Welcome to the Program in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies (CHAPS) at Rutgers University.
The study of cultural heritage and preservation has been concerned with the management of material change over time, but a recognition of diverse definitions and practices for cultural heritage and its preservation means our focus today also includes the study of changing contexts, relationships, scales, and values.
Crossing boundaries between the humanities and social sciences and based in the Department of Art History, CHAPS provides a unique opportunity in the USA to study cultural heritage and preservation issues and practices within local, national, and global contexts. We offer undergraduate and graduate Certificates in Historic Preservation in collaboration with the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, a Master of Arts degree in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies, a MA/JD degree in collaboration with the Rutgers Law School and a Ph.D. in Art History with a concentration in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies.
This interdisciplinary program attracts students from a variety of disciplines and diverse backgrounds. It is designed both for students who wish to study cultural heritage as an academic subject, and those who wish to apply those skills in a broad range of non-academic employment opportunities. CHAPS combines a rigorous academic program with opportunities for professional training through field work and professional internships. Faculty includes both scholars and practicing professionals in the field, and course offerings are drawn from a variety of departments within the university. Our faculty and instructors include specialists from the fields of art history, archaeology, anthropology, cultural resource management, classics, architecture, landscape architecture, American studies, public history, public policy and planning, and law.
For 40 years, graduates from the Art History program at Rutgers have taken leadership positions and become active in the field of heritage preservation. This legacy led to the Certificate in Historic Preservation at Rutgers which was opened to undergraduate and graduate students in 2003, founded and directed by Prof Tod Marder. In 2009, Prof Archer St. Clair Harvey expanded this focus through the founding of CHAPS, an interdisciplinary program that offers heritage and preservation courses for undergraduate and graduate students, and supports research into heritage and preservation in the United States and abroad. In 2013, CHAPS signed a five-year renewable memorandum of understanding with UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, signaling our goal to become a model of interdisciplinary interaction, innovative thinking, and creative teaching and research in the fields of cultural heritage and preservation studies. From 2017, new director Dr Trinidad Rico has focused on strengthening the methodological training offered through CHAPS courses, and building more partnerships across departments at Rutgers University and beyond.
CHAPS benefits from its geographic location, a short commute from New York and easily accessible to Philadelphia and Washington DC, which offers invaluable opportunities through coursework, internships, and access to important national and international cultural organizations and institutions. On campus, CHAPS is affiliated to specialized research centers and institutes, including the center for Global Advancement and International Affairs (GAIA); Urban Policy Research; African, Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern, and British Studies; as well as the Eagleton Institute of Politics; and the Initiative on Climate and Society, which offer opportunities to engage across disciplines on cultural heritage issues with students and specialists in related fields.
Department of Art History
71 Hamilton Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
CHAPS courses consider diverse challenges in the study of cultural heritage and preservation, considering issues that are specific to sites, buildings, monuments, and landscape preservation and protection, architectural preservation and conservation, material culture studies, disaster planning and mitigation, historic preservation, cultural resource management, urban heritage, cultural resource law, museology, and digital heritage.
Master of Arts in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies
The MA is a two-year degree program (30 credits) that emphasizes the development of a broad understanding of heritage contexts and policies along with development of professional skills. It is open as a stand-alone program to students with a bachelor degree or its equivalent. The program welcomes application from interested students in a variety of majors. Students currently enrolled in graduate programs and wishing to pursue cultural heritage issues as a complementary field are also welcome to apply. Application to the program is competitive.
A major focus is practical professional experiences, which includes internship or fieldwork experience with an appropriate cultural institution, firm, or governmental agency. Opportunities are available at local, national and international levels, and reflect the student's area of focus, which is determined at the end of the first year. Areas of focus might include: Architectural Preservation; Landscape and Site Preservation; Collections Management, Cultural Resources Preservation/Management; Museum/Heritage Management, Policy and Ethics. A Master's thesis demonstrating the student's ability to design and carry out a research project of significance to cultural heritage preservation is required for completion of the degree.
Dual MA/JD Program
Dual Masters and Doctor of Laws Degree Program
The School of Law at Newark and CHAPS offer a dual degree program designed for students who are interested in pursuing a career in law and cultural heritage and preservation studies. This four-year program leads to a dual MA/LLD degree.
The program is targeted to future lawyers, but also students pursuing careers in cultural heritage and preservation studies within governmental and non-governmental agencies as well as in cultural and public service institutions.
This program includes two and one-half years at the Newark Campus studying Law and one and one-half years at the New Brunswick Campus studying Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies. Students who take advantage of summer offerings in both fields could reasonably finish the dual program in less time.
Certificate in Historic Preservation
The Certificate in Historic Preservation (15 credits) is available to Rutgers undergraduate and graduate students. It offers students a theoretical and practical introduction to the fields of cultural heritage and preservation through a combination of coursework and a supervised internship. Certificate students must be “concurrent” students who undertake the program in combination with a Rutgers’ bachelor or graduate degree, for example, in History, Political Science, Art History, Anthropology, or Archaeology. Students from Urban Planning and SEBS also participate. The Certificate will be conferred only in conjunction with the awarding a BA or graduate degree in an established department or other degree-granting program of the University.
Ph.D. Concentration in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies
This concentration within the Department of Art History PhD program provides candidates with the opportunity to broaden and give depth to their art historical areas of specialization through the exploration of cross-disciplinary and global approaches to the analysis of monuments, sites and works of art within the context of cultural heritage and preservation studies (12 credits).
The CHAPS concentration is a complement for all the fields of specialization currently offered in the Department of Art History. Students are encouraged to think broadly and cross-culturally, and to integrate relevant theory and practice into their art historical research, writing, and teaching.
Students combine Art Historical expertise with the challenges, politics, and ethics of cultural heritage and preservation studies to produce critical and innovative research that is situated across an intersection of disciplinary traditions.
- Undergraduate Courses
- Masters Program