Master of Preservation Studies

New Orleans is an incomparable place to study preservation.

New Orleans is an incomparable place to study preservation. In addition to its extraordinary inventory of some of the most distinctive historic architecture in the U.S., New Orleans is a microcosm of global issues from sea level rise to housing affordability and social justice.

In just two semesters of full-time coursework, plus a practicum or thesis that can be completed anywhere in the world, the Master of Preservation Studies program prepares students to become leaders in the field of preservation.  Our alumni have a proven track record of job attainment in all sectors of the field across the country. Come be in that number.

Place-based Learning in Historic New Orleans

New Orleans is the place to experience the history of preservation and contemporary preservation practice.

The rich history and culture of the city, as seen through its architecture and extraordinary tri-lingual historical archives, create an immersive learning experience. The remarkably well-endowed built environment of New Orleans offers an ideal training ground for learning about past preservation efforts, including influential law and precedent. An international leader in cultural heritage protection, New Orleans is currently tackling globally-relevant challenges in architectural preservation associated with disaster recovery, urban revitalization, and tourism management.

Comprehensive, Three-Semester Program

The Master of Preservation program is fast-paced, with two semesters of campus-based learning and one part-time semester with remote options. A comprehensive curriculum gives you the knowledge and skills to succeed in the dynamic, multidisciplinary field of preservation.

Course topics include:

  • Building preservation
  • History
  • Urban conservation
  • Law
  • Advocacy
  • Economics
  • Technology

Most classes take place in the afternoons and evenings, providing flexibility for part-time students.

Proven Alumni Success

MPS students are prepared to enter the field on day one after graduation. An interdisciplinary curricular approach prepares graduates to contribute to many different sectors including:

  • Historic preservation offices
  • Architectural firms
  • Restoration companies
  • Preservation advocacy organizations
  • Cultural resource management firms
  • Certified local governments
  • Parks
  • Museums
  • Planning offices

Our alumni have high job attainment rates and are working in leadership positions across the country.

Faculty of Active Practitioners

MPS faculty are teachers and active practitioners. They know first-hand the skill sets and knowledge students need to succeed. Small class sizes allow students to develop close relationships with faculty and connect to their professional networks. View our school's faculty, listed by program, on our Faculty Page.

Dual Degree & Certificate Options

Students in Tulane’s M.Arch programs may obtain a dual degree in Preservation Studies. View the 3.5-year M.Arch/MPS curriculum and the two-year M.Arch (advanced standing)/MPS curriculum. Applicants with other degrees in preservation will be considered for advanced standing.

Students can also specialize through certificate programs in Disaster Resilience Leadership (DRL), Sustainable Real Estate Development and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Courses Offering Real Community Based Historic Preservation Experience

First-hand participation in actual preservation projects is accomplished through the internship, heritage studies, national and international study travel and the optional six credit-hour Practicum. Preservation Studios I and II involve research, documentation and preservation planning work on actual projects within the region of New Orleans, usually involving their primary stakeholders.

International Perspectives

Since the beginning of the Master of Preservation Studies in 1997, international travel has been a core component of the program. We believe that travel is invaluable to expanding understanding and that this is no less true for preservation. Destinations have included Cuba, Panama, Guatemala, Mexico, Morocco, and Curaçao. On every trip, students explore amazing historic sites and meet with leaders in the field who explain the inner workings of preservation in their locale.

Work with Local and State Preservation Organizations

The MPS program enjoys close and cordial relations with historic preservation organizations and government agencies in the Louisiana region, including the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans, the New Orleans Historic Districts, Landmarks Commission, the Historic New Orleans Collection, the Louisiana State Museum, Louisiana Landmarks Society, Save Our Cemeteries, and the U.S. National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, as well as local and regional museums and historic preservation advocacy groups. MPS graduates hold positions in most all of these organizations, where students in the program often intern as well. Others may intern or gain employment in architectural, planning or heritage conservation consultancy firms. Such exposure to professional practice gives a competitive advantage to MPS students upon graduation. The interdisciplinary approach offered by the Master of Preservation Studies program prepares graduates for participation in all facets of the architectural preservation profession.

Social Media

Learn more about the Master of Preservation Studies by following us on Instagram (@tulanehistpres) and liking us on Facebook (@TulaneMPS).

History of the Program

The Master of Preservation Studies program was founded by architect and preservationist Eugene Cizek, Ph.D. in 1996, with guidance and support from the noted American preservation educator James Marston Fitch, who also attended Tulane’s School of Architecture. From July 2011 to May 2019, the Historic Preservation program was directed by John H. Stubbs, international architectural conservation practitioner, former director of field projects for the World Monuments Fund, and teacher of preservation theory and practice at Columbia University for over two decades. The program is also supported by a strong Tulane Preservation Alumni Group, and a Preservation Studies Advisory Group. The program also hosts a biennial Preservation Matters symposium addressing new directions in the field. In 2019, the program changed its name to Historic Preservation program to better describe and incorporate all offerings - Master's degree, Graduate Certificate, and Undergraduate Minor.

Note: Tulane’s MPS curriculum conforms to the standards of the National Council for Preservation Education and includes courses in architectural history, preservation theory and practice, research and documentation methodologies, building conservation, preservation law, and architectural and urban preservation planning. It also includes a practicum derived from practical field experience or a thesis.

Video Spotlights

Get to know Director Brent Fortenberry.