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Certificate Programs

Preservation and Cultural Heritage

The Certificate in Preservation and Cultural Heritage (PCH) is a multidisciplinary graduate program that provides the practical skills and background needed to succeed in the fields of historic preservation and cultural resource management.

The certificate program is open to Iowa State University graduate students in any College of Design major as well as those majoring in history, anthropology and related disciplines. Undergraduates who complete some of the PCH classes may, upon graduation, be able to enroll as a graduate student to complete the coursework and obtain the certificate. Interested students should contact historicplaces@iastate.edu for guidance on how to do this to ensure the credits transfer.

Our Program

Preservation is an established and growing professional field that shares a common language with architecture, planning, landscape architecture, interior design, history, archaeology and other disciplines. The PCH program at Iowa State is designed to teach real-world skills and methods that will enhance those you acquire as part of your chosen major. Completion of the certificate provides an operational knowledge of

  • preservation administration, laws, standards and incentives
  • standards for the rehabilitation and reuse of historic buildings
  • cultural and historic landscape treatments
  • preservation economics, including heritage tourism
  • historic interiors restoration
  • preservation planning
  • sustainable historic environments
  • preservation history and theory

GIS-based spatial analysis, 3D modeling and other technologies play a significant role in many of the core PCH classes and electives. Hands-on projects, guest lectures and fieldwork are important components of the PCH curriculum. You will also have the unique opportunity to participate in international preservation projects through the ISU/US Department of State Cultural Heritage Documentation Project.

Course Requirements

You must complete a minimum of 16 credits to receive the PCH certificate.

PCH Foundations – Complete the following course (3 credits)

CRP 511: Documenting the Historic Built Environment (3 cr.), Fall

PCH Areas I – Choose one course (3 credits)

ARCH 568: Historic Preservation (3 cr.), Fall
ART ID 569D: Advanced Studies in Interior Design: Variable Topics (3 cr.), Semester TBD
CRP 521: Historic Preservation Planning: Theory and Practice (3 cr.), Spring

PCH Areas II – Choose at least one Historical Backgrounds (HB) course (3 credits) and two electives (6 credits)

ARCH 528A: Studies in Architecture: Culture (2-3 cr.), Semester TBD HB
ARCH 567: Preservation, Restoration, Rehabilitation (3 cr.), Spring
CRP 421: Financing Historic Preservation Projects and Revitalizing Communities (3 cr.), Fall
CRP 563: Planning the American Metropolis (3 cr.), Fall HB
DSN S 546: Interdisciplinary Design Studio (4-6 cr.), Spring
HIST 481X: Public History (3 cr.), Fall HB
LA 590D: Special Topics: History/Theory/Criticism (1-6 cr.), Fall, Spring, Summer HB

Field School – Complete the following course (1 credit)

DSN S 591X: Preservation and Cultural Heritage Field School (1 cr.), Summer

Program Faculty

Diane Al Shihabi, Assistant Professor, Interior Design
Mark Barron, Adjunct Assistant Professor, History
Ted Grevstad-Nordbrock, Assistant Professor, Community and Regional Planning
Heidi Hohmann, Associate Professor, Landscape Architecture
Mikesch Muecke, Associate Professor, Architecture
Arvid Osterberg, University Professor, Architecture

NCPE Standards

The Preservation and Cultural Heritage program is designed to meet the membership standards of the National Council for Preservation Education (NCPE). The curriculum is evaluated on a regular basis by preservation professionals and updated to reflect changes in the field.

Learn More

To learn more and enroll in the Certificate in Preservation and Cultural Heritage, discuss your interest in the program with your departmental academic adviser and contact

Preservation and Cultural Heritage Coordinator
(515) 294-0816
historicplaces@iastate.edu