

CU Denver Building

1250 14th Street


Denver, CO 80202


CMS Login