Housed within Pratt’s Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment (GCPE), the 47-credit Historic Preservation (HP) graduate program provides students with a solid foundation in research, preservation planning, architectural conservation, policy, and law, giving them the tools and experience they need to save the places people care about.
Our approach is multi-disciplinary, place-based, equity-oriented, and intellectually challenging. Our location in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn immerses students in New York City’s rich history, and provides the opportunity to work directly with local partners to uplift community stories and utilize preservation tools for social empowerment.
Students and faculty are thinkers and doers. Our faculty are scholars and practitioners who bring their experience and connections to the classroom. Students come from a variety of disciplines, including architecture, design, history, and the social sciences. Core courses such as Preservation History & Theory, Building Technology, and Concepts of Heritage ensure students gain hard skills, while learning to think critically about contemporary issues in the field. Electives explore emerging theory and real-world principles such as Adaptive Reuse of historic buildings, Main Street Revitalization, and International Conservation.
A multi-disciplinary approach encourages collaboration. Pratt Preservation is not siloed; partnerships within the Institute allow for students to explore multiple disciplines, including Architecture, City & Regional Planning (CRP), Sustainable Environmental Systems (SES), Urban Placemaking & Management (UPM), Real Estate Practice, Construction/Facilities Management (CM/FM), and art and design disciplines across the Institute. A student interested in climate-driven design solutions for adaptive reuse, for example, might choose a course in SES; another interested in addressing the city’s affordable housing crisis might choose Real Estate or CRP courses, or participate in the School of Architecture’s Affordable Housing Consortium; another might explore public art as a venue to interpret heritage with a course in UPM. This interdisciplinary education fosters learning and prepares future professionals to solve problems together.
Real-world projects turn students into professionals. Two studio courses - one focused on heritage documentation, and another that includes students from all GCPE programs - draw upon Pratt’s deep connections in NYC, the US, and abroad. HP students prepare for the professional world by working directly with community partners as clients. They use a neighborhood’s story and architectural assets to empower residents to manage and direct change, with a focus on equity, social justice , and addressing systemic racism as a heritage conservation issue. They propose preservation strategies for real places; past studios have contributed to National Register nominations for multiple NYC sites and have provided communities with adaptive reuse plans to meet community needs within local historical structures. Local studios collaborate with organizations across the boroughs, and past international studios have included Tokyo and Havana.
Individual student research influences the preservation field. The program culminates in an in-depth thesis project. Past theses have explored preservation’s role in tomorrow’s sustainable cities, historic landmarks and effective zoning, as well as heritage conservation for informal settlements, among many other topics.
Our network opens doors locally, nationally and internationally. Pratt HP offers fellowships with some of the most prominent preservation organizations in NYC and beyond, and partners frequently with local institutions such as the Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn AIA, Green-Wood Cemetery, The Municipal Art Society of New York and many others. Our alumni are leading preservation advocates, architects, policymakers, and researchers. Our students and graduates are deeply connected to the social and civic fabric that unites our increasingly globalized culture.
APPLYING TO HISTORIC PRESERVATION MS
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Applications will be accepted after the deadline until the program is full. Please see our departmental requirements, including TOEFL minimums, on the Graduate Departmental Requirements page. Applications will be accepted after the deadline if there is room.