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Master of Arts in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies

The MA is a two-year degree program 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.


30 credits

Two required courses: 6 credits

Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies
Methods in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies

Four electives: 12 credits

Contact the CHAPS director or Geralyn Colvill for a list of current approved electives. In consultation with the Director of CHAPS, students must plan to take one of these electives in Art History as a course that supports their desired topic of research for the MA thesis, and two electives need to be CHAPS-denominated.

Internship/Field work component: 6 credits

Thesis project: 6 credits

A Master’s thesis of approximately 60 pages, an in-depth analysis of an issue in the student’s area of focus, is required. Students ideally spend two semesters working on the thesis, registering for 3 thesis research credits each semester (16:082:707.708).

Proficiency in one foreign language at intermediate level

The foreign language requirement may by fulfilled by providing evidence of successful completion of two years of a foreign language beyond the introductory level or by passing a language exam in any language useful to the student's area of study. Reading courses are available from the various language departments at the university. The exam should be completed by the end of the student's first year. For more information regarding foreign language exams, please visit the Language Institute's website.

Current and Past MA Students


Application to the program is competitive, and made through the Graduate Program of the Department of Art History.

Applicants must complete and submit the online application form available on the Graduate Admissions office website.

Applicants must include a personal statement addressing their background, including courses in Art History and/or other disciplines relevant to the field of Cultural Heritage Preservation, and their suitability for the program.

At present, financial support in the form of fellowships or grants is not available.

Application Deadlines

Deadline for fall admission: March 1
Deadline for spring admission: November 1

For information and help with the application process, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Department of Art History
Voorhees Hall
71 Hamilton Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
  Phone 848.932.7041
Fax 732.932.1261