We are still accepting appications for Fall 2019.

The Heritage Conservation program educates students in the preservation of the built environment as part of a comprehensive ethic of environmental, cultural, and economic sustainability.  

The focus of our program is to prepare students for practice in the field of Heritage Conservation. Our alumni work in the public and private sectors, from jobs with the National Park Service, local historic preservation offices, and museums, to cultural resources consulting firms. The Southwest United States is a unique laboratory within which to explore a range of cultures, architectural styles and landscapes.

Students may pursue the Graduate Certificate in Heritage Conservation alone, or may combine it with other degrees, including the Master of Science in Architecture, Master of Science in Planning, Master of Arts in Anthropology and Master of Landscape Architecture degrees.

Students have the opportunity to work on real world projects both in the classroom and as graduate assistants with faculty members. Projects have been completed in conjunction with the National Park Service, City of Tucson, Pima County, and other clients.

The Graduate Certificate in Heritage Conservation is:

  • Interdisciplinary, teaching holistic problem-solving within an integrated environment of natural and cultural resources including the disciplines of anthropology, archaeology, architecture, art history, history, landscape architecture, materials science, and planning;
  • Inter-institutional, promoting collaborative engagement between public and private institutions with a curriculum incorporating community service as a method of learning; and
  • International in scope and regional in application, defined by the arid lands geography of the Greater Southwest.

The learning outcomes of the Graduate Certificate in Heritage Conservation are intended to balance theory and practice, as well as research and outreach, including:

  • Awareness of geographic, cultural, technological, economic, and political factors that shape the built environment; of building traditions of cultural groups and historic periods that define the Greater Southwest.
  • Understanding of heritage conservation terms, concepts, and philosophical foundations; of legal, regulatory, and economic development tools; of treatment standards for historic properties; of cultural resource management business and ethical principles.
  • Ability to conduct research using primary and secondary information resources; to survey, document, and communicate cultural artifacts, buildings, sites, districts, and cultural landscapes according to professional (Secretary of Interior) standards; to analyze building construction systems, components, and materials to make conservation treatment recommendations; to interpret the meaning of built environments to a larger audience.

The University of Arizona’s Heritage Conservation program is an active member of the National Council for Preservation Education.


Students may pursue the Graduate Certificate in Heritage Conservation alone, or may combine it with other degrees, including the Master of ArchitectureMaster of Science in ArchitectureMaster of Landscape ArchitectureMaster of Science in Planning, and Master of Arts in Applied Anthropology degrees.

To be eligible for admittance into the Heritage Conservation program students must comply with the University of Arizona’s Graduate College eligibility requirements which include a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4-­point scale from a baccalaureate degree. Students who bring in units from NDS, outside transfer, or a UA major other than MS Planning, Master of Landscape Architecture, or MS Architecture must complete a minimum of 12 units ‘in residence’ in the certificate program. If they bring in more than 6 units from another program, they may take ARC 597B Special Projects in Architecture to complete the residence units.

Desert Southwest/Cooperative Ecosystem Study Unit (DS/CESU)

The Desert Southwest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (DSCESU) is a cooperative network of federal, university, and nongovernmental agencies studying and managing natural and cultural resources across the states of Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas. Formed in 2000, and encompassing the Sonoran, Mojave, and Chihuahuan deserts, the DSCESU has been involved in more than 400 projects, with funding totaling over $19 million. The DSCESU is hosted by the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at The University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona.

For additional information, please contact:

Spencer Warmuth
Coordinator, Heritage Conservation Graduate Certificate

Gina Chorover
Chair, Heritage Conservation Program
Lecturer, School of Landscape Architecture and Planning


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