Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

School of Arts and Sciences

Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies


33 Livingston Avenue

New Brunswick, NJ 08901

United States

Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Certificate in Historic Preservation, Master of Arts in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies

Format: Hybrid

Program Description:

The Program in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies (CHAPS) emphasizes the development of a broad understanding of heritage contexts and policies along with development of professional skills. This program is a dynamic response to the escalating interest in cultural heritage preservation issues at the local, national, and global levels, and to the recognition of the significant career opportunities that are becoming available within this rapidly expanding field. CHAPS combines a rigorous academic program with professional training aimed at preparing students to undertake professional careers in the preservation field and is a valuable complement to those seeking careers, in law, public policy, or in academia. The master’s degree is also designed for students who wish to study cultural heritage issues as an academic subject—a growing academic field.

Potential employers include:

  • Private and public museums
  • State and local historic preservation offices
  • Historic preservation commissions
  • Preservation advocacy organizations
  • Cultural resource management firms
  • Historic sites
  • Restoration contractors
  • Architectural and landscape architecture firms
  • Consultants and planning commissions


CHAPS Abroad is an interdisciplinary six-credit summer program. It offers the opportunity to directly engage heritage preservation issues on a global level. Classes are conducted by experts in the fields of preservation and cultural heritage, and emphasize student interaction with practitioners and theorists from the host country.


There is a strong multidisciplinary and cross-cultural emphasis in CHAPS. One core course is offered in the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. CHAPS faculty includes members of the Departments of Art History, Anthropology, The Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, and the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, among others, as well as professionals in relevant fields.

Course offerings include:

  • Archaeology and Historic Preservation Heritage in the Public Sphere
  • Architectural Conservation: A Sustainable Approach
  • Architectural Preservation: Philosophy and Practice
  • Cultures on Display: Museums, Heritage and Representation
  • Cultural Resource Management
  • Law, Public Policy and Ethics of Cultural Heritage Preservation
  • Nationalism, Cosmopolitanism, and Contested Cultural Heritage
  • Native American Art, Cultural Heritage, and Cultural Preservation


A major focus of the program is practical professional experiences, which may include internships with appropriate institutions, firms, or governmental agencies, field work experience, and/or an abroad study experience within an approved program. Recent placements include: - Docomomo International - World Monuments Fund - U.S. State Department - Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation - HJGA Consulting, Architecture & Preservation - Saving Antiquities for Everyone (S.A.F.E.) - Ellis Island Immigration Museum


The Masters in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies is a two-year program (30 credits). The program consists of two required core courses:

  • Seminar in Global Cultural Heritage Preservation
  • Issues in Planning and Historic Preservation (Bloustein School/topics vary)

Four elective courses must be selected from the following general categories:

  • Theoretical/historical aspects of cultural heritage preservation
  • Site, monument, and object preservation
  • Cultural landscapes
  • Administration/management/ethics and policy issues
  • Courses originating in the Department of Art History and courses anchored in other departments can be used to fulfill elective requirements.

Two distinct three-credit internships or one six-credit internship are required. The internship/fieldwork component is designed individually in consultation with the advisor and is arranged with regard to the student’s area of focus. Proficiency in one foreign language is required. A master’s thesis—an in-depth analysis of an issue in the student’s area of focus—is required. Students ideally will spent two semesters working on their thesis, registering for three thesis research credits each semester of their second year.


Rutgers University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: No

# of Credits Required: 30

Average Cost per Credit (Graduate): 702 USD

In State Tuition (per year): 8424 USD

Out State Tuition (per year): 14,328 USD

Classification: Master's College or University I

Locale: Small City

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