Preservation Accreditation

Columbia GSAPP launches country’s first PhD program in historic preservation

East Education
A conservator cleans the Amateis Doors at the U.S. Capitol. (Architect of the Capitol/Flickr)

The United States is home to numerous master degree programs in historic preservation. Until yesterday, though, there was nowhere that students could pursue a PhD in the subject. That’s set to change with Columbia University’s just-launched doctoral program in historic preservation, the first of its kind in the U.S.

The Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation’s (Columbia GSAPPJorge Otero-Pailos, professor and director of the historic preservation program, collaborated with Dean Amale Andraos and Dean Emeritus Mark Wigley to create the program. The doctoral program joins GSAPP PhD tracks in architecture and urban planning.

The school explained the goals of the new program in a press release: “The Ph.D. in Historic Preservation will equip scholars to think laterally and make connections to other disciplines, as they articulate a more complete historical understanding of their own discipline, develop new theoretical frameworks, advance experimental practices, probe alternative modes of disciplinary engagement, and take part in GSAPP’s critical scholarly culture.”

This is not the first time Columbia GSAPP has led the field in academia. In 1964, professors at GSAPP established the nation’s first master in historic preservation program.

Doctoral candidates will receive a stipend and tuition remission for the five-year program. Brazilian billionare José Roberto Marinho kicked in $675,000 to endow the first fellowship.

Interested? The deadline to apply for that first fellowship is March 15, 2018.

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