Historic Preservation Certificate

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Our faculty are respected professionals committed to preserving and reusing historic buildings, furnishings, sites, and landscapes as well as social inclusion and cultural representation. Their professional affiliations in Chicago and abroad provide a powerful network of connections.


Students benefit from access to SAIC’s state-of-the art facilities and resources, including our Art Institute of Chicago and Ryerson and Burnham libraries—a major art and architecture research collection. Your peer group includes practicing artists and designers from across the globe.


Chicago is a living laboratory and program projects involve buildings, sites, archives, and collections relating to rural, industrial, urban, and suburban communities.


Students gain valuable experience through an internship with preservation agencies, conservators, restoration architects or designers of their choosing, or by participating in an SAIC study trip. Other SAIC courses or external professional training may satisfy this requirement.


Students who successfully complete the certificate program may choose to work with the program director to transfer credits to our Master of Science in Historic Preservation. 25% of the degree requirements are satisfied upon completion of the certificate program.


The SAIC Historic Preservation Certificate is recognized by the National Council for Preservation Education.


saic.edu/hpres_cert For further information, contact: SAIC GRADUATE ADMISSIONS gradmiss@saic.edu 1.312.629.6100

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, ranked as the #2 graduate fine arts program in the United States by U.S. News and World Report and #9 in the world by QS World University Rankings in art and design, is excited to announce a stand-alone certificate program in historic preservation.

This 15-credit hour certificate is ideal for:

Individuals wishing to embark on a career in the field of historic preservation, or pursue study for personal enrichment.

Current practitioners in the field who want to update or enhance their skill set.

Those considering a Masterslevel program who wish to secure foundational competence.

Students bring their prior experience and interests to the service of preservation through studio projects that focus on the adaptive reuse, rehabilitation, or preservation of historic structure(s). In addition, students complete an internship in preservation at an architectural office or other agency or opt to participate in a study trip.

Course Sequence

5 courses and 1 non-credit practicum experience

Preservation Documentation—choose 1 from the following: Physical Documentation Archival Documentation

Material Conservation—choose 1 from the following:

Building Conservation Lab Historic Materials and Techniques Building Diagnostics

Architectural History—choose 1 from the following:

History & Theory of Historic Preservation

Other approved Architectural History course

Preservation Planning—choose 1 from the following:

Preservation Planning Preservation Law

Preservation-Focused Design Studio—choose 1 from the following:

Design Action North Lawndale

Restoration Design Studio

Other approved studio course in Architecture or Interior Architecture

Preservation Practicum—choose 1 from the following:


SAIC study trip

SAIC Cclass or other practicum experience, professional training, workshop or course (external to SAIC)

Application Deadline: March 15 - $30 Application Fee

Apply online via SlideRoom at saic.edu/hpres_cert

Application Requirements:

1) Completed online application

2) Official college transcripts—a conferred four-year baccalaureate degree or its equivalent is required.

3) Statement of intent (completed with online application)

Write a 500–700 word statement that describes your work or research. Please be sure to address the following:

Why you wish to pursue this historic preservation certificate

Future directions or goals for your work

Your understanding of preservation, architecture and place-making

Save your statement of intent as a PDF and upload it as an attachment.

4) 2 Letters of reference—a recent employer or educational reference is recommended.

5) Résumé/CV

6) English Proficiency Scores—for students whose first language is not English, we require proof of English proficiency which may be submitting via one of the following tests: TOEFL: 100; IELTS: 7; DUOLINGO: 120.

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