Masters 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.
CHAPS provides a unique opportunity for students to study cultural heritage preservation within a global context. In 2013, the program entered into a five year renewable Memorandum of Understanding with UNESCO. Working in partnership with UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, this collaboration provides opportunities for collaborative research projects and exchanges, summer programs and workshops, as well as events and activities such as exhibitions and conferences. We are certain that, as in many other fields, a global view will increasingly inform 21st century national, state, and local preservation policy.
There is a strong multidisciplinary and cross-cultural emphasis as well. Faculty includes member of the Departments of Art History, History, Anthropology, American Studies, The Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, and the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, among others, as well as visiting academics and professionals in relevant fields. Courses are also offered through CHAPS Abroad, which emphasizes interaction with faculty and heritage professionals within the host country.
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.
All students have the opportunity of pursuing a summer abroad experience through CHAPS Abroad. Students wishing to focus on international cultural heritage issues have the option of pursuing the "global focus", which requires a period of international study (summer or semester) in an approved university or academic program associated with CHAPS Abroad.
Located a short commute from New York and easily accessible to Philadelphia and Washington DC, CHAPS offers invaluable opportunities, both through coursework and internships, for student interaction with important museums, varied cultural institutions, national and international preservation organizations, non-profit and government agencies, and distinguished professionals.
On campus, specialized research centers and institutes, including centers for 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 offer opportunities to engage across disciplines on cultural heritage issues with students and specialists in related fields.
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